Hurtjohn: an art movement

By Jennifer Deligne

It started at the age of five when 22-year-old John Hurtado started his lifelong career of writing and since that time, he hasn’t stopped. Reading through his work, it becomes clear that he feels about writing the same way he feels about breathing, a necessity.

Hurtado enjoys writing about what he feels, turning that into social analyses, and in effect looking for the connection within us, as ourselves, and as a whole.
“The connection that is within us humans and our interactions that so many times feel practical, but are actually a confluence of intertwining decisions and energies,” Hurtado said. “I like to write about that.”

Hurtado started hosting open-microphone sessions to explore the talents and minds of others who wanted to express themselves as he did. He said, however, that open mics are the wrong term for what he and his team are doing now. They are showcases.

Hurtado works with his Hurtjohn team who makes everything possible alongside him, and even features hosts specialized for the job in his events, including Kean student Dariany Santana.

“We provide opportunity,” Hurtado said. “Our job is to find the best artists in the tri-state area and house them in our convention while branching out the best art we have to offer in this coming generation, my ultimate goal is to touch people, and be a connector.”

A whole world of different minds gather at these showcases to provide the true essence of what art is today. Art galleries, live performances, videos, dancing, singing, rapping and poem recitals are some of the featured arts at these events, making it extremely varied and open to any kind of artist there is.

“We are really artists holding a paintbrush that is the tool, an amplification of our already maintained inheritance, our mind,” said Hurtado. “With technology’s capabilities, we can do, and achieve what no one could’ve done before.”

The variety of different art forms proves his statement true. Technology makes not only new, innovative, and poetic short films, but also brings people together in a wider spectrum which Hurtado has achieved. With these new technologies, Hurtado believes a new “Renaissance” can happen with the minds of today that have never come to light before.

Hurtjohn is a web site and archive ( This is where Hurtado paints the picture of who he is and what he does with his writing and showcases. Videos of past performances are on the site, giving at-home artists a chance to get inspired. Hurtado has also placed a collection of some of his writings on the web site with stories, poems, and personal pieces that can give courage for others to do the same.

Following his passion, Hurtado studied Journalism here at Kean. Accompanying his studies, he also worked for The Star Ledger for 7 years. The experience at the newspaper for Hurtado was very educational and what he described as a “mentorship.” But it was when he was laid off from the Ledger that the next chapter of his story began. The chapter called Hurtjohn.

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