Lorna Weber working on a pastel in the greenhouse. Below, woodturner Bruce Perlmutter at his lathe. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)


On a chilly weekend in mid-February, Sickles Market in Little Silver opened its greenhouse to local artists, giving them a lush, open – and perhaps most importantly, warm  – space to showcase their work.

redbankgreen caught up with some the area’s painters, sculptors and photographers Sunday to get their views on why the yearly event is so important to local artists.

Bruce Perlmutter, a woodturner from Red Bank, specializes in intricate wooden bowls and other pieces he cuts exclusively out of wood he salvages. Many of the wooden sculptures on display were made from wood he picked up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

“I consider it to be my part in the recycling effort,” he said, while chipping wood on his lathe. “I’m a local artist who only uses local trees for my work, and I’m very happy to be here in this great venue and see people here appreciating all different types of work and artists as well.”

Little Silver photographer Kim Levin, who specializes in animal portraiture, also had a booth, showcasing her numerous photography projects, which include books and greeting cards in addition to her traditional photos. Though Levin has had her work sold in stores nationwide, she said still considers the local aspect of events like this to be very important.

“I live right down the street, so doing something like this really makes me feel like I’m part of the community,” she said. “I think a lot of the appeal is the local aspect, and it benefits everyone here, from emerging artists to more established ones.”

Lorna Weber, a Fair Haven painter who works extensively in oils and pastels, demonstrated her talents by working on some pieces while passerby examined and purchased her previously made work.

“There’s a really friendly and interesting atmosphere in here,” she said, deep in concentration while working, “It’s a good opportunity for local artists.”

Carol Bruno, a double threat who works in both photography and watercolors, and owner of Yankeegirl Art, based out of Little Silver, said that the greenhouse provided the perfect environment for her to display her floral themed pieces to the public.

“There has been a great turnout so far,” Bruno said. “Everybody loves Sickles, and it’s important that people from around here buy local and shop local.”

Husband-and-wife Mark and Cindy Allen were among the visitors who browsed the multitude of kiosks.

“It’s great to see so many artists out here, especially local artists,” Cindy said.

“Also, all this stuff is real art, not mass-produced like you find in so many stores,” Mark added.

Sickles’ marketing assistant Amanda Dietz said that the annual event had been going on for as long as she could remember, and that the goal of the weekend is to “‘promote and aid local artists.”

“I mean, how could you have a bad day when you’re inside a greenhouse in February?” Perlmutter said, over the sound of his lathe.