By Zahria Perkins, Class of 2018
Photo by Zahria Perkins (Projection of a masking tape piece by Kayt Hester)
The lighting is dim and the space is occupied with about 15 people in Merseles Studios. The energy in the room is cozy, yet simultaneously festive. All eyes are focused on the Powerpop Trio; a collective made up of artists Kayt Hester, Robert Piersanti and Joe Waks.
It may not be your ideal set-up of an art event but the Jersey City Theater Center made sure that everyone in the audience would most likely walk out with a brand new perspective about some of the city’s most praised creators.
Photo by Zahria Perkins (Projection of a wall piece by Joe Waks)
On November 1st, 2017 the 2nd annual ARTSpeaks event was held in hopes to have an open discussion with artists Q&A style, but with an entertaining twist. Lucy Rovetto, Visual Coordinator of JCTC said that the motivation behind ARTSpeaks was to dig a little deeper. “[To] find out what’s behind the piece on the wall” said Rovetto.
The discussion covered many topics and even displayed some of the artists’ works; old and new.
On the subject of their earliest art inspiration, Joe Waks recalled a memory from his childhood and how his family had Time Magazine art in their bathroom.
“I remember thinking ‘This is the coolest thing ever,” said Waks.
Photo by Zahria Perkins (A piece on display at ARTSpeaks by Robert Piersanti)
The trio also discussed how art has made an impact on their lives individually.
“Getting into art school saved my life,” said Piersanti. “It showed me [that] it was something I could count on myself for.”
Photo by Zahria Perkins (Projection of a piece by Robert Piersanti)
Kayt Hester also described how her masking tape art has helped her stay focused from her battle with addiction.
“It’s very meticulous,” said Hester. “It takes me hours.”
Although the Powerpop Trio has showcased their artwork in the same setting on multiple occasions, the artists have yet to actually collaborate on a project. They expressed their hopes to work together in the future since the essences of their works are intertwined by a similar pop culture style.
“Our common thing is that we have a pop art sensibility…” said Piersanti.