Judging Results for the 5th Annual Amazing Pumpkin Carve

Local artists brought their A game to transform massive pumpkins into incredible works of art for the fifth annual Amazing Pumpkin Carve,  running for one weekend only from Friday, October 11 to Monday, October 14. Judges also had their work cut out for them selecting the best of some of the very best carved pumpkins yet. Plan your visit and see for yourself!

Congratulations to our amazing artists who participated. So much hard work goes into carving massive pumpkins and the results were astounding. Our judges had their work cut out for them.

Here are our winners for 2019:

  • Best in Show: “Webbed” by Caroline Hall
  • Best Carving: “Octo-Pumpkin” by Jessica Kruscavage
  • Most Original Design: “Fibonacci to …” by Lenora Kandiner & Tim Cresson
  • Most Creative Use of Materials: “Morocco-O’ Lantern” by Anne Nixon-Ellery
  • Funniest: “The Mask” by Michael Davies
  • Best Use of Electricity: “Gourd Devotion” by Patrick Pasquito
  • Scariest: “Good and Evil” by Kathleen Sheehan
  • HV Arts Council’s Pick: “Monster in the Closet” by Aleece Davis & Jill Thomas
  • Honorable Mention: “Hallows’ Eve Serpent” by Jeff Brown
  • Honorable Mention: “Mmm… Brains” by Eric Schultz 
  • Honorable Mention: “S.S. Souless” by Jennifer Stevens
  • Honorable Mention: “Bite of the Irish” by Darrell Tuomari
  • Honorable Mention: “Halloween Party” by John Woodward

The event goes until Monday, October 14,  so don’t miss your chance to see which ones are your favorite! For details and hours, please see the Plan Your Visit page.

THANK YOU to the artists and our amazing sponsors for making this event possible, supporting the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, and for bringing “art in the everyday.” 

Amazing Again: Arts Council’s Pumpkin Carve Returns to Hopewell Valley

HOPEWELL TOWNSHIP – The Hopewell Valley’s favorite fall days will soon return, when the Amazing Pumpkin Carve turns Woolsey Park in Titusville into a family-friendly autumn celebration. Forty massive pumpkins carved by local artists are just the beginning of the fifth annual fantastic festival from Friday, October 11 through Monday, October 14, 2019 (Columbus Day).

Orange skulls, pulpy dragons, and two-headed pumpkin ladies are only a few of the cool creatures carved by artists in years past. The HV Arts Council’s Amazing Pumpkin Carve is electrified allowing for dramatic lighting and motion effects to expand the Carver’s pumpkin palette. The results are sure to wow visitors with even more spectacular displays.

The Amazing Pumpkin Carve, in its fifth year, is much more than just amazing pumpkins. Courtyard activities include evening storytelling around fire pits, pumpkin sales and painting, art show & sale, live music performances, s’more kits & cider, hots dogs and snacks for purchase, a humongous hay bale playground, photo op-boards, and more!

Special events begin on Thursday October 10 with the “Watch-the-Carvers” Reception. Advance ticket holders and VIPs will watch artists in action, enjoy a lite-bites reception to the live music of “Fiddlesticks,” and see the amazing final pumpkins — all before the Carve opens to the public. Advance tickets are required for this exclusive event.

Throughout the Carve weekend, there will be live music from celebrated local bands BoXoRox, Mixed Nuts, Recklesstown, and Uncle Skunk, as well as dance and vocal performances by students of The Pennington Studio. Bring a blanket, pack a picnic, and hangout to hear the bands.

Children of all ages will delight on Monday for Kid’s Day (Columbus Day) — when everyone is a kid! All tickets are $5, and student bands from the School of Rock will impress you with their rock-and-roll prowess.

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate autumn in Hopewell Valley while supporting the many talented artists who call this region home. For more information and the schedule full of daily details, visit the Hopewell Valley Arts Council website at www.hvartscouncil.org.

This event is hosted by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  Ticket proceeds go toward artist-carvers’ honoraria fund other Hopewell Valley Arts Council arts-related programs.

