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LINCROFT: PARK IT HERE, FOR MUSIC ‘N ART

BlueTrainLive musical performances by acts including Peter V and Blues Train (above), plus displays of art by Grace Modla (below) and others, are on the bill this Saturday and Sunday, during the Creative Arts and Music Festival at Thompson Park.

Grace ModlaIt doesn’t tend to get the sort of advance press accorded parking-lot-packing events like Red Bank’s Riverfest and recent Beer Wine and Food Fest — but if you’re on the lookout for a casual, comfortable mid-spring weekend’s event in a setting that offers plenty of breathing room, free parking, free admission and a chance to join in the arty fun, you’d do well to check out the Creative Arts and Music Festival, the 2016 edition of which sets up at Thompson Park for a two-day stay, beginning at 11 a.m. this Saturday, April 30.

A presentation of the folks at the Monmouth County Park System, the rain-or-shine event spotlights the sights and sounds of some of the county’s most creatively oriented citizens, including an indoor stroll-through expo of some 20 visual artists and crafters. Also included: a slate of 14 musical acts on two stages (and in a variety of styles), with a schedule inside the park’s Theater Barn programmed by the nonprofit organization Musicians on a Mission.

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MIDDLETOWN: THE POWER OF ARTS ED

GuildThe co-chairs of The Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury are among the individuals and organizations recognized by the Monmouth County Arts Council for their contributions to arts education, during a May 9 ceremony.

Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council

Each May, as the school year comes to a close, The Monmouth County Arts Council recognizes outstanding arts educators, arts organizations and arts advocates who support our mission of enriching the community by inspiring and fostering the arts in Monmouth County.

Sponsored by OceanFirst Foundation, the annual Arts Education Awards and Showcase will be held on Monday, May 9, and will be hosted at the award-winning, state-of-the-art facility of the Middletown Arts Center.

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RED BANK: EVERY BOWL FEEDS A SOUL

jbj-soul-kitchen-101911-500x375Press release from Art Alliance of Monmouth County

The weekend of May 14 and 15 is going to be beautiful, no matter what the weather. On that Saturday and Sunday, all Monmouth County residents and visitors are invited to take part in the Empty Bowls Project, a joint fundraiser to benefit the JBJ Soul Kitchen and the Art Alliance of Monmouth County, in collaboration with Monmouth County Arts Council’s Teen Arts Festival.

The event will take place in the organic gardens of Soul Kitchen at 207 Monmouth Street, Red Bank. Participants make a donation of $20 and receive a “pay it forward” coupon. Their coupon entitles them to select one of the hundreds of beautiful handmade bowls, and will help to feed an in-need person at the Soul Kitchen and benefit the Art Alliance. May 14 hours are 1 to 5 p.m.; May 15 hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.

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ON THE GREEN: AUTHOR! AUTHOR! AUTHORS!

Jersey Shore CookbookFrom guided tours of the great restaurants, landmark buildings and vivid VIPs in our local communities, to the resting places of the most storied European monarchs, the month of April is a Book Fair of opportunity for anyone interested in a cracking-good nonfiction read — and the days and nights ahead offer readers numerous opportunities to meet and chat with the people who bring you the books, at locations all around the greater Green.

It’s a slate of events that kicks off this Thursday, April 7, in the surprising setting of Sea Bright’s Ama Ristorante — a venue that comes into sharper focus with the revelation that the 6 p.m. event is a cocktail-hour reception for The Jersey Shore Cookbook: Fresh Flavors from the Boardwalk and Beyond. Author (and founder of Jerseybites.com) Deborah Smith will be on hand to sign preview copies of the soon-to-be-released volume, a collection of recipes from some of the Shore’s most popular restaurants and eateries (Ama included). Also featured is an insider’s guide to navigating the local foodscape, as well as “the effects of Superstorm Sandy on nearly every establishment in the book and what it took to come back after the devastation.” Attendees at the two-hour reception will enjoy hors d’oeuvres, a complimentary beverage, a demo by Ama Executive Chef Charles Lesbirel, plus a $15 gift card — and tickets ($50 per person; $75 per couple) can be reserved at (732)530-9760.

