RUMSON: ARTISTS RETURN TO CANTERBURY

The annual Canterbury Art Show unfurls its Labor Day weekend “Tapestry of the Arts” festival beginning with a reception and preview sale Friday.

It’s an event that regularly draws the participation of nearly 100 area artists, and a display that boasts an inventory of more than 600 creative works in a myriad of media.

Going up in Rumson this weekend for its sixth annual edition — the fourth since making a well-received move to the Labor Day holiday interlude — the festival known as the Canterbury Art Show…a Tapestry of the Arts is also a forum in which several of the artists put themselves on live-action display, and in which the grandest work of art just might be the host venue itself.

Presented once again by St. George’s by the River Episcopal Church, this eagerly anticipated harbinger of “local summer” serves to book-end the season at the landmark house of worship; complementing the annual Canterbury Fair event that occurs in late spring. Like that 69-years-and-counting tradition, it’s a colorful community happening that’s established its own ground rules and rhythms — but being graced by the creative spirit, it’s also an ever-evolving event that looks to throw some new ideas into the mix.

It all begins with a Friday evening Meet the Artists Reception with Preview and Sale on September 1; an opportunity to talk with many of the represented participants about their work, while enjoying a first-look opportunity to purchase any of the featured works. Awards for Best in Show, Award of Excellence and Honorable Mention will be presented during the 7 to 9 p.m. reception, with tickets ($40 in advance, $50 at the door) including wine, hors d’oeuvres, and free entry to the art show for the duration of the holiday weekend.

Serving as this year’s jurors are award winning artist and Brookdale Community College faculty member Erik Johansen, Carol Lynn Chetkin of Red Bank’s Chetkin Gallery, and the husband-wife artist team of Tom Lulevitch and Sue Llewellyn.

Among the artists taking part will be a number of returnees — including 2016 award winners Michael Scherfen (Best in Show; watercolors), Vince Matulewich (Best in Show; photography), Jill Broderick, Austen Claire Clements, Ellen Gavin, Bonnie Martelli, MaryLou Shipman, and Paula Shipman (take it here for a complete list of 2017 participants).

The main-event Art Show and Sale continues between the hours of 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, September 2 and Labor Day Monday, September 4, as well as from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday, September 3. New this year is a Live Art Auction of selected pieces from the show, conducted by Kravetz Auctions and going on from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday.

An Art from Artists Drawing will give attendees a chance to win a piece of art donated by many of the artists in the show each day. Each day, attendees will have the chance to purchase a chance drawing ticket (one ticket for $5; three for $10; eight for $20) and to place that ticket in a basket next to a donated piece of art of their choice. At the end of the reception and on each day of the show, a drawing wil be held and a winner chosen for each piece offered that day (winners need not be present for the drawing).

Several of the featured artists will also be present for special Artists-at-Work demos throughout the premises of the church property. Balloons will direct attendees to the working artists — and also returning this year will be a special non-juried display of Art by Teens, ages 13 to 17.

During each day of the sale, art and history enthusiasts will have an opportunity to take Architectural Tours of St. George’s Church, a building that church Rector Ophelia Laughlin has called “a masterpiece of art and 19th century architecture… a beloved venue for local artists to show off their God-given gifts for the rest of us to enjoy.” Conducted by Constance Gryczka, the 30 minute free tours (meet at the rear of the church sanctuary) will be offered at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. on September 2, 3 and 4.

As always, 100 percent of proceeds from the Canterbury Art Show directly benefit the church’s Outreach Grants to more than 30 local agencies serving the needy of Monmouth and Ocean counties — a list that includes Family Promise, HABcore, Holiday Express, Lunch Break, and many other nonprofit organizations in the fields of health, nutrition, homelessness, domestic violence services, and environmental activism.

Daytime tickets are $10 each, and are good for all days of the show. They can be reserved online here or at the door each day.

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