‘Stampede’ alert: Colorful fiberglass oxen ready to invade Hopewell Valley

Brendan McGrath | Times of Trenton on August 15, 2014

Residents and commuters driving down just about any main drag in Hopewell Valley will notice that a colorful group of fiberglass oxen have taken over the area.

By the time the Hopewell Valley Arts Council is through installing them, a “stampede” of 68 oxen, decorated 68 different ways, will be roaming around the township and two boroughs.

“There’s a lot here and so part of what we’re doing initially is trying to make people more conscious about what’s going on in the valley,” said Liz Bell of the arts council.

The oxen will be stationed along roads and at farmstands, parks, farms and commercial plazas, she said. Some have flowery designs, while others tap into the character of the area, such as one painted with the famous rendition of George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River.

“These have been situated throughout the valley in order to maximize the ability to see them,” Bell said.

The oxen arrived, blank of any design, in March and were embellished by different artists and organizations from the community, she said.

In recent days, volunteers have begun towing the oxen out on a flatbed truck and installing them at locations throughout the valley.

The life-size creatures can already be seen by the Pennington Quality Market, the Stop & Shop and a number of other spots in town.

The council will soon have a map available in local stores and on its website, hvartscouncil.org, showing where each ox can be found.

The arts council strategically planned where to put the oxen so that “they would be something that would pop into your life as your driving down the road,” Bell said.
The herd of oxen serves a variety of purposes.

The arts council hopes to make residents more aware of the culture that already exists in the area, and expand their participation in it, Bell said.

About half way through the two-month exhibition, the council, which is just more than a year old, will begin to auction off many of the oxen to raise funds for future programs, she said.

But there is a more basic benefit to having the oxen take over the valley, she said.

“They just make you smile,” Bell said.

Brendan McGrath may be reached at bmcgrath@njtimes.com. Follow him on Twitter @BrendanRMcGrath. Find The Times of Trenton on Facebook.


HOPEWELL VALLEY: An ox-citing event

ArtToro is unveiled outside market

Hopewell Valley News

From Aug. 15 through Oct. 19, the entire Hopewell Valley will become an outdoor art museum exhibiting 68 fiberglass oxen painted and embellished by local artists, participating in the public art project launching the Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

Instead of hanging on walls and sitting on shelves, the colorful and creative 8-foot-long oxen sculptures will dot the Valley landscape — in front of shops, in the town centers, in suburban neighborhoods and in rural fields.

The curators of this outdoor exhibit hope the “Stampede,” as it is called, will be a runaway success in raising money for the newly formed arts council and promoting its mission “to celebrate arts in the everyday.”

Even though the installation of each individual artistic ox sculpture will result in a mini-celebration, the Pennington Quality Market’s installation of “ArtToro” on Saturday (July 26) was particularly “oxceptional,” said Stampede Co-chairwoman Carol Lipson.

“ArtToro” is the creation of Titusville resident E. Gyuri Hollosy and Pennington resident Mary M. Michaels, who worked together at Mr. Hollosy’s Grounds for Sculpture studio.

Those who arrived at the market early in the morning saw a crane lifting “ArtToro” from a truck onto its platform in front of the market that will serve as its showcase until Oct. 19.”ArtToro” was welcomed to his temporary home by Michael Rothwell (an owner of the market), U.S. Rep. Rush Holt, who is a Hopewell Township resident, and Ms. Lipson.

Latin-style snacks and Latin jazz fusion guitarist Arturo Romay gave the noontime installation a festive flair.

“My fellow arts council members and I believe in the transformative power of art — its ability to reduce stress, make people happy, nurture the individual, as well as the community as a whole. Our goal is to contribute to making the Hopewell Valley a great place in which to live and work,” said Ms. Lipson.The public art initiative will conclude with a gala evening reception and live Ox-tion on Jan. 24, 2015, at the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton Township, where 10 of the most prized sculptures will be auctioned.

However, prior to the gala, there will be a series of ox-unveiling events, as well as a variety of other activities, the details of which can be found at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council website: www.hvartscouncil.org.

An illustrated map showing the location of each ox will be available online and at various community locations. People can vote for their favorite ox, and the ox that pulls in the most votes will win the “People’s Choice” award.

