The below article is written by Jennifer Yaeger and appeared in the Lawreceville Patch on April 7th, 2016.
Starting on Thursday, April 21 and running for three weeks, an empty storefront in Princeton’s Palmer Square is being transformed into HomeFront’s ArtJam, a fun and funky pop-up gallery that brings together established artists, homeless artists who are finding their voices and the community at large in a celebration of creativity. This sixth annual art show and sale, benefitting ArtSpace, the art therapy program at HomeFront, will feature a rotating collection of art for sale, a jazz night with Al Oliver, meet-and-greets with the artists, the launch of the new ArtSpace book, New Ways of Looking at My World, and more. The opening reception, which is being sponsored by Wells Fargo, is open to the public from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. at ArtJam’s 19 Hulfish Street, Palmer Square location. Gallery hours from April 22 until May 11 are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturday, noon to 6 p.m., and Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.
Since its founding 25 years ago, HomeFront has worked to end family homelessness in Central New Jersey by breaking the cycle of poverty through the provision of shelter, skills for a self-sustaining life and hope. Initially started by volunteers making and delivering hot meals to homeless women and their children being warehoused in the grim welfare motels along the highway leading into Trenton, HomeFront has developed a sophisticated array of supportive housing and social services for very, very low-income households who are either homeless or at high risk of becoming so. HomeFront’s innovative therapeutic art program, ArtSpace, provides a safe and encouraging environment where the positive spirit of clients is nurtured through making art. ArtSpace’s focus is to build self-esteem and confidence, while enhancing the physical, mental and emotional well-being of homeless women and men.
As ArtSpace director, Ruthann Traylor, says, “ArtJam brings professional artists together with emerging artists who have experienced homelessness to inspire, to give hope and to nurture one another. We are thrilled that this year, a total of 85 artists are coming together in this year’s ArtJam to show their support of HomeFront’s ArtSpace and the lives that are changed in that program.” The unique creations that will be displayed at the show range widely in variety, including paintings, pottery, glassworks, jewelry, and hand-sewn items from SewingSpace, another HomeFront program. Visitors can shop for one-of-a-kind pieces while helping the artists with each purchase.
This year’s ArtJam highlights include works by Jon Sarkin from Rockport, MA, renowned for combining words with elaborate images in his drawings and paintings, as well as many Princeton artists who show nationally, including Shirley Kern, Cynthia Groya, Andrew Wilkinson, Ifat Shatzky, Charles McVicker and Lucy Graves McVicker. They will be displayed alongside the works of HomeFront clients, who may have limited means but enormous talents.
HomeFront invites all members of the community to attend the opening reception on April 21, come to one of the other events being scheduled or simply browse during the gallery hours to witness for themselves the power of creativity and art.
For more information about ArtJam, including sponsorship opportunities, ArtSpace or the new ArtSpace book, New Ways of Looking at My World, contact Ruthann Traylor, ArtSpace director, at RuthannT@HomeFrontNJ.org.
For more information about HomeFront and its many programs, contact Judy Long, director of development at JudyL@HomeFrontNJ.org.
Location: 19 Hulfish Street, Palmer Square, Princeton, NJ
Opening Reception (Sponsored by Wells Fargo): Thursday, April 21, 2016, 5 pm to 9 pm
Jazz Night with Al Oliver: Friday, April 22, 2016, 5pm-7pm
Gallery Hours, April 22-May 11:
Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, noon to 6 p.m.
Sunday, noon to 5 p.m.