The Carve would not be possible if not for the generous support of our presenting sponsors Liza & Sky Morehouse and Harbat Farms, and our platinum sponsors Capital Health, The Laurenti Family Charitable Trust, and D’Angelo Market, as well as a host of gold, silver and courtyard sponsors.

The Amazing Pumpkin Carve is open for four days only: Friday to Monday, October 11 to 14 at Woolsey Park, 221 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ. Ticket prices: Adults, $15; Seniors, $10; Ages 5-17, $5; Ages 4 and under, FREE. Want to come again? Take a photo of yourself with one of our “photo op” boards on your first visit and come another day for FREE!

Hours and activities vary, so visit the HV Arts Council’s website for details: www.hvartscouncil.org.

The Amazing Pumpkin Carve 2019 Carver Participation Rules and Event Details

Thank you for your interest in carving at the fifth annual Amazing Pumpkin Carve. The Hopewell Valley Arts Council is looking for imaginative and truly AMAZING pumpkins. We encourage you to think outside of the traditional pumpkin-carving box!

~ Important ~

a. Each carver will be provided with electricity! ONLY electric lighting will be permitted. This will ensure brighter lighting and eliminate the need for us to get into your pumpkin to access battery-operated lights. ALL ELECTRICAL LIGHTS & CORDS MUST BE OUTDOOR GRADE. See paragraph #5 for more details.

b. Only registered carvers, employees, volunteers, and VIP All-Access Pass Sponsors will be permitted onto the event grounds on carving day. To maintain safety and to prevent distractions on carving day, family and friends MUST wait to attend the Carve during
public viewing hours. (Fri 10/11 – Mon 10/14.)

c. Upon satisfactory completion of their pumpkin, Carvers will receive:

  • $150 Honoraria, per Carver or Carving Team
  • One additional complimentary general admission ticket
  • Registered Carvers have free access to return to the Carve during public hours
  • New: Carvers are encouraged to attend the “Watch the Carvers” Special Reception on Thursday, Oct 10 from 6-8pm, to interact with our sponsors & special ticket holders who will be the first to view the pumpkins and want to see how you do what you do. In addition to themselves, Carvers will receive one additional free ticket for the reception.
  • Refreshments: Complementary bagels, chips, fruit and beverages will be available all day for the Carvers. It is a long day, so feel free to come and go to take a break to get lunch/dinner or feel free to pack your own.

Carver’s 2019 Timeline


Activity Date / Time
Carver receives confirmation via email Wed, Sept 18, 2019
Carving Day Thurs, Oct 10 from 10:00am to 8:00pm
Private pumpkin judging Thurs, Oct 10 at 8:30pm
Posting of judging results Fri, Oct 11

It is important that you read the following rules and event details before registering so that you fully understand your commitment:

1. The Amazing Pumpkin Carve will be held “rain or shine”, unless the weather is unsafe. Weather- related closures will be made on a day-by-day basis and announced through the Hopewell Valley Arts Council website.

2. Carving will take place at Woolsey Park, 221 Washington-Crossing Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ on Thurs Oct 10 between the hours of 10:00am and 8:00pm. Carvers must check-in upon arrival to be directed to their pumpkin. Since you will be carving an AMAZING pumpkin, make sure you leave ample time to complete your design and be cleaned-up by 8:00pm. Later hours will enable you to see your pumpkin in the dark and tweak your carving as needed prior to judging.

3. An individual or team of up to three Carvers is permitted on-site to carve the pumpkin. Carvers between the ages of 12 and 18 MUST be on a team with a parent or guardian.

4. Once the Arts Council has selected the required number of carvers, additional carvers will be put on a waiting list. If a carver has not started their pumpkin by 5:00pm, the pumpkin will be forfeited and reassigned to a carver from the waiting list.