“However, the Arts Council would be most appreciative if some oxen aficionados could vote with their wallets and purchase these beautiful pieces of art,” Ms. Lipson said.

Such purchases would help raise funds for future arts council programs. Most of the oxen will be sold through an online silent auction starting in mid-September through the end of the outdoor exhibit.

For the young and young at heart, the website will feature fun activities, including a scavenger hunt and a naming contest — an activity inspired by Congressman Holt when he spoke at Pennington Quality Market.Individuals can come up with their own clever names — featuring ox-puns such as “Ox Marks The Spot,” “Boat Ox.” Or they can vote for the cleverest given names, such as “ArtToro” or “Olly,” which hails from the phrase, “Olly Olly Oxen Free” (the children’s hide-and-seek game phrase) and a creative reference to the free artistic spirit infusing this public art exhibit.

Hopewell Valley Community Bank, Capital Health, Morehouse Engineering, Betty Wold Johnson, and an “anonymous” donor were the exhibit’s founding sponsors. Their generosity inspired 40 more gifts that collectively have sown the seeds for a vibrant Hopewell Valley Arts Council future, Ms, Lipson added.

When asked why the ox was chosen as the icon of this exhibit, Ms. Lipson said the “ox is a symbol of the Hopewell Valley’s agricultural heritage, teamwork and pulling together for the collective good of the community.”Today, a team of oxen still is used to plow the fields and haul heavy loads at the Howell Living History Farm in northwestern Hopewell Township.

Hopewell Valley Arts Council unveils sculpture outside of Pennington

By Gyuri-HollosyMary Iuvone/For The Times

Sculptor, Gyuri Hollosy, of Titusville, speaks to the crowd before the unveiling of ox sculpture. The Hopewell Valley Arts Council unveiled a sculpture of an ox, sculpted by Gyuri Hollosy, of Titusville and painted by artist, Mary Michaels, of Pennington. The Stampede, a public art exhibit of 68 fiber glass oxen, will continue throughout Hopewell Valley. The unveiling was held outside of the Pennington Quality Market, Saturday, July 26, 2014. Mary Iuvone/For The Times



Capital Health displays artists’ designs for oxen ‘Stampede’

By Janet Purcell/For The Times of Trenton
on April 11, 2014

Word has been out for a while now about the newly formed Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s first major endeavor, “Stampede!”

Sixty white fiberglass oxen have arrived and are being distributed throughout the valley to artists who will paint them, draw on them, collage and even armor them, transforming them through the summer into works of art.

Then, in January 2015, they will be auctioned to businesses and private citizens at the “Oxtion Gala” to be held at Grounds For Sculpture.

A sneak preview of what you will eventually be seeing throughout the Hopewell Valley is on display now in the Investors Bank Art & Healing Gallery at Capital Health – Hopewell.

“There’s so much more to wellness than medicine,” says Jayne O’Connor, divisional director of marketing for Capital Health. “Art has been an integral part of the Capital Health history. When we started designing this building, we knew we wanted to fill it with (works by) local artists. It lifted our art program to a new level. We have 800 artworks, and I don’t know where you can find a larger collection.”

“A lot of people don’t get to go to a museum, and we have museum-quality art here,” adds Nancy Goodwin, Capital Health’s director of volunteer services. “We have a vision of art and health care, that art can be part of the process.”

Putting that vision into practice, Capital Health became a founding sponsor of the “Stampede!” movement. Four oxen will be on permanent display at the Hopewell campus when they are fully dressed with their new artistic personalities.

Beginning today, visitors can browse through 60 of the artists’ designs, which are mounted for display on black foam boards and are accompanied by the artists’ statements describing the materials used and their motivation for choosing that design.

For example, you can see Nancy Stark’s “Agricolox” design, which she says “pays homage to the Hopewell Valley history of farming dating back to the early 1700s, as well as the new emergence of food stands and farm-to-market happening today.” Stark says she’ll paint the ox with “the grand and vivid colors of summer in the valley.”

“George’s Senior Officers,” also looks toward the history of the region, as it depicts George Washington’s crossing of the Delaware River. It will be painted by “Artist Choice,” a group of senior citizens of Hopewell Valley who paint together one day a week. For this, the ox will wear a flag on his rump, stars on his hoofs and the crossing scene painted on his coat.

