The Bradley Beach Historical Society is hoping to create a detailed historical map an stories.
By DENISE HERSCHEL
Calling all artists the Bradley Beach Historical Society is looking for imaginative ways to celebrate the important role that the borough’s Main Street has played in the lives of Bradley Beach residents and visitors since its founding 130 years ago.
As a way to commemorate this special milestone in the borough’s history, the historical society is hosting the ‘Images of Main Street’ Art Exhibition from June 24 to July 30 and is looking for those interested in showing their work that can capture any aspect of Main Street, past or present.
Jayne Mackta, vice-president of membership and programs for the Bradley Beach Historical Society and Museum, said that the summer exhibition is “part of a multi-year project called ‘Mapping Main Street,’ sponsored by the Bradley Beach Historical Society and Museum in partnership with the Bradley Beach Business and Community Alliance.”
“The goal of Mapping Main Street is to create detailed historical maps and collect stories of Main Street from the founding of the borough through the present day,” she said. “I am coordinating all aspects of Mapping Main Street with many talented volunteers including local author Bette Blum, who is leading this multi-talented look at Main Street over these years.”
Mackta said Blum came up with the idea for both art shows as well as a Treasure Hunt for artists and memorabilia.
“She is currently interviewing people with deep roots in Bradley Beach. Lenore Decovsky, a Bradley Beach resident, is busy researching each address to identify occupants and property owners at various times and Bette is collecting stories and memories associated with long-time establishments including Vic’s, Murray’s, The Palace Theatre, Master Bakers and Schwarz Drugs,” she said.
Students at Bradley Beach Elementary School are participating in the project by making art that expresses ‘What I Love About Main Street.’ Their artwork will be on display in shops along Main Street during Alliance Week until the end of July.
Mia Mutascio and Rich Despins, two outstanding photographers, are taking pictures of present-day Main Street. According to Mackta, their work will be a backdrop for exhibits of historic shops and businesses during different periods. Mutascio’s photos are being used to inspire artists who want to participate in ‘Images of Main Street.’
The exhibit is open to anyone who wants to enter original work in any style using any medium. There is no entry fee and artists are asked to submit an “Intent to Participate” form so that BBHS can accommodate all submissions.
According to BBHS president Paul Neshamkin, “We welcome work from contemporary artists as part of the long-term documentation of Main Street, knowing that today’s artwork will become a visual record for tomorrow.”
‘Images of Main Street ‘will open with a public reception during Alliance Week, June 24 – June 30 when the borough will officially celebrate its 130th anniversary with a variety of events. The art show will run from June 24 – July 30, 2023. Further details on the venue are forthcoming. Deadline to submit the “Intent to Participate” form is April 30.