ART IN THE PARK
WHEN: Sunday, May 29, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 5 p.m.
WHERE: West End Park in Long Branch, corner of Ocean and Brighton Avenues
If you’re an art lover (or artistically inclined person) who lives in and around the New Jersey Shore, you probably couldn’t wait to put away winter’s drab watercolors — and to welcome Memorial Day Weekend 2016, while enjoying a day of light, color, activity, music, friendly people and good times in the arts-friendly fresh air of an exciting new season.
Returning for an 18th annual edition, 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 artisanal crafts fair that emphasizes unique and original works over commercially produced “craft 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 in a sunlit seaside setting that’s just one block from the beach — and within strolling or rolling distance to an eclectic menu of restaurants, taverns and eateries.
As if that weren’t enough to love, there’s also plenty of free parking in the neighborhood — but according to Art in the Park coordinator Mare Akana, the real secret of the event’s success is the fact that “ the artists love it too…and that really comes across.”
“Since all sale proceeds go directly to the participating creators, Art in the Park has become a ‘must’ event for regional artists,” explains Akana, herself a gallery-exhibited sculptor. “So anyone who’s shopping for something unique for their home or as a gift can choose from some first-quality work…and talk to the people who created it, person to person.”
For Art in the Park 2016, a contingent of first-timers will be joining dozens of returning painters, sculptors, jewelry designers and photographers — as well as The Paul Marino Band, who will once again provide live entertainment through the afternoon on the park’s outdoor stage.
“Our artists make the trip here from four states,” Akana explains. “On behalf of everyone involved, we’re ready to put on a fantastic event that holds all the passion and promise of the new season.”
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.