Some lighthearted oxen will also frolic through the valley. “Ox Tops — Champion of Recycling” by Barbara Delafield will be wearing plastic bottle tops and container tops and lids, as well as painted circles, curves and flowers, all in bright primary colors.

Jane Zamost’s “Splendor in the Glass” ox will be wearing glass mirrors, some metal cans and china in a color palette Zamost describes as green for growth and renewal; brown for strength, stability and support; and gold for elegance, sophistication and triumph.

Tatiana L. Sougkova’s design on display indicates hers will be a more minimalist design reflecting on the simplicity of Bauhaus, the colors of Mondrian and the use of common symbols, as in the art of Takashi Murakami that reference sunflowers.

In his statement on display, Joel Cermele says he researched words and phrases about oxen and settled on a serene field of daisies — the Oxeye Daisy — “calm and gentle like the nature of the ox,” whom he calls a gentle giant who is passive, obedient, steady and bright.

But Gyuri Hollósy and Mary M. Michaels see the ox in a different light. They plan to dress their “Arttoro” in simulated armor in overlapping layers to give him a matador essence.

Chad Coerner’s design and statement outline his plan for his “Lucky Lindy, The Spirit of Hopewell” ox. Because Charles Lindberg Jr. moved to Hopewell shortly after his nonstop transatlantic flight in 1929, Coerner’s ox will wear metal-look paint emulating the body of the airplane Lucky Lindy flew. The writing style of the Spirit of St. Louis will be replicated and altered to read “Spirit of Hopewell.” There will be aviator emblems and tags and the N-X-211 aircraft I.D. tag on the body. The ox will wear a leather aviator cap and goggles and stationary wheels on his hooves.

Allow yourself a lot of time when you visit this exhibit. You’ll be captivated, as was I, not only by the designs themselves but also by the statements of these 60 incredibly imaginative artists.

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council began as a grass roots effort by locals who recognized the need to provide opportunities for all ages to participate in the arts. “Those who like to do and those who just enjoy,” says Elizabeth “Betsy” Ackerman, who co-chairs the group with Randee Tengi. “Our ultimate goal is to raise funds beyond the ‘Stampede’ to have a physical space for our local artists.

“We have a series of events planned and we need volunteers. We have a base of 10 or 12 people who have taken on jobs now, but we need many more,”
Ackerman continues. Anyone wishing to volunteer can go to the council’s website, hvartscouncil.org and sign up. Another opportunity will be to visit the council on Pennington Day, May 17, when it will occupy and animate the Howe Common.

Come September, maps will become available to lead everyone on a scavenger hunt to sites where the oxen will be on display. Other events are in the planning stage and will be announced as those plans solidify. And the “Oxtion Gala” Auction will be held in January 2015 at Grounds For Sculpture.

“We live in a rich valley and it’s the Arts Council’s vision to enrich it further,” Ackerman says. “We can pool our resources and build something that is a physical embodiment of community. And we can work with other groups to provide for their needs and dreams as well.”

When: 8 a.m.-8 p.m. daily, through June 27
Where: Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell, 1 Capital Way, Pennington
Contact: (609) 303-4023 or artandhealing@capitalhealth.org

Hopewell Valley Children’s Theatre presents its 17th Summer Season….Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr. and The Wiz!!!

Fly with HVCT to Neverland with Peter Pan, Tinker Bell and his friends,  as they proudly presents Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr! Mark your summer calendar now for one of the two performance dates…an evening performance on Friday, August 1, 2014 at 7pm and a matinee performance on Saturday, August 2, 2014 at 2pm! “You Can Fly”, “Never Smile at A Crocodile”, and “What Makes the Brave Man Brave” are just a few of the many memorable tunes from this classic Disney piece.  HVCT’s production of Disney’s Peter Pan, Jr. brings together area students from a variety of towns and elementary schools including, Ben Franklin, Bear Tavern, Toll Gate, Hopewell Elementary, Stony Brook, Lore, Community Park, Littlebrook, West Amwell, Antheil Elementary, and also some home schooled students!


