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Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues, and Soul

The iconic photographs of Larry Hulst capture the freewheeling energy of live music and the enduring visual spectacle of rock’s greatest performers. From Janis Joplin and Jimi Hendrix to David Bowie and Lauryn Hill, Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues and Soul brings together over 70 images of legendary musicians and singers across three genres and generations. The exhibition charts Hulst’s extraordinary path through the pulsing heart of the most exciting live music of the last century, showcasing a unique visual anthology of rock, blues, and soul music from 1970–1999. These images, which have been featured on album art and Rolling Stone spreads, convey Hulst’s lifelong passion for the magnetism, immediacy, and unpredictability of live music. With photos that also document the unforgettable voices of funk, punk, and beyond, Front Row Center grants viewers an all-access pass to some of the most memorable performances in popular music history.

June 2, 2022 at 5:30 PM| REGISTER HERE
Please join us for gallery talk by Dr. Ken Womack, who will give an in depth look at the iconic photographs of Larry Hulst in the exhibition Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues, and Soul on display in Pollak Gallery. Professor of English and Popular Music at Monmouth University Dr. Ken Womack is an American writer, literary critic, public speaker, and music historian, particularly focusing on the cultural influence of the Beatles. He is the author of the bestselling Solid State: The Story of Abbey Road and the End of the Beatles and John Lennon, 1980: The Last Days in the Life.

About Larry Hulst
Born in 1946 in San Diego, Larry Hulst is a longtime participant and chronicler of the concert scene. His collection of nearly three thousand black-and-white negatives has helped immortalize the live acts of influential musicians over five momentous decades of rock history. His photography career began in 1969, when the former Navy corpsman returned home to Sacramento after a tour of duty in Vietnam. Citing Jim Marshall, Ansel Adams, and Lynn Goldsmith among his influences,

Hulst is fueled both by his respect for his musical heroes and by his dedication to perfecting his photographic eye. The hallmark of Hulst’s work is his authentic ability to evoke the raw energy and emotion of the concert experience. The only prop he has ever needed was the stage. “I never wanted to go backstage,” Hulst states. “I want to be where the action is. After all, the ‘show’ is projected out onto the audience. I want to be in the audience.”

Front Row Center: Icons of Rock, Blues, and Soul is organized and toured by International Arts & Artists, Washington, DC.

Climate Crisis: What Can We Do? An Earth Day Lecture

Join us for a very special Adult Education Series Earth Day lecture with Heide Estes introducing the topic of Climate Crisis: What Can We Do?

Climate crisis is real, and is constantly in the news, and triggers climate grief and climate anxiety. We need to take action, and fast … but how? We need change at all levels: individual, corporate, and governmental, and this lecture will provide strategies for how to engage in all three areas. You will learn about the importance of talking about climate with friends and family members, voting with climate change in mind, and disinvesting from fossil fuels — via your retirement fund, your workplace, anywhere you have influence. You will find out about ways you can change your diet, your home, and your transportation to lower your own carbon footprint, and provide an example to those people you’re talking with. You will learn about resources you can use to get educated, and to stay up to date with the latest developments. The important thing: do something, not nothing.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required. When you register you will be provided the meeting link to join the conversation.

WANT TO LEARN MORE? – Register for Prof. Estes extended three-session Adult Education Course Climate Crisis: What Can We Do? for a deeper dive in to the topic. More here:


In recognition of their 50th Anniversary, Monmouth Arts is reflecting on their journey over the past half-century as well as where they’re headed. The Center for the Arts is pleased to partner with Monmouth Arts to present the group show, Journey, an exhibition of works by Monmouth Arts members that express “Journey” as it relates to each artist’s experience.

Opening Reception (virtual): Thursday, December 2 at 7 pm  (click here to register)
In-Person Artist Reception: January 14, 6-8pm (click here to register)

Please note the gallery is closed for winter break from December 24 through January 3.

