It’s been a decade since Bradley Beach artist and Friends of the Bradley Beach Library President Joan Cicchi had an idea — showcase local artists work at a library exhibit to the public while raising funds for the library.
Thirty artists and 100 attendees were involved in that first show in 2005. Now 10 years later, more than 60 artists and 300 people are expected to be a part of the annual Bradley Beach Library Art Exhibit and Wine Tasting event at the library on Sun., March 8 from 2 to 4 p.m.
“The art show is an important cultural event in our town. It is also a great venue at which local artists can meet one another,” Sharlene Edwards, assistant library director, said. “The show has become larger over the past few years because we have been promoting it more heavily through online news channel and through social media. I also think alot of it is word of mouth. Artists who have particiapted in past years tell their artist friends about our show. I enjoy the show because many of the artists attend and enjoy discussing their pieces. It’s wonderful to learn about what inspires them.”
Library Director Janet Torsney said she was pleased to at the opportunity to celebrate the arts.
“It’s such a nice afternoon: enjoying the art, listening to music, sampling some wine,” she said. “It’s amazing how many people come out. Last year we had more than 200 people in our little library.”
Both professional and amateur artists participate in the show. Last year a large percentage of the work submitted was by professional artists, according to Edwards. There is a limit of two pieces of artwork per artist. All individual pieces must contain name/contact info in the back of the art piece for easy indentification.
Those interested in displaying their work must complete a form to be returned to the library by Sat., Feb. 28. The artist must bring their “ready for presentation” original artwork to the library on Thurs., March 5. Forms are available at the library. For those who would like to sell their work at the show, include an asking price with the submitted piece. The Friends of the Library will retain twenty percent of each sale (the twenty percent will be added on by the library to the original asking price that the artist sets).
Art pieces that have been submitted in the past include oil paintings, photographs, quilts, fiber art, collages, and water color paintings.
“Any proceeds from the sale of artwork or from wine tasting donations go to Friends of the Bradley Beach Library. The Friends raise funds to help us provide services, resources, and programs to our patrons. Currently they are trying to raise $200,000 to put towards our ADA renovation to make the library accessible to all,” Edwards said.
Torsney added, “We are really looking forward to completing our ADA renovation so we can have events like this more often. There’s so much we can do when we have more space and everyone can get in and around the library.”
Also participating this year is the Festive Flutes who will perform from 2 to 3:30 p.m. In addition, seventh graders from Bradley Beach Elementary School and Sisters Academy in Asbury Park will partake in the art show’s excitement. They visit the library the Monday after the show to view the art, pick their favorite piece and write an essay about the work. Teachers then choose three winners from their class. In the spring the Friends of the Bradley Beach Library and the Ascension Church in Bradley Beach host a luncheon/awards cermeony for the students and the artists.
The 10th Annual Art Show and Wine Tasting is free and open to the public. The event takes place Sun., March 8 from 2 to 4 p.m. at the library, 511 Fourth Avenue in Bradley Beach. For more information contact the library at 732-776-2995 or email Sharlene Edwards at email@example.com.