February 26, 2013

Innovative Rain Barrel Project Introduces Top Ten Artists and Sponsorship Teams

The finalists for the 2014 Rain Barrel Art Project coordinated by the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium (NJSGC) and Rutgers Water Resources Program have been selected to showcase original designs celebrating the Jersey Shore using rain barrels as an innovative canvas.  Dozens of New Jersey artists applied for a chance to paint the recycled containers repurposed to catch and reuse rain water and turn them into functional works of art. The artists were selected by a committee of representatives form Rutgers Water Resources, The NJSGC and the Monmouth County Arts Council.  The barrels will be sponsored by businesses, tourism groups and other organizations to help support this and other NJSGC education and outreach projects.

According to artist Norma Wokas Artist Group Coordinator for the project,  “Because we received such a high volume of applications, and so many designs were excellent and fit the criteria we set forth, in the end it was impossible to limit the selection to just ten barrels. As a result, we were moved to add two additional barrels to the line-up that will be used as marketing and educational tools for this project and rain barrels in general.: 

The selected artists include: Diana Gonzalez of Stratford, NJ;  Marty Fallivene of Bricktown, NJ; Mary Ann Goodwin of Neptune, NJ;  Karen La Du of Bay Head, NJ; Lisa Fischer Lucariello of Galloway, NJ;  Suzanne Ritger of Red Bank, NJ;  Suellen Crowley of Lavallette, NJ; and  Lucretia McGuff-Silverman of Roosevelt, NJ. Susan  David  and Jermaine Johnson Graphic Artists for  Whole Foods Market Middletown, NJ one of the project main sponsors, will also be part of the special art team. Luis Rivera of Toms River who was selected for his “innovative themework “ and  Dennis Plummer a resident of the ARC of Monmouth, selected for his  “innovative teamwork” entry will be painting the two special edition barrels.

In addition to Whole Foods Market of Middletown who are special title sponsors for the project, individual barrel sponsors include: Atlantic County Utilities Authority; The Borough of Belmar; Cape May County; McLoone’s Restaurants; Monmouth County-Freeholders-Department of Tourism; Seaside Heights Business and Industry District; Southern Ocean Chamber of Commerce-LBI; Steel Pier-Atlantic City; and  Tuckerton Seaport.

The ten rain barrels are a tie-in to the New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium’s (NJSGC) and Stockton College’s Coastal Research  Center (CRC)  2014 NJ Top Ten Beaches Project which annually celebrates the Jersey Shore  through an on-line vote for  the state’s most popular beach destinations.

The barrels will be showcased at the NJSGC 12th Annual State of the Shore Media Event on May 22, when the Top Ten beaches are also announced.  They will then roll out on tour around the state throughout the summer and be displayed at selected New Jersey beach communities and special events.   The public will also be invited to vote for their favorite barrel online for People’s Choice after they are unveiled at the May 22nd media event.  Details about the rain barrel project, its cooperating sponsors and the selected artists will also be featured on the New Jersey Top Ten Beaches web site

The New Jersey Sea Grant Consortium is an affiliation of colleges, universities and other groups dedicated to advancing knowledge and stewardship of New Jersey’s marine and coastal environment.  NJSGC meets its mission through its innovative research, education and outreach programs. For more information, visit NJSGC on the web at or on social media at and

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