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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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mon musThe annual Holiday Gift Gallery returns to the Monmouth Museum with a Friday evening reception.

While the Santa Express has yet to hit the tracks of the Greater Red Bank Green, one of the season’s earlybird vehicles of hyperlocal holiday cheer makes its annual appearance beginning this Friday evening, when the Monmouth Museum hosts the opening of its annual Holiday Gift Gallery in Lincroft.

It’s introduced with a free reception from 6 to 9 pm at the Nilson Gallery of the museum, located on the campus of Brookdale Communiy College, the traditional setting for the NJ Emerging Artists series of exhibitions, and an appropriate place in which to feature a one-of-a-kind selection of artworks, crafts, jewelry, ceramics and seasonal decorations handmade by some of the Garden State’s most creative people.

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Kevan LunneyConjured through “distressed” materials, the fiber art creations of artist Kevan Lunney are on display at the Monmouth Museum, beginning with a public-welcome reception this Friday evening.

There have been more than enough self-appointed art critics throughout the centuries, who have likened someone’s creative vision to garbage. But there have not been nearly enough creative people who revel in the power of “rubbish” to speak to the value of time, tide and twice-told tales.

When the latest in the acclaimed NJ Emerging Artists series of exhibits goes on display at the Monmouth Museum this Friday, August 14, it will spotlight the fiber-art creations of Kevan Lunney, with the Brunswick-based creative present in the building’s Nilson Gallery during a free and public-welcome reception between the hours of 6 to 8 pm. Titled Archaeology: Shared Wisdom, It’s a chance to meet and talk with the artist who says of her work, “I want you to feel you are listening to an ancient conversation, that others are reaching through time to speak to you.”

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Please TouchStella the Stegosaurus gets hands-on with Monmouth Museum visitors, as the found-objects sculpture by the late Jim Gary forms the centerpiece of a special PLEASE TOUCH! show for visually impaired art aficionados. 

She’s stood vigilant on the grounds of the Monmouth Museum for ages; her colorful steel skeleton delighting thousands of young visitors to the interactive exhibits at the Lincroft landmark. Welded from repurposed auto parts by the late Colts Neck-based sculptor Jim Gary (and named by a young contest winner), Stella the Stegosaurus is a permanent fixture for sure — but beginning this Sunday, the dynamic dino becomes the star centerpiece of an unusual new hands-on exhibit.

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Robin-Fox-Headshot2“Mother of all standup comics” Robin Fox returns to the Monmouth Museum for a Girl’s Night Out evening of “fun, food and drinks.”

We’ve said it before, but You Might Be a Mom If… you can appreciate the inherent humor in topics like long-term marriage, suburban lifes and the glories of being part of the “sandwich generation” between aging parents and growing kids. Also if your idea of a “Girl’s Night Out” is an art gallery excursion that’s over by 9 pm.

That said, there’s a definite appeal to the event that returns for a second annual edition to the Monmouth Museum Wednesday. Billed as an evening of “fun, food and drinks” — and once again spotlighting the standup skills of  Robin Fox, the “real New Jersey housewife” who parlayed her observations on family life into a successful career on the New York area radio, cable and comedy club circuit — the Girl’s Night Out raises funds for the museum’s ongoing slate of programs, in a way that’s infinitely more entertaining than a dry-as-dust lecture or stuffy recital.

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Hannah UenoThe spectacular 3-D lenticular images of Hannah Ueno are on display at the Monmouth Museum, with the artist and educator on hand to discuss her work this Wednesday evening.

The effect is that of a stereoscopic 3-D picture, without the use of 3-D glasses — so leave the multiplex specs in the car (and stand at an optimal viewing distance of 3 to 4 feet) when you visit the Monmouth Museum for the current exhibit in the building’s Nilson Gallery — a display of lenticular images by Hannah Ueno (lenticular, as along the lines of those “3-D” baseball cards they used to give away inside cereal boxes).

The latest in the New Jersey Emerging Artists Series — a slate that’s helped boost the Middletown-based museum (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College) into the realm of the area’’s more cutting-edge galleries and public facilities — the exhibit remains on display during regular operating days through May 24, with Ueno (an Associate Professor of Visual Communications at Stockton College) dropping by this Wednesday, May 13 for an Artist Talk on techniques and inspirations.

