artspace 88 showPHOTO:  artspace 88 LLC hosted its grand opening in October

KEYPORT, NJ - What are the chances that two artists, one from Cologne, Germany and the other from Cliffwood Beach, New Jersey, would meet and form a partnership that eventually led to the opening of a small gallery at 46 East Front Street in Keyport?

 

The 1,200 square foot gallery, artspace 88 LLC, which opened last month and features the work of both artists, Asja Jung and Mary Ann McKay, is planning to hold a festival of small things beginning on Nov 24. “It will be an opportunity for people to check out the gallery and purchase handmade art and craft items created by local artists. Everything will be under $35,” said Jung.

She noted that there will be artistic greeting cards; hand blown Christmas balls and handmade wooden Christmas balls; whimsical glass sculptures; jewelry, textile art and small paintings. In addition, the walls will display the art of both women; Jung’s extraordinary drawings of horses on loose canvas and McKay’s experimental collage/mixed media pieces.

The two women met two years ago when Jung moved to Keyport and joined the Keyport Art Society, a very dynamic group of local artists, including glass sculpture artist Michelle Knox who now has studio space at the gallery.
According to the women, the gallery was conceived as a community space where individual artists could participate in art activities and have an opportunity to display their work in a professional gallery.

artspace 88 asja youngPHOTO: Open drawing class with Asja Young. Here is Asja giving some pointers to a student. 

“We believe art is not about pre-conceived ideas, talent, or boundaries. artspace 88 encourages everyone to visit, learn, improvise and discover the joy of creativity,” McKay explained.

Jung added that their vision is that art should be shared with the community. “We have an open-door policy and a casual, user-friendly atmosphere where members of the community can take a class and participate in an exhibit.”

Right now they are offering two classes; one in drawing taught by Jung and another in collage with McKay, who is a graphic artist. But they would like to offer other guest artists the opportunity to use their space to teach a class in their specialty for a nominal fee.

The gallery is open Tuesday.-Thursday 11 a.m. t0 5 p.m.; Friday, 11 a.m. to 9 p.m.; Saturday. 12 noon to 9 p.m. It is closed on Sunday and Monday.

For additional information, you can check out the gallery on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Artspace88.Keyport/.