Lauren and Rich Lopez are a husband and wife duo that started ArtXSoulNJ in April 2016. They used to frequent an art space in Teaneck. When it closed down they recognized a need for something similar to cater to the people outside of the artist communities in Jersey City and Hoboken. While dining at a neighborhood restaurant, Artisan Kitchen, they ended up chatting with the owners and found out they were planning to open their basement as a venue called Sticks and Stones. Lauren and Rich realized that this would be the perfect venue to bring local art to their community and that is how ArtXSoulNJ was born.
While Rich, an artist himself, finds local talent through networking and social media, Lauren runs the administrative side setting up all the events and giving local artists a platform to showcase and sell their work. Their vision is to give a nightlife vibe to a gallery show. They incorporate DJs and/or bands to keep their patrons engaged and encouraged them to network.
Some of their events have had a theme, while others just simply spotlight local artist’s work. I attended one of the ArtXSoulNJ events a few months ago and it was a blast! The event was called “The Getdown.” Some of the artists included a graffiti painter and a woman who created portraits of old school rappers. Not only was the DJ spinning old school hip-hop, but there was also a troop of very talented dancers breakdancing all night!
Artwork from all the events is displayed until their next event or until it is sold and 100% of the proceeds go to the artists (with the exception of an upcoming charity event).
On September 9th, ArtXSoul NJ is pleased to present their first charity event for Hope With Heart. Hope With Heart is a camp in Warwick, NY whose mission is “To build a community of love among children with moderate to severe heart problems.” For this event, all artwork which will be heart or love themed; is donated by local artists. All money from the door, sales of all the artwork and a percentage of food and drink purchased at the event will to go to Hope With Heart. This is an organization that is especially important to Rich. His childhood friend, Nick had heart disease and attended the camp. The two were also counselors there for several summers. Nick has sadly since passed away, but his sister is now the director. Check out www.hopewithheart.com.
Other upcoming events include their 2nd annual Halloween show and a Burlesque show. Go to www.facebook.com/artxsoulnj for more info and events.
ArtXSoulNJ is held at Sticks & Stones (under Artisan Kitchen Restaurant & Bar) 142 Goffle Road in Hawthorne. Come check out an event and enjoy some local NJ art!
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