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28th Annual Ocean County YMCA Art And Decoy Show On Tap For This Weekend

Show has been expanded with more exhibitors and more family-oriented events

Duck decoy exhibitors from as far away as Ohio and Virginia will be making their way to Central Regional High School tonight to set up for the 28th

The show will be held on Saturday and Sunday in the gymnasium and will run from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Sunday. "We'll be doing more family activities," said Janet Sellitto, the YMCA's special events coordinator.

The show includes family craft activities, and exhibitors of wildfowl carvings, decoys, songbirds, antique decoys, books, wildlife artwork, prints, photography, life-size and miniature artwork, maritime artwork and original watercolors.

Unlike previous years, all of the family and children's activities are free, thanks to a grant from the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, Sellitto said.

“We’ve added more activities for children this year to spark their interest in an art form local to our shore area," she said.

Children can paint their own bird or decoy, make a duck mask or carve ducks and shore birds from a bar of soap, Sellitto said.

All of the craft activities are included with admission, which is free for children 12 and under. Admission for adults and children over 12 is $5.

A decoy carving competition will be held on Saturday, with judging taking place from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. The 2012 bird for the New Jersey State Championship Division is the Wood Duck. All of the entries will be available for viewing on Sunday.

“It’s fun to see all the artists mingle with spectators and explain their creations. It is also a great opportunity to learn more about the history of decoy carving,” said Kathy Marchut, President of the New Jersey Wildfowl Carvers Association and the festival’s competition director.

Sunday events will also include artist seminars with Tommy Stewart and Peter Palumbo of Long Island, NY. They will discuss decoy collecting, designing habitats and improving painting techniques. The seminars begin at 11 a.m. and run through 2 p.m

New Jersey Artist Joyce Gagen is the 2012 featured artist at the festival.

The event will also include free appraisals both days by Frank and Frank.

"Woven into the fabric of our community, this YMCA event provides our area with a way to see old world craftsman along with many famous artists, an event with something for everyone,” said James Buffum, vice chairman of the YMCA's Board of Directors.

This is the fourth year the show has been held at Central Regional High School.

"We are very happy with Central," Sellitto said. "They are working with us. They are very supportive.

Members of the Central Regional Key Club - one of the sponsors of the event - will be selling food and refreshments during the event, she said.

Funds for the show come from the Ocean County Cultural and Heritage Commission, the New Jersey State Council of the Arts - a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Arts, and a grant from the Ocean County Board of Freeholders.

For more information, contact Sellitto at 732-341-9622 ext. 2214 or visit www.ocymca.org under GET INVOLVED.

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