The New Jersey art community, friends and family recently lost someone very near and dear to us: Jerome Luis Gonzalez. He passed away unexpectedly on 2/17/2018 at the age of only 44, while competing in an endurance run. Jerome was a beloved father of 2 young children, a son, a brother, a friend, a painter, a published author, an athlete, an advocate for the arts, a mentor, and a community leader. In the words of local journalist Rod Hirsch, Jerome was “the heart and soul of (Somerville’s) burgeoning downtown arts community,” and a true modern-day Renaissance man.
In Jerome’s memory, Arts On Division, a non-profit, 501 (c) (3) corporation in Somerville, is organizing a mural in tribute to him. We invite and encourage you to be a part of it! You can do so by contributing directly to the fundraising campaign, or purchasing one of the prints mentioned below.
We are grateful to the Borough of Somerville for their support and encouragement with this project, which recognizes Jerome's positive impact on the community and how much he is missed. We would also like to give a huge THANK YOU to Dimitrios "Jimmy" Stathatos, the owner of the PHOENIX CAFE, for graciously allowing us to put the mural on the side of his building.
To execute this project, we are seeking funds to cover the costs of the paint, materials and the insurance. The size of the mural is approximately 90 feet x 18 feet. We are looking to do this project in the coming months, and we will announce a start date when we can. The artists who will do the painting are donating their time and skills: Adrian Collazo (Jerome's cousin), Alex Medina (a.k.a. Elan Wonder) and Leon Rainbow, who have worked with Jerome on art projects in the past.
Any funds exceeding this goal amount will go towards Jerome's children's education.
Two prints are available for purchase to support the mural project, with 100% of the proceeds going towards funding the project.
A print of Jerome’s painting “Muhammad Ali, Eye of the Tiger.” For a donation of $25 or more, you can get your print at the ART ALL DAY festival on Saturday, September 15 on Division Street in Somerville, or anytime at Gallery on Main.
A portrait entitled “Jerome ‘Cuzo’ Gonzalez,” created by artist Alejandro (Alex) Medina, a.k.a. Elan Wonder. In tribute to his positivity, generous spirit and beautiful soul, an image of Jerome is surrounded by phrases he was known to embrace and live by, such as “Always give back,” “Love over hate,” “Work hard” and “Speak truth.” The 11" x 14" limited-edition prints, which are hand-signed by the artist, are available for $25 at elanone.com/store/jeromecuzogonzalez.
To make a donation or for additional details, visit gofundme.com/jerome-gonzalez-mural-project.
Thank you for your support and participation!