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Our Team

The Junebug ArtFest could not have grown as it has without the generosity of a multitude of people. Since everyone who collaborates on the Junebug is a volunteer, the following are the “local folks” who are willingly donating hours to discussion, planning, organizing, phone calling, and computer work to make this year’s ArtFest a reality.

We wanted to introduce them to you and give you a glimpse of their connections to the arts.


AMY BROOKS
Junebug INTERACTIVES COORDINATOR

Amy is a glass and metal artist who works from her studio, Paradise Custom Glass, in Metuchen. She constructs custom stained glass windows for residential & business customers as well as sculptures that feature copper and steel with glass. She displays her artwork in galleries across the state. Amy is also a member of the Borough Improvement League and is the current co-curator of Transformations Gallery located inside the Old Franklin Schoolhouse.

 

JENNIFER DARO
Junebug CHAIRPERSON

Jennifer graduated from Metuchen High School in 1994. Her grandparents settled here and now her son is the fourth generation of her family to live and/or go to school in Metuchen. Jennifer has a BFA (Visual Communications with a concentration in Graphic Design) and a MA (Behavioral Sciences with a concentration in Human Behavior and Organizational Psychology) from Kean University. She has worked over the last 15 years in Higher Education at Kean University. Her expertise is in the area of Enrollment Services /Student Services but art has and always been a love of hers. She keeps in tune with her creative "bug" through fiber art. She is a self taught knitter for over 20 years. Jennifer is also the Metuchen Yarn Bomber, which you can see a project in the works on Main St. Anyone interested can contact her through the Metuchen Yarn Bombing Facebook page or at metuchenyarnbombing@gmail.com. Jennifer is also a member of the Metuchen Borough Improvement League and holds the position of Membership Chair.

ROBERT DIKEN
Junebug CHAIRPERSON, DOWNTOWN LIAISON/WINDOW GALLERIES

I am a local artist who started to paint seriously six years ago. It's a bit of a long story, but I would say some creative urges happened upon me by accident and now visual arts is a passion. I work in water color, acrylic, oil, pastels and pencil. I often use my own photographs as a departure point and my influences include landscapes, graffiti, clouds, the sky and a lot of things in between. I have traveled extensively during my business lifetime (now retired) and these experiences (especially Japan) have had a profound effect on my work. My style is diverse and difficult for me to categorize, so I invite you to visit my website at rdiken.com, to see for yourself.

As a resident of Metuchen, with time to "give back", I want to engage more actively in the the Boro's art community and the Junebug Art Festival seemed to be the perfect opportunity to get involved. For the 2014 event, I will co-chair with Linda Vonderschmidt-LaStella, as a Coordinator of the Store Owners Window Gallery. I also intend to use the 2014 Junebug Art Festival to launch my first true exhibit.

MARK HARRIS
Junebug VISUAL ART CO-COORDINATOR

Mark Harris is a photographer from Edison. He specializes in straight, abstract views of objects in nature as well as the body. Having recently made the transition to a fully digital workflow Mark still presents much of his work in black and white while occasionally exploring color. He also still maintains a traditional darkroom which doesn't get as much use as it once did. Mark has served on the Junebug ArtFest committee for many years as part of the group that coordinates the visual artists. Mark has a variety of these images on his web site at: http://gsphotoguy.photography.com/

DOROTHY HEYDEN
Junebug SUPPORT STAFF

Dorothy, and her daughter Nina have given many years as Junebug volunteers, but this year Dorothy has played a major role in coordinating the purchase of the Street Banners and in assisting the Sponsorship Committee to raise funds for the ArtFest.

 


LAUREN RABINOWITZ
Junebug WEBMASTER/SOCIAL MEDIA COORDINATOR

Professional web-designer and professor of all things “web”, Lauren not only produces, maintains and hosts our website, she also manages our social media tools and gives us monthly updates about our web stats. In short, thanks to Lauren, we are on the “cutting edge” of social networking! Lauren (AKA Lauren the Cartoon Goddess) received her BFA from Parsons School of Design and MA from Syracuse University. She has been working professionally as a designer for over 25 years, specializing in web design production and digital media at LTCGmedia. In her spare time, she still paints and draws. Her work has been shown and sold in galleries, boutiques, cafes and restaurants. A graphic arts educator, Lauren has lectured, taught classes, given workshops presentations and seminars for illustrators, cartoonists, animators and designers at various universities and institutions of higher education. At present, she teaches web design and graphic design at Middlesex County College, DeVry University and duCret School of Art. She has been an active member of the Graphic Artists Guild since 1990, serving on local and national levels.

CHRIS REED
Junebug SCULPTOR

Chris Reed is a humorous illustrator and graphic designer, working out of his home studio in Edison for the last 25 years. After earning his BFA in graphic design from the School of Visual Arts, Chris veered off into a freelance illustration career working primarily in the children’s publishing market. His work has also appeared in the New York Times, Time Magazine, Business Week, the Wall Street Journal, and many other Leading publications. Chris has found his work coming full circle as his focus has returned to designing product for the licensing market. His designs for tee shirts, table top, doormats, glassware, magnets, and garden flags can be found in catalogs and retail outlets nationwide. Samples of his work can be seen at www.ChrisReedPortfolio.com as well as www.ChrisReedStudio.com

TYREEN REUTER
Junebug CHAMBER LIAISON

Tyreen Reuter has served in a variety of local volunteer leadership positions since moving to Metuchen in 1998, including President of the Borough Improvement League, Chair of the Historic Preservation Committee, Co-Chair of the Traffic & Traffic Advisory Committee, and as a Director in the Metuchen-Edison Historical Society. She was most recently employed as a Senior Architectural Historian at ARCH2, Inc., and previously as a Manager of Training & Organization Development at MTV Networks in New York. She attended Kent School for Girls in Connecticut, graduated from Hamilton College with a degree in Classical Studies in 1990, and completed the Drew University Historic Preservation Program in 2004.

