Sixth Annual ArtJam for HomeFront Kicks Off Tonight

An empty storefront on Palmer Square has been transformed into a fun pop-up art gallery that supports a local charity.

The sixth annual HomeFront ArtJam kicks off with a reception from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday night at 19 Hulfish Street. Many of the artists featured in gallery for the next three weeks will attend the reception.

ArtJam brings together the work of established artists and homeless artists who are finding their voices. The art show and sale benefits ArtSpace, the art therapy program at HomeFront.

The event this year will feature a rotating collection of art for sale, a jazz night with Al Oliver, meet-and-greets with the artists, and the launch of the new ArtSpace book, “New Ways of Looking at My World.”

Since its founding 25 years ago, HomeFront has worked to end family homelessness in Central New Jersey. The agency has attempted to break the cycle of poverty by providing shelter and life skills to clients. Started by volunteers making and delivering hot meals to homeless women and their children in the welfare motels along the highway leading into Trenton, HomeFront has developed an array of supportive housing and social services for very low-income households. Clients are either homeless or at high risk of becoming homeless.

ArtSpace offers a safe environment where HomeFront clients are nurtured through art. The goal of ArtSpace is to build self-esteem and confidence while enhancing the physical, mental and emotional well-being of homeless women and men.

“ArtJam brings professional artists together with emerging artists who have experienced homelessness to inspire, to give hope and to nurture one another,” ArtSpace Director Ruthann Traylor  said. “We are thrilled that this year a total of 85 artists are coming together in this year’s ArtJam to show their support of HomeFront’s ArtSpace and the lives that are changed in that program.”

Items for sale at the show include paintings, pottery, glassworks, jewelry, and hand-sewn items from SewingSpace, another HomeFront program.

This year’s ArtJam highlights include works by Jon Sarkin from Rockport, Mass. Sarkin is renowned for combining words with elaborate images in his drawings and paintings. Princeton area artists featured at the show include Shirley Kern, Cynthia Groya, Andrew Wilkinson, Ifat Shatzky, Charles McVicker and Lucy Graves McVicker. Their work will be displayed alongside the works of HomeFront clients.

Gallery hours from April 22 until May 11 are Monday through Wednesday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.; Saturdays, noon to 6 p.m., and Sundays, noon to 5 p.m.