‘Elements’ Group Art Show at Art House Productions Highlights Artists’ Visual Fixations

Looking at a piece of art, there’s usually one thing that grabs you first — something that makes you stand in front of it a little longer than usual, something that might even make you tilt your head to look at it in a different way.

Art House Productions’s latest group art show, “Elements,” explores what artists are visually drawn to and incorporate into their own work.

Curator Laura Greb of Artmeme says each piece highlights color, focal point, composition, pattern among other things.

“All artists tell a personal story an the use of each preferred element is often explosive,” she says.

The show includes works in various media — everything from watercolor and acrylic to photography and mosaics — by 21 local artists including old favorites like Bojana Coklyat, Ashley Lucas and Luca Cusolito as well as recent up-and-comers like Monique Sarfity, whose work “Breeze” has literally become the poster child for the show (pictured above).

Sarfity’s upclose, figurative mosaics and unique choice of materials (everything from standard tile to colored Scrabble tiles from special edition sets of the board game) have attracted attention from the local arts community. Most recently, Sarfity was featured in Mary Benson Gallery’s series A Month of Shotguns.

In “Breeze,” Sarfity manages to make cold, heavy pieces of glass seem light as air in her portrait of a woman blowing a dandelion.

“It focuses on the beauty and complexities of the human form,” says Greb, who says she was thrilled to have recently discovered the artist. “It’s done in such a beautiful manner.”

Greb also raved about Sky Kim, whose art literally pops off the walls and jumps out at viewers. Kim’s Japanese-inspired scrolls fall from the top of gallery walls and roll onto the floor. Immediate and immersive, Kim’s art alters and sometimes overwhelms its environments.

“I haven’t seen a piece like that outside of museums and I’m really excited to show it,” says Greb. “Her work is based upon a lot of movement and sort of 3D elements. She likes to create a lot of layers, steps, repetition and subtle colors and shapes.”

Even Greb might be in on the fun — after all, she’s also been known to pick up a paint brush every once in a while. “I haven’t shown in years…I put my craft on the side and just focused on helping artists put their names out there,” says Greb, who alluded to an acrylic abstract piece she’s been waiting to hang on a gallery wall.

Other artists in the show include Andrew Ricci, Kyle Schneider, CP Harrik, Kenneth Gomez, Jessica Smith, Joan Palmer, Grace Marquinhos, Andrea Kroenig, Stephanie Guillen, Ray Arcadio, Weyne Fang, Andrea McKenna, Norm Kirby and Kristen Marino.

The show’s opening on Thursday will also feature local jazz band Light Quartet, whose tunes Greb says “awakens the soul and spirit.”

The closing party on Oct. 25 will double as the record-release party for local arts event organizer and musician Roland Ramos, who will perform songs from his CD “Anchor Heart” with David Ribyat, Glen Coleman, Liam Brown and Jordan De Liso.

The reception will be held Thursday, Oct. 11 at 7 pm at Art House Productions, 1 McWilliams Pl. It will also be part of the Jersey City Artists Studio Tour on Saturday, Oct. 13 and Sunday, Oct. 14.

Photo courtesy of Laura Greb

Summer Dawn Hortillosa

is a freelance arts and entertainment writer whose work has appeared in the Jersey City Independent, The Jersey Journal, the International and other publications. She is also a creative writer and theatrical director.