Sam Pullin

Distort enraged DISRUPTION Continues Through June 16 at Jersey City Theater Centers Merseles Studios: Distort,  Fabrico Suarez, Luis Alves, Sam Pullin with Noah Tavlin, David LaMorte & more

On view in Jersey City through June 16 is DISRUPTION, an exhibit of politically and socially charged artworks by a diverse group of NJ-based artists. While visiting the exhibit at Jersey City Theater Center‘s Merseles Studios last week, I spoke to its curator, Allison Remy Hall .

Can you tell us something about the title of the exhibit — DISRUPTION?

Yes! It is part of a larger series of events and performances presented by Jersey City Theater Center that focus on the theme of rapid change — from the environment and climate to industries and social systems – that has resulted in a sense of “disruption.”  Lucy Rovetto, Jersey City Theater Center‘s Visual Arts Coordinator, invited me to curate this exhibit.

Fabricio Suarez oil painting edited 1 DISRUPTION Continues Through June 16 at Jersey City Theater Centers Merseles Studios: Distort,  Fabrico Suarez, Luis Alves, Sam Pullin with Noah Tavlin, David LaMorte & more

What has the theme of DISRUPTION come to mean to you — in the course of curating the exhibit?

I originally thought of it as a disruption of norms and expectations — as most prominently evidenced by the results of the November election. But I’ve since been thinking more about the moral and spiritual disruptions that characterize our present times as a result of these changes. We have come to value things solely by their material worth.

How did you get the word out to the artists whose works are on exhibit here? While I’m familiar with Distort, Mr Mustart and Sam Pullin from their work on the streets, others here are new to me.

I reached out directly to some artists whose work I know and like, and Jersey City Theater Center launched an open call.


Luis Alves collage DISRUPTION Continues Through June 16 at Jersey City Theater Centers Merseles Studios: Distort,  Fabrico Suarez, Luis Alves, Sam Pullin with Noah Tavlin, David LaMorte & more

Did curating this exhibit exact any changes within you — how you, personally, think about these issues?

I feel now that what we are facing is bigger than just a political challenge. It’s not simply about left and right; it’s about right and wrong.

How have people responded to the exhibit?

They’ve responded really well.  It has brought people together and has started a conversation.

sam pullin and Noah Tavlin collage DISRUPTION Continues Through June 16 at Jersey City Theater Centers Merseles Studios: Distort,  Fabrico Suarez, Luis Alves, Sam Pullin with Noah Tavlin, David LaMorte & more

How do you — as an artist and curator with a strong social consciousness — feel about the role of art in these challenging times?

Art allows us to reclaim the narrative.  It is a means for us to transmit a message: We are humans and this is how we are being affected. Art has an essential role in these times.

How can folks see the exhibit before it closes on June 16th?

They can email me at info@nosucharts.com. And ongoing events are posted here.

David lamorte paper sculpture DISRUPTION Continues Through June 16 at Jersey City Theater Centers Merseles Studios: Distort,  Fabrico Suarez, Luis Alves, Sam Pullin with Noah Tavlin, David LaMorte & more

Note:  Merseles Studios, a venue of Jersey City Theater Center, is located at 339-345 Newark Avenue, 2nd floor.

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ree and snow graffiti shuaspace <em>Street Level</em> at Jersey Citys Shuaspace with: Ree, Snow, Sam Pullin, Mr. Mustart, Distort, Acro and more

Currently on view at Jersey City’s Shuaspace is Street Level, an exhibit featuring works by a range of artists from Old School graffiti writers to contemporary muralists. While visiting the space this past Sunday, I had the opportunity to speak with its curator, Allison Remy Hall.

What a fun exhibit! It’s such a wonderful mix of styles and genres. How did it all come about? 

When the owners of Shuaspace, Joshua Bisset and Laura Quattrocch, met me at the previous show that I had curated, they invited me to curate in this space. I’d always wanted to curate a graffiti exhibit, and this seemed like the perfect venue and opportunity. I then contacted artists whom I knew, who put me in contact with other artists.

Allison Remy Hall shuaspace Street level <em>Street Level</em> at Jersey Citys Shuaspace with: Ree, Snow, Sam Pullin, Mr. Mustart, Distort, Acro and more

Why graffiti? What draws you to graffiti?

I’ve always loved its aesthetic. I love its rawness and spontaneity.

bedbugs sam pullin shua space Jersey City <em>Street Level</em> at Jersey Citys Shuaspace with: Ree, Snow, Sam Pullin, Mr. Mustart, Distort, Acro and more

When and where were you first introduced to it?

My older siblings first introduced me to graffiti. I was about eight years old and living in New Haven at the time. Even as a child, I felt there was something bold and bad about it that appealed to me.

Mr. mustart <em>Street Level</em> at Jersey Citys Shuaspace with: Ree, Snow, Sam Pullin, Mr. Mustart, Distort, Acro and more

What — would you say — is the mission of  Street Level?

It’s a celebration of the organic nature of neighborhoods. With gentrification so much of the aesthetics and social dynamics of neighborhoods have been lost.

distort acro graffiti shuaspace <em>Street Level</em> at Jersey Citys Shuaspace with: Ree, Snow, Sam Pullin, Mr. Mustart, Distort, Acro and more

What was the experience of curating your first graffiti exhibit like?

It was wonderful! Everyone was so supportive and helpful and generous with their time. It was the most fun of any show I’ve curated!

Note: You can visit  Street Level, at Shuaspace this coming weekend from 1-6pm at 340 Summit Ave, a few blocks from Journal Square in Jersey City. You can also arrange a visit by contacting Alison at aremyh@gmail.com.

Photos by Lois Stavsky

1.  Ree and Snow, painted on gallery wall interspersed with black and white photographs

2. Curator Allison Remy Hall at gallery space

3. Distort and Acropainted on gallery wall interspersed with black and white photographs

4. Mr. Mustart

5. Sam Pullin aka Bedbugspainted on gallery wall interspersed with black and white photographs

Photographers on exhibit: Andrew Blumenthal, Miguel Peralta and Giovani Santoro

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