*5. IMPORTANT! Each carver will have access to an electrical plug with 100 watts of electricity near their assigned pumpkin. You are encouraged to think creatively about light and motion. Low volume sound is permitted as long as it does not interfere with the enjoyment of the other pumpkins around you. Consider using compact florescent or LED lights to maximize the wattage. Carvers must bring their own OUTDOOR GRADE lighting and extension cords. Battery operated lighting inside the pumpkin is NOT permitted. It is too difficult to gain access to the inside of the pumpkins to get to the lights to turn them on/off and change batteries. Due to possible moisture build-up as the pumpkins sit, OUTDOOR grade lighting is required to keep from tripping the circuits, which was a problem last year. **Please put your name on your lighting system so it can be returned to you at the close of the event. Thank you for your understanding and cooperation!!

6. Only cordless power tools may be used. Plug-in power tools typically exceed 100 watts and will overwhelm our generator. Cordless power tools may be re-charged with the tent electrical set-up.

7. Pumpkin designs must be the original work of the carver or carving team and not infringe upon the copyright or any intellectual property rights of others. Websites like “Pinterest” may be used for inspiration, but specific designs may not be copied.

8. The use of stencils is permitted, but commercial pumpkin kits and pre-purchased pumpkin stencils are strongly discouraged.

9. Carvers must keep in mind that the audience will be broad-based and of all ages, so designs must be appropriate for public display. Designs that are religious, political or sexual in nature are not permitted. Corporate logos or advertisements, other than logos of the participating non-profit organizations, are not permitted. Carved pumpkins that do not conform to these guidelines will not bedisplayed. If you are uncertain about your design’s conformity, please contact us.

10. Each pumpkin will be pre-positioned on hay bales under 10 x 10 tents provided by the HV Arts Council for each carver. Pumpkins and hay bales may not be moved. But Pumpkins MAY be spun around or propped-up for enhanced viewing and ease of carving. Some bricks and rocks will be available to use as props. Carvers may also bring their own material for propping.

11. You may fill your 10 x 10 empty space in anyway you like, but keep in mind that the pumpkins cannot be moved from the hay bales. Nothing of any significant weight can be attached to the tent structure. Designs may extend below the top of the hay bales to the ground. Safety is of utmost importance. Please ensure that your pumpkin is constructed securely.

12. Completed pumpkin designs MAY be enhanced with man-made materials and components. In addition, natural material such as smaller pumpkins, gourds, corn stalks or sticks may also be incorporated into your design. Components other than the main pumpkin can be pre-carved or painted in advance.

13. The use of products/treatments to extend the life of your carved pumpkin is encouraged. (plantcaretoday.com/preserve-pumpkin)

14. Carvers may be asked to make minor repairs to their pumpkin if needed.

15. No vehicles are allowed in the Pumpkin Carve event courtyard. Please be prepared to transport all necessary tools from the parking area some other way. There will be one cart available, but you may need to wait while it is in use. We suggest you bring a wheelbarrow, wagon or some other non- mechanized form of transportation.

16. Bring chairs or blankets to sit on while carving. Bug spray is also recommended. Trash containers and buckets will be provided to facilitate cleanup. You are responsible for cleaning up your own area.

17. No pets or alcoholic beverages are permitted. Alcohol and carving do not mix well. ☺

18. Our visitors love to talk with the carvers. Feel free to hangout with your pumpkin during public viewing hours to answer questions and say ‘hello’ to your adoring fans.

19. Carvers give full permission for the Hopewell Valley Arts Council to use images of their pumpkins and day-of-event carving photos in promotional materials.

Thank you for bringing your creativity to the Amazing Pumpkin Carve! If you have any questions, please contact us at artists@hvartscouncil.org.

2018 Scholarship Winners

For the fifth year, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council awarded scholarships to four outstanding graduating seniors of Hopewell Valley Central High School who have illustrated an ongoing dedication to the arts.