Sam Cusumano

Join us for a virtual Arts-Engineering talk/performance/workshop with Sam Cusumano. Cusumano is an Engineer for the Arts living in Philadelphia working with students, artists, musicians, and curators to create educational interactive electronic devices and installations. As part of his creative practice, he has connected plants and fungi with synthesizers to make music. Biodata Sonification is the process of representing invisible changes in plants to create music. By detecting microcurrent fluctuations across the surface of a plant’s leaf, these changes are used to generate MIDI notes which can be played through a synthesizer or computer to create sound. In this virtual presentation Sam Cusumano will explain methods used to tap into the secret life of plants, showing how to translate data for making music, and discuss the implications of interpreting biodata. Audio examples of Biodata Sonification will be performed live using analog synthesizers, digital audio workstations, and synth apps along with a Snake Plant, large Monstera, and various Cacti.

When you register you will be provided the meeting link to join the conversation.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required.

This event is being recorded for educational and archival purposes and it may be posted on our website. By participating in this presentation, you give permission for Monmouth University to record the presentation for University purposes. You understand that your name, likeness, voice and statements may be recorded. If you do not wish to be recorded, a recording of this presentation will later be available upon request, and you can contact Amanda Stojanov, Assistant Professor of Digital Media ( with any questions you may have regarding the presentation.

Atlantics Virtual Panel Discussion

Join us for a World Cinema Series zoom discussion illuminating the theme “Living on the Edge: Displacement, Identity, and Resilience” by analyzing the message and impact of the 2019 film, Atlantics.

Atlantics (French: Atlantique) is a internationally co-produced supernatural romantic drama film directed by Mati Diop, in her feature directorial debut. It was selected to compete for the Palme d’Or at the 2019 Cannes Film Festival. Diop made history when the film premiered at Cannes, becoming the first Black woman to direct a film featured in competition at the festival.

The film is centered around a young woman, Ada, and her partner, Souleiman, struggling in the face of employment, class, migration, crime, family struggles, and ghosts. Working mostly with unknown actors, Diop focused in the film on issues such as the refugee crisis, remorse, loss, grief, class struggle, and taking responsibility (or not) of one’s actions. The Atlantic Ocean is used in many ways throughout the film, including as a symbol and engine for change, growth, life, and death.

The discussion of the film will be led by Dr. Julius Adekunle, Professor in the department of History and Anthropology and Dr. Lisa Vetere, Associate Professor in the department of English.

The film is available for streaming on Netflix.

When you register you will be provided the meeting link to join the conversation.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh

Join us for a zoom reading and Q&A with author Saïd Sayrafiezadeh.

Saïd Sayrafiezadeh is the author, most recently, of the story collection, American Estrangement. His memoir, When Skateboards Will Be Free, was selected as one of the 10 best books of the year by Dwight Garner of The New York Times, and his story collection, Brief Encounters With the Enemy, was a finalist for the PEN/Robert W. Bingham Fiction Prize. His writing has appeared in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, The Best American Short Stories, Granta, McSweeney’s, The New York Times, and New American Stories, among other publications. He is the recipient of a Whiting Writers’ Award for nonfiction and a Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers’ fiction fellowship.

Saïd leads the Creative Nonfiction track in Hunter’s MFA program. He also teaches creative writing at Columbia University and New York University, where he received an Outstanding Teaching Award.

When you register you will be provided the meeting link to join the conversation.

Free and open to the public, but registration is required.

Special Edition Tuesday Night Record Club: Bruce Springsteen’s The Rising

During this special Thursday-night edition of Tuesday Night Record Club, host Ken Womack and guest Bob Santelli, GRAMMY Museum Founding Executive Director, and Monmouth ’73, mark the twentieth-anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that inspired one of Bruce’s most moving albums.

