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  • Keyaira Boone

Roselle Park Curates Talent on Chestnut Street

A graffiti artist works surrounded by a throng of curious onlookers. A museum representative shares information about why aesthetics are as important as academics. A design student’s McQueen inspired garment is displayed proudly alongside an architecture exhibit.

If you’re thinking these images sound like scenes from a street fair in Bushwick or Soho prepare to stand corrected. This actually took place right in suburban New Jersey.

In partnership with Kean University the borough of Roselle Park hosted the Third Annual Roselle Park Arts Festival on Saturday September 23rd to showcase local talent and encourage arts patronage on the community level.

The festival included work from visual artists, filmmakers, jewelry designers, and other local talent.

It was held on Chestnut Street, which was temporarily shut down for the special occasion.

The street was lined with food vendors offering festival classics including funnel cake and Italian ices but there was nothing classic about the unique artwork.

One graffiti artist used his canvas to solicit much needed prayers for the people of Puerto Rico who are currently enduring one of the biggest humanitarian crises in their history as a result of the damage caused by hurricane Maria.

After relocating to Florida a former Bergen County New Jersey teacher and glass artist opted to return to the garden state after dealing with the effects of Hurricane Irma.

She displayed her wares, which included handmade candles housed in luxury champagne bottles, accompanied by a friend.

Donna Slevin of Kick Glass Art brought attendees happiness with her original stained glass designs. One iridescent bowl dazzled passerbys.

Artist Elijah Minton turned his talent to the reimagining of historical and pop culture figures. His portrait of pop singer turned fashion and beauty mogul Rihanna featured haunting eyes that gave the self proclaimed “bad gal” a softer quality.

Bernadette Moke also known as the downtown doodler presented lively drawings including a paisley themed New Jersey print.

Local artist John Mason Long presented beautifully striking abstract canvas paintings.

But some little ones at the local daycare refused to be undone.

Kean University student and founder of Little Red’s Sea Bubbles, Amber Eckenrode sold her handmade sugar scrubs, bath bombs, and soaps.

Artist and Westwood New Jersey native Janet Kroenke constructed beautiful mosaic titles through a painstaking labor of love. By looking at the exquisite detail in her work no one would be surprised that she had been involved in commercial and fine art work for over thirty years.

She had a variety of unique items on display including a cerulean themed bejeweled coyote skull but what really stood out were her memory plaques. The custom plaques are keepsakes constructed from the jewelry of loved ones who have passed away.

Kroenke says these are her favorite things to create because “it makes people really happy."

Art has a habit of doing that, even in a small town setting.

To learn more about the artists involved in the Roselle Park Arts Festival click here.

To learn more about Kean University’s arts programs click here.

#festival #arts #unioncounty #rosellepark #keanuniveristy

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