The Arts Council started the scholarship program in 2015 during the organization’s first year of operation as a non-profit, reflecting the Council’s deep commitment to support youth arts education and the role art and creativity play in an enriched life

This year’s recipients are:

  • Christopher Nadar was actively involved in Marching Band, Jazz Band, & Orchestra, all through his time at HVCHS, and will attend Baldwin Wallace University this fall to study in their Conservatory of Music with an intended major of Trombone Performance, in combination with a science degree (undecided at time of entering college).
  • Maximillion Donaldson was involved in Jazz Band, Symphonic Band, Marching Black & Gold Band and Pit orchestra at HVCHS and will be attending Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers to study Jazz, ultimately planning to earn a masters in Jazz Studies or Jazz History.
  • Taylor Rae Carter was involved in theatre, dance, choreography, and stage managing in high school and will be attending Manhattan School of Music to study Musical Theatre.
  • Emmie Collins was involved in fall plays, winter musicals, the a cappella group, Chamber & Ragazze Choir, and will be attending NYU to study theatre

Each winner received a $500 scholarship from the Arts Council.


Please Support the Arts in Hopewell Valley This Holiday Season

The HV Arts Council is thankful for our community supporters, partners, and artists for “celebrating art in the everyday,” everyday in the greater Hopewell Valley. We believe that fostering art appreciation and neighborhood participation helps make Hopewell Valley the warm, wonderful, and thoughtful community that it is.

This year, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council has been proud to provide inspiring and engaging events and programs — including ArtConnect, Slice of Art as part of Out of the Ashes: Art Emerging from Fallen Trees, and most recently, the 4th Amazing Pumpkin Carve.

— Donate Now —

As we enter this season of giving, we hope you will consider supporting the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, enabling us to foster a creative and inspired community. And we’ve come up with two simple ways to do it: #GivingTuesday and AmazonSmile.

Please support the arts in Hopewell Valley.


The Hopewell Valley Arts Council has joined #GivingTuesday, a global day of giving that encourages philanthropy and celebrates generosity worldwide. On November 20, #GivingTuesday is an opportunity to kick off the holiday giving season and inspire people to collaborate in improving their local communities and to give back in impactful ways to the charities and causes they support.

To donate on #GivingTuesday or any time of the year, please see our online form.


While doing your online holiday shopping, please consider supporting the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. At no cost to you, Amazon will donate 0.5% of the purchase price of eligible purchases. The prices, selection, and shopping experience are the same — with the added bonus that you are helping support art in the everyday.

On your first visit to AmazonSmile, please select the Hopewell Valley Arts Council to receive donations from your eligible purchases before you begin shopping. For AmazonSmile FAQ, visit this link.

To participate in AmazonSmile now or any time of the year, please see  visit this link.

Thank you so much for supporting us as we all celebrate “art in the everyday!”

Hopewell Valley Arts Council Celebrates Successful Fourth Annual Amazing Pumpkin Carve

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council celebrated another successful and fun-filled Amazing Pumpkin Carve, from October 10 to 14, 2018 at Woolsey Park in Hopewell Township.

For the fourth year, visitors of all ages were wowed by gigantic pumpkin sculptures carved by some of the area’s best local artists. Local nonprofits enlisted their most creative members to made scarecrows, decorating the Carve and sharing the community spirit. New this year, artists had access to electricity. With cool lighting opportunities, this year’s pumpkin carve was electrifying.

“The fourth year of the Carve was bigger and better than ever — more visitors, more fun activities, more art — and the centerpiece of the Carve – the most jaw-dropping giant pumpkins ever!” said Hopewell Valley Arts Council Board of Trustees President Carol Lipson. “This year’s pumpkins were a real showcase of skill and artistry by our amazing carvers.”

