LONG BRANCH — The prospect of another Memorial Day, just around the corner, can be all the impetus that many of us need to shake off the shackles of a long cruel winter’s polar vortex.  And for hundreds of artists, artisans and art aficionados throughout New Jersey and beyond, Memorial Day weekend could only mean one thing — another opportunity to enjoy a day of light, color, activity, music, friendly people and good times, within the creative whirlwind of the Jersey Shore’s longest-running unofficial arts district.

Returning for a 17th annual edition on Sunday, May 24 — 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 60 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, a fun, creative, energetic place to spend some hours on any day or night.

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 Wes Sherman, a New Jersey based artist who has been painting since 1992 and has had over 30 solo shows. The recipient of a 2011 fellowship for painting from New Jersey Council of the Arts, Sherman received his MFA from MasonGrossSchool of the Arts at RutgersUniversity in 2003. He is the chair of exhibitions at The Center for Contemporary Art in Bedminster, NJ, and has been a visiting artist at universities that include Temple, Rutgers, and Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts.

Interested artists will be asked to send photos or JPEGS of their work for consideration (those who participated in the 2014 show need not submit material for review). Deadline to enter the 2014 Art in the Park event is Saturday, May 16; 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? Contact event coordinator Mare Akana at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your info, and we’ll send you all the details.