When you register you will be provided the ZOOM meeting link to join the conversation. Click here for more information on how to use zoom


The Fine Art of Denim

Denim, with all its symbols and dualities, is a common item of clothing that unites many around the globe. Dad Jeans, skinny jeans, low riders, bell bottoms, boot leg, wide leg, no leg, 501s, 504s, button fly, stretch jeans, the American dress code writ large across centuries. With so many styles available and ways to accessorize/manipulate the fabric, denim has historically allowed for a freedom of expression representing both individuality and shifts in cultural movements. Denim comes in a wide range of blues and other colors, washes, fades and textures making it a perfect, but not obvious, medium to create fine artwork. Denim that was discarded can open up a new way of looking, a startling way of seeing past the everyday. What we have abandoned, will be presented again, re-purposed from the lives we lived, to moments we experience together “forever in blue jeans.”

Monmouth University’s Center for the Arts is pleased to present The Fine Art of Denim, a juried exhibition of artists who use recycled denim in new and creative ways. The works featured in this exhibit come from artists all over the United States and abroad.

Pieces were selected from almost 100 entries by juror Vincent DiMattio, an accomplished artist and Monmouth University Professor in the Department of Art and Design, where he has taught for over 50 years and served as department chair and as gallery director for more than 20 years.

Exhibiting Artists include: Michele Fandel Bonner, Howard Brandenburg*, Kerstin Bruchhaeuser, Emily Budd*, Don Coulter, Allison Dent, Debra Disman, Heidi Drahota, Shelley Gardner, George Gianakopoulos, Sabine Heinlein, Malka Kutnick, Tanya Lucadamo, Bob Mosier, Johanna Norry, Janice Patrignani, Leah Poller, Mary Schwarzenberger, Ashley Thomas, Ann Vollum, Shirley Wagner

Virtual Exhibit: 


The Fine Art of Denim Artist Statements

*artists featured in virtual exhibit only.

Virtual Opening Reception:
June 24, 2021 at 7 p.m. via ZOOM

Monmouth University Music & Arts Festival 2021

Entering its 2nd year on the virtual stage, this year’s Monmouth University Music & Arts Festival will feature members of the Garden State Philharmonic performing music from Civil War era Marches through Ragtime, Dixieland, and Jazz featuring music by composers George Gershwin, Scott Joplin, C.W. Handy, Duke Ellington, and Louis Armstrong. The festival will also highlight selections and solos from The Monmouth University Chamber Choir, a performance by the Blue Hawk House Band and a special reading by former United States Poet Laureate and Pulitzer Prize winner Natasha Tretheway. The festival will premiere at 7:00 PM on July 1st and be available to view through July 31st. To receive the streaming link for the festival you will need to register.

The Monmouth University Music & Arts Festival is designed to provide Monmouth County communities and beyond, along with the students, faculty, and staff at Monmouth University, with the opportunity to enjoy a top-flight music and arts event each summer.

In 2022, we are looking forward to presenting a robust program of offerings as the festival will host its inaugural in-person event. Our university is the year-round home for working musicians and artists, not to mention scores of students honing their talents as instrumental and theatrical performers, visual artists, and arts administrators. With the Music and Arts Festival becoming a yearly tradition, we hope to attract nationally and internationally acclaimed musicians and other fine artists to our campus. Not only will they supplement our students’ arts education, they will be on site each summer to provide visitors with opportunities to experience premiere concerts and exhibitions right here on the Shore.


The Garden State Philharmonic – Brass Quintet and Percussion

Strike up the Band  – George Gershwin, arr. Holcombe

Signal March
  – G.W.E. Friederich

The Entertainer
– Scott Joplin arr. Arthur Frackenpohl

High Society –
Cole Porter,  arr. Luther Henderson

Beale Street Blues – C.W Handy, arr. Luther Henderson

Sweet Georgia Brown – Ben Bernie & Maceo Pinkard,  arr. Luther Henderson

It Don’t Mean a Thing if it Ain’t Got That Swing – Duke Ellington, arr. David Kosmyna

Sousa Stars and Stripes –  John Philip Sousa – Holcombe

The Monmouth University Chamber Choir

Steal Away – American Spiritual, arr. Gwyneth Walker

A Gershwin Jazz Trio – Words and music by Ira and George Gershwin, arr. Jay Althouse

  1. “Nice Work if you Can Get it.”
  2. “Someone to Watch Over Me.”
  3. “I Got Rhythm.”

