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RED BANK: ART WITH A (RE)PURPOSE

Lisa Bagwell PizzaArtworks sculpted by Lisa Bagwell from discarded plastic items (such as PIZZA, above) are on display now at the Red Bank Library, along with digitally modified images by Lynne Kennedy (whose scene of Middletown’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery is pictured below). 

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It’s everywhere at once and all around you, once you choose to notice it — the non-biodegradable detritus that Lisa Bagwell calls “the masses of cartons, cups, plastics and cutlery that passes through the hands of myself and the people around me.”

A resident of Red Bank, and a Long Branch employee in charge of that city’s public gardens, Bagwell can seem to be many places at once herself — as a naturalist for the county Park System, a farm worker, a vegetarian cook, and a volunteer with the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. In her “spare” time, the Rutgers grad is an artist; one whose sculpture work has been exhibited in spaces that have included the Monmouth Museum, Newark’s Aljira Center — and the Red Bank Public Library, where a collection of her pointedly playful creations is on display now through the month of June.

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RED BANK: STEELWORKERS TOP OFF GALLERY

 Furnari sculpture 052116 2A pickup truck carrying the mobile version of the sculpture, and the newly installed replica atop the Detour Gallery, as seen Saturday. Below, artist Sergio Furnari. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sergio furnari 052116Sure to prompt double-takes, Red Bank’s newest piece of outdoor art brings an iconic American photograph to three dimensions.

If the image looks familiar, that’s because it’s based on a famous 1932 photograph of steelworkers taking a lunch break on a steel beam 850 feet above the ground at Manhattan’s Rockefeller Center, then under construction. Read More »

A RETROSPECTIVE FOR A RED BANK RECLUSE

LEWIS_RUDOLPH_1_THE_FUGITIVETHE FUGITIVE (above) and other paintings by the late Red Bank-based artist Lewis Lanza Rudolph (below) are represented in a major retrospective, opening with a Friday evening reception at Lincroft’s Monmouth Museum.

Lewis Lanza Rudolph low-res“By choice, in the early 1990’s Lewis Lanza Rudolph withdrew from the art scene and into his studio,” reads a press statement for a major retrospective on the work of the lifelong Red Bank resident. “Why he stopped exhibiting his work is a mystery.”

Writing on a website dedicated to the life and work of the late artist (1949-2012), Rudolph’s sister Denise Ecenroad confirms that her older brother was a reclusive type who “never owned a credit card, computer, or cell phone…(he) kept his phone unplugged unless he was anticipating a phone call. This means I would need to write him and mail a letter in advance to ask if I could visit or to arrange a phone call with him.”

But while he made his living as a security guard, Rudolph was first and foremost a passionate and prolific painter who exhibited his work in NYC galleries in the late 1970s and early 80s; who traveled to Paris and other arts-friendly ports of call; who won a New Jersey State Council on the Arts Fellowship in 1983, and whose self-described “Abstractions” will be receiving their first major hometown solo-show exposure, beginning with a public-welcome reception this Friday, May 20 at the Monmouth Museum.

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RED BANK CHARTER SCHOOL IS ALL ART

RBCS Evening of ArtsThe talents of an array of  budding artists, writers, dancers, theatrical performers and musicians were spotlighted on May 12, when Red Bank Charter School hosted its annual Evening with the Arts celebration. Designed as both a showcase for the creative abilities of RBCS students — and a demonstration of how the various art forms are integrated within the school’s curriculum — the event was made possible by the good work of faculty members that included art teacher Mrs. Stefankiewicz, music teacher Miss Keeling, and rock band leader Mr. Strippoli.

RED BANK: BUY A BOWL, FEED A SOUL

bowls 4Artist Gina Navon at work on a bowl for the event, and a sampling of the bowls available for purchase, below. (Photos by Bob McKay. Click to enlarge)

bowls 3For the second year in a row, the Red Bank-based Art Alliance of Monmouth County will host its Empty Bowls Project at JBJ Soul Kitchen this weekend.

A joint fundraiser to benefit Soul Kitchen and the alliance, the event features a sale of one-of-a-kind, locally made ceramic bowls.

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RED BANK: FILM FEST MURAL GREENLIGHTED

rb IFF Mural 051116A scan from a flyer given out at Wednesday’s council meeting shows a rendering of the proposed mural, at left, and the building it would go on. At bottom right is a 150-foot-tall mural the artist, Misha Tyutyunik, helped create in SoHo. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

HOT-TOPIC_03A prominent black wall in downtown Red Bank may soon be covered with a two-story-high, somewhat psychedelic mural.