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LINCROFT: ART ‘FACING RACISM’ AT BCC

Facing racism BCCThe Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College will host a public reception for its new “Facing Racism” exhibit on April 10 in Lincroft. (Photo by Brookdale Community College) 

Press release from Brookdale Community College 

On Sunday, April 10, The Center for Holocaust, Human Rights and Genocide Education (Chhange) at Brookdale Community College will host an opening reception for its new art exhibit, presented under the theme “Facing Racism.” art exhibit on Sunday, April 10 from 12 to 2:30 in Lincroft.

Scheduled from 12 to 2:30 p.m. in BCC’s Bankier Library, the event highlights an exhibit composed of more than 200 interpretive “faces,” created by students from 19 area elementary schools, middle schools, high schools and special needs schools over the last two months.

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RED BANK: SEITZ GETS WET AT HOTEL SHOW

Colin Seitz 2The timeless interface of sea and shore — and the lost art of “wet” photography — mark the work of Colin Seitz, on display now at the Oyster Point Hotel.

To hear Colin Seitz tell it, his photographs “offer the viewer an escape from everyday life, to be transported off to somewhere with no ringing phones or full email inboxes” — a philosophy that the executive with Red Bank-based Apex Fund Services surely takes to heart, when scoping out scenery from our own local Shore to the most breathtaking expanses of Alaska, Hawaii, and Yosemite.

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RED BANK: COMING ATTRACTIONS, FOR MCAC

I Saw the LightBritish actor Tom Hiddleston plays country music immortal Hank Williams in I SAW THE LIGHT, screening in a Thursday sneak-preview fundraiser at Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas.

Beginning Thursday night, and continuing in monthly installments through Spring 2016, downtown Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas is once again the scene for a set of feature film premieres.

Not the red-carpet, “who-are-you-wearing” variety, mind you, but still, a series of sneak-preview screenings that positions the Greater Red Bank Green as a go-to destination for talked-about indies from such major festivals as Sundance, Tribeca and Cannes.

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RUMSON: GET YOUR DUCKS IN A ROW

duck Two Rivers ExhibitionDecoys, shorebirds and wildlife art (above) are the stars of the show…and artist-author David Rhodes (below) is the special guest exhibitor…as the annual Two Rivers Exhibition returns to Rumson’s Forrestdale School on Saturday. 

David RhodesIt’s one of those best-kept-secret events that keep local life here on the greater Green so worthy of continued exploration — and for enthusiasts of a certain sort of niche craft, it’s an excursion that sure beats getting up before dawn and shivering the morning away in some lonesome duck blind.

Back for its third annual edition this Saturday, March 12, the Two Rivers Exhibition of Sporting Collectible Art  commandeers the all-purpose room of Forrestdale School (60 Forrest Avenue in Rumson) between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m., for a one-stop occasion in which some of the finest carvers of decoys and shorebirds from New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Delaware and Maryland will compete for Best in Show honors (entries to be judged on anatomy, originality, likeness to species, and proper flotation). Also offered will be wildlife-themed art (watercolor, acrylic, oils, photographs, metal, pottery and more), artist demos, antique decoy appraisals, silent auction, 50/50 raffle, and lunch menu — a must-see “if you love birds, are interested in learning about the history of decoys or simply enjoy nature and delight in seeing all the beauty it has to offer.”

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RED BANK: INDIE FILM FEST SET FOR SUMMER

basie screen 070114The big screen at the Count Basie Theatre, seen here during a live broadcast of the 2014 World Cup, will serve as the home screen for a film festival scheduled to run in July. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

ClapboardKept on a restricted diet for the past eight years, Red Bank-area fans of independent movies will finally get to binge again this summer.

An outfit called Indie Street — in conjunction with Red Bank RiverCenter, three major entertainment venues and even the borough middle school — is planning screenings of as many as 30 films over five days in July.

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RED BANK: PAINT & SIP FOR HOOK & LADDER

Paint and SipOn the evening of Saturday, March 19, the volunteers of Red Bank’s Navesink Hook and Ladder Company No. 1 invite the public to “uncork the inner artist you didn’t think existed” and join in a Paint & Sip Fundraiser for the firehouse, located at 7-9 Mechanic Street.