GRACE SHACKNEY
Metuchen Arts Council Chair

Grace is Aide to the Chairman of The Citizens Campaign, a statewide non-profit organization that promotes participation in all levels of government. Previously she was Director of Artistic Administration at the McCarter Theatre Center in Princeton, NJ, a position she held for 19 years. Her responsibilities at McCarter included contracting, artist cultivation, community relations, board development, meeting and production coordination, staff development and the direction of the theater-wide internship program. Grace was assistant to the Broadway producer Richard Frankel at Richard Frankel Productions in New York City. She also served as Producing Associate for the Twilight Performing Arts Festival on the campus of the Bucks County Community College in Bucks County, PA. In the late 1960’s, she was a founding member of the Theatre Six Theatre Company in Metuchen, NJ. Grace currently serves on the Board of Crossroads Theatre in New Brunswick and is Chair of the Metuchen Arts Council. She has B.A. degree in Theater Administration from Rutgers University and lives in Metuchen, NJ.

MELISSA SCHUHMANN
Junebug VOLUNTEER COORDINATOR

Melissa and her family have been Metuchen residents since 2001. In recent years, she has enjoyed walking up and down Main Street on Friday nights in June to take in all the sights and sounds the talented artists and performers have to offer. Last year, when she heard volunteers were needed to help keep Junebug going, she jumped at the opportunity to get involved as a Junior Chair. This year, Melissa has decided to take on the challenge of chairing the event. She’s excited to be part of Junebug and is looking forward to working with a very talented team of dedicated volunteers. When Melissa is not volunteering her time, she can be found spending time with her family and friends. Melissa is an architectural designer for a commercial real estate developer.

LINDA VONDERSCHMIDT-LASTELLA
Junebug DOWNTOWN & SCULPTOR LIAISON/WINDOW GALLERIES

Inspiration for the Junebug surfaced in Linda’s studio in the Fall of 2007. She carried the germ of the idea to the Metuchen Chamber Administrator, who then pointed her to the Metuchen Cultural Arts Commission. There was immediate responsiveness to the idea in both the business and arts communities, and very quickly an exciting collaboration was born. As the artist-owner of Earthsongs: Works in Clay, Linda is deeply interested in helping to make Metuchen an arts-destination. With an MFA in painting and ceramics, Linda has been involved in the arts her whole professional life. Beginning this year 2014, her studio is heading up Metuchen Arts Council’s Mud Making Magic four-year Public Mural Project. (https://www.facebook.com/mudmakingmagic.org) Linda’s website gives a broad overview of the kind of work she has produced in the past and continues to develop; visit it at: www.CLAYSONGS.com. For very regular updates, images and comments about what’s doing at the studio, visit the studio’s Facebook Page.

MARGO WHEELER
Junebug PROGRAM COORDINATOR

Margo received her BA from Colgate University in philosophy and her Masters in Communications Design from Pratt Institute. While having begun her career in advertising, she has focused on graphic design for the past 15 years. She established Bounce Design in 2003 and has created many of the designs you see around town. Some of her local projects include designs for the following: Fuce5K, Bike-Walk Metuchen, Metuchen Education Foundation, and the Metuchen Democratic Party. She is also the chairperson of the Metuchen Municipal Pool Commission. Margo and her family have been Metuchen residents since 2000. Margo is currently the creative director at Closet Complete, a division of Prime Line Packaging.

DOTTIE WINHOLD
Junebug SPONSORSHIP COORDINATOR

Metuchen has always been home to Dottie and her family. Never one to watch from the sidelines, she has always been active in town and a member of the Cultural Arts Commission for many years. Watching the growth of the Junebug Artfest over the past 6 years is truly wonderful and gratifying - BUT it doesn’t happen without help from everyone in Metuchen – businesses and residents alike. Dottie has an unwavering love of the arts, but her talents lie in the business arena, those talents have been put to the test these past few years to raise the funds needed to allow Junebug to continue to be the exciting presence in our downtown every Friday in June. Since opening Winhold Realty in 1982, to now managing Prudential NJ Properties, it has been all about people and relationships for almost 30 years. Having made so many friends in Metuchen made her the obvious choice to call upon everyone who enjoys this wonderful event and ask for their help to make it happen – yet again.

LYNDA WOODWORTH
Junebug PUBLICITY COORDINATOR

Word about the ArtFest would not be spread without the ongoing efforts of Lynda Woodworth. A professional communications consultant, Lynda has leveraged her writing skills and publicity know-how to promote the ArtFest to the art community and the general public since 2009. She has several years of communications experience in the corporate, non-profit, and agency sectors and enjoys working in a team environment to broaden the reach and audience of the Junebug. Additionally, Lynda is an accomplished painter, specializing in watercolor and liquid color inks. She is a regular student at the Academy of Art in Highland Park and has worked with academy director Ana Eloisa Soto-Canino for the past several years. She is joined by her son Jackson Costello at weekly studio classes and in showcasing their work at the annual ArtFest. Click here to access her family’s on-line art studio: http://www.costwoodstudio.com/.


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Sculpture 2017!

We have not yet announced the Junebug sculptor for 2017. Updates will be posted as we get them.

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Volunteer. Get a shirt.

We are seeking community members to help visitors find their way around the ArtFest, no artistic talent required! See the volunteer page for more info.

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