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ART WALK STIRS RED BANK’S CULTURAL BLOOD

For Saturday’s Art Walk, McKay Imaging, above, offered a mix of photos and paintings. Below, rock photographer Mark Weiss was the star of a show hosted by Frame to Please in the Galleria.  (Photos by Dan Natale. Click to enlarge)

By DAN NATALE

Artists and art connoisseurs walked and trolleyed the cold streets of Red Bank Saturday night as they explored 11 galleries and several dining locations for the latest edition of Art Walk.

“A gift of art is a gift from the heart” was the event’s tag line, and based on the responses of attendees, it seemed the event offered pieces at affordable prices while raising the level of appreciation for the culture the town cultivates.

“It’s great to have the art walk so people can see the different kinds of art available,” said Pat Corboy, an artist with work available at Frame to Please in the Galleria. “You can buy it and not be a multimillionaire.”

The walk was important, said participant Kathie Panepinto, “because it’s a community, event and it brings people together in a nice environment. After all the ugliness and destruction, people need a bit of beauty in their lives,” she said, while working a stand at the Galleria.

Her stand, like others on the walk, was focused on helping the community, she said:  in her case, money raised would go towards creating an outdoor classroom at the primary school to teach children about natural science and give them hands-on experience. Photographs by Red Bank Regional students were on sale, along with works by other local artists.

A small band, Ardvark Smile, was playing down the hall from her stand, which made a reasonably appropriate serenade for rock photographer Mark Weiss’ exhibit. Weiss, who has taken photos of legendary rock acts from the ’70s and ’80s, included photos of Frank Zappa, the Ramones, Ozzy Osborne, the Rolling Stones, the Clash, and other monumental acts in an exhibit that continues at the Galleria.

Many artists and walkers agreed that the art walk had a positive cultural influence. “I teach over at Brookdale Community College, and I think that this is a really important part of this community, and it just sort of fosters what we’re trying to do over there at Brookdale, which is to try and get people to be more culturally active,” said artist Wes Sherman, who had work hanging at Studio 25, at 25 Bridge Avenue.

Spectator Chris Hammer from Eatontown noted the cultural and economic impact that art had on Asbury Park, and might yet on Red Bank.

“When they first repopulated Cookman Avenue in the early 2000s, art brought in most of the commerce,” Hammer said. “Here its been kind of the opposite. Commerce has always been here, but the fine arts have never been put in the forefront for some reason. This helps rectify that.”

Robert Langdon of Gallery U, a member of the committee that organized the walk, said members were interested in bringing the fine arts to the public eye, not only through traditional gallery exhibits, but also through “non-traditional” places such as No Joe’s Café and the Red Bank Community Church.

“I think it’s a great way to get people to come into town and discover what Red Bank has to offer for real artist communities,” said Langdon.

Remember: Nothing makes a Red Bank business owner happier than to hear "I saw your ad on Red Bank Green!"
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