Everyone Has a Story: Artist carves niche in Wildwood Crest

It was a construction project at her parents’ motel in Wildwood Crest that brought artist Christina Tenaglia back to live in South Jersey, after years away for graduate school at Yale University, and some time living in Brooklyn.

“I moved to help them,” said Tenaglia, 38, of Wildwood Crest.

And in her sculpture, she does construction, she said. She works in wood, using simple hand tools.

“I don’t consider them abstract, certainly not representational. They exist in that line between the two,” she said of her relatively small pieces, designed to hang on a wall.

She is one of 20 New Jersey artists to recently receive a 2014 fellowship grant from the State Council on the Arts. The only other artist from our area to get one this year was poet Meghan Privitello, of Ventnor. Each received $8,400.

Tenaglia works in various woods, sometimes using lumber or chunkier pieces from woodworking shops, and sometimes wood she finds on hikes.

“I go to a lot of residences in more remote areas, and on the grounds I walk around the woods,” she said of retreats to focus on art. “I have picked up pieces in those situations.”

But during the summer, it’s all about working at the Shalimar Resort in Wildwood Crest, she said, owned by her parents Maria and Aldo Tenaglia. She makes her art in the off-seasons.

Tenaglia said a health problem sidelined her for several years, when she didn’t make any art. She has been back focusing on drawing as well as sculpting since 2010, she said.

Visit christinatenaglia.com and nj.gov/state/njsca/index.html.

BJ Ward reading

In honor of National Poetry Month, Atlantic Cape Community College will host poet and Richard Stockton College graduate BJ Ward for a free reading at 7 p.m. April 16, in Cafeteria B, Building C, at the Mays Landing Campus.

The recipient of many awards, including a Pushcart Prize, Ward grew up in New Jersey and is the author of several collections of poetry, including “Jackleg Opera: Collected Poems 1990-2013,” and “Landing in New Jersey with Soft Hands” (1994).

Galloway author recounts sex trafficking in A.C.

Holly Austin Smith, who as a Galloway Township 14-year-old in 1992 became a victim of child sex trafficking in Atlantic City, has written a book, “Walking Prey,” sold at Amazon, Barnes Noble or IndieBound.

She describes it in a press release as both a memoir and nonfiction book about the commercial sexual exploitation of children in the U.S.

Smith lives in Virginia. Visit www.WalkingPrey.com.