Summer Arts Opener in Surf City

Jun 14, 2017
Photo by: Pat Johnson Lisa Budd with her oil paintings and watercolors at the Summer Arts Opener on Saturday.

The weather gods served up the perfect weekend for the fun offered at the Summer Arts Opener at the m.t. burton gallery in Surf City: an outdoor art fair, clam bake and featuring live music and busker David Ramsay juggling on his unicycle or twirling fire batons.

It was perfect beach weather, too, so the artists had some down time to catch up with each other. Alice McEnerney Cook capitalized on the quiet spaces to paint small versions of her larger salt marsh canvases, relying on her sketch pad. McEnerney Cook recently finished an American Council on the Arts grant that allowed her to travel the East Coast and document in paint the marshes from Maine to the Carolinas, all the while bravely battling mosquitoes and biting flies. She never has gotten over the love of those wild and mucky stretches of specialized turf and continues to paint them, but recently she has added the ocean shores to her oeuvre and included a few human figures fishing or bathing.

McEnerney Cook is always on the lookout for new structures or phenomena. “Holgate” is a wonderful painting of the old wooden jetty that is covered in bright green moss, and “Cross Currents” is a marvelous study of the wave patterns created at Parkertown Docks as the wind pushed against the outgoing tide.

Lisa Budd is known primarily as a water media painter, and her blue paintings of tropical fish on slick Yupo paper have become her top ten hits. But like a performer of a hit, she is tiring of the subject and has started a new series, painting the water towers of LBI in oil paints. Gulls and shorebirds on the beach and striped beach chairs are also charming small canvases, perfect for cubbies in a shore house.

Budd said she is painting with a palette knife, thanks to a workshop she took with Solace Gallery owner Franny Andahazy. “She has us work over some of our old paintings and to work quickly with the palette knife,” said Budd. “It was amazing. I didn’t even know how I did it – so freeing.”

Jill DeFelice had taken a class with artist Linda Ramsay on painting sea creatures, and she took the theme and ran with it. Sea stars, giant blue crabs, octopi and turtles filled her tent like a beautiful aquarium. DeFelice is new to the traveling art fair circuit but is enjoying the fun of meeting folks in the fresh air. Her paintings will be gracing the pages of Jersey Shore Magazine this summer.

Linda Ramsay also had her tent set up, with her signature shore bicycle paintings facing the Boulevard. Inside were some paintings of the marsh, such as “Bird’s Eye View,” and new abstract paintings of bright bands of color. A painting of shrimp in a net, “Fresh Caught,” verges toward the abstract with its pink and orange jumble of shells.

Jo Clarke painted koi fish in a riot of blue swirls, and her “Blues Traveler” sea turtle seems to be flying.

Stacey Fussinger, owner of the Just Bead It stores, has her own line of beaded jewelry called “Fusion”; she is the featured jeweler in the m.t. burton gallery.

Sandra Kosinski has a wonderful line of ceramics, and Sara Setzer displayed her handmade fiber arts.

Inside the gallery, a ceramic arts exhibit, “Farm to Table: Bowls and Platters,” featuring work by Alan Willoughby, Janice Strawder, Collette Smith and others, will be up through July, as will a solo show of artist Gwenn Seemel, “Empathetic Magic.”

— Pat Johnson


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