RED BANK: BASIE TO OPEN NEW VENUE

The Vogel features socially distant tables. (Photo courtesy of Basie Center. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njAfter seven months in darkness, the Count Basie Center for the Arts plans to snap the lights back on in October.

The Red Bank venue announced Tuesday that it will again host indoor performances with the opening of The Vogel, seating audiences of up to 150 in a new space built for up to 800.

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FAIR HAVEN: ART FOR ALL SEASONS & WEATHER

A new season began last week, which means it’s time for fresh mural on the side of Fair Haven Hardware in Fair Haven. As always, Jim Fitzmaurice of Rumson was on location Friday, creating his latest traffic-calming landscape.

The week ahead promises to bring a palette of seasonally appropriate weather to the Greater Red Bank Green, ranging from clammy to cool and dry. See the extended forecast below.
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RBR SENIOR PHOTO SHOW GOES VIRTUAL

‘Unless,’by Gus Rojas of Red Bank. Below, the poster for the event, by Chloe Rosen of Little Silver, lists the participating students. (Click to enlarge)

(Press release from Red Bank Regional High)

The Red Bank Regional commercial photo majors are holding their annual senior show as an online exhibit through Instagram and Facebook.

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RED BANK: BASIE FILM FEST GOES VIRTUAL

Wondering how to fill the hours while housebound by the COVID-19 pandemic? You might binge on the 27 bitesized movies in the Count Base Center for the Arts Teen & College Film Fest, which this year is a virtual affair.

Here are three entries, one from each category: middle school (above), high school and college (below).

After you’ve watched these, hop over to the festival page, watch the 24 others, and cast your vote for the your favorites.

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RED BANK: FORTUNE SETS ‘BASIE 2020’ SKED

william count basie postersImages of William ‘Count’ Basie on display at the T. Thomas Fortune Cultural Center last week. (Photos by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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.

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FAIR HAVEN: SIGNS OF WINTER SCENE HERE

fair haven jim fitzmaurice muralfair haven jim fitzmaurice muralAs 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.)

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RED BANK: VETERANS’ ART TO GET SPOTLIGHT

Korean war vet George Weiss of Sea Bright at Ani Art Academy. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

hot topic red bank njReturning 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.

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LITTLE SILVER: A MUSE FOR ALL AGES

nj, little silver, muse, liz evanko buchananLiz Evanko Buchanan in the home of her new business, Muse Art Studio. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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.

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RED BANK: TATTOO & POT ZONING MULLED

Councilman Erik Yngstrom, seen here on election night in 2016, says he has “a bunch” of tattoos, and initiated the expansion of tattoo parlor zoning. (Click to enlarge.)

By JOHN T. WARD

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.

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RED BANK: RAIN DELAYS MOVIE FEST MURAL

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.

RED BANK: FOOD, CLOTHES & MORE IN CHURN

JJ’s Delicasies, at 21 West Front Street, features a swirling logo on the sidewalk out front, thanks to a projector. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge.)

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.

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RED BANK: FRAMED & READY FOR DISPLAY

Detour Framing owner Erin Crinigan in her new shop, a former staircase factory. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

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.

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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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