Yoga, art exhibit, Irish concert liven up South Amboy arts

Rebecca Nowalski
Morgan Abrams, 6, from Edison, works on a painting in the arts & crafts tent at the Edison Chamber of Commerce food truck festival.


SOUTH AMBOY — The city’s art district continues to integrate itself and already has a full calendar of events planned for this year.

“We are very pleased with the progress of the arts initiative and the support we’ve received from the City of South Amboy,” said arts district co-founder Diana St. John, who added that the existence of the arts district, which launched in September of 2016, helped attract four new businesses to the city.

St. John and Susan Pellegrini previously spearheaded efforts to revitalize Red Bank and Asbury Park, respectively, with the arts being the engine to do so. Together they run the nonprofit Media and Performance Collective, which manages the arts district.

St. John said the arts district’s 2017 schedule is already full and includes a concert series at the Community Theatre, outdoor festivals, workshops and classes and community arts projects.

“The biggest challenge, as with any new business, is creating awareness,” she said. “We fully understood going into this that the initiative would grow organically, and we are already seeing an increase in community involvement to help us spread the word.”

One resident who has recently started partnering with the district is Denise Morgan, who will be holding a series of “Yoga & Sip Mondays” starting Jan. 30. She said St. John reached out to her about doing yoga events.

“I absolutely love the idea of bringing the arts to South Amboy. This gives artists and teachers an outlet,” she said. “I believe it will be very beneficial to the community. I am personally very excited to be a part of it.”

Currently at the Broadway gallery, the exhibition, “We Are Here,” will run through Jan. 21.

“The theme is one of transportation and transformation, which takes the observer to times gone by or ahead to where we aspire to be,” St. John said.

The exhibit features the work of 10 artists, including arts district co-founder Susan Pellegrini.

“Artists were chosen based on the nature of their work as it pertains to the theme as well as creating a visually interesting exhibit,” St. John said, adding that the exhibit showcases oils, acrylics, photography and mixed media.

Gallery hours are noon to 3:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment by calling 732-753-9486.

Coming up on Feb. 25 at the gallery is a talk and book signing by Thomas M. Jones, New York psychotherapist and author of “Love Games: The Hidden Rules of Relationship.” The event begins at 1 p.m., and tickets cost $20.

A free Irish heritage concert featuring Ceili Rain is planned for March 18 at the Community Theatre.

For information on upcoming events, visit

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