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RED BANK: ARTISTS HONOR ONE OF THEIR OWN

Colleagues in creativity plan to honor the late artist Terry McCue, above, with a bench that overlooks the Navesink River from the Red Bank Public Library, below. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

To honor of one of their own, the members of a long-standing monthly art class at the Red Bank Public Library plan to install a bench on the institution’s grounds overlooking the Navesink River.

First, they’re selling their own work to fund it.

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RED BANK: BASIE STARTS MASSIVE EXPANSION

Dozens of local politicians and players in the arts world turned out for the event. Below, Basie board members Steven Van Zandt and his wife, Maureen Van Zandt. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

A $23 million expansion of Red Bank’s Count Basie Theatre formally got underway Wednesday, beginning what’s expected to be a 20-month endeavor to turn the Vaudeville-era venue into a powerhouse for live performance and arts education.

The aim, musician and actor Steven Van Zandt told an al fresco gathering, is “to make Red Bank an example to the rest of the county of what it is possible to do” in elevating the arts.

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RED BANK: GODDESSES FROM BABYLON

The breathtaking paintings of Iraqi artist Saadi Babely go on display at the Oyster Point Hotel starting with a reception Thursday.

He hails from no less storied a place than Babylon — and we’re not talking Long Island. As a professor at Baghdad University and a member of the Iraq Freedom Art Movement, Saadi Babely escaped the regime of Saddam Hussein and its program of persecution of citizens involved in the arts, and would lose two of his siblings to Saddam’s troops. Educated in the United States, he made his way to Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia and eventually back to America, where the mythological figure of the Babylonian goddess Ishtar would once again take flight in his paintings.

Inspired by the deep history of his homeland while remaining contemporary in style and theme, Babely’s paintings are the subject of the latest art installation at Red Bank’s Oyster Point HotelGoddesses: An Art Collector Shares His Bounty. The exhibit — one of two debuting in town during the coming evenings — opens with a public-welcome reception this Thursday.

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ON THE GREEN: ONE ‘ANGRY HOUSE PAINTER’

The Guild of Creative Art mounts a solo show spotlighting works by Paul Hansen this weekend.

Even taking into consideration the generally angry tone of public discourse these days, it’s curiously refreshing to read an artist’s statement that centers around the claim, “art is dead.” And while Paul Hansen goes on to clarify that “art form is everywhere” — including a painted door, a well-swept floor, a rocking chair, and sanding with the grain — he’s not shy about professing that “the combination of years of breathing paint fumes and Viking DNA has brought us to my next show, the ‘Angry House Painter.'”

The solo-show installation of that name takes to the walls of Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art beginning tonight, ushering in an artful interlude that also boasts the continuation of some fascinating featured shows at Detour Gallery and the Monmouth Museum.

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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.

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ON THE GREEN: ARTFUL ALTERNATE REALITIES

“March Hare” is among the “photographic fairy tales” by Jada Fabrizio on display at the Monmouth Museum in a solo show that opens Friday. (Click to enlarge.)

In an age of “alternative facts,” it’s worth remembering that artistically inclined individuals have been documenting their own alternative realities for eons, and the coming weekend offers more evidence that the gallery spaces of the Greater Red Bank Green are a prime hang for artists from scattered points on the real-to-unreal spectrum.
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RED BANK AREA: ART NEVER VACATIONS

Works by textile artist Lisa Lackey are on display through Sunday at the Monmouth Museum’s Nilson Gallery.

Vacation time is somehow never downtime for Red Bank-area artists and the spaces whose walls they festoon, and the mid-August interlude remains a busy one for visual creatives, with a number of exhibits opening or ongoing at venues around the Greater Green (even one that’s technically closed for the season).

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RED BANK: ARTISTS REUNITE AT OYSTER POINT

“Loving” by Edy Ottesen and “Choose Meaning Over Emptiness” by Tyrell Masse can be seen in the group show installation ‘Now and Then,’ opening Wednesday at the Oyster Point Hotel. 

“It doesn’t take long to figure out that I love brilliant color once you have viewed a few of my paintings,” says Edy Ottesen. “But, I can slip off the wagon sometimes and go all greys and monochromatic.”