2018 HV Arts Council Amazing Pumpkin Carve Best in Show: “Blood Sucker” by Matt Derby (Photo: Kyle Wille)

With stiff competition, Best in Show went to Matt Derby for his creation, “Blood Sucker,” a wide-mouthed bat with outstretched wings. Douglas May took Best Carving for his intricate “Bluebeard” (photograph below). “Sisters at Heart,” a two-headed singing woman carved from a single pumpkin, by Aleece Davis and Jill Thomas won Most Original Design. Most Creative Use of Materials went to Jennifer Stevens’ “Will Work for Peanuts,” an adorable and impressive circus elephant. Most Humorous went to Michael Davies for his comic strip design in “Scary Romance.” Scariest was “Hatchling” by Eric Schultz, a fire-breathing dragon emerging from its egg. Best Use of Electricity, new this year, was awarded to “Bat Troll” by Gyuri Hollosy and Annalise Hollosy. The HV Arts Council Award was given to Curtis May for “Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde.” Honorable mentions were awarded to: “Floradecehedron” by Jeff Brown, “Vulture Culture” by Kathleen Sheehan & Cynthia Miklos, “Gritty” by Jonathan Conner, “Leo the Lion” by Carol Gorham, “Hole Reversal” by Patrick Pasquito, and “Two Headed Bats” by Jodi Walker. Anne Ellery and Friends of Hopewell Valley Open Space (FoHVOS) won best scarecrow.

For a slideshow of amazing pumpkins, please check out this link.

2018 HV Arts Council Amazing Pumpkin Carve Best Carved: “Bluebeard” by Douglas May (Photo: Mike Chipowsky)

Local Lex Dorner was only a quarter of a pound off in the “guess the pumpkin weight.” He and his family won a custom pumpkin carved by local professional pumpkin carver, Curtis May. Tying for second place, Gary Goodman and Judy Bushong received memberships to the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

“Guess the weight” Pumpkin Winner Dorner with his family

More new activities this year included a cornhole tournament and pet costume contest. Mark Mattaliano and Joe Witkowski came in first place in the cornhole tournament, and Roger Shapiro and Ray Petty came in second. In the post costume contest, canine friend Amore, Deanna Cuchiaro’s bracco italiano stole everyone’s hearts, and Melody, Felicia Schilp’s eastern box turtle came in second.

This event is hosted by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. Ticket and sponsorship proceeds benefit the HV Arts Council, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and go toward artist-carvers’ honoraria and to fund other arts-related programs of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

“Special appreciation goes out to all of our sponsors. Without their support, it would be impossible to stage this wonderful community celebration,” said Lipson. “The Pumpkin Carve has become an annual Hopewell Valley tradition, one that we hope to expand and thrive for many years to come. When visitors leave the Carve inspired to explore their own artistic expression, we’re happy to be part of discovering art in the everyday.”

Hopewell Valley Arts Council Announces Fourth Annual Amazing Pumpkin Carve

In its fourth year, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s Amazing Pumpkin Carve is a must-not-miss, art-filled weekend of fun in the heart of the Hopewell Valley. The Amazing Pumpkin Carve will run from Wednesday, October 10 through Sunday, October 14, 2017 at Woolsey Park in Titusville.

Pumpkin carved by Eric Schultz

Visitors of all ages will be wowed by a massive display tent filled with 150-pound sculptures carved by local artists. New this year: the artists have electricity! There is sure to be some cool lighting and motion added to their creations, while another group of creative folks will be adorning scarecrows to add to the display.

The Amazing Pumpkin Carve is much more than a jaw-dropping display of artistic talent etched in enormous pumpkins. Activities and special events will include food trucks, evening storytelling around fire pits with s’mores kits, paint-a-pumpkin craft tent, fun photo ops, a humongous hay bale playground, pumpkins for sale at the pumpkin patch, and more! Special events throughout the weekend include dance performances by The Pennington Studio for Dance and Creative Arts, live music, a pet costume parade and movie nights.

Don’t miss your chance to celebrate autumn in Hopewell Valley while supporting the many talented artists who call this region home. For more information and the full schedule of all this fantastic fall fun, please check out the Hopewell Valley Arts Council website at www.hvartscouncil.org.

The Fourth Amazing Pumpkin Carve is open for only 5 days: Wed.-Sun., October 10-14 at Woolsey Park, 221 Washington Crossing-Pennington Road, Titusville, NJ. Courtyard entry: Adults, $10; Seniors, $8; Ages 11-18, $5; Under 10, FREE. Hours and activities vary, so please check out the HV Arts Council’s website for details: www.hvartscouncil.org.

