The path to an art gallery exhibit doesn’t always start with an education at some fancy high-profile school like the Art Institute of Chicago or Rhode Island School of Design.
Jim Fallon is proof sometimes it starts at the Secaucus Vet Center.
The Vietnam veteran, retiree and Hoboken resident has experienced much in life, and now at 82 years old, he’s a burgeoning painter with his artwork being exhibited in Jersey City and New York City.
In an interview with The Jersey Journal last week, Fallon recounted how he became an artist in his seventh decade of life.
“I was going to the Secaucus Vet Center for years, for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). … I had cancer in my right arm, so I can’t work with an easel,” said Fallon, who lost the humerus bone in his right arm to the bone cancer caused by exposure to Agent Orange in the war.
“I can only work a tabletop or desktop paintings. One of the woman who worked at the vet center said to me one day, ‘Jim, I’m starting an art group. Would you like to join?’ "
Fallon jokingly told her he’d been drawing nothing but stick men all his life, he said.
“She said, ‘That’s a start. Come on in,’” Fallon said.
“So I went and it was just a bunch of us guys sitting around a table, and there was no real teacher. There was just different veterans at different levels (as artists). You’d look at how someone would do this, and how someone would do that.
The Art House Gallery is located at 345 Marin Blvd. Regular hours are Saturday and Sundays from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Learn more at arthouseproductions.org.