evelyn-leavensThe late Red Bank artist Evelyn Leavens (above) is among the creative people showcased in ‘New Jersey Artists Through Time,’ a new book by Middletown-based author and artist Tova Navarra that inaugurates a series of events at Red Bank Public Library.

NJ Artists Thru TimeA quick flip through the newly published New Jersey Artists Through Time reveals a number of creative people whose lives and work were well known here on the Greater Red Bank Green. There’s the late lifelong Red Banker Evelyn Leavens, profiled here a few years back; Jim Gary, legendary maker of dinosaurs from repurposed auto parts; Mike Quon, painter of stylized local landmarks; plus Riccardo Berlingeri, Grace Graupe-Pillard, Judy Martin, Bob Mataranglo, and George Tice.

They’re all there, sharing space with the likes of superstar sculptor George Segal, celebrated printmaker Jabob Landau, and Emmy-winning courtroom artist Ida Libby Dengrove, in the first such study to come along in over 50 years. The books is just the latest of more than 30 published titles for its Middletown-based author — artist, photographer, educator, journalist, former Asbury Park Press art critic and registered nurse Tova Navarra — and the subject of the first in a new series of free ‘Author Talks’ events at Red Bank Public Library, this Wednesday.

Scheduled to run from 7 to 8:30 p.m., the event finds Navarra (who previously promoted the book in appearances at Middletown Library and the Monmouth County Arts Council) discussing the making of the book: a collection of capsule bios and generous illustrations that was created as a celebration of New Jersey’s 350th anniversary in 2014.

The gallery-exhibited author (whose catalog of published work ranges from The Encyclopedia of Vitamins, Minerals and Supplements and Toward Painless Writing, to Staten Island in the Twentieth Century and Helping Kids Help Themselves) vouches that there’s much more material to be mined from the fertile soil of Garden State creatives. Perhaps this compact and colorful volume will serve as the keystone of a regularly updated series.

Signing copies of New Jersey Artists Through Time will be available for purchase at the Wednesday evening event. Check the book’s Facebook page for more updates, and watch this space for details on other upcoming events in the RBPL’s Author Talks series.