Urban Oasis - Telling the Jersey City Story with Erin Delaney
Erin has been lucky to support herself through her passion,
photography. She is currently romping around the city discovering and sharing new awesome places and people. Erin’s subjects are not normally people, but she volunteered to help me take photos for my blog and I am so grateful to have these amazing photos I can now use. After we took the photos, I learned about Erin’s photography journey, her Jersey City journey, and her next projects.
I met Erin Delaney around 2013, at one of the first Riverview Neighborhood Association’s art shows for JC Fridays (a city wide arts event sponsored by Art House). She said she was a photographer and wanted to help curate an event for another JC Fridays. She came up to me and said, “I am a photographer, I don’t want to show my own work, but I want to help put on an art show.” After this she went to a Farmer’s Market volunteer event and became the Riverview Farmer’s Market Photographer.
What really started her going on her current trajectory in taking photos and sharing them was the Farmer’s Market. “I finally broke down and got an Instagram account. I figured out how to get my good images up on Instagram. Now it is worth it for me because I am presenting myself as a professional, sharing beautiful photos and this is the stuff I like. I then started following people around Jersey City and loved the pictures cafes were posting of food. I would find out where they were and started to go these places. One interesting find is there is a Ferry from Paulus hook to Liberty State Park by Morris Canal by Liberty House (she then proceed to show me). I am now the one taking pictures of gorgeous scrambled eggs and coffee and because of this people have started following me. All of a sudden everyone is like ‘you know so much about Jersey City.” Erin doesn’t think so, but she is always going somewhere new when I see her in the neighborhood.
So with this confidence, Erin showed her work two years ago in the JCAST show (Jersey City Artist Studio Tour) at 500 Palisade Ave. Her work was completely different than the others being displayed and she received really good feedback. Then she realized she had enough photos for a solo show, “I had been taking photos of the Jersey City Reservoir for about 10 years. I reached out to the Riverview Neighborhood Association and said ‘I have this idea - I would love to do it for this year’s JCAST' (which was a whole month last year). Kern set me up at Assemblyman Raj Mukherji’s office and I did my first solo show.” Did people buy there? “Yes people bought there!”
From there Erin met Kelly from Do You Tea when she was at Bloomsbury Sq and “I teamed up with her to do a collaboration for Jersey City greeting cards. And last year we did mother’s day, so I had a small greeting card business.” She is currently working on a business plan and I am setting her up with someone who sells products in local shops to connect with. This project led into her newest project, which is a Jersey City Coloring Book. It shows the everyday life we love about Jersey City - a fire truck on the street, a sign from Liberty State Park, a croissant from Seven Sheep Coffee Shop. Every page is based on her original photos, which she then renders by hand in Photoshop. I cannot wait to get one and start coloring.
Finally, her latest show ran at City Hall from May 3 to May 30. The show was exhibited in the John W. Meagher Rotunda Gallery on the 3rd floor of City Hall and was a continuation of what she did at JCAST last year. “Urban Oasis: Photography in the Jersey City Reservoir” is a selection of photographs taken in Jersey City, New Jerseyʼs Reservoir #3 over the past decade celebrating natureʼs reclamation of the decommissioned water facility.
As a dedicated follower of Erin, I checked out her show and was amazed by the beauty she was able to capture. I have been to Reservoir once before the show and now another because of the most recent JC Fridays from June 2016. So, I was able to experience the Reservoir once again this time through Erin’s eyes.
Below are photos from the shows:
To Find Erin: