The July 4th weekend is a great time for gallery hopping. Many new exhibitions opened their doors last weekend, and I’m going to give you a run down on some of the most interesting—and provocative. The wide variety of artwork may surprise you, and some of it may even shock you.
A good place to start is at AJ Dillon gallery in Atlantic Highlands. The gallery has an exhibition that has been running all month called “Stars and Stripes Forever.” It ends on July 4th, but is well worth squeezing into your schedule.
Gallery owner Frank Leahy asked local artists to come up with their own interpretation of the American flag, or what they think of when they ponder the American flag. One interpretation that grabbed my attention was a large America flag hung sideways with Jimi Hendrix face painted on it. It’s called Don’t Tread on Red by Jana Moriarty. You’ll find it hanging in a place of distinction—a pillar-like wall to the right as you walk in the gallery.
June isn’t just for weddings, beach time or boating. The month has also brings with it a rebirth of creative energy and a potpourri of fine art openings, exhibitions, street art and murals. In fact, there’s so much to see—and so many exhibition openings— that it may be hard to decide what to see each weekend or even during the week. Let me help you decide by giving you a preview of what’s going on during the first half of the month.
This coming weekend there are two key openings taking place on the central part of the Shore. One takes place in Red Bank (June 6), the other in Shrewsbury (June 7).
Saturday June 6 head for the Art Alliance in Red Bank which is holding its final exhibit of the season—The Ebba Osborne Memorial Award Exhibition. A reception runs from 6 pmto 8 pm opening night with music and refreshments in the back room. The exhibit focuses on two themes—“Dreamy” and “Interior”—and a $100 prize will be awarded to the Best in Show. Asbury Park photographic artists Tom and Lois White are judging the exhibit. Their work will be on display in the Alliance windows.
Councilman Jack Archibald defeated Councilman Lou Fligor for the Republican nomination for Mayor of Atlantic Highlands by an unofficial count of 301 to 169.
The 470 votes cast represents a very high 66% turnout, based upon 710 registered Republicans on April 15. The turnout percentage will be adjusted by the number of unaffiliated voters who declared a Republican affiliation today at the polls.
Archibald will face Democratic nominee for mayor Rhonda LeGrice in November.
By Jack Archibald, Atlantic Highlands Councilman and Candidate for the Republican nomination Mayor
Voters will go to the polls next Tuesday to select the Republican candidate for Mayor in November. This primary election is critical; it could decide both the next Mayor and the future of Atlantic Highlands.
I believe it’s important that voters know as much about the candidates as they can before casting their ballots.
I am running for Mayor because I believe my professional experience and public service are greatly aligned to the skills required for the office. As a Senior Director in Public Finance at Fitch Ratings, my 25 plus years of knowledge and experience in public finance is exactly what is needed for important challenges facing Atlantic Highlands today.
Over the past seven years that I have been your Mayor, I have made sure that politics played a very small role in operating our town. The successes we have had during these years are 100% due to the fact that I, as Mayor, and most of our Council, have worked together to protect and enhance our town.
I have also never allowed political interference in my appointments and actions. As a matter of fact, approximately half of my appointments have been people who are not registered Republicans.
The County, as is their prerogative, have chosen to support the request of the Atlantic Highlands Chair of the Republican Party to place Jack Archibald as the “Party Line Candidate”. The vote of the local Republican Committee between Lou and Jack was a split vote of 4 to 4. We believe the people should have a choice so the Atlantic Highlands Republican party will have a primary on June 2, 2015.
Lou Fligor is his own man. He is the most dedicated public servant of the people of our town, a champion of our town’s people. He has led the battle to force the Gas Company’s clean-up operations. He spearheaded the committee to dissolve the Atlantic Highlands/Highlands Regional Sewer Authority, which has saved us hundreds of thousands of dollars over the last year alone. Lou is the person we all see working for our town 365 days a year, not just during election time. He is a self-made man, who keeps his actions above political considerations. He is a true, loyal friend to all of our town’s people. Lou wants the job, not just the title as Mayor.
