Guttenberg Arts: Glory Days in New Jersey

Guttenberg, N.J.  Something big is happening in this tiny (pop. 11,000) city. Guttenberg, on the west bank of the Hudson River, is a short bus or ferry ride from New York City. Guttenberg’s Jackson St. is residential apart from one nondescript brick building – until recently a dental lab for casting gold crowns.  A million-dollar makeover has transformed #6309 Jackson into Bulls Ferry Studio, headquarters of Guttenberg Arts. The 4,500-square foot studio is equipped for etching, lithography, relief and silkscreen printing. There is also state-of -the-art exhibition space and a ceramics studio. Antique metal smelters, left behind from the dental factory, are being repurposed in the jewelry studio.

Guttenberg Mayor Gerald Drasheff and the town council mingled with artists at the studio’s gala ribbon cutting. The event was equal parts fundraiser, art exhibition, and Jersey pride pep rally.

Russ Spitkovsky and Matt Barteluce, founders of the artist-driven magazine Carrier Pigeon are on Guttenberg Arts’ board. Carrier Pigeon often includes an original print, and a number of the publication’s contributing printmakers, including Frances Jetter and Denise Kasof came to toast the success of this new venture. Matt Barteluce says just as Carrier Pigeon provides an unrestricted outlet for artists and writers, Guttenberg Arts will be an incubator for free-flowing creativity.

A Family Affair

Matt grew up near Jackson St. and has deep roots in the community. His childhood art teacher, Doug Depice is also on the board, as is his mother, Sara, a ceramic artist. His father, Dan Barteluce, is the architect who found the space and oversaw the building’s rebirth. Dan Barteluce admits he’s old enough to remember when artists lived in Greenwich Village. He gave a shout out to other neighborhoods where artists lived until they got priced out: “The East Village, SOHO, Dumbo, Williamsburg, Hoboken!”  He conjured up a vision of  a wandering Biblical tribe of artists searching for a promised land. “Now it is Guttenberg’s turn.” he insisted. Bill Larosa, Director of Hudson County Cultural Affairs Office noted there are already lots of artists living in Guttenberg ‘under the radar.’ Dan replied, “Great! Let’s get them in here, and on the radar.”

Carrier Pigeon Magazine’s print collection covered the walls, an eccentric and eclectic mix of styles.  Rough-cut imagery of Outlaw printers Bill Fick and Sean Starwars hung alongside elegant neoclassical etchings of Michael Goro and Evan Summer. Profits from print sales will be poured back into Guttenberg Arts’ outreach initiatives, like Carrier Pigeon and the new STAR Residency program.

STAR (Space and Time Artist Residency) will provide professional printmakers, ceramicists, and other practicing artists studio space, stipends for travel and materials, and time for creative development. The STAR Gallery is currently displaying the works of the first three resident artists, etchings by Kirsten Flaherty, figurative lithographs by Christina Pumo and ceramics by Phoebe Deutsch. Artists can apply for residencies, and learn more about the Guttenberg Arts projects at: guttenbergarts.org

Mayor Gerald Drasheff and Sara Barteluce cut the ribbon to open the studio. (All photos courtesy Guttenberg Arts, unless otherwise noted.)

Phoebe Deustsch, Christina Pumo, and Kirtsten Flaherty, first of the STAR artists.

Kirsten Flaherty with one of her prints. photo: Evan Summer

Artist Doug DePice, Dan Barteluce, Mayor Drasheff, and Matt Barteluce.

Prints from the Carrier Pigeon collection. photo: Kevin McCloskey

Christina Pumo pulls a litho during her residency at Guttenberg Arts.

Princeton Astrophysicist Anatoly Spitkovsky with his brother the artist Russ Spitkovsky and Matt Barteluci. photo by Evan Summer

Carrier Pigeon contributing artists: Denise Kasof, Evan Summer, Frances Jetter, Irving Grunbaum.

Dan and Sara Barteluce, founders, Guttenberg Arts. photo: Kevin McCloskey

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Categories: Exhibitions, Studio Visit


8 Responses to “Guttenberg Arts: Glory Days in New Jersey”

  1. Bruce Waldman says:

    You didn’t mention me,— you bum!

    Bruce

  2. The great artist Bruce Waldman’s work, The Salesman, can be seen in the 5th photo, left of Bill Fick ‘s linocut. Apologies for my unintended slights, as there were many more extraordinary artists contributing than space to list them all.

  3. rcarmstrong says:

    As a Jersey resident, this is just all kinds of awesome!

  4. Sadie DeVore says:

    interested in your new facility or group classes or opportunities…looking good!

  5. please add me to your mailing list.

  6. Robert Kogge says:

    I supported myself for many years at working locally in the former embroidery industry and can’t tell you what a joy it is to see a first rate facility like this. Best and please add me to your mailing list.

  7. Hello Robert, I went to your web page, impressive work. I wrote this story, but am not otherwise part of Guttenberg Arts. Contact them via http://www.guttenbergarts.org I am sure they will put you on their mailing list. Kevin McCloskey