A Brooklyn-bred painter who divides her time between Red Bank and Boca Raton, Florida, Ottesen is one of several locally connected creative women who now and then assemble to display their wares in a group-show setting — and beginning with an opening reception this Wednesday evening, the “gang of four” will join forces for an eighth consecutive year with “Now and Then,” the latest in a series of art installations at Red Bank’s Oyster Point Hotel. Read More »

RED BANK: URBAN INDUSTRIALIST AT DETOUR

“Urban Icon” (left) and other paintings by Ron Haywood Jones are on display at Detour Gallery beginning with a Saturday reception.

He refers to his creations as “Urban Industrial Futuristic Cave Paintings” — a time-tripping, tale-spinning body of work that’s supercharged with elements of cityscape murals, colorful commercial art, cheerfully appropriated characters from classic cartoons and recurring icons like the “Urban Ghost” that lends its house-haunting imprimatur to his large mixed-media canvases.

A native of Michigan and a graduate of Parsons School of Design, Ron Haywood Jones becomes the latest in a series of attention-compelling creatives to be given a solo show spotlight at Red Bank’s Detour Gallery, beginning with an opening reception Saturday evening.

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RED BANK: NEW MURAL POPS INTO VIEW

A colorful new mural bloomed to life on the Catherine Street wall of Kitch Organic restaurant in Red Bank over the weekend.

Executed by local children — and some adults who pulled a couple of all-nighters — the mural promotes two cultural events: the Indie Street Film Festival, which returns to town for a four-day run starting July 26; and the Crossing Borders Festival, featuring five days of free-admission Latino-flavored plays and food at the Two River Theater beginning August 2.

Artist Misha Tyutyunik, also known as MDot, created the design, reprising his role from the 2016 Indie Street mural on Monmouth Street. Click read more for additional pix. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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LINCROFT: ARTISTS FIND THEIR INNER ANIMAL

“The World of the Organ Pipe Wasp” and other works by Donna Payton are among the pieces in the group show ‘Animal Architects’ at the Monmouth Museum.

The paintings, sketches, sculptures, collages and mixed-material constructions now on display at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft are the work of 11 members of the species homo sapiens. But the inspirations range from the spiral pattern of a spider’s web and the sturdy intricacy of a robin’s nest to the habitats, traps, nurseries, storage facilities and flashy courtship displays built by various insects, arthropods, birds, mammals and fellow aesthetes of the animal kingdom.

Curated and featuring contributions by Donna Payton, the group show ‘Animal Architects: Influences on Human Creativity’ serve as the conversation starter for a summer-long series of events for adults and children. Read More »

RED BANK: ‘MAUDIE’ THURSDAY AT BOW TIE

Sally Hawkins and Ethan Hawke star inhe bio-pic feature ‘Maudie,’ screening in a Thursday sneak-preview fundraiser at Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas. (Photo by Trish Russoniello. Click to enlarge.)

She was the very definition of an “outsider artist:” a young woman crippled by arthritis and living a below-radar existence as a housekeeper in a Nova Scotia fishing village, whose colorful way of seeing the world elevated her to the status of Canada’s most cherished folk-art painter. Just as unlikely, and equally compelling, is the bond between Maud Lewis and her employer, the relationship at the heart of the biographical feature film “Maudie.”

A 2016 festival favorite that’s slated for general release in the United States on Friday, the film from director Aisling Walsh gets a sneak-peek screening Thursday as part of a special series at Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas.

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RED BANK: AN ART GALLERY GALLIVANT

Stillwell House Fine Art & Antiques in Red Bank is the newest local stop on a walking gallery tour presented by Monmouth Arts, the latest edition of which happens Tuesday evening.

Like a street procession that picks up new and willing participants as it rolls along, the regularly scheduled “MoCo Art Walks” hosted by the folks at Monmouth Arts have morphed into excursions that serve to showcase some of Red Bank’s best-kept secrets among its artier nooks and crannies.

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RED BANK: AN ARTIST’S ‘SALON’ AT CONCRETE

The paintings of Franki DeSaro are on display at Salon Concrete beginning Saturday evening.

The early days of June offer up a bumper crop of art happenings in and around Red Bank — simply scroll through recent posts on redbankgreen for the details on current installations at the Art Alliance, Detour Gallery, Middletown Library, the Guild, and Monmouth Museum for proof.

But one of the downtown area’s most forward-thinking hair salons is preparing to transform itself into an artist’s “salon” of an altogether more luminous sort.

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SHREWSBURY: ‘DREAMS’ COME IN THREES

Paintings by Tera Yoshimura, left, and Miguel Figueras are on display with photographs by Hal Kahn in the group show opening at the Guild of Creative Art this Sunday.

