“In Spirited Company” brings together some of Jersey City’s brightest treasures in a space that is rich with history, character and energy. Pop-UP Art found that the groundskeeper’s home in the Historic Jersey City and Harsimus Cemetery, 435 Newark Ave., Jersey City, was a perfect place to showcase the work of Jon Rappleye and Rebecca Major while helping to breathe new life into a place that was left abandoned in 2008.
Musical guests Gonul & What Army will play heart-melting soul standards and NYC Duo will put an eerie spin on classical guitar and flute. Delicious treats and refreshments will be available thanks to vendors Cocoa Bakery and Gingerbird Store. A tree lighting ceremony will highlight the evening on the cemetery grounds.
The cemetery will be the perfect backdrop for Jon Rappleye’s homespun fairy tales, re-creations of cultural folklore and personal mythology with a touch of the macabre. Rappleye populates worlds of recurring fantastical creatures and strange hybrid phenomena. Biological structures and functions are reanimated, exploring ecological issues, technology and a dream world landscape. Using nature as a blueprint, he explores the boundaries of reality versus artifice. His work is a flight of the imagination, taking place in an uncertain future and inspired by an unknowable past. Jon uses subtle but bold colors in forest-type backdrops for exquisitely drawn animalia, giving the eye enough space to look around the canvas with time to take it all in.
Local artist has exhibited widely
Rappleye lives and works in Jersey City. His art has been exhibited throughout the country, including solo exhibitions at Jeff Bailey Gallery in New York, Richard Heller Gallery in Los Angeles, the John Michael Kohler Arts Center and the Jersey City Museum, among many others. Many prestigious venues have welcomed the artist in residence and included his work in their collections. Jon Rappleye’s work appears courtesy of the Jeff Bailey Gallery.
Rebecca Major creates video and installation projects that employ built construction, video projection, found objects, and audio tracks. Her largest installation in 2003 transformed a 1,000 square-foot room. Major likes to coax the viewer into participation through storytelling, myths and shared experience. Her work evokes the theater’s manufactured spaces and situations. “Orchard Noir” is the perfect piece to place in a gatekeeper’s cemetery dwelling, bittersweet with lush imagery reminiscent of a lost era.
Prominent institutions throughout the country and across the globe have featured Rebecca Major’s work, including New York’s Anthology Film Archives, the White Box, and Cynthia Broan Gallery, as well as Budapest’s Kogart Museum, the Palais Royal Jardin in Paris and Prenelle Gallery in London. She lives and works in New York City.
Pop-UP Art is a curatorial group comprised of Jersey City artists that explore many media, curation and design. Their first endeavor as a group, “In Spirited Company” – curated by Donna Kessinger, Beth Ann Morrison, Michelle Mumoli and Beverly Sommer – launches Pop-UP Art’s mission to engage the public with stellar art in unsuspected places.
Gallery hours will be available by appointment through Jan. 1, 2011. For more information, contact Pop-UP Art at (862) 414-0595.