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New Jersey Top Ten Beaches Canvassing For Artists to Help Celebrate the Jersey Shore

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) is ringing in the New Year with a call for artists to apply to be part of a unique New Jersey Top Ten Beaches project for 2014 that will use art to help promote environmental awareness and stewardship of coastal resources, while celebrating the Jersey Shore.

NJSGC and the Rutgers Cooperative Extension Water Resources Program are teaming up to use rain barrels as a partnership project for New Jersey Top Ten Beaches 2014. A rain barrel is a 55-gallon recycled food-grade container placed at the downspout of a roof to collect rainwater. They help the environment by reducing the amount of rain that flows into storm drain systems, which helps prevent flooding and cuts down on pollution entering New Jersey’s waters. Collected rainwater can be used to water gardens and for other household tasks. Rutgers has donated ten fully outfitted barrels prepped as blank canvases which will be painted with iconic coastal, beach, bay, ocean and boardwalk scenes and images commemorating the Jersey Shore.

According to Kim Kosko, Director of Communications for NJSGC and Project Coordinator for NJ Top Ten Beaches, artists are now being invited to apply for a chance paint one of the barrels and turn it into functional works of art. Selected artists will receive a fully rigged and prepped rain barrel and a stipend for their participation. “We’re really excited about this since a whole barrel full of benefits-art, tourism, environmental education and water conservation-are blended into one single project.

The beautified barrels will be showcased at the NJSGC 12th Annual State of the Shore Media Event on May 22, when the 6th Annual NJ Top Ten Beaches list will also be announced. The barrels will then roll out on tour around the state throughout the summer and be displayed at selected New Jersey beach communities, special events, and eventually be offered by auction or raffle to the public after Labor Day.” Interested artists can contact Norma Wokas, the project’s Art Coordinator to receive an application packet. The final selection of artists for the project will be made by a representative of the Monmouth Council Arts Council, Rutgers Water Resources Program, NJSGC and Wokas. Applications are due February 7th and finalists will be notified February 14th.

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment. NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs.