ON THE GREEN: GALLERY OPENINGS

Works by prize winners Joan Myers (above) and Peter Smejkal, (below) are among the featured works in the juried photography show ‘Eyesights,’ opening Sunday at the Guild of Creative Art.

Two highly anticipated annual juried art shows — one of them judged by a couple of Red Bank’s favorite f-stoppers — highlight a self-guided art walk for the month of March on the Greater Red Bank Green.

It begins this Saturday on the sidewalks of downtown Red Bank, where Monmouth Street fixture the Art Alliance of Monmouth County hosts an opening reception from 6 to 8 p.m. for a pair of group shows organized under the themes URBAN and RURAL.

The occasion is the annual presentation of the Jean Townsend Award Exhibition, a juried show named in memory of the artist who founded the alliance in 1978 as a place where creative people of all experience levels could work with and learn from each other. The 2017 guest juror, sketch specialist Brian Bednarek, will also be featured as this month’s window artist, and the exhibit continues through March during regular gallery hours, Tuesday through Saturday, from 12 to 4 p.m.

At another long-established artists’ collective, the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, Sunday marks the opening reception for Eyesights 2017, the latest edition of a yearly event that puts the focus on photography as a fine art medium.

The opening, from 3 to 5 p.m., boasts some 122 entries, representing the work of 63 photographers from Monmouth and Ocean counties, as well as other arty enclaves throughout the region. At 4 p.m., an announcement of awards will be made by this year’s guest jurors, the well known husband-wife team of Robert McKay and Elisabeth Koch-McKay.

Regular readers of redbankgreen know Bob and Liz as the in-demand commercial/ portrait/ wedding/ event artists behind borough-based McKay Imaging, as well as for their second-floor space on Monmouth Street that’s served as a gallery promoting the work of some extraordinary shutterbugs (Colin Seitz, Joel Zimmerman, rock photog Marcia Resnick), painters (spraypaint surrealist Doug Z, George Severini of Dorn’s Photo) and much-missed local art scene legends (Evelyn Leavens, John Kochansky).

For the new Eyesights show, the McKays have the unenviable challenge of recognizing the best of a crop that includes contributions by Diane Ali, Cheryl Auditor, Madison Back, Marilyn Baldi, Susan Boston, Debora Bruno, Joan Bruno, Beverly Burke, Marino Cirillo, Dana Cohoon, Vicky Culver, Ben DeMarco, Ed Deverell,  Lou DeVico, Vicki DeVico, Bob Dowd, Marc F, Joel Goldberg, Geri Gray, Carolyn Herbert, Bruce Himelman, Crystal Hover, Michael Hynes, Hal Kahn, Dan Kaplan, James Kent, Peter Lopez, Michael Marino, Vince Matulewich, Joe Matzerath, Helen McAndrew, Michael Menendez, John Mottola, Joan Myers, Tyler Nunally-Duck, Frank Parisi, Ron Pearl, Monte Pellmar, Jim Powers, Angela Private, Monica Principato, Steven Ravner, Rosemarie Reinman, Linda Relyea, Lucille Reilly, Rob Reilly, Louis Rissland, Barbara Russo, Jeff Sayre, Kristopher Schoenleber, Mark Schwartz, James Sechiano, James Shombert, Robert Siliato, Peter Smejkal, Vera Solowej, William Unger, Audrey Vasey, Geraldine V. Vergona, Elina Veyberman, Kathy Watson, Lois Wilkesand and Patricia Zackman.

The Eysesights exhibit remains on display through the month during regular gallery hours (Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday 8 a.m.- 4:30 p.m.; Thursday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.), with free admission and on-site parking at all times.

Keep it tuned to redbankgreen for more arty happenings as we march into the month — including a Monmouth Museum installation that rescues the art of crushing paper from the cultural wastebasket, a shuffle-mix of greatest-hits “oldies” at Middletown Library, the latest exhibit at the exciting new Detour Gallery, and a two-man show that finds local favorite Mike Quon sharing wall space with his 103-year-old (and still artfully active) dad.

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