Essays / category / art shows

Shop small! We guarantee there won't be any wrestling crazed shoppers for deals at the Ann Coen Gallery this Saturday, November 28 (unless we really hits the eggnog, and then it will be the fun kind of wrestling.)

No matter what holiday you celebrate, or what you like on your coffee cup, we all have to buy gifts around the holidays. What better presents to bestow to your loved ones than local artwork and LBI-inspired handicrafts?

Small Business Saturday is about supporting the local shops that make LBI what it is. We'll have prints by Eric Hance, Ann Coen, and Chris Pfeil for that person who just loves the Island lifestyle. We'll also have incredible work from Julie GoldsteinBunkerfish, the Wandering Gypsea, yummy holiday baked goods by Passion Flour, and amazing Long Beach Island holiday cards. We also offer custom printing and framing.  And don't just visit our gallery. Check out all our friends on LBI who are celebrating #smallbusinesssaturday.

We know everyone on LBI raves about September, and we’re just about ready for the magical ninth month as well, but we’re also not ready to let summer go just yet. We had such a fantastic run of art shows this year from Terrence Smith’s “To and From,” to Chris Pfeil’s “Staring at the Sea.” What can you say about Funk Schway, those ice cold Modelos, and fire pits?

There was the amazing “The Sea,” book collab between Corinne Gray Ruff and Julie Goldstein and our Artists Studio Tour, handmade jewelry from The Wondering Gypsea beautiful baked goods from Passion Flour apparel from Bunkerfish and the jazzy sounds of Nicotine and Brown We had great press all summer long. And then those ice cold clams and the fascinating imagery of Eric Hance, Ben Wurst and Northside Jim for “Hiding in Plain Sight,” in which we were able to donate $8,000 to Conserve Wildlife New Jersey. 

Overall, we saw Surf City change for the better this year with our new neighbors East Mercantile,  Swell Colors and even Shore Fire Grille. Modern Boutique,  Firefly,  and mt Burton continue to be great neighbors. How about that Farmer's Market every week?! And check out Solace Gallery’s final Endless Summer Saturday this weekend. Yes, fall is near. We’re already noticing subtle changes in the pigments of the wetlands and cooler mornings. Soon it will be pumpkins and striped bass. But we’ve got one more weekend of summer and we plan to make the most of it. Labor Day Weekend is looking to be absolutely stellar. We welcome everyone to LBI and the Ann Coen Gallery. 

Please stop in and see the collection of work we have up and mini-installments by Julie Goldstein, Northside Jim, Pfeil, and others. Maybe check out that one piece you've had your eye on all summer? And most of all, thank you to everyone who came out this summer to help us make great events and support the artists.  

One thing we take very seriously at the Ann Coen Gallery is our connection to the natural world. All of our art is based on a relationship with nature, whether it’s a far corner of the globe or right in our little backyard in Surf City. On August 14, we have the opportunity to host an inspiring event for the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey, called "Hiding in Plain Sight," featuring three of the most talented outdoors photographers in our area. These three lensemen are known to brave the elements all four seasons to bring rarely seen perspectives of our coastal species.

Bird of PreyBen Wurst

Ben Wurst has tirelessly dedicated himself to the preservation of several species in our area. As the Habitat Program Manager for Conserve Wildlife, he is responsible for identifying and restoring degraded wildlife habitats as well as managing and protecting ospreys as part of the NJ Osprey Project. He is also very involved with peregrine falcons and diamondback terrapins. In addition to photography, Wurst is known for his fine woodwork of reclaimed materials at ReClaimed LLC.

Black SkimmerNorthside Jim

Northside Jim is a self-described "beach bum with a camera," from North Beach. He strongly believes that coastal wildlife is the undervalued crown jewel of the Jersey Shore and works tirelessly to get more people to agree with him. He uses a camera to experience, to learn about, and to share stories about LBI's creatures on his blog Readings From The Northside His purpose is to help people see the natural wonders all around them that they normally don't see, to help give them answers to questions they can't find answers to, and to help share a perspective that makes the natural world a high priority in coastal living. As a natural result of his enjoyment of coastal wildlife, particularly endangered species, he has a strong interest in conservation.

