Sandy Hook, NJ - Like many businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations, the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) has been affected by the current economic downturn and faces the challenge of  finding alternative and creative ways to obtain support for existing projects and activities and help finance new projects.

One of the organization’s first efforts in this area will be a Bridging the Gap Art Exhibit and Fundraiser Reception on Sunday October 24th, 2010 from 2 pm to 5 pm at Bahr’s Landing under the bridge in Highlands, NJ.  The event, sponsored by Two River Community Bank, Super FoodTown Circus, Kaplan, Gaunt and DeSantis Architects and Charles B. Hembling and Sons Construction includes an autumn afternoon of art, appetizers, and aperitifs and will celebrate the transformation of the Highlands Bridge. This unique Jersey Shore event will benefit the Education and Scholarship Programs of the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium. The artists work will be sold directly and selected works will be raffled and/or auctioned off.  Twenty-five per cent of the sales will be donated to the Consortium’s Education and Scholarship programs.

 

Showcased art and photography, featuring the Highlands Bridge, old and new, as well as other local coastal icons and landscapes will be presented by well known area artists like Lola Adolf, Guy Hembling Jim Kovic, Leonia Mroczkowski, Paul Scharff, and Norma Wokas.

According to Kim Kosko, Director of Communications for NJSGC who is coordinating the event, the afternoon will also offer attendees an entertaining opportunity to be part of a hands-on artistic experience and learn a little more about water quality and the coastal environment.  .  “One of the participating artists, Norma Wokas will be working with the NJSGC Water Resources Specialist to

help attendees paint and add their personal touches to a pre-designed rain barrel, which encourages water recycling and conservation. Rain barrels are becoming more and more popular with individuals and communities as a way to water gardens and grounds while promoting environmental sustainability.  Kosko noted that the NJSGC is planning to launch a pilot rain barrel collaboration with local artists in several target communities and the Monmouth County Arts Council next spring. People can learn more about the projects at this event, and be part of creating an actual barrel that will be auctioned off at the end of the day to raise seed money funding for the larger project.

Tickets to the fundraiser are a reasonably priced $40.00 which includes food and drinks, entrance to drawings for original art and photography from the participating artists, gift certificates from a dozen area restaurants, a commemorative event keepsake and more.

Invited guests to the reception include New Jersey Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno,  Congressman Frank Pallone (6th District) and area Senate and Assembly representatives who supported legislation to name the new span the Captain Joseph Azzolina Memorial Bridge honoring the late Senator/Assemblyman from Monmouth County.

To reserve tickets online or find out more about this special event visit http://www.njmsc.org/News_Events/Bridging_the_Gap.html