GLITZ AND GALA: CONTEMPORARY ARTS MUSEUM TO LAUNCH

If your idea of a museum exhibit is bigger than Susan Sarandon’s cheerleading jacket and Jack Nicholson’ report card, meet Robin Parness Lipson. 

Robin and her team – including internationally recognized collectors, educators and a bunch of passionate locals – are a force worth framing, dedicated to bringing world-class contemporary art to Asbury Park and New Jersey.  Their first endeavor is the state’s largest-ever contemporary art exhibit and a gala next Saturday (Oct. 23) to help welcome it to town.

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Robin, who founded the New Jersey Museum of Contemporary Art two years ago, and I spoke last week about the exhibit and her vision for the museum. 

TBP:  This is a wonderful project you are making happen here.

Robin:  It is an exhibit for Asbury Park and the entire state – for New Jersey, by many New Jerseyians.  It is a special pop-up exhibit of 37 emerging artists from around the country – including Robert Melee from Asbury Park – and the world in 12,000 square feet of space in the mezzanine of the beautiful Convention Hall.  The inaugural exhibit will be open to the public until November 18. 

Laura Petrovich-Cheney, from Asbury Park, is putting together a program for the kids in the city.  She is reaching out to the schools and church groups to invite children to be touched by the art.

There is a power to contemporary art.  Thanks to friends and the curators, this exhibit is very special, a very significant collection and we want to share it with everyone. 

TBP:  What is the latest news on your plans for a brick and mortar museum?

Robin:  I think the only failure is not to try, right?  I hope we can do this in Asbury Park.  We would like to make Asbury Park the museum’s home.  Our state deserves something like this and it has been validating to witness the overwhelming enthusiasm truly from all over the world. 

And locally there are many people in the area putting their heart and soul into MoCA:  Garrett Wagner, Pat Schiavano, Laura Brunetti, Trip Brooks, Terry Reidy, Assemblywoman Mary Pat Angelini, Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and others.

TBP:  Your vision does not include a permanent collection of art? 

Robin:  It is a game-changing business model for museum and has never been done before.  Because NJ MoCA will not have a permanent exhibit, the money we raise will not go to buying art, storing art, preserving art.  The money more efficiently will go to public programming – pop up exhibits throughout the state, education and community outreach.  This is more financially responsible. 

 The point is to get art out into the community.  That is the goal.  Art is a vehicle for cultural awareness and community development. 

TBP:  Your first fundraiser will celebrate MoCA’s entrance into the community and art scene.

Robin:  The gala is going to be fantastic.  I really hope everyone reading this will come.  Madison Marquette has been great to us.  Guests will be the first to see the exhibit and then celebrate with wonderful food and dancing on the mezzanine of the Paramount Theatre.  Historic new art in an architecturally historic location with a fantastic party and after-party – it is very exciting.

More info about the gala and exhibit, including exhibition days and times, at NJMoCA.org. 

Richard@TheBPlot.com

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