BELMAR, NJ — With temperatures making it feel more like August than April, Artwalk participants couldn’t have asked for a better day to bring visitors to downtown Belmar.
Stretching from Fifth to 13th Avenue, Main Street yesterday provided the canvas for the successful event, which attracted dozens of people who enjoyed myriad outdoor displays of artwork and artisan creations, as well as live performances.
For merchants, the pedestrian traffic gave them the opportunity to welcome newcomers into their shops for a glimpse of their offerings. Such was the case at JB Couture Cupcakes, where glass-enclosed displays were brimming over with delicately decorated cupcakes. Although her business is only three years old, owner Jessica Bucceri of Belmar is already a well-known name in town, having competed in the Food Network’s “Cake Wars,” and ready to compete again. "I may be in consolation competition," she said, enthusiastically looking forward to the challenge.
It was the first Artwalk for Rita Kemprowski and her mom, Sherri, who set up her tabletop of handmade jewelry and accessories on 10th Avenue. “It started with one bracelet,” she said of her Jackson-based business, Mystic Sky Design. Today, she offers a full collection of chainmaille-weaved necklaces, pendants and earrings, among other uniquely braided pieces.
Artist Paige Alvarez has painted and sketched her favorite object — the eye— in many mediums, which was quite evident in her display in front of Nostalgic Nonsense, While she currently lives in Rhode Island, the Brielle native also has painted murals on the walls inside this favorite shopping destination.
Serenity by the Sea and its sister art studio, Serenity by the Sea Too, was a hub of activity with a variety of vendors — many of whom take part in its weekend “pop up” Artisan Marketplace — showcasing their creations both inside and outside.
The event also included an interactive play area for children in Pyanoe Plaza, where T-shirt coloring was an popular activity and 3-D chalk artist Anthony Cappetto of New York City demonstrated his talent to transform a section of walkway into a colorful tropical fish scene.
Many visitors took a stroll to the Belmar Arts Center, where they viewed the center’s 13th Annual Juried Art Show — the largest in its history with 82 selected entries. The exhibit’s last day is Friday, May 5.
The Artwalk is produced by the Belmar Arts Council and sponsored by Belmar Tourism Commission, Spark Marketing Solutions and the Belmar Business Partnership.