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CircusSummerThe Kennedy Mystique: the egg-tempera CIRCUS SUMMER by Eileen Kennedy is among the items included in DREAMSCAPES AND SHAPED DREAMS — an exhibit of works by the painter and her cousin Lynne Kennedy, going up on the walls of the Oyster Point Hotel.

The river breezes may still be blowing more bitter than sweet, but as sure a sign of Spring — surer even than Punxsatawney prognosticators, or pudgy pitchers — is the sudden proliferation of art exhibitions in our area’s galleries, grand lodgings, and even greenhouses. It’s an explosion of color that begins, appropriately enough, amid the plant life of Sickles Market in Little Silver this weekend — and it continues, in the days and evenings to come, in places both safe and surprising.

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36th-invite-cropped-bottom-e1420475703761Works of art in all manner of 2D and 3D media are spotlighted in the main gallery of the Monmouth Museum, as the 36th annual Juried Art Exhibition keynotes the new year beginning with a Saturday reception. 

It’s a local art event that’s served to “ring in the new” each January since the Carter-country year of 1979 — but even if the Monmouth Museum has played host for each of its 36 editions, it’s really been only five years since the Museum took the reins of the annual juried art exhibition founded by the Monmouth Arts Council.

Beginning with a free reception and awards ceremony this Saturday from 4 to 6 pm, the group show assembles one of the most eclectic collections of “emerging artist” creatives — working in a variety of genres and media, and hailing from all over New Jersey and the great big garden beyond.

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MM galleryThe Holiday Gift Gallery at Monmouth Museum returns on Tuesday — and continues through January 11 — for the benefit of late-blooming gifters.

For something that seems to start as early as Back to School Days, the holiday shopping season never seems to have enough hours and days loaded up on the back end. It’s not so much that “we need a little Christmas, right this very moment” — it’s that we need a lot more moments, right now and on into the new calendar year.

It’s for straggling souls that one of the Red Bank area’s unsung treasures, the Monmouth Museum, maintains an annual Holiday Gift Gallery that offers up eleventh-hour shopportunities beginning Tuesday.

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Benjamin-Riley-1024x683The traditional holiday train display returns to the Monmouth Museum, in tandem with an ‘All Aboard’ photo display of railroad landscapes. (Photo by Benjamin Riley)

Holiday traditions come and go, but when a longstanding local signifier of the season threatens to drop out of sight, it can upset the equilibrium of community life.

Happily, the annual Model Train Display has returned to the Monmouth Museum right on schedule for the season — complete with new trains and a fully updated network of track — and it’s joined by an exhibit that celebrates the role of the railroad in the development of the United States, as well as the train whistle’s continued siren-call to generations of American artists.

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front_cover_2015_dorn's_calendarFrom press materials furnished by Prown’s and Dorn’s Classic Images

It’s that time of year again — that time when thoughts start creeping toward next year, and another 12 months’ worth of little numbered boxes to fill with appointments, commitments, resolutions and reminders.

As has become a recently minted tradition, two of the most time-honored names in the Red Bank community have announced the 2015 editions of their sought-after custom calendars — daily datekeepers that are designed to kindle warm-‘n-fuzzy feelings for anyone with a nostalgic spot for the towns of the greater Red Bank green; even as they help some of the area’s hardworking nonprofits fulfill their mission in the here and now.

Available online and in-store now at Prown’s Home Improvements, the sixth annual Prown’s Olde Tyme Red Bank Area Calendar collects 14 priceless images of local life — this year organized around the theme “Remembering Places of Entertainment.” As David Prown — third-generation steward of the family business that will mark its 90th anniversary next year — put it, “memories will come flooding back” to all who gaze upon the images of good times across the decades. The calendars, which tend to sell out each year, are priced at $12, with proceeds dedicated to the “Number One non-profit entertainmen charity organization,” Holiday Express.

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reindeerReal live reindeer are present and accounted for, as Sickles Market inaugurates the season with a Holiday Open House event on Friday, November 14.

Ask anyone whose job it is to stock the shelves of the Seasonal aisle at the chain pharmacy — or who’s been forced to listen to the piped-in music at the chain pharmacy. The holidays are here and NOW, and no amount of patient, tasteful restraint or social-media finger-wagging is going to stop this train.

