About and History

Arts on the Hudson is a non-proft organization formed from Grigur's Pantomime Theater, founded in 1979 by Grigory Gurevich. Arts on the Hudson was founded in 1998, and is since devoted to promoting arts and culture in Jersey City and the greater Hudson County.

Arts on the Hudson went through a transformation in 2018 with the addition of new, young members to the Board of Directors - Alex Gurevich, David Acosta, Chris Colonnese and Nate Spilman. Arts on the Hudson has its same, old mission with fresh, new faces.

Arts on the Hudson/GPT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization and financial contributions are tax-deductible.

Meet the founder of Arts on the Hudson

Grigory Gurevich is a fine artist: a painter, sculptor, graphic artist, photographer, illustrator, book maker, a mime and an inventor.

He was born in Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg), Russia, in the family of an architect. When World War II began, he and a small group of children were evacuated and went to live in Kashtak, Siberia. Parents weren’t allowed to go, but his mother couldn’t take the thought of separation and jumped on the train at the last minute. After the War, the family reunited in Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg), but their apartment was occupied. They stayed with his aunt, crowded in the dining room with one sofa. His father designed the first atomic City Dubna, located near Moscow and instead of receiving a large financial grant, he received the medal for defense of Leningrad and was fired by the government from his job because he was a Jew and had never been a member of the Communist Party. His family had a difficult financial time. When Grigory was 14 years old, his parents divorced and he stayed with his father and brother Michael who was 4 at the time.

Grigory studied visual arts, theater and music. His work was first exhibited in the United Exhibit of artists in Moscow when he was just fifteen years old. He received a Master of Arts degree from the Academy of Fine and Industrial Arts of Sankt Petersburg. After the graduation, he designed the interiors of public buildings in Russia. His one-person exhibition was held in 1971 at the Architectural House in Leningrad.

In 1966 under the influence of world famous mime Marcel Marceau he created first professional Pantomime company in Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg) Russia and performed with this company throughout Russia. Later, his company was invited to perform with outstanding actor and satirist of Soviet Union, Arkady Raikin. With his theater, Grigur’s Pantomime Theatre, he had the opportunity to perform in the best theaters of Russia. Grigory’s theater participated in movies, theaters and independently. Under political pressure Grigory dissolved his company and had no choice but to leave Russia.

Grigory came to the United States in 1976 with $90 in his pocket and began learning English and in 1984 he was granted Citizenship and turned his attention to producing and teaching Arts. His first group show was on Madison Ave. in New York City, where 6 tempera paintings were exhibited and sold.

It was extremely difficult to start in the new country from nothing. To support his art and to develop his theater he worked odd jobs around the clock driving his car as a car service, did antique restoration, jewelry design, carpentry, etc. At the same time, he was producing his art and rehearsing with his mimes new plays and teaching art students from low income families. In 1979 Grigory founded the American “Grigur’s Pantomime Theater” in New York and later in Jersey City as a non-profit organization.

From 1977 until 1985 the pantomime theater company performed in the United States, Denmark and Germany, while Grigory was directing, performing teaching pantomime, and producing art.

The span of his artist’s interest is “universal” in a very specific sense – he sees everything and perceives the unifying element in all that exists. At the same time hardly a media remains in which he didn’t try to convey his visions. These works includes painting, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, and other forms of art. His pen and ink drawings hint the influence of Piranesi and Serat, both in spirit and form.

Grigory Gurevich believes that black and white image has ascetic uniqueness and stirs imagination. His pen and ink drawings are created by continuous line without initial markings by pencil. This “spiderweb technique” Grigory Gurevich discovered by accident in 1981, trying to get dry ink from ink pen. His ink line moves effortlessly vibrating and producing mirage-like images, which dissolve themselves in cosmic eternity. Images, created that way leaves the viewer with feeling of being immersed in some kind of foggy shadows.

Watercolor is a media of his childhood. He was 5 when he remembered himself doing watercolor of a stuffed bird on the stretched watercolor paper. When he was 15 his father gave him special present– unique handmade watercolors of outstanding quality from the village Krukovo, which is located near Moscow.Watercolors were handmade by one old man and his son. They grinded the pigments and mixed them with gum arabic and something else they kept secret. Colors were poured in a metal beer cups and some were dropped like candy on strips of paper – about twenty colors in one line.

When his father put colors on the table, they looked like dozens of candies of many different colors. Grisha /his family name/ was thrilled. Watercolors were cut and glued on wooden plate. The master watercolor maker and his son, who kept the secret of making them, were heavy vodka drinkers and both passed away in 70’s taking with them the secret. The set is still a life and watercolors you can see in his catalogue are painted with it.

In 1984 Grigory completed a sculpture tableau “Commuters,” which includes 7 life size characters (circa 1935). It was casted in bronze in 1985 and has been permanently installed at Penn Station in Newark, New Jersey.

Since his arrival in the United States he’s had more than 300 exhibitions and conducted more than 500 sculpture and many pantomime workshops. He received many awards and honorable mentions for his sculptures, paintings and drawings. His work has been displayed in New York, New Jersey, Copenhagen, , Montgeron (France), Munich and Konstanz (Germany), and has being reviewed in many national and European publications and television programs. His work is also in many private collections, including famous personalities – Arkady Raikin in Russia, Marcel Marceau in France, Debora You Miller in Switzerland and David Letterman in the United States, as well as in permanent collection of Museum of Russian Contemporary Art in Jersey City, and Montclair Museum in Montclair, New Jersey. He was also a faculty member of Newark School of Fine and Industrial Arts in Newark, New Jersey and Professor of St, John’s University in New York, Queens where he taught sculpture, ceramics, drawing and anatomy.

Since 1992 he has been involved in creating his art books – “Reflections”, “Holocaust” and “Kinetic” or “Magic” books. One of his art books “Reflections” which featured 17 linocuts, etchings and mixed media prints has been included in the print collection in Hermitage Museum in Leningrad (Sankt Petersburg), Russia. Another one is in New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue and Saint Bonaventure University – Department of Prints.

In April 1995 Mr. Gurevich was granted a patent on a new type of manifolding (kinetic) book. Several of the kinetic books are in collection of artist’s books in Columbia University of Chicago and one “!!-10; 10-1" is in the Library of Brooklyn Museum. Four of his Art books now are in the collection of Library in The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

In 1996 Grigory was commissioned to create a bronze bust of Kazuo Hashimoto – Japanese – American inventor, a head of Intel Corporation who has had more than thousand inventions in the field of telephone and computer communication. Several of his inventions, most familiar to the world is an “Answering Machine” and “Caller ID”. The bronze bust, Grigory created is installed in NJIT near the Library in Newark, New Jersey.

In 1998 Grigory founded Arts on the Hudson after school Art Program for children and adults and Art Workshops Festival. This program has scholarship for low income families with the support from CDBG of Jersey City. The Festival is free for participants. Both programs are sponsored by the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, Hudson County Office of Tourism in cooperation with the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, Provident Bank, local businesses and privately.

His artwork was featured by leading publications in the United States and abroad as such as, The New York Times, Metro Newark, Who is Who in America, American Artist, Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation Catalogue and many others.

In 2016 his sculpture “CLOWN” was exhibited in Russian State Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia in exhibition “CIRCUS”. More than 3,000 people attended this wonderful show and his work entered a catalogue of this exhibition.

Today, Grigory lives in Jersey City and continues to make art.