In Transition: Works by Artists on the Move

August 6 - September 17, 2017

Art teacher Liz Cohen has been teaching weekly classes at the Hoboken Shelter and St. Matthew’s lunch program, as a volunteer. After retiring from 40 years of teaching in a private school, she enjoys working with Hoboken’s transitional population, helping them explore their own talents by exposing them to the techniques and styles of a diverse group of artists, including Keith Haring, Jim Dine, Hans Hofman, Kara Walker, Faith Ringgold, Georgia O’Keeffe, Romare Beardon, Stuart Davis, Jackson Pollack, Jasper Johns, Basquiat, Helen Frankenthaler and Yayoi Kusama.

The result is a stunningly diverse exhibition of nearly 150 works of art that reveal the unique perspectives and individual talents of these local artists. On view from August 6 through September 17, the exhibition should give visitors a new respect for members of our community who are often underappreciated, according to Cohen. She says some of the artists are creating artwork for the first time, while others show natural talent equal to some of America’s best-known self-taught “outsider” artists.

One of the artists once asked Cohen why she enjoys hanging out with homeless people, and after two years, she says she has come to see the art classes as a powerful tool for helping people communicate. “I really enjoy talking to the students,” she adds. “Each is unique; as unschooled talents, their work is fresh and uninhibited, unselfconscious, and naïve.”

She hopes viewers will come to see these artists more clearly as individuals through their work. “They’ve created a life for themselves,” she observes. “Hoboken provides a good amount of support, with the food pantry, the Hoboken Shelter, and St. Matthew’s lunchtime ministry, they have formed a community, sharing ideas and problems with each other.”

The exhibit is supported by a block grant from the State/County Partnership program for the Arts, administered by the Hudson County Division of Cultural and Heritage Affairs.