By JOHN T. WARD
The T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center, built to honor a pioneering African-American journalist with Red Bank ties, plans to spotlight the borough-born musical giant William ‘Count’ Basie through 2020.
The occasion is the 85th anniversary of the formation of the Count Basie Orchestra, which is still touring 36 years after its founder’s death.
As he does with each change of season, artist Jim Fitzmaurice of Rumson created a mural on the side of Fair Haven Hardware in Fair Haven Thursday afternoon. His latest tableau depicts ice skaters on a pond surrounded by snow.
Nature is expected to deliver its own version of winter to the Greater Red Bank Green in coming days. Though freezing temperatures Friday are unlikely to produce much ice on local waters, the area could get a bit of snow and sleet Saturday.
Here’s the extended forecast. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Pearl Street Consignment and Custom Clothes owner Emily Natale working on a mural on the Monmouth Street side of her shop last week. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
By JOHN T. WARD
Red Bank officials plan to create a committee to formally review requests for murals and other forms of public art, something that hasn’t previously existed, Business Administrator Ziad Shehady said last week.
By JOHN T. WARD
Returning home after a year’s service in Vietnam, Jim Black remembers landing on American soil after midnight. There was no welcoming committee, no formal expression of gratitude. U.S. authorities made sure the repatriations took place under cover of darkness, in part to shield soldiers from war protesters, he said.
It left Black and others other veterans feeling slighted, he said. It wasn’t that he and his fellow soldiers wanted a parade, but “just don’t hate me,” he said, choking up a bit.
That’s why a free art school for military veterans in Red Bank means so much to him: it makes him and other vets feel “welcomed” at last, he told redbankgreen Friday.
By JOHN T. WARD
In a light-filled space above a pizzeria at the heart of Little Silver, a borough woman has found the answer to her entrepreneurial yearnings.
Once widely seen as evidence of moral decay, tattoos and pot may soon have a place among the nail salons, ice cream shops and restaurants in downtown Red Bank.
Sunday’s rain forced a postponement to completion of a new Indie Street Film Festival mural begun in Red Bank by area students Friday night. The volunteers will try again next Sunday, according to a post on the festival Facebook page. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)
Meantime, the National Weather Service forecasts mostly sunny skies and a peak temperature around 89 degrees on the Greater Red Bank Green Monday. But there’s an 80-percent chance of thunderstorms Tuesday evening, which would impact the planned screening of “Cars 3” in Riverside Gardens Park, so stayed tuned for an update. The extended forecast is below.
By JOHN T. WARD
In this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn, one of Red Bank’s hot vegan restaurants is building a separate takeout place, while a 24-hour gym, a barber shop and a cryotherapy spa all have plans to set up shop downtown.
Meantime, two businesses — a restaurant and a women’s clothing shop — have opened in recent days.
By JOHN T. WARD
Seventeen months after Detour Gallery debuted with a splash in downtown Red Bank, a spinoff framing shop has now opened on the West Side, completing the transformation of a former amplifier factory and staircase builder.
And this weekend, Detour Framing kicks things off with an art exhibit of its 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.
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.
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 Hotel — Goddesses: 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
“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
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.
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)