May 17, 2012 | Loren Fisher
As people strolled around Division St. Thursday night and jazz music filled the air, Somerville mayor Brian Gallagher could only grin.
The third annual Arts on Division festival was underway on the newly refurbished street, the mayor was busy greeting people and shaking hands. The dream of many people, creating a special street for the arts, had come true.
“This is cool,” said Gallagher. “I’m not supposed to say ‘cool’ anymore, but this is cool.”
“Pop-up” art galleries in empty stores on Division St. and Main St. are displaying the art of Somerville and regional artists. The firehouse on Division St. has been turned into a movie theater, hosting a film festival. A new play was read in a Main St. gallery.
Musicians are playing on Division St., although the planned stages won’t be used because the contractor wouldn’t guarantee the freshly poured concert would hold up.
The four-day indoor/outdoor festival features fine art exhibits, theatre, music, poetry, dance ensembles, film and art related demonstrations.
Members of the Playwrights Theatre, John Pietrowski, Victoria Waumans, Daniil Krimer and Edward Furs read the play “Another Spring” by Yasmine Beverly Rana.
At 6:00 p.m. Friday will be the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new street followed by the Arts on Division opening reception with music by the Jonathan DiFore Jazz Band.
Eighteen visual artists from the Somerville area will be exhibiting during the festival. The artists work in several different media including five painting styles – Acrylic, Alkyds, Gouache, Oil, and Watercolor; Beaded Jewelry, SAORI Weaving, Metal and Stone Sculpture, and Pen and Ink Drawings.
Participating artists include Kristina Lloyd, who is also curating the exhibit, Frank Gubernat, Hilary Klimek, Jean Leigh, and Letty Oratowski of Basking Ridge; Michelle Marigliano and her son Lorenzo DiAndrea of Bernardsville; Maryann Ficker of Bound Brook; Olga Phelps of Branchburg; Diana Patton of Bridgewater; Abi Fellows of Budd Lake; Filip Everaert of Far Hills; Rita Koch of Flemington; Donna Souren of Martinsville; Frank Racina of Raritan; Vivian Bedoya of Somerset; and Amy Erdman of Somerville.
Arts on Division is sponsored by Downtown Somerville Alliance and the Borough of Somerville with volunteer support from the Printmaking Center of New Jersey and the Greater Somerville Arts Initiative.