By Mary Ann Bourbeau
RUMSON – The 3rd Annual Canterbury Art Show returns to St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church on with more than 80 participants displaying and selling their art.
“Most of the artists live in the area and their subjects are mostly New Jersey too,” said Coni Lefferts of Keyport, who chairs the art show committee.
With more than a century of history, St. George’s is a beautiful setting for the art show, which will include juried and non-juried works. Proceeds from the show will benefit area outreach programs, including Lunch Break, Family Promise, HABcore, 180 Turning Lives Around and the FoodBank of Monmouth and Ocean Counties.
“The church supports over 30 community outreach programs in Monmouth and Ocean counties,” Lefferts said. “We tell the artists to price everything to sell, and each year we’ve sold more than 20 percent. That’s phenomenal.”
The show includes juried work that will be presented to three independent judges who will decide on winners. The non-juried pieces, which consist of original, framed artwork with a maximum value of $400, will be displayed in the church’s main hall. There also will be a section for portfolios, which are matted but unframed pieces of art.
“We usually get about 400 visitors over the three days,” Lefferts said. “Artists love to look at other artists’ work.”
A Meet the Artists reception will be held from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29. Admission, which is $40 in advance and $50 at the door, includes hors d’oeuvres, wine, beer, soft drinks and desserts. It also allows for free admission into the show on any or all days of the show.
Constance Gryczka will offer free tours of the church, explaining the historical origins and impressive architecture of St. George’s-by-the-River at 11:15 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The 30-minute tour begins in the rear pews of the center aisle.
“Visitors are always so impressed with the architecture,” Lefferts said. “There are sculptures in the flooring and gargoyles on the parapet.”
The Artists at Work portion of the show will return for the second year. Artists will be painting and drawing on the premises so visitors can see the creative process in action.
“We’ve had more artists volunteer to do it this year,” Lefferts said.
Many of the artists have donated pieces, which will be raffled off during the show.
“These artists are very community-oriented,” Lefferts said. “They know the funds are going to outreach programs.”
Lefferts, a member of the St. George’s-by-the-River Episcopal Church, came up with the idea for the art show when the church was looking for fundraising ideas. When the project was approved, she spent months researching other art shows to see how they were done. She now heads a committee of 13 people who work on the show each year.
“I’m not an artist, I’m an art enthusiast,” she said. “I admire people that have such a talent. Whether it’s performing arts, music or visual arts, it doesn’t matter. People should be aware of art in their surroundings and see how much more beautiful life can be.”
There also will be budding artists at the show. For the third year, children from the church will create greeting-card-size pictures that will be sold for $10 each. The proceeds will benefit Amanda’s Easel, a creative arts therapy program that helps children heal from the effects of domestic violence.
“This is children helping children,” Lefferts said. “They just blossom when they see somebody buy their stuff. They get so thrilled.”
The Canterbury Art Show will be held from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 30; and noon to 4 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 31. Tickets are $10 each.
Additional information is available by visiting www.canterburyartshow.com. St. George’s-by-the-River is located at 7 Lincoln Ave., Rumson.
Vibe writer Mary Ann Bourbeau can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.