We had the good fortune of connecting with Jay “Art God” Coreano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jay “Art God”, how do you think about risk?
I’ve always embraced risk taking with open arms. There’s nothing wrong with being GOOD. But if you want to be GREAT, you have to take risks. From an artist’s perspective, my life is based on a risk I took after graduating high school. I could’ve stayed in college and eventually pursued a career in business/marketing, but I decided to leave that behind and chase my dreams to become an artist.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Born and raised in Philadelphia. Where I come from, hope is a flickering light at the end of the tunnel. Some people can’t even see it. I was an artist my entire life. I didn’t have a choice. Art was the only thing I had in my life that I could hold on to. It was the only thing that couldn’t be taken away. I used to paint to escape my reality. My family was dirt poor. We came from nothing and today we aren’t far from that. Breaking cycles. Paving a way for generations. My art work now speaks of a different story. I used to say “wake up” and “stay woke” and now I’m like “don’t wake up” and “keep dreaming.” My success as an artist is overwhelming. But I can’t take everyone with me. My only purpose now is to leave a legacy that will shine a light on future generations. I can’t make you believe in yourself. But I believe in you.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Philly is full of history and hidden gems. If it was a weekend here then I’ll say forget the tourist spots- liberty bell, Betsy Ross house, etc. and come to local artist events. Try a cheese steak at a local pizzeria (Not Geno’s or Pat’s) Nothing against them, but you will find the true culture of Philly in the streets and neighborhoods outside of Center City. But if someone is spending and entire week here, definitely check out the tourist spots. There’s time to see the Rocky Statue at the art museum, Love Park, Penny’s Landing, and countless other parks and museums.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Shout out to TTF WATERSHED (Tacony/Tookany-Frankford Watershed). I’ve been working with Julie, who is the executive director, for many years. TTF is a non-profit organization that focuses on preserving the Delaware watershed in our area. That includes educating neighbors about pollution, clean water, community clean ups, block parties, etc. I was born & raised in that area so it’s an honor to be involved with an organization who focuses on beautifying my hometown. We have done many projects together and we are currently in the middle of our next project which involves the fabrication of 6 new statues that will be placed along Ferko Playground. This is a part of our Learning Trail initiative.