In 1981, a group of Hoboken artists decided that they wanted to open up their doors to visitors and art enthusiasts to show off the mile-square city as a growing art community. So the Hoboken Artists’ Studio Tour was born.
Now in its 30th year, the citywide tour will once again allow enthusiasts, residents, and visitors to visit artists’ personal studios. The event, taking place Nov. 5 and 6 from noon to 6 p.m., is free.
The Hudson Reporter is a co-sponsor of the event, and maps for the self-guided tour will be available in the Nov. 6 edition of The Hoboken Reporter.
Popular stops on the tour, with many artists gathering in one place, include the Neumann Leathers Building, the Monroe Center, as well as new art galleries that have either opened recently or will be opened on the day of the tour.
“We wanted to…create some kind of buzz that we were here.” – Meredith Lippman
Al Barsky is a Hoboken resident who is planning to open a new gallery, “Artistocrat,” at 49 Harrison St. Barsky will have a soft opening of the gallery on the weekend of the Artists’ Studio Tour. Barsky said he is still planning what exactly will be in the studio space in the long term, but said his studio will feature “a showcase of local and international art from artists’ studios and private collections” on the weekend.
What’s on the agenda
Geri Fallo is the director of the Cultural Affairs for the city of Hoboken.
“We’ll have a meet and greet center at City Hall (94 Washington St.) on both days,” Fallo said. “I’ll have volunteers here to help answer questions, and people can come pick up the map here. There will also be an exhibit in City Hall with 15 or 16 artists.”
The city will also be providing a free shuttle bus service that will stop at various locations throughout Hoboken, especially near the major tour stops along the map.
“We’re encouraging people to walk around because it’s mostly within walking distance,” Fallo said. “But sometimes people want to go to the other side of town, which is why we have the shuttle. We encourage them to walk not only to see all the various artists’ spaces but also to see the town. Hoboken has so much to offer, and we want people to get a sense of this community.”
The Hoboken Business Center, 50 Harrison St. will also host multiple exhibits this year.
The tour will be held for two days, which is a change from some previous years.
“We did the two day tour last year and it worked so well,” Fallo said. “The artists got a lot more traffic, and it gave people a little more of a chance to move around. You can do a little on Saturday and then check something else out on Sunday.”
Some of the artists will even have a reception after the showings, such as a Saturday night event at Lana Santorelli Gallery.
Past and present of the tour
Tim Daly is a part of the founding group of artists who started the Artists’ Studio Tour, and he will be presenting out of his studio in the Neumann Leathers complex, a former factory building on Observer Highway.
Daly will show drawings from the past and present in his fifth floor studio.
He said many tenants in the Neumann Leathers complex are embracing the tour this year.
“Everyone on my floor is opening [his or her] studios to the public,” he said. “Also, I’m planning on having Neumann Leather Tenants Association t-shirts and stickers for sale. The studio tour is always a good organizing opportunity for artists.”
Meredith Lippman, who currently works as the program development specialist at the Hudson County Office of Cultural and Heritage Affairs, was one of the founding members of the Artists’ Studio Tour.
“Hoboken had artists in 1981 but they weren’t necessarily very visible at the time,” Lippman said. “So what all of us artists started to do was create a Hoboken studio tour. We met for about six months to start it, produced all the advertising, the maps, the posters, and that basically started the studio tour.”
Lippman now works on the Jersey City Artists’ Studio Tour, which takes place annually on the first weekend of October.
The group of founders of the Hoboken tour received a proclamation in 2006 from the city, commemorating the 25th anniversary.
Lippman said that starting the studio tour was important to the Hoboken artist community.
“New York City artists didn’t even know where Hoboken was, so one of the things we wanted to do was create some kind of buzz that we were here,” Lippman said. “We wanted to establish that there were very good artists on the west side of the Hudson River.”
For more information, pick up future editions of The Hoboken Reporter through the weekend of Nov. 5 and Nov. 6, and watch hudsonreporter.com. Or contact Geri Fallo at City Hall at 201-420-2207.
Ray Smith may be reached at RSmith@hudsonreporter.com