Hudson County Community College to Unveil ‘Relatable’ Art Exhibition on October 4

September 27, 2019

The event will include a discussion with internationally recognized artists.


September 27, 2019, Jersey City, NJ – The Hudson County Community College (HCCC) Department of Cultural Affairs highlights emerging and established New Jersey artists of worldwide acclaim in the new exhibition, “Relatable.”

The College invites the community to view the “Relatable” exhibition, which highlights the age-old question, “Does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?” The exhibition will be highlighted on Friday, October 4, 2019 at 12 p.m. with an artists’ discussion in the Dineen Hull Gallery, located at 71 Sip Avenue, Sixth Floor. There is no charge for admission to the exhibition or any accompanying events. The exhibition, which will be on display through November 19, is part of the Jersey City Art & Studio Tour, Thursday, October 3 to Sunday, October 6.


"Relatable" Art Exhibition


At the October 4 talk, the presenting artists will reflect on their work as it relates to daily experiences. HCCC Professors Michael Aaron Lee and Jon Rappleye, and HCCC alumnus Freddy Samboy, will be joined by fellow artists Beth Achenbach, Pat Lay, Ibou Ndoye, Taezoo Park, and Jim Watt.

Beth Achenbach developed an eye for photography while working in a one-hour film lab in Chicago during the 1990s. The Jersey City artist experiments with various subjects, mediums, presentations and equipment. Her camera is an extension of her observations, capturing beauty in still life and street portraits.

Jersey City resident Pat Lay is a retired Montclair State University art professor and graduate of Pratt Institute and Rochester Institute of Technology. Made of fired clay, computer parts and other elements, her sculptures are hybrid, post-human power figures with cross-cultural references that question what it means to be human.

Michael Aaron Lee holds an MFA in Painting from Hunter College. He is an adjunct instructor at Hudson County Community College and Montclair State University. Lee uses graphite, acrylic, china marker and India ink for his drawings. His materials include paper and wood in multidimensional effects for objects.

Ibou Ndoye was born in West Africa. He combines modernism and traditionalism in a unique style of glass painting exhibits internationally. The Jersey City resident and painting instructor breaks and layers glass to create textures and effects, while incorporating copper wire, wood, bone, animal skin and other materials into his art.

Taezoo Park breathes life into obsolete technology to create art. He collectively uses compact discs, old televisions and monitors, and other items to design an Artificial Intelligence “Digital Being” born from the past. Park holds an MFA in Digital Arts from Pratt Institute in New York and a BFA in Animation from Hongik University in South Korea.

Jon Rappleye creates surreal “homespun fairy tales,” mixed-media sculptures and paintings that use imagery found in art history, literature, biology, and folklore to portray the cyclical nature of life and death. His art draws from anatomical detail of Audubon illustrations and the hallucinatory world of Salvador Dali. Rappleye is an HCCC instructor and holds an MFA from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

HCCC alumnus Freddy Samboy utilizes spray paint on plywood and newspaper to transport cartoon characters and cultural icons into mixed-media art that conveys messages of hope, freedom, imagination, and power. The Jersey City graphic artist uses pop art style in his portraits of civil rights leaders, athletes, presidents, and entertainers.

Jim Watt is an architect and artist based in Asbury Park. His paintings, ink washes, and travel sketches are an exploration of space, form, and material. Watt has been featured in The New York Times. He approaches art without a structured, planned intention, instead playing in the tension between thought and instinct. He was recently a guest on the HCCC video podcast “Out of the Box”:

“Relatable” also debuts an installation featuring Wenning Boards, a New Jersey and Oaxaca, Mexico-based partnership which began when the skateboarding community in Oaxaca helped HCCC Director of Health-Related Programs Kathleen Smith-Wenning with the annual Three Kings Fiesta at Oaxaca Streetchildren. The skateboards on display are inspired by renowned Mexican artist José Guadalupe Posada featuring designs by Ivan Rivera and Jesus Alejandro Limeon. Learn more about Wenning Boards at

The HCCC Department of Cultural Affairs welcomes Hudson County community members, organizations, businesses, and school groups to enjoy cultural programs at the College. Groups of 6 to 30 visitors are invited to a FREE 45-minute tour of our current fall exhibition in the Dineen Hull Gallery. To schedule a tour, contact Michelle Vitale at mvitaleFREEHUDSONCOUNTYCOMMUNITYCOLLEGE, or call 201-360-4182.

The Dineen Hull Gallery is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Tuesday from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. More information is available at