BL FoxEric Hance

Eric Hance shoots for Ann Coen Photography. Brought up on a lake at the edge of the Pines, only five minutes from LBI, pursuing wildlife in photography was something that came very naturally. His goal is to captivate viewers in the simplest form; to capture a specific scene in the strongest way. His taste in quality of image and light when the sun is lowest and most colorful adds a whole separate dimension to the struggle for the perfect image.

Proceeds from the show will be donated to the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of New Jersey a non-profit that protects the endangered species that live in, breed in or migrate through the state, part of the Guidestar nonprofit database. In keeping with our bay theme, we will have a clam bar  and will feature the works of all three artivsts including handmad frames. 

In 2014, one of our favorite and best attended events was the opening of Julie Goldstein’s “Women’s Lifesaving League. We couldn’t be more excited to welcome Julie back to the Ann Coen Gallery, this time with the multi-talented Corinne Gray Ruff to celebrate their collaborative book entitled “The Sea.”

"The Sea" is an inspirational gift book for all ages, blending sea artistry and sea philosophy, featuring poems by Corinne, illustrated by Julie. The evening will feature 500 signed copies of the first print run of “The Sea” as well as Goldstien’s original woodcuts from the book and limited prints. Corinne, who lives with her husband and children in Surf City, is an airline pilot, but also an inspiration in our community. Not only did she author “Island Child LBI,” and produce “Landfall: The Eyes of Sandy,” about the local efforts to rebuild after the 2012 superstorm, but she is a tireless organizer on the Island, her most recent project being the amazing new Surf City Farmer’s Market each Monday.

RowerJulie Goldstein

“Drawing upon the strength and deep connection to the most powerful natural force on earth, each message awakens the sea lover's soul,” as Corinne describes it, “The book itself mirrors the cadence of the sea. Each saying follows one another, boldly and unreservedly, mirroring crashing waves that gently roll up on the shore. Collectively, the book brings the salt swept sea to the readers hands, opening hearts and inspiring minds.”

Goldstein, formerly of Harvey Cedars, has worked and surfed with Ann for 15 years. Her images, which are largely based on empowered women and their relationships with the water, are brought to life with bold colors and great detail, evoking flow, movement, and strength. Julie’s iconography is drawn from her life by the sea. Today, she lives in North County San Diego with her husband and son. The reception will start at 6 p.m. with baked treats by Passion Flour and music by Nicotine and Brown. We are thrilled to present this collaboration by two creative women who care so much about this Island we live on.

Coming off an absolutely electrifying opening for Chris Pfeil's "Staring at the Sea," we are ramping up for yet another weekend as we take part in the 2015 LBI Artists Studio Tour.

The LBI Artists Open Studio Tour is a long running tradition where the local artists, galleries, and makers open their studios and workspaces to the public to show off their newest works and their craft in general, with over 40 artists at 20 venues from Beach Haven to Barnegat Light. It's been reenergized this year all the artists stepping up to make for a fantastic weekend. It's all organized by our friends at the m.t. Burton Gallery  also here in Surf City, so make sure to check them out.

This is an exciting time for creatives on this little sandbar. We are particularly excited to announce that we will have some of LBI's most talented artisans at the gallery for our Summer Pop Up on Saturday from 4 pm - 9 pm, including flower crowns and jewelry by the Wandering Gypsy, art by the vey talented Jessie Temple, Julie Goldstein, and Terrence Smith, delicious sweet treats by Passion Flour Bakery, and photography by Ann, Chris Pfeil, and Eric Hance. So eat, drink, socialize, and enjoy the music of Nicotine and Brown.

Looks like we're in for some weather this weekend (and swell?) so stay tuned for updates if we have to make any changes. And if it's not beach weather during the day, this is a perfect alternative.

This summer there will be dozens of wildlife photographers and surf shooters pointing cameras all over LBI's beaches and bays, trying to nab the essence of this place. And that's awesome. There's something of a creative movement afoot right now.

But there is one photographer who was doing it before the others. He knows what it's like to spend hours in a dark room and understands how integral those 36 exposures are on a roll of film. Chris Pfeil earned his art in pre-digital era and came through Stockton University's prestigious photography department.

