GLEN RIDGE, NJ — Ridgewood Avenue was closed to traffic but open to art and ecology on Saturday with the annual Glen Ridge Arts and Eco Fair taking place. Mayor Stuart Patrick was on hand to proclaim the day before Mother’s Day to henceforth be the date of the celebration.
Patrick presented framed copies of the proclamation to Joanne Diglio and Lou Mercurio who, for 25 years with Glen Ridge Arts Patrons Association volunteers, had coordinated the art festival.
The GR Arts and Eco Fair had its genesis in 1978 as an art festival. In 2008, it was joined by an ecology fair developed by the Glen Ridge Environmental Advisory Committee. According to Megan Giulianelli, a co-chair of the Eco Fair, 2019 is a transitional year for both the arts and ecology groups.
In the future, GRAPA will no longer coordinate the arts festival. That responsibility will go to the Glen Ridge High School Home and School Association. The GR Environmental Advisory Committee will continue to coordinate the ecology portion, but will now work with GR Home and School on one committee. Christine Yewaisis is a co-chair of the ecology portion this year. The arts portion was chaired Jolie Stolte.
There were about 100 art and ecology vendors at the fair. The Kiwanis Club provided food, drink and grilling with help from Circle K members from Montclair State University and the Key Club from GRHS. Student art was exhibited in the school while outside in the parking lot a monster constructed from plastic grocery bags was displayed. This was made by GRHS National Art Honor Society members.
“The goal is to put the monster on exhibition in every school in district for all students to visit,” Giulianelli said. “Their message is very clear: ‘Single-use plastic bag has become a monstrous problem for our environment and we need to deal with this once and for all.’”
In addition, there was entertainment and classic cars, handmade wares and plants for sale, plenty of information and a fundraiser for Project Graduation 2019.