All are welcome to stroll the streets of downtown Metuchen from 6-10 p.m. during the annual Junebug ArtFest to take advantage of a wide array of arts-related happenings slated for every Friday night this month.
The festival features art and live performances throughout town.
Entertainment and other events are slated for a main stage at the corner of Main and New streets; Borough Hall Plaza, 500 Main St. at Middlesex Avenue; the Borough Improvement League’s Old Franklin Schoolhouse, 491 Middlesex Ave.; Metuchen Public Library, 480 Middlesex Ave.; What’s The Scoop, 410 Main St.; Hailey’s Harp & Pub, 400 Main St.; Brewed Awakening, 417 Main St.; and 2 Chicks with Chocolate, 387 Main St.
In addition to musical performances from a wide array of genres, other offerings include Metuchen High School bands, Preschool of Rock, dancers, magicians, a drum circle, open mic sessions and karate demonstrations.
Other elements of Junebug ArtFest will include a writer’s workshop at the Metuchen library, Crazy Hat Creations, jewelry making, en plein air painting, a garden club, storytelling, Zumba at Borough Hall, hands-on Clay Fun at the Forum Theater and Mud Making Magic at the senior center.
Linda LaStella, a local artist who owns Earthsongs ceramic studio in Metuchen, came up with the initial idea for Junebug ArtFest.
“Seven years ago, the idea for the Junebug ArtFest bloomed in my studio — and the rest is history,” LaStella said. “So many new things are shaping up to take place, from the extension of the active area on Main Street to the development of the commissioned Junebug sculpture, a work truly in the spirit of the ArtFest.” This year will be the first time that a husband- and- wife team creates the annual sculpture. Robert Russo, Robyn Trimboli-Russo and their daughter, Annabella, have been Metuchen residents for 15 years. Robyn is the owner of Metuchen Creative Studio.
The sculpture will be an arch fabricated from recycled metal tubing that is tall enough for participants to walk under. Visitors will be encouraged to write a message on a piece of vinyl material attached to hooks on the tubing.
“The intention is to engage the viewer and allow them to feel like they are a part of the Junebug experience,” Robyn said.
A gallery of window displays creates a unique backdrop to showcase the works of established artists on local storefronts.
“There are exciting new window galleries, with 28 businesses and 34 substantive artists from around and outside of the state collaborating to showcase especially outstanding visual work that will be juried by museum curators — one from the Brooklyn Museum, the other from the Philadelphia Museum — for a Best in Show award,” LaStella said.
She added that the Borough Council’s support of the event has been especially helpful and appreciated.
A complete list of events can be found at www.junebugartfest.com.