Creative Connections Persist at Asbury Park's art629
In this series we're highlighting the businesses that form the foundation of Monmouth Arts' creative community, touching base to see how they're faring during the COVID-19 health crisis. The gallery art629 is a longtime business member of Monmouth Arts and a presence in Asbury Park, right on Cookman Avenue. We checked in with owner Patrick Schiavino and Brittany James, who curates exhibits and runs classes in the space.
For those who don't know you yet, how would you describe your business?
Art629 is a gallery dedicated to the exhibition of fine contemporary art. Our objective is to give all artists a voice, with a focus on bringing new ideas to the region. We welcome works that may be considered controversial or outsider from artists both local and international, and we are proud to provide a platform for those artists who think and create outside the box. Our gallery also provides a space for artists to create through open studio sessions, life drawing classes, and private art lessons. In addition, we host pop-up events with live music and local artists, though we've had to make adjustments since March 2020 when COVID-19 restrictions went into place.
What’s been your biggest business challenge during COVID-19?
Not being able to have gallery openings has been challenging. Virtual art shows are just not the same. We have also had to cancel our weekly life drawing sessions, which used to have 15 people in each class, but we plan to host these classes again in the future when we feel it is safe for everyone.
So much has changed since last year.... How are you operating right now?
We are usually open on weekends and by appointment only during the week. Open studio classes are running at limited capacity on Saturdays from 11:00am to 1:00pm.
Can you share an interesting anecdote about your business or something that might surprise people?
In March 2020, right before we closed due to the pandemic, we had a great exhibit showcasing women artists for Women's History Month. A virtual exhibit of this show can still be seen on our website. Currently, the gallery is showing work by Brittany James, Jessica Violetta, Nanci France-Vaz, and Patrick Schiavino.
What are you looking forward to in 2021?
We're looking forward to having gallery openings again and seeing all of our friends enjoy some art, music, and wine together.
Monmouth Arts has a great network of arts supporters. How can our members and readers support your business right now?
Take a class, follow us on Instagram and Facebook, share our social media posts, and buy some art or a gift certificate. Gift certificates for artwork or classes make great Valentine's Day presents for artists and those who love art!
Do you have any upcoming events or promotions you’d like people to know about?
We're still offering Open Studio on Saturdays from 11:00am to 1:00pm (with safety precautions in place, of course). We hope other events will be scheduled when it's safe for all.
Where can folks find you?
Address: 629 Cookman Avenue, in Asbury Park
Phone: (908) 278-1597
Upcoming at art629:
Saturdays, 11:00am to 1:00pm
Perfect for artists of all levels (age 12+) -- beginners who have never picked up a paintbrush, those artists looking to get back into creating, or those who just need a space for their art. All supplies are provided and sanitized after each class. Masks must be worn and social distancing observed during class. Registration required.
Interested in becoming a member like art629? Become a member of Monmouth Arts today!