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'Jersey Collective' helps us get in touch with our state roots


We are not called the Garden State for nothing!

Over at the Rutgers Art Library on College Avenue, a new exhibition is being shown called the "Jersey Collective", that is holding free viewings for the public until February 18th. 

The "Jersey Collective" was founded by former Rutgers Art Library intern Keri Sullivan, a 2015 alumna of the Masters of Library and Information Science program, in March 2014. It is an Instagram account hosted by different photographers each week, with the creative freedom to post anything they want as long as they stay within the realm of New Jersey. 

The images vary from picturesque shots of the Jersey Shore, including the famous Asbury Park boardwalk to the nature that gives us the title the Garden State.

The show captures the true essence of the New Jersey lifestyle, and not just the stereotype some may assume when coming to this glorious state.

Many out-of-state students may be particularly intrigued to check out this show. They can get a true taste of what it is really like to live in the Garden State. 

We are people who care and love the state that we live in. This love is shown through people enjoying the luxurious beaches during all seasons, and taking in the scenic routes of all the nature and wildlife surrounding us. Most importantly, we showcase the people who make up New Jersey.

This Rutgers University art show did that flawlessly.

In particular, a few pictures that caught my eye took place in the historical Asbury Park. The true soul of the place was caught beautifully. Not only did the photographer grasp the idealistic beauty of the boardwalk and beach itself, but they also captured moments of the people that inhabit it. 

The photograph of the famous Asbury Park tattoo culture really added a depth to the show. It made me more intrigued about the different cultures that can make up just one state.

Another surprisingly accurate depiction of the New Jersey area was a picture of a dilapidated house. The house most likely became that way from the soul crushing Hurricane Sandy, which devastated many New Jersey citizens. It is a dark portrait of a crumbled, peeling house that reminds many of us what happened only a few years ago. It is those reminders in the New Jersey area that still stand today that reminds us how strong we are. I was delighted to see the show incorporate this gloomy token into a rather cheerful depiction of the Jersey Shore.

This exhibition truly identifies with the subject matter at hand. It destroys all stereotypical concepts of the Jersey Shore, and replaces it with the real notions that New Jersey folks hold within their hearts on a daily basis.

The art show is definitely a must see for Rutgers University students who are from out-of-state, and for those who do not live in the tri-state area. Not only will it be a learning experience for them, and help to destroy the ugly legacy that the “Jersey Shore” show has left in its wake, but it will be a fun trip for those who do live here and want to take a walk down memory lane.

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