Which brings us to this Friday, November 14, and the Monmouth Museum, where the main gallery hosts a reception for All Aboard! Railroads & The Historic Landscapes They Travel, a group show guest-curated by lensman Michael Froio, and spotlighting the work of eight photographers who collectively celebrate the transformative role of the railroad in the American landscape over the past 150 years. Vintage travel and advertising posters (on loan from the Private Collection of Bennett Levin) are also on display, with the reception running between 3 and 5 pm, and the exhibit continuing during regular museum hours through January 4, 2015.

Also on view will be a returning holiday-season favorite — the Monmouth Museum Model Train Display, a long-running feature that “will make its comeback with new, improved trains and updated network of track.” And if that doesn’t sound the whistle on the express to the season of lights, the Friends of Monmouth Museum will be unveiling their annual Holiday Tree, decorated for 2014 with train and railroad-related memorabilia. Check the Museum website as well for info on the annual Holiday Gift Gallery, set to commence on November 21.

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mon museumRevels in the Details: works by the National Association of Women Artists (left) and by Laura Bethmann (right) are on display at the Monmouth Museum, beginning with a pair of Sunday receptions.

The heralding of autumn means that a few of those falling leaves are bound to find their way between the pages of an heirloom book, pressed onto a schoolchild’s classroom art project — or, if they’re especially fortunate, featured on national TV or in a gallery show as part of the work of Laura Bethmann.

To say that the South Jersey artist (and certified master gardener) “employs nature-based themes” in her watercolor paintings and ink/acrylic prints is to deny the deep harmony and symbiosis between the natural world, and its “more observant than the av-er-age bear” chronicler in color and texture. In addition to her fancifully and fantastically detailed studies of herbs and flowers, the author of Hand Printing from Nature specializes in collages that radiate from contact prints of leaves, fruits, vegetables, feathers, hair and other “found” materials from Nature’s hobby-lobby.

This Sunday, September 21, the Monmouth Museum (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College) hosts a free and public-welcome opening reception for a solo show of Bethmann’s work — part of the Emerging NJ Artists series at the building’s Nilson Gallery. The artist is expected to be present during the reception that runs between 4 and 6 pm — and that’s not all that’s going on around the halls and walls of the Museum.

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Mr_TooleyMR. TOOLEY is among the paintings by Paul Hansen on display at Shrewbury’s Guild of Creative Art, beginning with a reception on Sunday afternoon.

“Hero worship, I’ve come to realize, is a fool’s folly,” says artist Paul Hansen in describing Under the Influence, a collection of new paintings grouped with photos of artisans of art, music and literature who have influenced Hansen’s work. “I’ve had to supplant what was once hallowed idolatry to authentic admiration…whether fooled by their own guile, or staying true to the course, these artists all had a major influence on me.”

For his third solo show, Hansen sets up shop inside the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, for an exhibit that opens with a public-welcome reception on Sunday, August 24 from 3 to 5 pm. The show remains on display at the Broad Street gallery through September 23 during regular hours (Tuesday – Friday 8 am – 4:30 pm; Thursday 8 am – 7 pm; Saturday 10 am – 3 pm) — and the reception is one of two special art happenings going on around the greater Green this Sunday.

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InyoungUNCONSCIOUS NATURE is among the intricate drawings by artist Inyoung Seoung, on display beginning with a Friday evening reception at the Monmouth Museum.  

Her intricate drawings strive for the cosmic revelations that often occur in a seemingly insignificant detail of a big world; in the manner of “branches, reaching to get sources for photosynthesis.” Removing all background and even all traces of color from her ink creations, South Korean-born Inyoung Seoung brings the “endless exclusive patterns” of the natural world into stark, brilliant relief — linking a tree’s ordered chaos with the human individual’s striving for status and meaning.

A resident of the United States since 1997 — and a New Jerseyan for the past five years — the artist brings a display of her pen-on-canvas specialties to one of the area’s best showcases for Garden State art and artists, the Monmouth Museum. The gallery on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College welcomes Seoung on Friday evening, August 15, for a reception that opens her biggest solo show in the region to date.

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