Gallery gold

Innovative art shows offer vibrant possibilities for UC

An annual arts and culture festival, visits from world renowned artists, the opening of an arts plaza, and even a monthly art exhibit in Union City City Hall – proof that the arts scene in Hudson County isn’t limited to Hoboken and Jersey City.
While simply having artists working within Union City and West New York can bring flavor to the communities, it’s the actual sale of artwork that helps the burgeoning scene to thrive.
In December, popular consignment shop/art gallery Arts Echo closed its doors on Park Avenue in Union City and moved across the river to Manhattan due to the lack of sales locally to keep the project financially afloat.
But despite the difficulties of the economy, new artistic ventures are flocking to the area.


The Rotating Galleries opening show is just the latest in a string of local art exhibits.

Last month, Rotating Galleries, a unique project that brings art galleries to empty Union City storefronts on a temporary basis, held a weekend-long opening party for the premiere of their new space on 38th Street – a three floor conglomeration of intriguing artwork amidst a typical residential Union City block.
The Rotating Galleries opening show is just the latest in a string of events that are making northern Hudson County a new epicenter of art in New Jersey.

In rotation

Begun only a year ago with a roster of 10 artists, Rotating Galleries was created by artist and architect Jim Stephenson with the intention of providing original, affordable art from local artists for the community.
Just a few months after ending their first installation at a storefront on Washington Street in Hoboken, the group (which now boasts over 30 artists) has moved their show to Union City.
Featuring locals such as photographer Steven Berrebi, painter Bojana Coklyat, and fine artist Andrea Kroenig, members of the private venture are promising the gallery will deliver something for everyone from art newbies to connoisseurs to love.


A more familiar staple to Union City’s art core is QbaVa Gallery, another private enterprise dedicated to spreading love of art.
QbaVa has a permanent brick and mortar gallery on 42nd Street near Bergenline Avenue and specializes in contemporary Cuban art from artists who reside in Cuba as well as Cuban-born artists living in the United States and throughout the world.
The gallery is compiling a collection of Cuban art from both well known and emerging artists alike including painters, sculptors, and photographers.
Although the focus of the project is Cuban art, the gallery has recently been opening its doors to alternative exhibitions of international artists as well.
Owner and curator Jesus Rivera, along with other members of the gallery’s team, also offer art consulting, delivery and installation, and commissioned artwork.

City Hall

In Union City, even City Hall is an art gallery. Dedicated to giving local artists a free space to showcase their art, the Union City Gallery at City Hall was created as part of the mission to encourage more art in the city – a cause particularly championed by Union City Commissioner Lucio Fernandez as a way to improve quality of life for residents.
Each month, Union City Art Gallery curator Amado Mora and the Union City Artist Collective organize a free opening event (often featuring musical guests and refreshments) for a new exhibition.

Check it out yourself

Rotating Galleries is currently located at 629 38th St. in Union City. For exhibition dates and more information, visit or contact
The next exhibition at QbaVa, Absraction, Landscapes, and Intertextuality by Cesar Alfonso and Jesus Rivera, will run throughout April. Cuba Without Photoshop by Arvade will begin in May. For gallery hours and more information, contact (201) 325-0197 or visit
The Union City Art Gallery features different artists in monthly exhibits. Artists who would like to be included in future exhibits should contact the Union City Office of Public Affairs at (201) 348-5746 for more details.
Lana Rose Diaz can be reached at


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