On Jersey Avenue, across from Van Vorst Park, there’s the Nuradeen Gallery. I discovered on a sunny afternoon when I noticed a sign announcing the Art Exhibit, “2 Women,” which showcased jewelry designed by Susy Salemme and paintings by Lisa Collodoro.
Farah Nuradeen, an Art Dealer and Artist Representative, opened her Jersey Avenue gallery about two years ago. It is actually the ground level, front-room of her apartment. To enter, you walk through a small front yard area filled with various plants, a sort of patio turned into zen-garden. The few steps to the gallery is sort of a journey, not in distance, but the robust plants helps to detach your mind from the Jersey Avenue mix of residential buildings, park, public library and various businesses as you step into a Gallery that once was a living room. The ambiance inside makes you forget the outside. In addition to the Art Exhibit, one corner had a full-size oval dressing mirror that would not be out of place in a Victorian era bedroom near a wooden African wall-sculpture of a woman’s pregnant torso.
Collodoro’s paintings were minimalist, articulated line drawings of stars and geometric shapes. Nuradeen explained to me that Collodoro painted them at an ashram in Fuji.
The intricately designed jewelry by Salemme, which from what I could tell combined crystals and semi-precious stones, consisted of geometric shapes and seem to echo Egyptian themes. A closer look revealed each piece as distinct.
The exhibit runs through the end of September. An upcoming show, “Bedecked & Bedazzled,” (at least that’s the working title), and will feature jewelry by Juliet Williams. “I always show jewelry. These are unique pieces, works of art that you are not going to find in a jewelry store.”
Another show being planned will feature “African Doors,” actual doors engraved with African motifs. I was shown some photographs, and they looked cool—tribal masks seemed paramount, designed into the doors, which come to think of it are both functional and metaphorical.
“Jersey City’s off the beaten path,” she said. “And this gallery is off the beaten path. I like off the beaten path.”
Nuradeen seemed most interested in promoting art outside, or at least on the outskirts of Manhattan. “Manhattan doesn’t need any more promotion,” she told me. She both finds artists and deals in art not just in J.C., but from Brooklyn to Montclair, and in various locales other than that famed island across the river.
“There is a lot of great art outside of New York City and that’s what I’m most interested in. Jersey City has a growing art scene now. People are surprised that there is art here, then they are surprised about all the different types of art and artists here. Then, what surprises them most is the quality of the art available here.”
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