The Ann Coen Gallery is proud to present "Staring at the Sea," a solo show by Barnegat Light's Chris Pfeil.

Chris Pfeil doing his thing, by Ann Coen.

We invite everyone to the artist's reception at 6 p.m. on June 20 to see both Pfeil's new and most classic works. Check out his popular photo t's as well as a newly built light box, displaying his color slide images. We'll have Modelo on ice, which is Pfeil's favorite, and music by Ryan Zimmerman.  Hopefully he knows a few Pixies songs.

Pfeil's photos composed a full feature in The Surfer's Journal and Surfer Mag. He has had several solo art shows on LBI and has been part of the acclaimed "Where Oceans Converge," at the Long Beach Island Foundation for the Arts and Sciences. Over the past twelve years, we've done so much work with Pfeil. The show will hang through June 26, but you really don't want to miss opening night.

The Church, by Chris Pfeil
To and FromTo and From," at the Ann Coen Gallery though May 17, 2015.

What a fantastic turn out at Terence Smith's "To and From" reception - both quality and quantity. So many great people from West Creek to Beach Haven all in Surf City. We want to thank Jimmy Smith for doing an amazing job with the floors prior to the show, Funk Shway for keeping everyone rocking, Stephanie Smith for providing the refreshments, and  Elizabeth Burke Art Advisory for bringing everything together. And we are so thankful for everyone who came out.

"To and From" will hang until May 17. We are open on weekends and most weekdays, but please call the gallery and we can set up an appointment at any time. (609) 339-9233. And how about those surfboards? The gorgeous wooden mini Simmons and fish are still for sale as well.

We also want to thank Pat Johnson at The SandPaper for her great review of the show.

Terence Smith by Ann CoenThis guy doesn't take a bad photo. By Ann Coen.

 We're looking forward to a great second season and we know the Smith boys are going to have an awesome summer at Garden State Surf and Art.

Check out the scene at "To and From" last Friday, May 1.

Next up for the Ann Coen Gallery is Chris Pfeil's classic black and white's in his first solo show in some time entitled "Staring at the Sea." We're also proud to be part of the LBI Artists Open Studio Tour on June 27 and 28. Busy, busy. Here we go.

Busy times here on LBI. Busy times.

Nothing like a little saw dust in the air. LBI locals are all outside - building, planting, cleaning, painting, and getting boats ready. And every few days actually feels like springtime, which is nice.

We’ve been super busy at the Ann Coen Gallery, renovating both our interior and exterior. How lucky are we to have our artist, Terence Smith laying down new hardwood floors with his brother Jimmy as well as Chris Pfeil, who’s solo photo show is June 20, helping to paint the place? And on top of that, we have some respected artists and good friends opening new galleries and eateries in town. Mark it down. Surf City will be bumping this summer. We’ve even got our new mascot up on the roof.

We just want to let everyone know that we will be ready for Friday night, May 1, for the reception of Terence Smith’s To and From, at 6 pm. The night will feature not only his amazing sketches, but his handmade surf craft thanks to Burke Art Advisory. Funk Schway will play their Beach Haven brand of surf rock and funk reggae and refreshments will be provided, courtesy of Casamigos and American Harvest. Also, right across the street, our friends at A Little Bite of Italy have amazing pizza, entrees, and sandwiches. The show will hang until May 17. 

Jilson TuxJillson Tux, sketch by Terence Smith

Ann Marie was recently on WBNJ 91.9 Manahawkin, discussing some of our upcoming events. Listen to hear her interviewed by Lori Peppenella about the 2015 season. On June 20, we have the opening for Chris Pfeil’s Staring at the Sea. Pfeil is a longtime friend of ours and we’re beyond thrilled to host this solo show of his dramatic, local black and white work. We’ll also be taking part in the LBI Artist Open Studio Tour on June 27 and 28, with some of incredible fellow artists including mt Burton, Swell Colors, Solace Gallery, Cathleen Engelson and more. 

