Local Artists Turned Down by Jersey City Museum Staging ‘REJECTED!’ Show During Studio Tour

In August, the Jersey City Museum put out a call for Jersey City-based artists for a fall show that would debut at the annual Artists Studio Tour; not long after, it sent rejection letters to the artists who didn’t make the cut, and included the names of all of them on the document.

Once Jersey City artist and curator Jim Legge saw that, he had an idea: why not stage a show featuring all of those talented artists?

“My disappointment at not being in the Jersey City Museum immediately dissipated when I started to see how many experienced, very talented, creative, professional artists were on the list of rejected,” Legge explains. “My gut feeling was, ‘I feel honored to be on this list.'”

He emailed the list of museum rejects, and many of them were immediately enthusiastic. A little while later, sculptor Joe Chirchirillo offered his studio space on 4th Street as a venue, and the show was born.

And so this weekend, while the Jersey City Museum hosts A Splendid Energy “to highlight local Jersey City artists,” Legge’s REJECTED! The Successful Creativity of Jersey City Artists will join it on the Studio Tour roster and coincide with Saturday’s 4th Street Art & Music Festival.

Twenty-six Jersey City-based artists ended up participating in the show: Melissa Cacioppo, Matthew Caputo, Joseph Chirchirillo, Carl Ellis, Maureen Gallagher, Felix Gosse, Cheryl Gross, CP Harrik, Emily Helck, Aura Highsmith, Eugene Hyon, Monica Keller, Deirdre Kennedy, E. Jan Kounitz, Shawn Lang, Jim Legge, Mike Lindwasser, Ashley Lucas, Kristen Marino, Vincent Minervini, JoanMarie Palmer, James Post, Lynn Presley, Cheryl Sylivant, Sergio Sandino and Virna Vargas.

REJECTED! The Successful Creativity of Jersey City Artists; Joe Chirchirillo Studio; 373 4th St. Open Saturday and Sunday.

Jon Whiten

co-founded the Jersey City Independent. He is currently the Deputy Director of New Jersey Policy Perspective.