Art AllianceIt’s UP AGAINST THE WALL at a Saturday evening reception, as a special display of sculpture uses the Art Alliance of Monmouth County gallery itself as a crucial component of the work. 

It’s an installation that lends new meaning to the phrase “support for the arts” — as in this case, the Monmouth Street gallery space of The Art Alliance of Monmouth County is often the one thing that’s holding the featured work of art together.

Opening with a public-welcome reception on Saturday, January 9, the exhibit Up Against the Wall features the work of some of New Jersey’s most innovative creators of three-dimensional pieces; displayed in a way that utilizes “no pedestals…instead, the eleven participating artists will use the existing architecture of the gallery either as a source of support, or as an integral component of their work.”

Remaining on display through February 2, this inaugural Alliance exhibit of 2016 spotlights contributions by Fanny Allié, Michael Benevenia, Riccardo Berlingeri, Maggie Brown, Alison Golder, Seunghwui Koo, Brookdales CC’s Marie Maber, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Rocco Scary, Katie Truk, and Michael Wiley; an eclectic group whose creations have been seen in parks, libraries, museums, college campuses and even public swimming pools — and whose materials of choice range from steel, wood, fabric, stone and glass to cardboard, found detritus and meticulously folded newspaper.

The exhibit is curated by Douglas Ferrari, a sculptor and collector whose background includes a stint as owner and executive director of one of Monmouth County’s most forward-thinking (and much-missed) galleries: Shore Institute of Contemporary Arts, whose old home inside a former olive oil canning plant in downtown Long Branch (and subsequent space on Asbury Park’s Cookman Avenue) represented an ideas-factory unlike just about anything seen on the local scene. Still guest-presenting the occasional show under the SICA brand, Ferrari now serves as assistant director of Arts Guild New Jersey, the Rahway-based visual art gallery and learning space that’s just a short NJ Transit train ride from Monmouth Street.

Refreshments will be served during Saturday’s reception, which runs from 6 to 8 p.m. For more info on Up Against the Wall, as well as upcoming exhibits and membership opportunities in the Art Alliance, visit the organization’s  or call (732)842-9403.