Barsky Gallery, located at 49 Harrison Street, is at the halftime mark of a 2-week exhibit, "Art's Salute to Football" showcasing local and not so local artists' take on football. Barsky Gallery owner Al Barsky really zeroed in on a creative way to both utilize his space and celebrate Super Bowl's imminent New Jersey arrival - in a way that no one else really took advantage of.
By gearing up early, Barsky reached out to artists everywhere, using a good ole fashioned social media approach. He found an impressive roster of artists - most without an affinity to the sport (though he also attracted some former players, too). "I'd rather they didn't have an affinity to football, it brings something different to the table - like the Faberge egg [football]," said Barsky. The Faberge egg was a part of the exhibit which featured actual footballs as a base and allowed its "players" to mask them however they artfully chose.
On Friday, Barsky Gallery hosted the Artist's Halftime Press Party, where the artists themselves - including two former NFL players - came out to the Hoboken space and answered questions about their work. Fox News also joined in the fun!
One artist we couldn't get enough of was Brooklyn-born, Parsippany-resident Chas Palminteri (no, not that one). Palminteri's paintings were front and center in the intimate gallery space - with good reason. Boasting 25 years of commercial art direction experience followed by 20 years of professional painting, Palminteri has got the chops! Surprisingly, his paintings only take 2-3 days to spill on canvas - and (according to Palminteri) only 25 years to develop the talent.
Palmiteri said that once his children were grown, he was free to do what he really wanted to do, instead of what paid the bills. Now, it seems he has the best of both worlds.
As if Palminteri's work and story wasn't inspirational enough, meet Matthew Rice. Rice is a former NFL player who had opportunities to play for the Buffalo Bills, St. Louis Rams, New York Giants, and the Detroit Lions. Rice then began suffering from seizures that confirmed a right frontal lobe brain tumor. This is the exact part of the brain that is said to evoke art. Though his NFL career came to a halt, the successful removal of the tumor in 2007 was able to improve his (somewhat newfound) artistic capacity! Rice adopted a new look on life and a positive perspective that he promotes now through art and his company Mateo Blu. He radiates calming energy and glass half full views, both in person and on canvas . For more, visit www.Mateoblu.com
In addition to Rice, NY Jets linebacker Aaron Maybin also graced the gallery with his presence and incredible painting ability. The event was a complete success from the special appearances to the catering by Simply Elegant Events and desserts by Aromi Di Napoli Bakery to the bustling press and the exhibit itself - kudos to Al Barsky for his gallery touchdown!
[Painting by Aaron Maybin]
The exhibit is still going on until February 8th. And (bonus) there is parking outside the space!