Exhibit No.9 – “Suprimitive” Featuring Atle Østrem – Aug. 1-31

Tom White and his staff at Exhibit No.9 are back with another journey into the center of your mind. And while it’s true that on any given night you can see original offerings of art on Cookman Avenue, “EN9” cull their artists and presentations from the proverbial cream of the crop, providing an enthusiastic excitement that is hard to top anywhere in town.

Their latest undertaking is an exhibition called “Suprimitive.” Helmed by the Swedish artists Atle Østrem, “Suprimitive” is a vibrant mix of paintings and prints on paper and canvas inspired by urban culture and our everyday social issues, all viewed through the artist’s unique style and perspective.

Director of Exhibit No.9 Tom White has this to say about his latest undertaking: “Atle Østrem’s work pays homage to graffiti’s history and his start as a graffiti artist in Norway. The intricacies, overlapping figures, characters and stories are all interconnected with both humor and stark seriousness. His work is playful and distinctly identifiable, with layers of storytelling true to his art form.”

Fascinated by the contrast between ugliness and beauty, White goes on to tell us that Østrem explores the “beauglyful” zone where they intersect. His strong iconic existential characters are at once playful and dark, childlike and thoughtfully provocative. They inhabit an interior world and capture those fleeting elements of daily life and emotion, which once we shine a spotlight on them, have the power to show us what it means to be human. Østrem does not consider himself a street artist, nor a fine artist, but something in between.

Exhibit No.9 of Asbury Park is a gallery and contemporary art studio where both artists and patrons can meet and connect with the art world. Gallery events include exhibitions, seminars and artist talks. Located in Asbury Park, New Jersey, Exhibit No.9 is in the heart of a magnetic urban renaissance attracting people, culture and art forms from around the world.

To celebrate this event, there will be an opening soiree on Aug. 1 from 7-10 p.m. Exhibit No.9 resides at 550-102 Cookman Ave., Asbury Park. For more information on Atle Østrem and his new urban-based offering “Suprimitive,” check him out at the gallery website. exhibitnumber9.com.


Asbury Park Music Foundation Goes For The Grand Slam – Aug. 30

I’ve never been one to believe that anything comes without a price. That applies to our tumultuous and somewhat brutal weather situations here in the Garden State. Good old summertime. It’s something we wait for all winter long. It’s a highlight that we pray for in the dark, claustrophobic months of bitter, East Coast storms and gales. It’s something we mutter promises to as we trudge through slush, salt, and snow. Visions of palm trees and surfboards dance in our heads, cool, crisp waves splashing against suntanned thighs as we swear like truckers under foggy plumes of frigid breath. Summertime, summertime, the beautiful fantasies of sun-drenched days and bikini-clad vixens are a cruel mirage that dissipates as we jump into cold cars and venture off to even colder jobs. But eventually, just when you think you can’t take it anymore, the gods relinquish their stranglehold and turn us over to the hazy, lazy days of beachfront euphoria.

But as I said, nothing comes without consequence, and that “relief” leaves us with a whole other set of conundrums. Great big gluts of traffic, rude, garbage dumping tourists, parking space riots and molten temperatures that rise alongside emotional responses until they explode like a volcano. Just ask anyone who has to travel the GSP south to get home on a Friday and I’m sure the expletives will be more colorful than a reggae concert. We’ve become like a billion army ants crawling over each other on some sweltering, Helter Skelter directional pilgrimage to nowhere. But somehow, just when it seems that there’s no more patience and self-control to offer, we manage to grasp the good in summer and get back to the business of enjoying the traditional offerings of the balmy season.

And one of those favored pastime offerings is softball. Softball has existed in one form or another since the late 1800s (1887 to be exact). Invented in Chicago, it was an odd game that was originally meant to be played indoors instead of outside in the dirt and grass.

The evolution of softball has taken the game through a myriad of techniques and names. It’s been called indoor baseball, mush ball, playground, softbund ball, kitten ball, and, (because it was also played by women) ladies’ baseball. Sorry girls, don’t shoot me, I’m only the piano player.

The name softball stuck to the game in 1926. Now, like roller derby, we have all kinds of interesting teams and specific names for the gamers. We have Top Gun softball, Nightmare softball, Insanity softball, Avalanche softball. In our area, Rick Barry and his Asbury Rockstars charity softball league led the way for several fantastic years. And now, our latest entry into the “League of Extraordinary Gentlemen/Women” is the Asbury Park Music Foundation’s “Music Saved My Life” charity softball tournament.

Headed by APMF kingpin Tom Gilmour, the charity event and tournament have a special goal in mind. The foundation press release tells us, “Our first annual Softball Fundraiser will bring together key players in the Asbury Park community for a fun-filled day to support the Asbury Park Music Foundation and their Youth Initiative Program. All proceeds will help fund another successful year for Hope Academy Charter School’s new music program, the Hip Hop Institute at the Boys and Girls Club, and the Asbury Park Recreation Summer Camp. Over 1,000 people are expected to take part in this year’s event!”

The event takes place on Sunday, Aug. 30, and will be a single-elimination tournament featuring up to 16 teams. Teams will consist of employees of businesses in Asbury Park and neighboring towns, each business may represent its own team. So far teams include Lakehouse, Sackman, iStar, Smith Group, Asbury Festhalle & Biergarten and the Asbury Park Police and Fire departments. Wow, I’m pretty sure the Police and Fire teams are a shoe in, but come see the action in all its battling glory.

The event will also feature live music by the Lakehouse Music Academy Pros and other local talent, a 50/50 raffle and gift auction and food from some of your favorite local vendors.

All proceeds from the event will support the Asbury Park Music Foundation’s Youth Initiative Program “Music Saved My Life.” Last year, the Foundation raised nearly $60,000 to support funding of a music program at Hope Academy Charter School on Grand Avenue in Asbury Park.

There are limited spaces available for teams. For more information on how to register as a team or to sponsor the event, please visit musicsavedmylifenj.org. If you are interested in taking part in the event, please contact Matt Hockenjos at hockenjosm@gmail.com or 732-775-8900. asburyparkmusiclives.org

OK, so what’s the difference between a rain barrel and a bad fielder? One catches drops; the other drops catches…I’m here all week folks, twice on Saturday.

And remember, when you’re out and about crawling over each other on your way to some sandy destination, please drop me a line on anything you would like to see in the Shoreworld. I can be reached at john@theaquarian.com.

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