East Gallery Hosts ‘A Night With the Locals’

Oct 25, 2017
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

The subtexts of the night at East Gallery in Surf City on Friday were “good vibes only” and interconnectedness. It was a cultural happening, a coffeehouse-style communion, an off-season occasion complete with live music, art, food and drink, for friends and neighbors to hang out and catch up.

Gallery owner Jennifer Bryceland has a reputation for knowing just how to bring together the perfect elements for a memorable event. Under her purview, East has established itself in the community as a gathering place for creative people.

Case in point: Baking yogi extraordinaire Crystal Dawn Froberg and Harvey Cedars-based musician Greg Warren, a somewhat spontaneous duet on harmonium and guitar. Of late, Warren has provided Zen-ful strings as accompaniment to some of Froberg’s yoga classes, to profound effect. The harmonium, also called a pump organ or melodeon, is an instrument that creates peaceful droning vibrations befitting a yoga practice and one that Froberg has enjoyed playing over the years. As Bryceland was planning Friday’s party, she suggested the two play together. They embraced the opportunity and put together a free-flowing, original, ambient, improvisational set – that set the tone for the evening.

Bryceland is “the ringmaster,” Froberg said.

Also performing was another musical match indirectly made by Bryceland: August and Oak, which is vocalist Brooke Milano, maker of the jewelry line West Village Tribe, and guitarist/ percussionist Ryan Walsh, maker of fine wood art and furnishings known as Atlas and Anchor. They discovered their musical chemistry accidentally last summer during a live music event when Milano happened to lend her voice to a song with the Walsh brothers, Ryan and Brendan, who perform as Yes Love.

The trio called Squirrel, led by LBI Acupuncture’s Rein Pulz, concluded the musical portion of the evening and brought the spiritual energy into alignment.

Whereas many find event planning to be stressful, Bryceland loves to host parties and does so without a bit of anxiety. She just provides the inspiration and the space, along with some basic comforts, such as snacks, beverages, mood lighting and a mini instant camera, and then just lets it all unfold. It’s the people who make it what it is, she said. Tasty bites from Sunny Raes Kitchen, a selection of beer and wine, and urns of hot delicious coffee covered all the bases.

“Every hippie on Long Beach Island is here,” Ship Bottom surf guru Jon Coen remarked. (In truth, a few local hippies were missing – and they know who they are – but they were there in spirit.)

The featured art on exhibit was that of Dawn Simon of Swing Graphics, whose work has evolved from meticulously detailed drawings into a new era of collage.

Each piece she creates represents a life experience or an idea; the process of viewing the series is like a treasure hunt. She uses gray paper, mechanical pencil, acrylic paint and clippings from vintage 1916-60s books and magazines.

For Friday’s show she had selected some pieces from her new “Color Is a Mystery” collection, plus a few from “The Sanity Series,” which showed at Birdland Gallery in Beach Haven this summer, and a few of her popular bird drawing prints.

“I wanted a few collages from both series, so people might see the transition from my grayscale collages into the new, colorful collection,” she explained. “All of the collages from both series are original and one-of-a-kind; there will not be any reproductions or prints of these works.”

Simon said she feels she is just getting started and learning so much about herself personally and artistically as she builds each collage. “I hope to continue these and see where they will take me,” she said. “As they evolve, I plan to incorporate more and more color and continue to explore my own subconscious.” Fellow artist Constance Bosworth has described the work as Freudian.

— Victoria Ford


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