A FALL BOUNTY OF GALLERY SHOWS

The Red Bank Holiday Art Walk takes to the streets once more on November 24. Norman Rockwell protege Peter Caras, right, joins some formidable colleagues this Saturday at Middletown Arts Center.

When Hurricane Sandy threw the entire Jersey Shore into a Dark Ages interlude of blackouts, curfews, detours, closings and major transportation issues, nearly every scheduled event this side of Thanksgiving was forced to take a step back.

But according to gallery curator Robert Langdon, rumors of the postponement of this month’s Red Bank Art Walk have been greatly exaggerated. In fact the November 24 re-appearance of the pavement-pounding promenade represents a resource that can help the borough “recapture its vibrance, especially after the recent devastation Monmouth County suffered from Hurricane Sandy,” he said in an email to redbankgreen.

Taking place on from 5 to 9 pm onNational Small Business Day, the holiday edition of the recently revived art walk brings together some 20 borough-based galleries, upscale retailers, restaurants and places of worship for a four hour, self-guided walking tour organized under the theme “A Gift of Art is a Gift of the Heart.” Langdon’s Gallery U (where the group show Cornucopia opens with a 6 to 9 pm reception on Friday, November 23) joins with such traditional (and non-traditional) artspaces as the Art Alliance of Monmouth County, Beacon Fine Arts Gallery, Frame to Please, Studio 25, Gallery 135 at the Red Bank Community Church (the second-story “storefront” house of worship in the Prown’s building on Monmouth Street), Jamian’s Food and Drink, as well as Garmany, Amy Manor Interior Design and several other art-friendly venues. Street maps (featuring the participating Art Walk locations plus recommended places to dine) will be made available to those who stroll and/or roll — and there’s even a trolley shuttle service running between the various locations.

The virtual art walk continues in and around the greater Red Bank Green this weekend, with a special event in Middletown (rescheduled from the bleak beginning days of November), as well as ongoing exhibits in Shrewsbury, Lincroft, Little Silver and downtown Red Bank…

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RED BANK ART WALK GETS BACK ON ITS FEET

Works by Kathy Polenberg, above, and other local artists are showcased as part of the rejuvenated Red Bank Art Walk event on Friday.  

It looked for a while as if it might never regain its footing — but after sitting out the past couple of years, the Red Bank Art Walk makes its return this Friday, hot on the heels of the borough’s selection (by Smithsonian Magazine) as one of the top three Best Small Towns in the USA for culture and quality of life.

A three-hour, self-guided tour through the downtown Green and points west, the Art Walk is both rejuvenated and reconfigured in its 2012 incarnation, with a new cast of participants joined by several “non-traditional spaces” where Art Happens, from restaurants and retail stores to at least one transformed place of worship.

Going on between the hours of 6pm and 9pm, this first in a projected new series of events is being spearheaded by a relatively recent arrival to town — Gallery U and Boutique, the rather Unique and Unorthodox artspace that opened its doors at 80 Broad Street last year.

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UP AT McKAY’S: LEAVENS GETS LINEAR

This pencil-on-paper self portrait is among the “new and unknown” works by lifelong Red Banker Evelyn Leavens on display in a solo show that opens Friday evening at McKay Imaging Gallery. (Click to enlarge)

During a 2010 visit to the Red Bank house that she’s lived in since before the Great Depression, Evelyn Leavens told redbankgreen: “I’m still painting; I’m always working… I wouldn’t give it up any more than I would move out of my home.”

That particular article (which can be read here in its entirety) advanced a solo show drawn from the remarkable artist’s 60-year career, a display that we viewed as not so much a retrospective, but “a chance for Leavens to pause for one moment — a moment in which the rest of us can struggle to catch up — before sprinting ahead to the next challenge.”

Sure enough, here in 2012 there’s still much that is new, even much that’s yet to be discovered, in the world of Evelyn Leavens. On Friday evening, April 27, McKay Imaging Gallery brings us up to speed on her recent endeavors, with the opening reception of an exhibit that the octogenarian artist has described as being her “last show” (although, as she told the Two River Times, she’s “never convinced about that”).

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