This event is hosted by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council. Ticket proceeds benefit the HV Arts Council, a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, and go toward artist-carvers’ honoraria and to fund other arts-related programs of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

Hopewell Valley Arts Council Plans Art Show, Barbeque, Cornhole Tournament

In a celebration of community and art, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council will host a fun end-of-summer event, the “Slice of Art” BBQ & Cornhole Tournament, on Sunday, September 9. This memorable art show and competitive community cornhole tournament will be held at the Hopewell Valley Vineyards from 11am to 5pm. Tickets are on sale now.
General admission ($10) includes access to the event grounds with a wine sampling in the Vineyard’s new tasting rooms, an afternoon of live music performed by the Back Porch Jug Band, a viewing area to watch our competitors vying to be crowned champions of the cornhole tournament, and entry to the “Slice of Art” show and sale featuring ash tree slices creatively decorated by local artists. Barbecue and drink will be available for purchase.
Cornhole players will face off at noon in an official double elimination tournament with the final rounds and crowning of the tournament champions to take place at 4pm. Two-person team registration ($60 per team) for the cornhole tournament includes general admission plus food and drinks. Prizes will be awarded to the final four. Secure your slot before space runs out!
Slice of Art is the first art program in the HV Arts Council’s initiative, Out of the Ashes: Art Emerging from Fallen Trees, to commemorate the devastating loss of the ash tree, one of the primary native trees in Hopewell Valley, from the effects of the emerald ash borer beetle. Wood slices, playfully called “Slices of Art” have been artistically reimgined by local artists and artisans to create unique, natural expressions of art on an ash wood palette.
“Slices of Art” will be on display and for sale by silent auction starting at $100. Proceeds from the art sale are split between artists and HV Arts Council for programs, events, and scholarship. The silent auction will close at 4pm. Credit cards or cash are accepted. Rain or shine.
For more tickets and event registration, please see the HV Arts Council website: hvartscouncil.org.

Capital Health Hopewell and HV Arts Council Feature the Artists of Yardley

Capital Health-Hopewell, in partnership with the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, will be presenting “SERENITY,” an art exhibition this month featuring the artworks and personal reflections of the Artists of Yardley (AOY), a non-profit organization, dedicated to nurturing the creative spirit of the community.

The public is invited to attend the opening reception to view the show and watch the talents of dancers from The Pennington Studio, on Thursday, August 30, from 6 to 7:30pm in the Investors Bank Art & Healing Gallery located in the second floor atrium at Capital Health – Hopewell, One Capital Way, Pennington, NJ, . Light refreshments will be served. The show runs through November, 2018.

The mission of the Arts & Healing Program at Capital Health recognizes that spending time in the hospital can be stressful for all — patients, visitors, caregivers and healthcare workers alike. Art shows held in the Investors Bank Art & Healing Gallery at Capital Health – Hopewell provide visitors a respite from the difficulties of the day by featuring beautiful, engaging and inspirational works of art in its rotating art gallery.  Whereas medicine can heal the body, art can heal the soul.

Exploring “Art in the Everyday”

Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others. – Jonathan Swift

James Baxter, “Roots”

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council cultivates all types of creative exploration and artistic expression and celebrates “art in the everyday” … but what does that mean?

It is about opening one’s eyes to the simple, beautiful, seemingly mundane parts of our lives. It lies in shadows, reflections, footprints, found objects or trash, on store shelves, and even in our garages.

It is also the art of everyday activities, items, and relationships — a child’s poem/art, stacked wood, homemade cards, and baked goods. It lies in an organized spice rack or a pile of worn sneakers tossed by the door.

To celebrate viewing the world with this new lens, we’re inviting the community to participate with us. Starting in June, we’ll be posting photos submitted by the community and hope you’ll join us by tagging your inspired images with #hvartintheeveryday on Facebook and Instagram. Don’t enjoy tagging? Email our us at info@hvartscouncil.org.

Please help us discover all the endless possibilities and celebrate art in the everyday!