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Calling Plein Air Artists

by Marianne Lods, Executive Director

Calling all artists! The Glasstown Arts District will be hosting a Plein Air Art Competition on Saturday, September 24. Registration is from 8 to 10 a.m. at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, 22 N. High Street, Millville. Artists will go out and paint within the boundaries of the arts district which is High Street from Main to Broad and east-west from the Maurice River to Third Street. The scenery includes streetscapes and parks and the river.

If you have never painted “en plein air,” it is French for “in open air.” If you want to give it a try, do a little online searching for examples. There are size limits of your canvas or paper. All work must be turned in by 5:30 p.m. the same day. Art must be framed or painted as a gallery wrap.

Artists will be vying for cash prizes of 1st place $500, 2nd place $250, 3rd place $125. They will be judged by a professional artist. There is no entry fee in the competition. There will be an exhibit of the art at the Riverfront Center through November 10, and your art may be for sale to the public. This event is co-sponsored by the Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission.

You may download an application on our website: or e-mail me at

Also, on tap for September 24 will be our Farm Market from 9 am to 1 pm at the Village on High, 501 N. High Street. Joining us for the first time will be Aylano Farm from Upper Deerfield. The owner grows several varieties of table grapes—red, dark purple, green, and more! I visited the farm recently and tasted many of these while walking in the shade of the grape arbors. It was very lovely, and the tastes were sweet and delicious. Owner Hsissen Kaced is enthusiastic about his vineyard and will be adding cherry trees and more to his farm. His sales are only at farm markets in New Jersey. I hope you come out on August 27 and September 24 for these markets as they feature other Cumberland County growers.

Third Friday, August 19, will soon be here. This month you can enjoy live music on the Glasstown Plaza from 6 to 8 p.m. by Andy Dimacle and his trio of very talented musicians. Bogart’s Bookstore and Café is featuring live music from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. The popular Wildflower Vegan Café in the Village on High will have live music indoors by Matthew Lo Re’. This will be a great opportunity for you to enjoy owner Eric Nyman’s delicious food and beverages, stay cool in the air conditioning, and take in the sounds.

A new shop in the Village, Turner’s Family Ceramic, will be having its Grand Opening. Over the years people have asked if the Glasstown Arts District has a craft business where you can purchase ceramic molds to paint yourself or as a family project.

Mr. Turner said he has about 3,000 molds he’s collected over the years and wants to keep on collecting. Selling many of these treasures will give him space to add new inventory to his stock. Let’s welcome the new small business by attending this Third Friday.

Please remember the Open House and Ice Cream Social we featured in the last column, at Rowan College South Jersey – Clay College, at 321 N. High Street, also on the 19th, from 2 to 8 p.m.

Millville Matters