When an attack or invasion is known to be imminent, a “defensive” policy often deployed is to attack the aggressors before they can perpetrate their invasion. This is the condition in which the Jersey Shore finds itself.  Each summer the Shore experiences an onslaught of invaders from the north who overtake their beaches and thoroughfares.  This is mostly due to the beaches in Northern New Jersey being unusable due to the pollution.  In their defense, it should also be noted that the Shore beaches receive funding from the State of New Jersey and thus, belong to all the residents of New Jersey.  And let us not forget that the Shore definitely benefits from the millions of dollars these tourists spend each summer.
But, while tourist are an important component of the Shore’s economy, these BENNY’s and Shoobies (as they are also known) are viewed in a different light by the Shore inhabitant, who often find them to be quite intolerable.  They drive slow in the left lane, never use their blinkers, and cut you off without a second thought; they think they own the beach running around, kicking sand everywhere, and blasting their radios; they are obnoxiously loud in public and their children are even worse - especially in restaurants; and on top of this, they dress atrociously and often can be easily spotted as the ones wearing sox under their sandals or speedos!

Realizing that something needs to be done to meet this inevitable assault and try to “nip it in the bud”, a group of artists from Asbury Park are planning to attack the north before this annual summer invasion can begins. Their plan is twofold - 1) to attempt to culturally civilize these northern hordes to make their visits to the shore more palatable, and 2) to keep them so busy looking at incredible art and listening to great music that they might forget their planned excursion.

Sometimes such a show of strength is necessary to foster a meaningful era of peace and cooperation.  Perhaps Ronald Reagan recognized this when he decided to rename the MX missile “The Peacekeeper”. It is our hope that this “Preemptive Strike” will act as just such a “show of strength” by making our neighbors to the north recognize the Jersey Shore as an area equally rich in cultural and artistic excellence. In addition to mutual respect, we intend this event to initiate future collaborative efforts that will promote all the arts in a united New Jersey.

So, armed with only their music and artwork the shore locals are planning this surprise attack to occur on May 2nd. If you’d like to meet and welcome (or fend off!) these talented beachcombers a gallery crawl is planned for the First Thursday (May 2nd) from 6:30 – 8:30 with displays of over 30 artists work at various locations throughout Rahway. These exhibitions will continue through May 30, 2013. In addition, as part of this First Thursday event Musicians from the Asbury Park area will be performing from 8pm - 10pm at numerous restaurants and pubs in downtown Rahway.

These shows will feature Asbury Park artists Janice M. Ashby, Paul Bonelli, Joseph Borzotta, Richard Buntzen, Dennis Carroll, Doris China, David French, Megan Gale, Richard Hatter, Kevin Hinkle, Molly Johnson, Rande Johnson, Ruben A. Martinez, Anne Massoni, Billy Mecca, Joe Nicita, Michelle Parks, Andrew Pawlan, Laura Petrovich-Cheney, Porkchop, Dave Scelfo, Patrick Schiavino, Katelyn Schuh, Jeffrey Seeds, Sara Stadtmiller, Lily Szabo, Scott Szegeski, John Viggiano, and Richard Zimmerman. They will be exhibiting at The Arts Guild New Jersey,  the gallery at the Rahway Arts District, and other select locations.

The musicians participating are KJA and the Lonely Teardrop Band, Melissa Chill, Jerzy Jung, Justin & Alina (Sibling Rivalry), Seapost (Renee Maskin & Colin Ryan), Xenia Sky, George Wirth, Jo Wymer, and many more. They will be performing at Aria Bistro & Bar at Hotel Indigo, Flynn’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse, Luciano’s Italian Ristorante & Lounge, The Rail House 1449, and The Waiting Room.



LOCATIONS TO VIEW ARTWORK - 6:30 - 8:30pm  Art will be on display at:

  1.  The Arts Guild New Jersey
1670 Irving Street
  2. The Rahway Arts District Office
1591 Irving Street
  3. Windows on Irving Street
1591 Irving Street
LOCATIONS FOR MUSIC - 8:00 - 10:30pm  Music will be performed at:
  A.  Aria Bistro & Bar at Hotel Indigo
1 Carriage City Plaza
  B. The Rail House 1449
1449 Irving Street
  C. The Waiting Room
66 East Cherry Street
  D.  Flynn’s Irish Pub & Steakhouse
1482 Main Street



CALL: 732-540-1075 or 732-381-7511




Garden State Parkway South: Take GSP South to exit 135 (Clark/Westfield). Bear left on the off-ramp and proceed to the second traffic light. Make a left turn under the highway overpass, staying in right lane. Emerging from the underpass, you will see signs for Rahway. Turn right in front of signs onto Brant Ave (You will not see a street name sign at this point). Turn left at the traffic light onto Westfield Avenue. Proceed to the 4th traffic light and turn right onto Irving Street. You will pass 3 houses and the Arts Guild will be on the right. Turn right onto Seminary Avenue and park in the parking lot behind the building.