“Not all dreams fade at dawn,” Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art says in promo material for its latest exhibit. “Often, they linger and comfort us and haunt us throughout our lives.”

A trio of local artists use paintbrush, pigment and pixels to grapple with that concept in a month-long group show entitled Visible Dreams. that begins with a public-welcome opening reception Sunday afternoon.

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RED BANK: A DETOUR INTO LABUA LAND

“After Vespers” is among the paintings by Michael LaBua at Detour Gallery in Red Bank.

“The work primarily consists of large-scale oil paintings which are rendered in a form of detailed realism, typically fashioned within series,” Detour Gallery says in promotional material about the exhibit showcasing the work of Michael LaBua that comes to Red Bank this weekend.

“Between these series, you begin to see the unraveling of LaBua’s mind.”

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MIDDLETOWN: A LIFE’S PASSION ON DISPLAY

In his description for “Bad Girl” (above), the late Alexander John Goldenberg stated that the painting “started out as a dysfunctional relationship metaphor for chemotherapy, but as I worked on it, I realized that it was really about the transformation and healing that I’ve been going through for the past year.”

The artist — who transported the seven-by-four-foot wood-panel artwork some 1,600 miles in a nearly nonstop trek to a Michigan competition — passed away one year ago. In celebration of a man “who lived his passion, not cancer,” his family has curated a solo show of his paintings that will be on display beginning Thursday at Middletown Township Public Library.

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RUMSON: RCDS KIDS SPREAD THEIR WINGS

Press release from Rumson Country Day School

Joyful voices rang throughout the commons. Melodic tunes from the band carried down the hall from the auditorium. From outside on the fields came the sound of dramatic sketches, and from the parents came oohing and ahhing of admiration, as children excitedly pointed out their projects that decorated the walls of the school.

On May 18, over 600 parents, students and teachers experienced the infectious passion of The Second Annual RCDS Arts Festival at The Rumson Country Day School.

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LITTLE SILVER: NAIL BUFF TRIES TO NAIL $20K


Little Silver manicurist and nail artist Halle Butler needs a hand.

The Northeastern University junior, now doing a beauty-industry internship in Manhattan, is one of six national semifinalists in a nail art competition sponsored by polish maker Essie.

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RUMSON GALLERY HOSTS RBR PHOTO MAJORS

“Shattered” by Juliet Slattery (above) and “Bared” by Katryn Flynn (below) are among the works by Red Bank Regional photography majors on view at Canvas Art Studio, beginning May 18.

Press release from Red Bank Regional High School

The talented photography majors of the Visual and Performing Arts Academy at Red Bank Regional High School will hold their senior photo show at the Canvas Art Studio, located at 126 East River Road in Rumson.

The public is invited to the welcome reception on Thursday, May 18 from 5:30 to 8 p.m., with the images remaining on display from May 19 through May 22.

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RED BANK: ‘PARIS’ IN THE SPRING

Alec Baldwin, Diane Lane and  Arnaud Viard star in ‘Paris Can Wait,’ screening in a Thursday sneak-preview fundraiser at Red Bank’s Bow Tie Cinemas.

It maybe has some catching up to do with the likes of Cannes, but when it comes to being a mecca for first-run independent/”arthouse” feature films, Red Bank has long led the local pack — a fact that’s attributable primarily to White Street’s Bow Tie Cinemas (and its predecessor, Clearview Cinemas).

For most of the new millennium, the downtown movie house has done duty as official host venue for a series of sneak-preview screening events, spotlighting festival-favorite indies before they go into general release. Part of a long-running partnership between borough-based nonprofit Monmouth Arts and Sony Pictures Classics (the major distributor whose president, Tom Bernard, makes his home in Middletown), the series unspools once more this Thursday, May 11, with a 7:30 p.m. showing of “Paris Can Wait.”

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FAIR HAVEN: A GALLERY OF FUTURE ARTISTS

A large crowd of visitors admired an array of art created by students in grades K through 8 at Sickles and Knollwood Schools at the April 25 Fair Haven School District Art Show.

The event was organized by borough art teachers RoseAnn LaBrocca, Jessica Data and Chris Dudick.

Above, Sickles School first-grader Jude Burkhardt and third-grader Brody Burkhardt with Brody’s mixed-media painting. At right, Sickles School third-grader Celia Cope and her mom Carolyn admire Celia’s “Kitty Kitty Love” papier-mâché creation.