Let’s Have an Art Walk: JC Fridays

Vanessa Vargas

It’s Friday evening. While walking along Newark Avenue, an acoustic guitar and melodic

voice swim through your ears. A small crowd of people sip on chocolate martinis or slurp down

a sample of spiked gelato while surrounding the musician. So you walk into Gia’s Gelato to

check out what’s going on.

It’s JC Fridays; a quarter-yearly event brought to us by Art House Productions, a Jersey

City-based nonprofit arts organization that inspires, nurtures, and promotes the arts in our


“Art House began as informal gathering of poets and community members in direct

response to the tragedies of September 11th. I knew there were tons of artists in my

neighborhood, but I didn’t know where to find them. At that time, there were no consistent

performance venues for artists in Jersey City to meet one another and share new work. Art

House’s inaugural event sprung from the desire to connect a devastated community through art,”

says Christine Goodman, founder and executive director of Art House Productions.

Art, music, film, spoken word, open mikes and comedy improv shows are some examples

of what gets displayed during JC Fridays, which happens at the beginning of each season in

March, June, September and December.

Gia’s Gelato is part of The Village Merchant Association, a group of merchants and

vendors in Jersey City that partake in the support of the arts in the community by displaying art

and hosting events in their venues. Next door at Pig and Pepper, a merchant that sells sustainable

and organic clothing, toys, and knick knacks, childlike paintings hung on the walls while

children enjoyed some arts and crafts.

The Raven Gallery and Boutique is a unique shop that sells affordable art and

handcrafted items created by (mostly) local artists. The shop is the only one of its kind in Jersey

City. It sells hand painted furniture, jewelry, sculptures, photography, crafts, and paintings.

Owners Andrea McKenna and Javiera Rodriguez rotate the gallery every six to eight weeks,

allowing the two to create a brand new visual experience for patrons with each new event that it

hosts. They featured over fifty artists during JC Fridays.

The JC Fridays art walk is an exciting city-wide experience. The next event is on June 5,

2015 so clear your calendars!