Fans and friends of Julie Goldstein can stay tuned as we are ironing out dates for a July event around her annual summer trip home with her husband Mark and little Frankie. Then in August, we’ll be doing a nature-inspired photo exhibit with Eric Hance, Northside Jim and Ben Wurst, as a fundraiser for Conserve Wildlife. We couldn’t be more excited about the 2015 season. Now, back to work… 

Has this winter overstayed it's welcome or what? Well, while we haven't been deluded into thinking that anything resembling "spring" is just around any corner, we are excited to announce our first show of 2015, Terence Smith's To and From, with an opening reception on May 1.

Many know Terence as co-owner of Garden State Surf & Art the former Beach Haven gas station transformed into the artistic surf-creative-curiosity shop that opened in the summer of 2014 with brother Jim. In addition to board shaper and creative builder, he is also an emerging fine artists.

“I saw Terence’s work and was sure I found raw, unharnessed, undeniable talent. After speaking to him, it became clear that he is not only passionate about creating his work but he was equally disciplined with his talent and ready to be championed by someone who cares," says Art Advisor/Curator, Elizabeth Burke Beaty.  Beaty, who lives in Holgate year-round now, has a 20-plus year proven track record of success for nurturing talent of the contemporary art world in Manhattan.

Since then Burke and Smith have been meeting every month in preparation for this exhibit. Both agree that there is nowhere else they’d rather debut Terence’s work that at Ann Coen Gallery. 

The event will begin at 6 p.m. with an opportunity to meet the artist. His portrait and landscape sketches will hang with his gorgeous hand-made wooden surf craft. Funk Shway, a six-piece playing their patented originals of Beach Haven surf rock and funk reggae tunes will provide entertainment. For more information, contact  Ann Coen Gallery 1418 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, NJ, (609) 339-9233.

Terence Smith - in - Pencils no.1 from Oak Leaf on Vimeo.

We just want to thank everyone who came to the Ann Coen Gallery Holiday Open House. It was one of those still, chilly days on LBI. There were even a few snowflakes, but your spirit warmed the gallery. The event was a huge success and we were able to write a check for $500 to The Jetty Rock Foundation.

The Gallery is still open weekends through the holidays, 11 a.m. - p.m. and most weekdays you can find edit elves in the back. We still have a few sets of LBI inspired holiday cards and artwork for that hard-to-buy-for person on your list.

Christmas cards

As for the raffle, Lisa Bruanwell won that Pine Knot hand plane she's been eyeballing. The Mangino family got a nice little canvas print for when they move back into their raised house. Social Media mogul Dani Corso walked with an Eric Hance print. And Randy Budd will have a sweet black and white Chris Pfeil print to look at as he makes more hand planes for Christmas. Once again, thank you to all who supported this and every event.

So, the box stores would have you believe that the holiday season started sometime in mid-October. But we love autumn on LBI. We love Thanksgiving and every pigment of every leaf before it falls from the trees. We've had north swells and striper runs. So, we're never in a hurry for it to be over. Spend Thanksgiving on the beach with your family, not at some retailer.

Holiday Open House

But you do have to get that shopping started now that we're on the fading end of November. So, if you're looking for some great gifts by talented, local artists this season, join us on Small Business Saturday for the Ann Coen Gallery's Holiday Art Sale.

This year, in addition to new photographic works by Chris Pfeil, Eric Hance and Ann, we'll have some new smaller woodcut pieces by Julie Goldstein, as well as a hand-crafted wooden surfboard by Randy Budd of Pine Knot Surfboards, holiday greeting cards, inspirational posters, and select vintage items for the season ....Plus cocoa.

Winter may be knocking, but the gallery will be warm with holiday cheer. This is a chance to pick up gifts that are one of a kind, locally inspired and made by people in our community. We can't wait to see everyone. The event runs from 11 am- 6 pm, but we'll keep the party going if the cocoa is flowing. Bring your own mug.

For those visiting LBI: Long Beach Island is Exit 63 on the Garden State Parkway, about 50 minutes south of Asbury Park. We are located on 15th St. and Long Beach Boulevard in Surf City.

We could not be happier about the Julie Goldstein show "Women's Lifesaving League" last Friday night, or more grateful to everyone who came out to support. Between Julie's amazing work, the great July weather, all those cute kids, and the attendance, we feel very lucky. We had so much family, old friends, and new - over 200 people who came through the door.

