Tinton Falls, NJ – The 42nd Monmouth Festival of Arts (MFA) will take place from Saturday evening, May 5, through Wednesday, May 9, at the Monmouth Reform Temple (MRT) on Hance Avenue in Tinton Falls. MFA is arguably the most popular and professional juried art show in the area supporting artists as well as art education.  Over 200 artists from all over the Northeast will display their art in a variety of mediums including jewelry, ceramics, sculptured art, oils, watercolor, pastels, mixed media and fine crafts.  

Days End by Audrey Linstrom

Daily ticket prices are $8 for Adults, and discounted $5 for senior citizens and students. A Series Ticket (Sunday- Wednesday) can be purchased for $18. Festival hours are 12:00 pm -8:30 pm on Sunday, May 6, 9:30 am to 8:30 pm on May 7 and May 8 and 9:30 am to 5 pm on May 9. Large groups are welcome during the week and should contact Karen Greco at 732-796-9240.

Patrons attending the elegant Opening Gala on Saturday evening, May 5, will enjoy cocktails, hors d’œuvre (from local chefs) and pastry and coffee alfresco (served in a tent on the MRT patio.) The Gala presents patrons with a first opportunity to purchase the most popular art and to meet the many artists in attendance that evening. The Gala takes place from 7:30 to 10: 30 pm. Tickets for the Gala are $65 at the door or $60 if purchased earlier. 

May 6, is Family Day. Encore Performing Arts Inc. will present a musical program Pecos Bill Rides the Oregon Trails with guest entertainer Richard Stillman. The 2 pm show features original songs, Pecos Bill Stories, clog dancing and cowboy rope tricks—a must see for the 4 -11 set. Children’s workshops will also take place from 12:30 pm – 1:45 and 3:15- 4:30 pm and include projects for mother’s day and spring time crafts, and a design your own Crocs workshop. At 5 pm, Festival goers will enjoy a wide range of popular and light-classical music for woodwind quintet performed by members of the Monmouth Symphony Orchestra wind section. Featured that evening will be the very first performance of the jazzy “Startin’ Sumthin” composed by Jeff Scott for the Monmouth Winds. 

During the week, patrons can also attend several demonstrations given by the artists on the technique of their craft offered during day and evening sessions. MFA also offers a day-long Symposium for Art Educators which provides teachers with lesson plans and techniques for use in the classroom, as well as providing the opportunity to earn required continuing education credits. A special student-artist display heralds the artwork of 11th grade students who won the top awards at the Student Art Competition held in February and included entries from many area high schools. MFA was awarded the John Pappas Recognition Award in Arts Education from the Arts Educators and the coveted 2010 N.J. Governor’s Award in Arts Education for all of its art education programming,

On Monday evening, May 6, Carol Lynn Chetkin, of Chetkin Galleries in Red Bank, will present “Art Collecting for Passion and Investment” as Ms. Chetkin shares the esthetics and business of owning visual arts with her audience. On Tuesday night, May 7, MRT is delighted to welcome prolific poetry writer and performer, Dr. Gretna Wilkinson. Dr. Wilkinson, the award-winning Creative Writing teacher in the Red Bank Regional Academy of Performing and Visual Arts, will perform several pieces from her latest book of poems, Opening the Drawer, which is published by Cool Women Press.  Her poems are poignant, clever and often very funny while her performances can be powerful and thought-provoking. A book signing will follow her reading.

This year’s show designer, Nancy Pageau, has worked as an art consultant, curator and dealer for twenty years. She is the CEO and founder of Inkling for Art in, LLC, out of Pennsylvania and has represented publishers, national, and emerging artists and consulted for foundations, institutions and corporations in their selection and display of art. Ms Pageau also served as the first consultant for the award-winning Bryn Mawr Rehab “Art Ability” program which designed shows for artists with disabilities. Her wide ranging expertise in a variety of art will give this year’s Festival a new and fresh perspective.  She states, “There is often a story on any given wall or some relationship between the art of different artists which occupy a space. Art is the ultimate communicator and speaks to each individual differently, but none the less, speaks.”

The Monmouth Festival of the Arts is hosted by Monmouth Reform Temple and is made possible, in part, by the Monmouth County Arts Council through funding from the Monmouth County Board of Chosen Freeholders, the County Historical Commission, and the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment of the Arts. 

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Allan Dean

Allan Dean is editor, publisher, and founder of the Atlantic Highlands Herald. Published since 1999 and selected in 2000 by the Borough of Atlantic Highlands as one of their official newspapers, making...