NEWTON, NJ - The on and off rainy weather and grey skies, did not dim the colors on Spring Street on Saturday, as merchants and attendees participated in the Spring Street Tour of Art 2013.
In the sixth annual show, 11 Spring Street storefronts hosted to a variety of different artists, who showcased their items on display, which included a mix of media.
Attendees each could pick up a "passport," which participating merchants could stamp as guests made their stop in each store. Each fully stamped passport turned in was eligible for $225 values grand prize drawing.
Merchants and the respective artists they hosted were: Perfect 10 Nail & Hair Boutique with Kate Poulas Paper Mosaic; Plaza Restaurant with Mark Miller Photography; Sussex County Arts & Heritage Council with the 26th Skylands Juried Art Show; Springboard Shoppes with fine paintings by Heidi Andrews, Dottie Murray, and Ron Hornung; Scissor Joint with the works of Illustrator/Photographer Michelle Milano; Photographers Alison Biamonte and Cheryl Williver featured at Flowers In The Attic; Thomas Amalfitano at Feels Like Home with Copper Jewelry; Andres Restaurant with abstracts by Vincent Buchinsky; Robin Lennon Inner Designs hosted her own abstracts at her store; Maxwell & Molly's Closet hosted Claude Larson with her Fiber/Wearable Art, and Lynn Krumholz, Artist of Mixed Media; and PB&J Stores with sculptures by Vincent Buchinsky and photography by Gina Pierson and Brettlyn Roberts.
The passport is something used by the merchants at recent events. It has been something helpful to participants to introduce them to new merchants.
"It [the passport] gets them into places they normally don't see, it gives them a chance to explore Newton at its best," said Sara Megletti, one of the owners of PB&J Stores, and event organizers.
Megletti said on the first night of the event, Friday, 75 percent of the people who came through her store said they had not shopped in Newton.
The Alternative Press had the opportunity to speak to several artists who had works on display, including Lynn Krumholz, Claude Larson, Mark Miller, and Robin Lennon.
Krumholz, who makes her own paper for some of her works, buys others in New York City, that include special rice papers. She explained one of her techniques "Chine Colle," which she said consists of embedding layers of tissues between papers, and then painting them with Golden Acrylics.
The Alternative Press asked Krumholz how she developed this technique, and she said, "I took a printmaking class that touched on a variety of methods."
She has also been commissioned to create graphic interpretations of photos of scenes from faraway locations, including India, that she brought an album of her work.
Larson is a science teacher full-time and creates a variety of textile pieces, mixed media wall art quilts. She has also made items such as sketchbooks, journals, and small wristlets.
Larson said her art evolved after making clothing for herself, and her children, and then seven years ago she wanted to focus on simply creating her pieces, and not focusing as much of her energies into making things that she can buy.
"I am most inspired by nature," she said.
Many of her pieces have nature-inspired themes, and hints of the outdoors, including the sea.
Larson will be one of seven artists featured in the "Common Thread Open Studio Art Tour 2013" going on June 8 and 9 in the Branchville area.
Larson said she really does not know how something will look as she creates it.
"It just evolves," she said.
Mark Miller hails from Mt. Arlington, and he described his photography as "art photography." Previously, Miller had been a videographer for 17 years, and said around 2010, he wanted to make the switch to still photography. He prints his art on metal and canvas as well.
Photography is a family affair as well in the Miller household, with Miller's children also members of the Sparta Camera Club, along with their dad, and having won awards for their photography at ages 15 and 11. The entire family, along with Miller's wife, have posed for pictures, including one where all four are posing in a scene reminiscent of "A Christmas Story," and his daughter's hand is featured in a special portrait of a water balloon popping, shot at 1/8000 of a second, to capture the water still shaped like the balloon.
Miller did also have a few scenes of Newton on display, including a technique referred to as "tiny planet," where the recognizable square in Newton, and a number of its buildings, were shot using a fisheye lens, and then transformed in such a way, so they are sitting on their own globe.
Robin Lennon of Robin Lennon Inner Designs, had her own works on display, as well as some of the works of artist debby D'Aries. Lennon said as a clothing designer, what she creates is wearable art in itself. In addition to the women's clothing and accessories she designs, many with a timeless and vintage flair, she makes aprons, as well as special bibs for senior citizens. Lennon was troubled when she saw bibs available for seniors, which she said resembled those for babies, and has created some that can be worn with their own clothing, and do not stand out as a typical terry cloth baby bib.
"It's a nice thing to do and there's a tremendous need," she said.
In addition to her apparel, Lennon has created her own paintings, including with her cat Lula Bell has her muse.
Some of her other pieces are prints from originals, including a painting she received an award for at age 7, which she has received requests to have reprinted. Her original hangs in her store as well.
Lennon also leads up "The Inner Artist Society,
" a group that meets once monthly to create works of art together including mixed media, scarves, Feng Shui, and more.
Jonathan Andrews of The Springboard Shoppes said said beginning in June, the location will be host to an open studio, led by artists Heidi Andrews and Ron Hornung.
Of the Tour of Art Event overall, Andrews said, "We were pleased with the turnout."
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