The borough council greenlighted the makeover Wednesday night after an organizer of a film festival scheduled to hit town this summer offered it as what he called a “gift” to the town.

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RED BANK: PAINTING THE WOMAN CARD

Harvey,_Karissa_-_Beach_Ballet“Beach Ballerinas” by Karissa Harvey (above) and “Gingko” by Pat Hutchinson (below) are among the works on display in WOMEN PAINT WOMEN, the art exhibit that opens with a reception tonight at the Oyster Point Hotel.

Hutchinson,_Pat_-_GingkoAs Ellen Martin tells it, “I started the Jersey Artist Registry (JAR), an online gallery, in 2013 to showcase the talent of New Jersey artists in a way that was immediately visually impactful and accessible (not three or four menus down).”

It’s an endeavor that led the Monmouth Beach painter, photographer and mixed-media specialist to mount her first group show of JAR artists at Asbury Park’s intimately scaled Hotel Tides in 2015. With the success of that show, and a move to the more expansive environs of Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel, Martin professes that her original thought was to again open the next exhibit to all artists, “but then thought I should do what I could to tip the balance of the male-dominated art world.”

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A SHOE-IN FOR MIDDLETOWN SOUTH ARTISTS?

shoe designersMiddletown South teacher Christen Tummillo, right, with student shoe designers. Front row: Evelyn Merino, left, and Caitlin Mendina. Back row: Megan Doyle, Courtney Walsh, Eric Molloy and Jesse Price.

Press release from Middletown High School South  

MHSS Vans shoesSeveral students at Middletown High School South received some exciting news recently when their shoe design entries were selected as semi-finalists, representing the Northeast Region, in the Vans Custom Culture design competition.

Vans Custom Culture is a national high school design competition that aims to raise awareness of diminishing arts education budgets across the country, and to help students express their #RightToArt. The winner of the final selection will bring $50,000 back to their school’s art department.

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RED BANK: A WALK WITH LIFE AND ART

calpulli2The dancers and musicians of Mariachi y Calpulli Mexican Dance Company perform at the Count Basie on Cinco de Mayo, capping Thursday’s MoCo ArtWalk experience in Red Bank.

MoCo-Walking-TourIt’s being billed as the first in a new series of “MoCo Artwalks,” and hosted by the folks at the Monmouth County Arts Council and designed to give arts aficionados a strolling/rolling and altogether unique perspective on some fascinating goings- on in and around the MoCo (Monmouth County) Arts Corridor — a scintillating strip of station stops along the Matawan-to-Manasquan stretch of the North Jersey Coast Line.

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MIDDLETOWN: HELPERS BEE QUILTING

Rebecca's Reel QuiltThis queen-size bed quilt created by the members of Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild will be raffled off on May 14, as part of the nonprofit’s fundraiser Quilt Show at Poricy Park.

Press release from Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild

The nonprofit Rebecca’s Reel Quilt Guild is proud to hold their biennial, judged Quilt Show, taking place Friday, May 13 and Saturday, May 14 10 AM at Poricy Park Conservancy, Oak Hill Road in Middletown.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. both days, more than 160 quilts will be on exhibit in four buildings, including the historic Murray Farmhouse and Barn. Quilts on display range from miniature to king size in a wide variety of styles, and a number of the quilts – including decorative wall hangings, lap and bed quilts — will be available for purchase. A queen-sized bed quilt will be raffled on Saturday, and numerous decorative quilted wall hangings will be raffled on Friday and Saturday, with a portion of the purchase prices and the raffle proceeds supporting the work of the Guild.

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LITTLE SILVER: RBR WRITERS WIN MEDALS

RBR national scholar winnersFour Creative Writing majors at Red Bank Regional’s Visual and Performing Arts Academy recently won coveted National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, distinguishing themselves as top student writers in the country.  Pictured with their teacher Dr. Gretna Wilkinson (center) are: Skylar Eber (silver medal), Mya Nunnally (silver); Jordan Fleming (gold), and Willow Martin (silver). 

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

Creative Writing majors in the Visual and Performing Arts Academy (VPA) at Red Bank Regional High School once again earned a bounty of awards in the prestigious National Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, sponsored by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers.

Four RBR students won national awards, with Jordan Fleming of Red Bank winning a gold medal. Silver medals went to Skylar Eber (Bradley Beach), Willow Martin (Little Silver), and Mya Nunnally (Red Bank).

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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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