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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SEA BRIGHT: ARTIST GETS DOWN TO BUSINESS

megan gilhool 1 040214Megan Gilhool with a pair of giant knitting needles at ArtSea, the Sea Bright art gallery that doubles as a getaway for local knitters. (Photo by John T. Ward. Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

sb artsea 2 052714She’s known, at least to redbankgreen readers, as the artist who transformed Sea Bright’s downtown bus stop into a trompe l’oeil beach cottage. She’s also been known to help tastefully yarn-bomb locations around town.

Megan Gilhool continues to knit, and said she plans to reprise her bus stop masterpiece, now that the Ocean Avenue enclosure destroyed by Hurricane Sandy has been rebuilt.

In the meantime, though, she’s settled into the life of storefront merchant-slash-curator, running the ArtSea Gallery on Ocean Avenue in a space occupied, pre-Sandy, by a dry-cleaning shop.

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IN FAIR HAVEN, A HAVEN FOR THE HANDMADE

dave melanie stewart 100913Melanie and Dave Stewart in their new art gallery/retail store, Handmade Haven. Below, t-shirts repurposed as skirts. (Click to enlarge)

By JOHN T. WARD

homemade 1 100913The world is awash in mass-produced sameness. Do we really need any more?

A month-old shop on River Road in Fair Haven posits an alternative. Handmade Haven was conceived as an “artisans’ and craftsmens’ retail gallery,” says Melanie Stewart, who owns the business with her husband, Dave.

Everything on its tables and walls is not only handmade, but produced locally, they say.

Think of it as “kind of an Etsy on Main Street,” Melanie tells redbankgreen, referring to the online market for craftspeople and other makers. “We give them a Main Street platform for their work.”

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RED BANK: ART SHOW AT SALON CONCRETE

salon concrete 1 100413salon concrete 3 100413Drawing a crowd to Red Bank’s Salon Concrete last Friday night was a show of paintings and other works by Little Silver artist Mike Ciccotello. “Other works’ included customized skateboard decks (see below). One attendee wore Ciccotello sneakers, right.

The show is slated to run through December. Salon Concrete is at 123 Broad Street. (Click to enlarge)

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UPSTAIRS AT McKAY’S, A TRIBUTE TO JOHN K

jkuntitled3The colorful, creative “Drawings and Such” of the late Tinton Falls artist John Kochansky are the stuff of AFTERTHOUGHTS, a new exhibit that opens this week at McKay Imaging Gallery.

By TOM CHESEK

When the husband/wife tagteam of Robert and Elisabeth McKay reworked their second-floor studio space at 12 Monmouth Street to include a gallery exhibition room, the mission statement couldn’t have been clearer: advance local interest in the captured image as fine art. Elevate photographers to the sort of status enjoyed by painters, sculptors and illustrators. Apply their own passionate advocacy and love of craft to the creation of a forum that would inspire the shutterbugs of New Jersey to new and greater heights.

Then in walked John Kochansky, and things immediately went from fine-tuned to fuzzy.

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THIS WON’T LAST, BUT IT ISN’T MEANT TO

img_6096121709Gallery mavens at last night’s opening, in the see-through space last occupied by Design Front. (Click photos to enlarge)

img_6109121709

Emily Asher Neiman, who closed her short-lived gallery on Monmouth Street in Red Bank just about year ago, returned to town last night with a new enterprise, one that’s got planned obsolence built in.

Asher Neiman Gallery reopened last night at 21 East Front Street, the former home of outre furnishings (and occasional automobile) retailer Design Front, which closed some months back.

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