Atlantic Highlands Councilmen Jack Archibald, left, and Lou Fligor, right, face off for the Republican nomination for mayor in the June 2 primary
Partisan primaries in New Jersey are usually very low turnout elections. Mostly they are uncontested, so only die hard partisans, poll workers and their friends who bring them doughnuts bother to vote. In Atlantic Highlands last year, of the roughly 700 registered Republicans, only 101 voted in the primary. Only 68 or the roughly 800 Democrats voted in the 2014 primary.
In contested primaries on a local level, the candidate with the “Party line” on the ballot usually has a huge advantage over a challenger.
The “Party line” advantage is being challenged in Atlantic Highlands in this year’s Republican primary on June 2. Two long term Republican Councilmen are competing to be the Party’s nominee for mayor. Incumbent Mayor Fred Rast, first elected in 2007, is keeping his promise to term limit himself out of office. Councilman Jack Archibald and Councilman Lou Fligor both want to be mayor.
April is certainly the cruelest month, as T.S Eliot wrote. Spring keeps peeking out followed by rainy and cold days here at the Shore. So, why not cheer yourself up by jumping into the Shore Art Circuit as it emerges from its winter torpor.
New exhibitions are emerging like the daffodils in your garden. Last weekend at least two galleries held openings. One was the A.J. Dillon Gallery of Art in Atlantic Highlands with an exhibit entitled “Art in Nature,” a theme appropriate to the season, despite the chill. The other was held in Red Bank. The Art Alliance held a juried member show with two themes–“Contrasts” and “Personalities.” The curator of the show was Michael Burrus Johnson who had several paintings displayed in the showcase front windows of the gallery.
As I strolled around the small gallery gleaming with a wide variety of styles, Bathers by Miguel A. Fugeras drew me in. At first glance, the piece looked like a wood block print—a powerful rendering of statuesque tall women in black and white bathing in a river. But up close, it’s clearly a drawing, probably pen and ink. It’s an arresting piece that reinterprets the time honored, traditional theme of artists painting (dressed) women or female nudes at the seashore, ocean, or other body of water. Virtually all major artists from Botticelli to Degas have painted these scenes. But in tone and feeling, Fugeras’ drawing feels closer to Picasso’s Demoiselles of Avignon because of its angles and abstract nature .
Bathers by Miguel A. Fugeras. Drawing. The Art Alliance.
A simmering feud within the Atlantic Highlands GOP boiled over into the public eye yesterday afternoon during the Borough’s reorganization meeting as three of the five Republican elected officials split with two of their newly reelected colleagues to elect a Democrat up for reelection this year as Council President.
Lt. Governor Kim Guadagno who was on hand to swear in veteran Councilmen Jack Archibald and Peter Doyle to their new terms was not pleased by the drama. “You’re killing me,” Guadagno said to Mayor Fred Rast, a Republican who supported the unorthodox move, according to a prominent county Republican who was present.
Republican Councilman Lou Fligor nominated Democrat Roy Dellosso to be Council President. Jacob “Jake” Hoffman, also a Republican, joined Fligor, Dellossa, and Democrat Robert Sutton in electing Dellosso to the largely ceremonial post. Archibald and Doyle voted no.
Judge Peter A. Locascio, the Municipal Court Judge in Atlantic Highlands and Highlands, has been accused of Judicial Misconduct by the Disciplinary Counsel of the Advisory Committee on Judicial Conduct (ACJC). The complaint can be found here.
Locascio is accused of exhibiting “extreme and personal” hostility towards an attorney appearing before him starting in August of 2008 and extending through early 2013, for failing to rule on recusal motions by that attorney after he was ordered to do so by his Assignment Judge, of using the powers of his office to his personal benefit and of conflicts of interest in allowing his personal attorney, a close personal friend, to appear before his court.
The attorney involved was not named in the complaint. “It could be several people,” said one member of the Monmouth County legal community speaking off the record, “Locascio is known to be caustic and vindictive.”
A complaint by the ACJC disciplinary counsel is an indication that an investigation into the initial complaint produced enough evidence to warrant an hearing before the committee. If after the hearing the committee determines that the Judge did violate the Code of Judicial Conduct the matter is referred to the State Supreme Court for public reprimand, censure, suspension, or removal. If the committee finds after its hearing that there is not clear and convincing evidence of Judicial Misconduct, it makes a recommendation to the Supreme Court to dismiss the complaint with or without private reprimand.