WEEKEND: POP STAR, PRINTS & A PARADE

Dionne Warwick brings her golden pipes to the Basie Friday night. Below, the works of Bruce Waldman are featured in a printmaking show at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft. (Click to enlarge)

Friday, March 8
RED BANK: Pop legend and five-time Grammy winner Dionne Warwick comes to the Count Basie Theatre for an 8 p.m. benefit concert. Proceeds from the tickets ( $35 to $155) go to the Basie’s Performing Arts Academy, as well as cultural programming and ongoing theater restoration. 99 Monmouth Street.

Saturday, March 9
RED BANK: Bring some heavy gloves and your green thumb to Riverside Gardens Park to help prune the rose bushes that will brighten the park come spring. Warm work clothes are suggested. Register with Robert Hespe via email at hespeb@aol.com. From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Rain date is Sunday, March 16. West Front Street.

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SICKLES ART SHOW WARMS THE WEEKEND

Lorna Weber working on a pastel in the greenhouse. Below, woodturner Bruce Perlmutter at his lathe. (Photo by Wil Fulton. Click to enlarge)

By WIL FULTON

On a chilly weekend in mid-February, Sickles Market in Little Silver opened its greenhouse to local artists, giving them a lush, open – and perhaps most importantly, warm  – space to showcase their work.

redbankgreen caught up with some the area’s painters, sculptors and photographers Sunday to get their views on why the yearly event is so important to local artists.

Bruce Perlmutter, a woodturner from Red Bank, specializes in intricate wooden bowls and other pieces he cuts exclusively out of wood he salvages. Many of the wooden sculptures on display were made from wood he picked up in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy.

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WOMEN TO SHARE THEIR SONGS AND STORIES

The Woman’s Club of Red Bank is the kickoff site for the three-day event. (Click to enlarge)

By DANIELLE TEPPER

What is the value of art? Is it a frivolous hobby or a creative outlet necessary for emotional health?

Coming up this weekend is a three-day fundraiser designed to provoke such musings. The second annual “Women of Song” event is being held to promote the arts in Monmouth County through music, poetry, and performance. It kicks off Friday at the Woman’s Club of Red Bank before continuing on to Ocean Township and Asbury Park over the weekend.

Organizers Maxine Snow and Helen-Chantel Pike co-founded the event, with help from Brenda Wirth and Jenny Woods, to rectify what they saw as a “lack of representation for female talent in the Jersey Shore area,” said Snow.

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ZEBU EYES FEBRUARY REOPENING

Andrew Gennusa in the new Zebu Forno space at 12 Broad Street, with one of Gregg Hinlicky’s murals from the last one. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

It’s not without its terrors, shutting down a business in order to move it, Andrew Gennusa will tell you.

And when the reopening takes months longer than expected, as has been the case with Gennusa’s Zebu Forno coffee house in downtown Red Bank, life can get truly white-knuckle.

But one thing that Gennusa says has kept up his spirits is his occasional visit to the Starbucks just down Broad Street. It’s there that, along with a cup of joe he happens to like, he’s sure to get a dose of love from his own customers, who tell him they can’t wait for his restaurant to reopen.

“That’s been the most encouraging thing,” he tells redbankgreen. “You and I can go in there right now, and no less than two people will ask me when I’m reopening. I have strangers stopping me on the street to ask.”

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AN ARTIST FOREVER AT HOME IN HER WORK

evelyn-leavensEvelyn Leavens with a work-in-progress landscape in her Red Bank studio. (Click to enlarge)

By TOM CHESEK

Parked on an easel in the sunlit second-floor studio on the east end of Red Bank, a painting is taking shape, almost in turn-of-the-seasons real time; brashly delineated trees sprouting like declarative statements from the thrill-ride curves of a crazy quilt countryscape.

What might have been the makings of some plein-air jigsaw puzzle in less imaginative hands is becoming, under the artist’s patient eye and brush, a ruckus of bold shapes and colors — a scene in which Nature’s delightfully messy-thorny-scratchy surprises lurk beneath those curvaceous comforts.

Just don’t ask about a title for the canvas, at least not yet. To Evelyn Leavens, the name “Work in Progress” will suit it just fine. In fact, to hear the 85-year-old painter, photographer and instructor tell it, her 60-year career is still just that — a work in progress.

With a major solo exhibit of her paintings on display now at the Monmouth Museum in Lincroft — as well as a contribution to a much-anticipated group show opening this weekend at Shrewsbury’s Guild of Creative Art — the work of the locally legendary Leavens has never been more visible and accessible. Still, the artist herself would prefer not to call it a “retrospective.” Think of it as 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.

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