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.

jane_lux_watercolorWatercolorist Jane Lux is among the painters, sculptors, crafters and photographers showcasing their work in a lush greenhouse setting, as the annual Artists Weekend returns to Sickles Market this Saturday and Sunday.

A step into a warm and inviting world during a viciously vortex-y winter, the Sickles greenhouse is once again the scene for one of the more welcome February traditions here on the Green, as the annual Artists Weekend sets up shop this Saturday and Sunday.

Between the hours of 11 am and 3 pm, some dozen local painters, sculptors and crafters will be showcasing their handiwork in a friendly setting that’s touted as “the perfect cure for the winter blues” — a “walk through the natural, light-filled greenhouse with colorful flowers, lush fauna, heavenly fragrances and the melodious sounds of water fountains” that’s accented with in-person demos by creators in media that range from watercolors, oils, ink, textiles, photography, found objects and more. Attendance is free, with all proceeds from art sales going directly to the artists — and a different set of featured artists on premises for each of the two days.


They’re a couple of cousins who’ve been making art for more than 40 years — but the month of March marks the very first time that Eileen Kennedy and Lynne Kennedy have teamed up for a group show of their paintings. The exhibition entitled Dreamscapes and Shaped Dreams will  command the lobby walls of The Oyster Point Hotel (both first and second floor levels), during an extended engagement that goes on view beginning Monday, March 2 and continues through April 26.

Curated by Swiss-born artist, videographer and associate pastor Gerda Liebman, the installation mixes the very different approaches of the Kennedys — from Eileen’s pre-Renaissance materials (egg tempera; silverpoint) to Lynne’s computer-enhanced digital photo-art — finding a “dreamlike and even otherworldly” common ground in the artists’ meticulous methodology, and inspirations drawn from far-flung corners of the earth (Lynne’s travels to India and Nepal) or just around the corner (Eileen’s memories of family excursions to the Middletown Folk Festival or the Cole Brothers Circus).

It’s otherwise an engaging study in contrasts, from two sides of a creative dynasty with different ideas on how art is studied, produced, or even delivered to the eye (this is Lynne’s first-ever “brick and mortar” exhibition. Both Kennedy cousins will be present for an opening reception that takes place in the lobby on Friday, March 6 between 7 to 9 pm. Public viewing hours for the duration of the exhibit are between 9 am and 10 pm.


Already open as of Thursday night — and continuing through the end of March, during which time it will join forces with the annual Monmouth County Teen Arts Festival — the exhibition “Monmouth County Artists: Before, During and After Brookdale” is on view now at the Center for Visual Arts Gallery on the school’s Lincroft campus. The show features work from alumni that include Red Bank photographers and gallery curators Bob and Liz McKay (McKay Imaging), as well as Doreen Bussey, who designed installations for the Paint the Town Pink campaigns at Riverview Medical Center and other area hospitals. Take it here for a full story and photo gallery.


This Sunday, March 1 finds the Monmouth Museum hosting a unique offering entitled “Speed Dating with an Artist” — an auction event in which attendees will enjoy “a unique opportunity to meet with professional artists, learn about their work and bid on a treasure to take home.” Mike Quon, Carlos Frias, Ellen Martin and Jim Fitzmaurice are among the more than two dozen creative people taking part in the event that runs from 5 to 7 pm; there’s wine, beer and light fare on hand. Tickets ($30) support the ongoing arts and education programs at the Museum (on the Lincroft campus of Brookdale Community College), and can be reserved by calling (732)224-1994.


Over at the Guild of Creative Art in Shrewsbury, the long-running artists collective hosts the 12th annual “Eyesights” Open Juried Group Show of art photography, with a public-invited reception this Sunday between the hours of 3 to 5 pm. The exhibit continues through the month of March during regular gallery hours; Tuesday-Friday 8 am to 4:30 pm, Thursday 8 am to 7 pm, and Saturday 10 am to 3 pm.


Next weekend sees the opening of the latest monthlong exhibition at the Red Bank headquarters of The Art Alliance of Monmouth County — the 30th annual appearance of the Jean Townsend Award Exhibition group show. Encompassing two themed displays (CONTRASTS and PERSONALITIES), the show opens with a reception between the hours of 6 to 8 pm on Saturday, March 7 — and continues through March during regular gallery hours, with featured window art by the show’s judge, Terry Grewen.