It was somehow appropriate that last Tuesday night the weather was typical of the 2010/2011 winter season: cold and blustery with a threat of snow. Still, a good crowd showed up for the opening of an exhibit titled EMERGE! that celebrated life and — could it be possible — emerging spring?
LITM owner Jelynne Jardiniano recently published a book on the art of successful restaurants, and she seems to have found the right equation. LITM has become a downtown Jersey City hub for art, food, drink, and entertainment.
Lots of Jersey City businesses are following the trend of displaying local art on their walls, but LITM has a fulltime curator, Andrea Morin.
“It’s a great opportunity for artists to get their work out there in the public eye” – Beth DiCara
Art lovers who came out for the event were treated to hors d’oeuvres on the house and one free glass of house wine.
“I think it’s great that this little restaurant/bar/gallery has a new show each month,” said Jersey City ceramicist and tile maker Beth DiCara. “I like the low-key environment, and it’s a great opportunity for artists to get their work out there in the public eye.”
Longtime Jersey City resident John Tichenor was on hand because his daughter Emma Kate had two photographs in the show, a picture of newborn turtles making their way to the sea and another of a whale “emerging” from the ocean.
Fatherly pride aside, he said, “They were very competent technically and they fit the theme of emerging.”
Emma Kate, a 2007 graduate of McNair Academic, was thrilled that her photo of turtles was chosen for the postcard that announced the opening. “I was really happy because I’m a new artist,” she said. “It was a new experience for me to know that other people appreciate my art.”
The photos were perfect for the theme. “The whale is emerging from a body of water,” she said, “and the turtles are emerging from their eggs and taking a journey to a new life in the water.”
Tichenor said he also liked the bust of a woman fashioned in fabric made by Jersey City artist Gailene St. Amand.
“LITM provides a nice forum for showing art and the exhibit was well hung,” Tichenor said. “They always do a great job. They had good drinks and delicious food, and it was a young, hip crowd. It’s a nice place to stop.”
Artist community has emerged
Robin Schkrutz is a Jersey City painter, collagist, and ceramicist.”I liked the show,” she reported, “and I especially loved the picture of the wolves that was on the right as you walked in.”
It was a large painting — primarily in blue – of three wolves in a forest. “They were very powerful-looking, which I think fit well with the theme of emerge,” Schkrutz said. “I liked the pop arty pieces in the front.”
She was impressed with the crowd. “It was a pretty crappy night, it was horrible out, and I was shocked that so many people came out.”
Schkrutz has lived in Jersey City for about a quarter century. “The art scene has changed in the last few years,” she said. “Years ago, people were in their own little sphere. Now it’s much more of a community. People coming out to see other people’s work on a freezing night shows they are committed.”
She deemed LITM a “terrific setting for art. It’s fabulous that LITM allows the space to exhibit art. It’s a great service to the community.”
Curator Morin agreed:
“It’s really great to be surrounded by creative people who want to help each other, grow, learn, and excel.”
Kate Rounds can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org..