art park renata english ceramicsPHOTO: Sculptor Renata English displays her blue ribbon awarded in the category of Ceramics, at the 2013 Art in the Park event in Long Branch. Artists in a variety of media are invited to take part in the 16th annual outdoor art fair, which returns to West EndPark on Sunday, May 25. (photo credit: Christopher Anthony)

LONG BRANCH, NJ — For all of the changes and challenges that have come to this seaside city, one great part of the local character has remained constant — the West End neighborhood and its reputation as a fun, creative, energetic place to spend some hours on any day or night. And, when Memorial Day weekend sounds the keynote for another summertime season on the JerseyShore, the area’s longest-running unofficial arts district comes alive in a blaze of color and activity.

Returning for a 16th annual edition on Sunday, May 25 — and presented once more at West End Park in Long Branch — the annual Art in the Park event transforms the corner of Ocean and Brighton Avenues into one of the largest outdoor art happenings in the state; an art and fine crafts fair that emphasizes unique and original works over commercially produced “art sale” merchandise.

 

Sponsored by the Long Branch Arts Council and Long Branch Historical Association, with support from the City of Long Branch, Art in the Park takes place between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. (with load-in time from 7 to 9:45 a.m.), in a sunlit seaside setting that’s just one block from the beach — and within strolling distance of an eclectic menu of restaurants, taverns and eateries.

Last year’s edition was among the most successful ever, with more than 50 participating artists enjoying beautiful weather, great turnout, live music and a chance to display — and sell — work that they created themselves, with no commission taken by the event organizers. The people who bring you Art in the Park invite you to be part of this great local event in the artist-friendly neighborhood of West End.

We’re seeking submissions in the categories of Works on Paper, Works on Canvas, Sculpture, Mixed Media, Photography, Ceramics, and Special Materials (including wood, glass or plastic). Please note that the organizers of Art in the Park are not seeking submissions in the categories of jewelry, fiber or fabric art at this time. So whether you’re a seasoned professional or a relative newcomer, this can be a great opportunity to get your work before the public, in a supportive and highly visible setting that offers honors in each category.

Guest juror this year will be Lisa Ficarelli-Halpern, a New Jersey based artist whose paintings and prints have been widely exhibited at galleries in New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia and Chicago. A Parsons graduate and an adjunct professor of painting and drawing at New Jersey City University and Brookdale Community College, the former executive designer for Polo Ralph Lauren is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Geraldine Dodge Fellowship.

Interested artists will be asked to send photos or JPEGS of their work for consideration (those who participated in the 2013 show need not submit material for review). Deadline to enter the 2014 Art in the Park event is Saturday, May 17; there is a non-refundable entry fee of $45 due at time of registration, and locations of tents or stalls (measuring 100 square feet) within the park will be assigned on a first come, first served basis.

Interested in entering electronically? Have any questions? Call event coordinator Mare Akana at (732)542-1307 with your contact info, and we’ll send you all the details.

art park harvey rogosin paper

PHOTO: Painter Harvey Rogosin displays his blue ribbon awarded in the category of Works on Paper, at the 2013 Art in the Park event in Long Branch. Artists in a variety of media are invited to take part in the 16th annual outdoor art fair, which returns to West EndPark on Sunday, May 25. (photo credit: Christopher Anthony)

 

The Long Branch Arts Council is a partnership dedicated to working with the city government, civic and business organizations and the arts community to re-establish the City of Long Branch as a thriving regional center for the arts. Our aim is to accomplish this goal by attracting artists and arts organizations, by coordinating fundraising and development efforts, by establishing arts education programs, and by presenting arts-oriented events that draw upon the natural resources, accessibility, historic assets and “people power” that are unique to our beloved city.