Once again, Julie captured a moment of inspiration and told the story of the original NYC water women through her artwork. Every piece shows the amount of detail involved in her process and the originality of her work. Once again, thanks to the love from the SMASH NYC, NY NJ Surf, the Surfer's View, and the SandPaper.

The show sold out almost entirely, but will hang through Sunday, July 20.

If you are interested in a bag, there are more in the works. There are a few pieces of amazing apparel left, but as with the bags, you can contact Julie to get the right size. Here email is She will be on LBI all week and available for meetings at the Gallery for artwork (1418 Long Beach Blvd., Surf City.)

We want to thank everyone who came out, and especially Julie, Mark and Frankie. This is what it's all about.

We couldn't be more excited to announce a very important show with an old friend. On July 11, LBI-turned-Southern California artist, Julie Goldstein returns home to the Island to celebrate her most recent works with Womens Lifesaving League, a highly-anticipated solo show. She will also unveil her new apparel line “Swim with Me.”

Womens Lifesaving League explores some of the first American women involved in swimming, athleticism, surfing, and lifesaving. “I’ve been drawing from true stories that take place in NYC from 1901-1911 and revolve around the crew that the girls created called The Women's Life Saving League,” says Goldstein.

This is a special event for Goldstein because of her relationship with Ann, going back 15 years. Early on, the two women were featured in the same art shows. They would surf, work, and take road trips together. Ann has a photographic history of Goldstein’s career and was featured in the very first show at Pine. They stay in contact across the country and are have started families. The show will feature a slideshow chronicling the friendship and collaboration.

“10 years ago. I contemplated leaving my job as a high school art teacher to pursue my career as an artist. Ann gave me words of wisdom that assisted in my decision that would change my life. Since then she and I have supported each other, as our businesses and passion for our crafts took off. We share similar aesthetic and a deep love for our community, the ocean, travels and the people that surround us,” said Goldstein, “I look forward to exhibiting in the space of someone I admire and respect and am so thankful to exhibit my new work and product line at The Ann Coen Gallery.”

Goldstein grew up summering on LBI; days filled with surfing, swimming and paddling.  After receiving her MA from Columbia University, she returned to create multimedia works on paper and fabric, mixing lithographic and woodcut printmaking techniques with sewing, embroidery, and other traditional women’s arts, even launching her own apparel company called Perfect. She taught at the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences while participating in the 2007 international group shows RoxyJam, Biarritz, France; The Greenroom Festival, Osaka, Japan; and Festival Almasurf, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. She was also selected in 2007 to participate in Virgin Mobile USA’s RE*Generation Gallery as well as The Happening art/film/music festivals in Newport Beach, CA, and New York City. She and husband, Mark Tesi, opened Pine Surf Gallery in 2008, which dramatically burned to the ground after one summer, but not before inspiring a new creative movement on LBI. 

 Since moving to California, Goldstein has taught at the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising and created “Swim With Me.” 

The artist reception will run from 5 to 10 p.m. on Friday, July 11. Goldstein’s recent prints and apparel will be available for sale and the show will hang through July 26.

The Ann Coen Gallery is located at 1418 Long Beach Blvd. (15th St) in Surf City, Long Beach Island. LBI is exit 63 off the Garden State Parkway. Be sure to leave ample drive time.

The long awaited summer has finally arrived on Long Beach Island. It seems only three weeks ago, we were still bundled up in flannels, and now we’re jumping in the ocean to cool off. And with that, we are proud to announce the Official Opening reception of the Ann Coen Gallery from 10 a.m. – 9 p.m. on Saturday, June 28.

This all-day art event is a celebration of the newly opened Ann Coen Gallery – the result of years of dreaming and planning to provide an amazing creative space on LBI. Ann Coen will have her work on display, ranging from the most recent images of life returning to LBI to years of travel, winter swells, and memorable Island weddings and events. The Gallery will also have on display work from longtime friend and Barnegat Light photographer, Chris Pfeil, as well as her talented young assistant, Eric Hance Your family won’t want to miss out on the cream truck and lemonade stand thanks to our friends at Rustic Drift.