During the adults-only, B.Y.O.B. event scheduled for 7 to 9 pm, participants will take part in a fun beginner-level acrylic painting party, led by a local artist from My Creative Canvas. There’s no prior art experience or drawing talent required; the canvases will already be sketched out for you, and budding painters will be instructed step-by-step how to create their own canvas, leaving with “a finished one-of-a-kind masterpiece of your own and a new talent you’ll want to grow.”

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RBR STUDENT ART BENEFITS CHARITY

vibesblindCaroline Pearce’s photograph “Vibes” (above) and Nora Fraser’s watercolor “Blind” (below) are among the works by students from the Red Bank Regional High School Visual and Performing Arts program, featured at the Amanda’s Easel Art Auction and charity event on February 26. During the event, hosted from 6:30 to 8 pm at the school building (101 Ridge Road in Little Silver), auctioneer Peter Costanzo will offer over 40 pieces in various media, with all proceeds dedicated to Amanda’s Easel, the art therapy program operated by the Monmouth County-based nonprofit 180 Turning Lives Around. There is a suggested donation of $2 (or $1 for attendees under age 18).

RED BANK: TALKING ‘BOUT JERSEY ARTISTS

evelyn-leavensThe late Red Bank artist Evelyn Leavens (above) is among the creative people showcased in ‘New Jersey Artists Through Time,’ a new book by Middletown-based author and artist Tova Navarra that inaugurates a series of events at Red Bank Public Library.

NJ Artists Thru TimeA quick flip through the newly published New Jersey Artists Through Time reveals a number of creative people whose lives and work were well known here on the Greater Red Bank Green. There’s the late lifelong Red Banker Evelyn Leavens, profiled here a few years back; Jim Gary, legendary maker of dinosaurs from repurposed auto parts; Mike Quon, painter of stylized local landmarks; plus Riccardo Berlingeri, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Judy Martin, Bob Mataranglo, and George Tice.

They’re all there, sharing space with the likes of superstar sculptor George Segal, celebrated printmaker Jabob Landau, and Emmy-winning courtroom artist Ida Libby Dengrove, in the first such study to come along in over 50 years. The books is just the latest of more than 30 published titles for its Middletown-based author — artist, photographer, educator, journalist, former Asbury Park Press art critic and registered nurse Tova Navarra — and the subject of the first in a new series of free ‘Author Talks’ events at Red Bank Public Library, this Wednesday.

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LITTLE SILVER: ARTISTS AND ORCHIDS REPORT

Cafe sign by Nancy EllenAmong the works on display  at Sickles Market Saturday are mixed-media, coastal-themed wall hangings by Yolanda Fleming, above. Orchids fill the greenhouse,on Sunday. (Above photo by Nancy Ellen Photography) 

orchidLocals know the greenhouse area at Sickles Market in Little Silver as a place where the concept of sunnier, greener seasons truly takes a stand against the outside-world onslaught of winter and its slippery discontents.

The warm vibes beneath the bubble of the Sickles greenhouse commence this Saturday with the return of Artists’ Day — an annual event (formerly Artists’ Weekend) that showcases the work of a dozen different creative community members amid the flora of the garden center. Read More »

RED BANK: NO PEDESTALS, NO LIMITS

Art AllianceIt’s UP AGAINST THE WALL at a Saturday evening reception, as a special display of sculpture uses the Art Alliance of Monmouth County gallery itself as a crucial component of the work. 

It’s an installation that lends new meaning to the phrase “support for the arts” — as in this case, the Monmouth Street gallery space of The Art Alliance of Monmouth County is often the one thing that’s holding the featured work of art together.

Opening with a public-welcome reception on Saturday, January 9, the exhibit Up Against the Wall features the work of some of New Jersey’s most innovative creators of three-dimensional pieces; displayed in a way that utilizes “no pedestals…instead, the eleven participating artists will use the existing architecture of the gallery either as a source of support, or as an integral component of their work.”

Remaining on display through February 2, this inaugural Alliance exhibit of 2016 spotlights contributions by Fanny Allié, Michael Benevenia, Riccardo Berlingeri, Maggie Brown, Alison Golder, Seunghwui Koo, Brookdales CC’s Marie Maber, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Rocco Scary, Katie Truk, and Michael Wiley; an eclectic group whose creations have been seen in parks, libraries, museums, college campuses and even public swimming pools — and whose materials of choice range from steel, wood, fabric, stone and glass to cardboard, found detritus and meticulously folded newspaper.

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