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"Jersey Collective" brings the sites and sights of New Jersey to Rutgers

January 26. 2016
Jersey Collective image

Jersey Collective will be on display until February 18. View more photos at http://instagram.com/jerseycollective. Andrew Guglielmo, @andrewgaro, November 10-15, 2014, Middletown, NJ

Jersey Collective photo

Jersey Collective photo credit: Kristen Crunch, @crunchygrl, September 22-27, 2014, Waretown, NJ

Jersey Collective photo

Jersey Collective photo credit: Sergio Castillo, @cinco.centavos, September 15-20, 2014, Bloomfield, NJ

Jersey Collective, a collaborative New Jersey Instagram project, is holding a photography exhibition at the Rutgers Art Library in New Brunswick, NJ. The show opened on January 16, 2016 and will remain on view in the library until February 18, 2016. It is free and open to the public.

Jersey Collective was founded in March 2014 by Kerri Sullivan, a 2015 alumna of the Master’s of Library and Information Science program and previous Art Library intern at Rutgers University–New Brunswick. The project invites a different photographer to take over the Jersey Collective Instagram account each week and gives them the freedom to post as they wish. The only rule? The photos must be taken in New Jersey.

“I wanted to bring together New Jersey-based Instagrammers and give them a platform to showcase their work as well as showcase why New Jersey is such a special place,” says Sullivan.

The resulting photographs capture everyday experiences and places familiar to those who love and live in New Jersey—architectural details on churches, homes, and bridges; expansive views of nature, farms, and beaches; recreation from the Jersey shore to the ski mountains of the northwest; and the people, animals, and objects that populate it all.

While the exhibit features a number of striking and beautiful images, according to art librarian Megan Lotts, it is more than just a collection of pretty pictures. “What makes this project unique,” explains Lotts, “is that it is both an anthropological look at New Jersey, as well as a modern way of curating an exhibition of digital born artworks.”

A celebration of the first year of Jersey Collective, the exhibit features one printed image per week from March 2014 to March 2015. These 53 images cover all four seasons and showcase every corner of the Garden State. Fifty photographers—ranging in age from 13 to 40 and in experience from professional photographers to amateurs with smartphones—were part of Jersey Collective’s first year.

“One reason I am thrilled to bring this show to Rutgers is because I have a personal connection as an alumna of the MLIS program,” says Sullivan. “I also am excited for more Rutgers students to see what we're about because I hope some of them will want to participate or will be inspired to get out and explore New Jersey a little more.”

Jersey Collective has struck a chord both with followers (8,000 and counting on Instagram) and among photographers (the current wait list to participate runs through 2017). The complete project can be seen at instagram.com/jerseycollective.