May 17, 2017

HomeFront’s Pop-up Gallery “ArtJam” to Open May 19

ARTJAM: The annual pop-up art gallery by HomeFront will run from May 19 to June 6 at 19 Hulfish St. in Princeton’s Palmer Square.

HomeFront’s seventh annual ArtJam pop-up gallery will open Friday, May 19 at 19 Hulfish St on Princeton’s Palmer Square. HomeFront is a Mercer County-based nonprofit that works to fight homelessness in the area, and ArtJam serves in part as a major fundraiser for the organization’s ArtSpace programming. ArtSpace is an open studio for clients at HomeFront’s new Family Preservation Center in Ewing. Ruthann Traylor, the ArtSpace director, explains that it is meant as both a therapeutic creative outlet for HomeFront clients, as well as a means for them to pick up entrepreneurial skills through the sale of their artwork. The ArtJam pop-up gallery will feature artwork from ArtSpace participants as well as the work of over 100 locally and nationally celebrated artists. 

Ms. Traylor emphasizes that, for the ArtSpace participants whose work will be featured in ArtJam, “we’re celebrating them as artists,” not merely as HomeFront clients who happen to have made art. She takes pride in encouraging the creative impulse in these artists, and in allowing them an opportunity they might not otherwise have to show their work.

The idea for ArtJam came about when a former HomeFront client, Emily Lewis, began to sell her work at other pop-up galleries after honing her skills through ArtSpace. Ms. Lewis came to HomeFront as a 25-year-old single mother and high school dropout with no formal background in art. One day, as she was working with HomeFront’s WorkFirst educational program in pursuit of her GED, she stopped by ArtSpace, where she found both a welcoming environment and a personal passion. With the support of HomeFront, she began to craft work in multiple media, eventually earning a full scholarship to Parsons School of Design. She earned her BA three years ago, and is currently working toward an MFA. Certainly, not all ArtSpace participants follow a similar arc, but, “the whole goal is to inspire,” Ms. Traylor says.

The ArtJam gallery will feature work in a range of media: painting, photography, sculpture, glass, and jewelry. This year’s gallery will also feature work from SewingSpace, a branch of the ArtSpace program that teaches participants a variety of needlework and textile skills.

ArtJam will run Friday, May 19 through Tuesday, June 6 at 19 Hulfish Street in Princeton. An opening public reception will be held on Friday, May 19 from 6 to 9 p.m. All artwork will be for sale. The reception and the show are free and open to the public.