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  • Writer's pictureMohammed Fuad

Arts and Music Festival held downtown

The Hammonton Arts and Music Festival took place on Horton Street May 21. Various people came out on a beautiful sunny day as they basked in live music, interacted with various art vendors and participated in live art demonstrations.

Various art vendors showcased their talent on display as guests checked out paintings, pictures, photographs, sculptures, clothing apparel with their work printed on it, ceramics and many more at the event. Guests participated in live art demonstrations such as a live sketch session where they sketch a model, some getting painted on, canvas painting project, painting bird boxes with Sherwin Williams and more. Vendors that were in the festival sold their work based on the items.

Laura Bethmann is one of the founders of the Hammonton Art Club and the Arts and Music Festival called the event a big collaborative effort with the town as businesses showed their support for the event, including Chimney Rustic Ales providing the electrical wiring and stage for live music, and many artists providing their time and work to make it possible.

“It’s all arts and music here, the vendors are sharing their arts, there’s a lot of participation activities between painting tiles to make our big mural, I’m doing a nature printing demo, there’s a metal sculptor, life drawing classes, about 30 art vendors selling their wares and it’s all about sharing the arts and making [people] aware [of] the arts in our community,” Bethmann said.

Tatiana McNeil brought her business, HiyaTati, which she named after the phrase “Hiya, I’m Tati.” Her business included hoodie, stickers, t-shirts and charms and McNeil is at the event after being in the event in 2021 and made sure to bring more items with her to this year’s event.

“I actually came in at the 2021 Hammonton festival and that was my first event ever so I’m coming back two years later with more stuff because the first time around, I only had a whole bunch of t-shirts and now I have hoodies, long sleeves and tote bags so you know, I’m doing something. I’m just looking to have some fun with my family here, I’m here with my mom and my aunt so it’s a little girls day,” McNeil said.

Marion Coda is the founder of Rays of Sunshine and brought the Rays of Sunshine bus to the event. The foundation’s message is striving to use art and design as a medium to raise awareness and to break the stigma attached to drug addiction and alcoholism and Coda shared a little more behind what the foundation does.

“We sell artwork and the artwork is done by artists who are in recovery from drug and alcohol addiction and so we give right back to the community of people in recovery. I get art supplies for people who can’t afford them, we bring classes into certain establishments, rehab facilities and it’s just a fun little thing going on,” Coda said.

Shane Krusen is from Hammonton and his wife, Ashley, brought her business, ObviousFrog, to the event. Ashley makes small handcrafted miniatures and knick knacks using hand-felting polymer clay as well as making jewelry, keychains and needle felted animals and other items. The Krusens have been to various other music and arts festivals and this is their first time coming to the Hammonton festival, which they praised for being so welcoming.

“I went to high school here so I’m definitely familiar with the town and everything and they didn’t run this when I was going to school. We do these art festivals a lot because my wife sells a ton of this stuff and this is one of the more welcoming ones because everybody is super cool, everybody’s kind of floating around so yeah, it’s a cool vibe, everybody is having a good time and the music is definitely a cool addition, that’s not something at every arts festival,” Shane Krusen said.


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