Dip a toe into the first wave of “zero waste” art…stick a finger into the winds of environmental activism…try one’s hand at any of the many recreational pursuits of coastal life as Local Summer continues apace on and near the ocean, bay and riverfront shores of our local parks.

The people at the Monmouth County Arts Council define “zero waste” art as that which uses all available materials; creating new objects of beauty and inspiration from formerly discarded castoffs — and when the first-ever Zero Waste Arts Fest comes to the Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook this weekend, September 17 and 18, there won’t be a wasted moment or a wasted opportunity for family-friendly fun. Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days, the festival highlights partnerships between locally based artists, art galleries and environmental activism organizations, as well as an interactive “live art” project coordinated by Lisa Bagwell (whose recycled-materials sculptures are a colorful and clever commentary on our disposable consumer culture). There’s live music (from Red Bank’s Rockit Live and others), kids’ activities, informative displays from a host of partner organizations, plus giveaways, shuttle bus tours of the Hook, and a whole lot more (including an after-hours Saturday night “1940s swing event” under the stars). Take it here to the All Good section of redbankgreen, for full details on events and entertainers, plus a complete rundown of participating co-sponsors and presenters.

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Lisa Bagwell PizzaRecycled-materials sculptures by Lisa Bagwell are among the art works featured during the Zero Waste Arts Fest, going on September 17 and 18 at Fort Hancock on Sandy Hook.

Press release from Monmouth County Arts Council

On Saturday, September 17 and Sunday, September 18, the Monmouth County Arts Council invites the public to take part in a weekend of free family fun — in which the arts intersect with the wonders of our local environment — during the inaugural Zero Waste Arts Fest (ZWAF).

Going on from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the historic Fort Hancock area of Sandy Hook, ZWAF represents a partnership  between Monmouth Arts and Gateway National Recreation Area Sandy Hook Unit. The event also marks the culminating phase of a larger Gateway to the Arts grant project, a $20,000 award that Monmouth Arts received from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) in 2016, to honor both the 50th anniversary of the NEA and the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service.

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Lisa Bagwell PizzaArtworks sculpted by Lisa Bagwell from discarded plastic items (such as PIZZA, above) are on display now at the Red Bank Library, along with digitally modified images by Lynne Kennedy (whose scene of Middletown’s Mt. Olivet Cemetery is pictured below). 


It’s everywhere at once and all around you, once you choose to notice it — the non-biodegradable detritus that Lisa Bagwell calls “the masses of cartons, cups, plastics and cutlery that passes through the hands of myself and the people around me.”

A resident of Red Bank, and a Long Branch employee in charge of that city’s public gardens, Bagwell can seem to be many places at once herself — as a naturalist for the county Park System, a farm worker, a vegetarian cook, and a volunteer with the nonprofit Clean Ocean Action. In her “spare” time, the Rutgers grad is an artist; one whose sculpture work has been exhibited in spaces that have included the Monmouth Museum, Newark’s Aljira Center — and the Red Bank Public Library, where a collection of her pointedly playful creations is on display now through the month of June.

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