The Opening will be held as part of the Ninth Annual LBI Artists Open Studio Tour presented by the LBI Foundation of the Arts and Sciences. Many of our friends will also be opening their homes and studios including m.t. Burton, Kathy Engelson, Swell Colors Glass Studio, Firefly Gallery, and North End Trilogy. As the new home of Ann Coen Photography, the gallery will continue to be a place where families and couples can consult to discuss capturing the moments of their lives, but it will also be a forward-thinking gallery, hosting art shows and events throughout the year. It's a place to celebrate the traditional allure of Long Beach Island, while moving stylistically in a forward direction. 

For those visiting LBI: Long Beach Island is Exit 63 on the Garden State Parkway, about 50 minutes south of Asbury Park. We are located on 15th St. and Long Beach Boulevard in Surf City.

By Ken Salerno

The first artist reception at the Ann Coen Gallery is in the books. It was an insane week of painting, planting, power washing, preparing, and hanging our first ever show Caught in the Act. But it was also a pleasure to spend time with such a legendary and humble photographer in Ken Salerno.

Murphy's Law by SalernoMurphy's Law at City Gardens, Ken Salerno.

“The Pope,” as he is known here, still won’t let us refer to him as an artist, but his documentation of the punk and hardcore scene in New Jersey going back over 30 years was truly amazing. Shown in conjunction with Steve Tozzi’s “Riot on the Dance Floor: The story of City Gardens and Randy Now,” at the Lighthouse International Film Festival, we are very grateful of how many who came to see the film also checked out Salerno’s work. We're thankful for Randy who helped promote the exhibit and want to congratulate Tozzi on a fantastic New Jersey premiere.

Ann Coen/Ken Salerno's Caught in the Act.

Caught in the Act will hang through Thursday, June 12 and we will have digital files available upon request for the rest of the summer. Please contact the gallery if you are interested in purchasing one of the limited prints or skate decks.

Ann Coen
Ann Coen/Ken Salerno's Caught in the Act.
By Ken Salerno
Photo by SalernoPhoto by Salerno

We're punching the floor, we're so excited to host Ken Salerno's first art show, Caught in the Act, at the Ann Coen Gallery on June 7, with opening from 6 to 10 p.m.

We have both been big fans of Ken Salerno for years. We have a lot of the same roots. He has skate shots of our friends going back decades. We are amazed at his work documenting the punk/hardcore scenes and album art. And we share a love for some of his favorite spots in the Caribbean (not to mention clams on the half shell.) But after almost five decades of shooting, this is Salerno's first show.

He will have prints, limited edition skate decks, as well as a digital slideshow encompassing the burgeoning 1960s surf scene in New Jersey, early travel, years of legendary punk shows, his work as a contributor to "Thrasher," right up to his chronicles of post-Sand Seaside Heights. We're doing the show in conjunction with the Steve Tozzi film, "Riot on the Dance Floor," the City Gardens film that makes its New Jersey premier at the Lighthouse International Film Festival. Buy tickets, because it will sell out. "Riot" plays at 3:30 at the Surflight Theatre. Caught In the Act will follow directly after at the Ann Coen Gallery, 1418 Long Beach Boulevard, Surf City, New Jersey (eight miles north of the film screening) from 6-10 p.m. Both Tozzi and Salerno will be there to meet and greet.

For those who can't make the opening, Caught in the Act will hang until June 12. There is a story on the film here and a mention of the art show here.

For those visiting LBI: Long Beach Island is Exit 63 on the Garden State Parkway, about 50 minutes south of Asbury Park. A fantastic option to grab food between the film and photo show is Living On the Veg our friends' delicious vegan restaurant at 2613 Long Beach Blvd, Beach Haven Gardens. Right across the street from the Ann Coen Gallery is A Little Bite of Italy nice deli with gourmet sandwiches and pizza. There is ice cream and sushi both right across the street, as well as Anchor Wine & Spirits. Those traveling a distance can check out The Drifting Sands on the beach in Ship Bottom, which offers a slight discount if you're attending the film festival. The Islander Motel is recently remodeled and more affordable. We are really looking forward to this.