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Garden State Parkway North: Take Exit 135 (Clark/Westfield), bear right on ramp. Follow signs for Brant Ave. and follow the directions above.

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Routes 1 & 9 South: Follow through Linden into Rahway to East Grand Ave., Rahway (Exxon Station and Mobil Station on corners). Turn right on E. Grand and proceed to fourth light (third light is blinking light). At fourth light make left onto Irving Street. Go one block to first corner on right, corner of Seminary Ave. Arts Guild faces this corner.

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Routes 1 & 9 North: From Route 1 North---follow through Avenel past the Route 1 (Sansone) Auto Mall. Past the Auto Mall, stay in the right lane and you will ride over a new bridge. You will pass by the Union County Resource Recovery plant (Incinerator----you will see smokestack on your right) As you approach the first light after the bridge you will see a sign for U TURN & LEFT TURN----DO NOT FOLLOW THAT SIGN TO THAT TURNOFF. Instead----as you approach the light (Milton Avenue) you will see a divider on your right and a Best Western Motel off to your right. At the light past the Best Western---turn RIGHT. Proceed 2 blocks to Barnett Street. Turn left on Barnett and follow one block to end of street and make a left turn back to Route 1 North. As you approach Rte 1 you will see a QuikCheck store and gas station on your right. Proceed ACROSS Rte 1 onto EAST GRAND AVENUE. Follow East Grand to the 4th light. At the 4th light make a LEFT turn onto IRVING STREET. Proceed to FIRST CORNER ON YOUR RIGHT SIDE (Seminary Avenue. The Arts Guild faces the corner of Irving and Seminary. Turn RIGHT on Seminary Avenue to parking lot behind building.

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New Jersey Turnpike South: Take Exit 13 (Elizabeth follow signs to Route 1 & 9 South. Follow directions above for Routes 1 & 9 South.
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New Jersey Turnpike North: Exit 12 (Carteret). Follow exit ramp and make right onto Roosevelt Avenue. Follow into Rahway until road ends at traffic light (DMV is in front of you) Make right onto Rahway Avenue and left at next light onto W. Hazelwood Avenue. Proceed to first light and turn right onto Main St. Follow Main Street through town through 2 lights (Milton & Elizabeth Ave.) near end of Main St. road forks - bear right to Irving St. and turn right onto Irving Street. Go to the first corner on left (Seminary Ave.). Arts Guild faces that corner. Turn left on Seminary Ave. to lot behind the building.

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From the Scotch Plains/Fanwood Area: Take Martine Avenue to Lake Avenue. Proceed west to corner of Lake Ave and Raritan Road, Clark. (Rotondo's Liquors & Deli is on far corner) Turn left onto Raritan Rd. Proceed to next light and turn right onto Madison Hill Rd. Follow Madison Hill Rd. to end and make right onto Westfield Avenue. Proceed to third light and turn right onto Irving Street. Arts Guild is at first corner on your right (Irving St. and Seminary Avenue).

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From St. George's Avenue: Traveling North: Follow to corner of West Grand Avenue. Turn right onto West Grand, follow to first light and turn right onto Irving St. Proceed to first corner on your right.

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From St. George's Avenue: Traveling South: Turn left onto West Grand Avenue (Shell Gas Station is on corner) Proceed to first light and turn right onto Irving Street. Take Irving to first corner on your right (Seminary Avenue). Arts Guild faces corner.

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By Train: The Rahway train station is 5 blocks from Arts Guild New Jersey. Rahway is a station stop on the New Jersey Transit Northeast Corridor line and the Jersey Shore line. From Penn Station NYC, the trip is approximately 35 minutes. Rahway Station is wheelchair accessible. Upon exiting the train on either platform, walk or take the elevator downstairs to the ground level. Go to the plaza at the front of the station (northbound side), facing the Indigo Hotel on Irving Street. Turn left onto Irving Street. Arts Guild New Jersey is 5 blocks north of the train station, on the same side of the street, at the corner of Irving St. and Seminary Ave. (1670 Irving Street).

By Bus: NJ Transit Bus Route #62 stops at the corner of Irving and Broad Street in downtown Rahway, approximately 5 blocks south of Arts Guild New Jersey. For timetables and more information,

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