Seasons of Love – Words and music Jonathan Larson, arr. Steve Zegree
Soloists:  Brynn Coy, Jordan Dilone, Tyler Oden, Kailey Rouse, David Wilderotter

Vocal Solos by Members of the Monmouth University Chamber and Concert Choirs

Shenandoah – American Folk Song, arr. Jay Althouse
Brynn Coy – soprano

Desperado – Eagles –
Samantha Jordan, mezzo soprano

She Used to Be Mine – from the Broadway musical “Waitress,” Sarah Barellies
Rachel Wilson, soprano

Wayfaring Stranger – American Spiritual, arr. Nick Garrett
Nick Garrett, guitar and voice

Strange Fruit – Billie Holiday
Jenae Louis-Jacques, mezzo soprano

Run Away with Me – Words and music Kait Kerrigan and Brian Lowdermilk
David Wilderotter, baritone

Cry Me a River – Arthur Hamilton
Georgette Abinader, mezzo soprano

Who I’d Be – from “Shrek the Musical,” Words and music David Lindsay- Abaire and Jeanine Tesori

Mitchell Hendricks, baritone, Mia Heim, mezzo soprano Jordan Dilone, tenor

Summertime – from the Opera “Porgy and Bess,” George Gershwin
Jenae Louis-Jacques, mezzo soprano

Somewhere Over a Rainbow – Words and music by Edgar Harburg and Harold Arlen, arr. Murray Cutter.
Kristen Wilczewski, soprano

Blue Hawk House Band
Cover version of “Freedom,” composed by John Lomax, Jonny Coffer, Alan Lomax, Frank Tirado, Dean McIntosh, Kendrick Lamar, Carla Marie & Beyoncé

Performance Groups:

Garden State Philharmonic – Brass Quintet and Percussion:
Diane Wittry – Music Director and Conductor
Michael Baker (Trumpet 1), Olivia Pidi (Trumpet 2), Karl Kramer-Johansen (Horn), Roger Verdi (Trombone), Wes Krygsman (Tuba), Gregory Landes (Percussion), Michael Avagliano (Score Reader)
For more information on the program and performers click here

Monmouth University Chamber Choir:
Dr. David Tripold, director,
Maggie Tripold, accompanist
Georgette Abinader; Kendall Brighton; Brynn Coy; Jordan Dilone; Mia Heim; Mitchell Hendricks; Arina Martin; Erin McGinniss; Tyler Oden; Lindsay Ploskonka; Delaney Rivera; Kailey Rouse; Nicholas Sewell; David Wilderotter; Rachel Wilson

Blue Hawk House Band
George Wurzbach, Director

Mani Kissling (vocals), Mark Rodriguez (Guitars/Keyboards,) Dee DiMeola (Drums), Max Adolf (Guitar), Michael Rabbits (Rap) Dillon Schindler (Keyboards) Sara Wojciehowski (Bass/producer), B. J. Biedebach (engineer)


The History of Simon & Garfunkel…Together and Apart

Class Schedule: Thursdays – Dec. 2, Dec. 9, and Dec. 16 | 7:30 – 9:00 PM

The History of Simon & Garfunkel…Together and Apart – If you took the sweet harmonies of the Everly Brothers and matched them with the lyricism of Bob Dylan the result might be Simon & Garfunkel. Often considered the thinking person’s rock ‘n’ rollers they were also one of the most successful musical acts of the 1960’s.

This three-session virtual course taught by Gary Wenstrup, uses  audio and visual content to trace the arc of Simon & Garfunkel’s career from their surprise teenybopper hit “Hey Schoolgirl” …to the folk-rock classic “Sound of Silence” to the ever popular “Mrs. Robinson” …to the majesty of “Bridge Over Troubled Water.” It will also cover their careers post-breakup with special attention paid to Paul’s world-wide smash “Graceland.”

Zoom Link will be provided upon registration.