And be sure to follow the yellow brick road to Oz with HVCT’s own version of The Wiz, which will be performed on Thursday, July 31, 2014 at 7pm and Saturday, August 2, 2014. HVCT will rock the house with this upbeat, inspirational musical, which boasts broadway hits “Ease on Down the Road” and “Home”.  The Wiz stars students from Middle and High School students from Stuart Country Day School, Hopewell Valley Central High School, Timberlane Middle School, The Waldorf School, The Hun School, The Pennington School, The Wilberforce School, Montgomery High School, Pennsbury High School, Princeton Friends School, Hunterdon Central High School, John Witherspoon Middle School


And of course don’t forget to stay to experience HVCT’s signature ending…what they lovingly call the “Wow Bow”…a bonus feature of a fun mix of music tied to the theme of the show and starring the entire cast…sure to get everyone moving!  What’s the Wow Bow this year?  It’s always a secret – you will have to come and see!!

The HVCT creative staff behind this summer production includes Producer/Director –  Cathy Sing, Music Director –  Bernadette Furlong, Vocal/Costume Director –  Vicki Krampf,  Choreographer – Jessica Furlong, Administrative Director/Artistic Consultant –  Moira Sandford, Production Coordinator/Extended Day Program – Ryan Smith, and Technical Staff and Intern Crew –  Claire Begrowicz, Jessica Bezek, Malcolm Bornmann, Katy Chapman, Lewis Chapman, Cam Filepas, Zac Fletcher, Elanor Gross, Callie Holtermann, Juliana Krampf, Maeve Merzena, Abel Mesretab, Dominique Ryalls, Brian Sandford, Lindsay Sanford, Morgan Schragger, Emily Sing, Jillian Sing, Chris Walton and Katie Weinstein.  HVCT is proud to be supported by a huge network of parents, grandparents, and community members who volunteer their time and energy to supporting the organization to assist in the numerous tasks involved in making HVCT happen.  HVCT is also thankful to the HVRSD school district, who have supported their efforts to enrich the community and given us a home since 1998.

Celebrating its 17th summer season, Hopewell Valley Children’s Theatre is a non-profit arts education program, endorsed by the NJ Council of the Arts and serving the Hopewell Valley Community since 1998.  HVCT’s mission, to enrich and enhance the self-esteem and talents of local students through performing arts, has been the driving force for the program’s expansion to year round performing arts experiences.  HVCT has always been “For Kids…By Kids”…keeping the students’ talents and need for growth and self esteem at the forefront of the organization’s mindset.  Students are involved in every facet of the production…onstage and off…through hands-on learning environment.

All performances will be at the Performing Arts Center at Hopewell Valley….located on the Hopewell Valley Central High School campus right off Route 31…at 259 Pennington-Titusville Road, Pennington NJ.  Tickets are $12 Adults, $8 Students/SeniorCitizens/Teachers and are on sale now.   Reserved seating is available for purchase online through HVCT’s website, WWW.HVCT.ORG orWWW.SHOWTIX4U.COM. General Admission seating will be available at the theater box office 1 hour prior to the performances.  For group sales of 20 or more discounts are available… please email hvct.info@gmail.com.   For information about HVCT and upcoming programs, including fall/winter elementary school program, Disney’s The Aristocats, Kids, visit the website, www.hvct.org or call (609) 649-3042.


Tips for Getting Artsy in your Garden

For many people, their backyard is their haven. It’s a place to unwind after a long day, or to play with the children. Creating a garden and landscape that is both aesthetically pleasing and easy to maintain is no easy feat. In fact, some may say it’s an art in itself. But once you achieve a flow of plants and flowers that works well for your property, there are projects you can take on to elevate the artistic appeal. These projects are here to inspire you! Let your imagination run wild within your own creative ability.

Almost anything can be turned into a planter. Vintage wagons, a bike with a basket, canoes, old toy trucks, SHOES, even little teacups.


10 DIY Inspiring Garden Pots

Top 30 Stunning Low-Budget DIY Garden Pots

And you can get really creative with your own birdbath and feeder. Here are some of our favorites from recycled materials or items you may already have around your home.


DIY Garden Planter & Bird Bath

DIY Birdbath from 2 Urns

DIY Lamp Birdbath

When you add something other than flowers to your garden, it automatically draws your eye to it. So try adding colorful accents in different textures, like glass, medal, beads, or shells.


DIY Garden License Plate Dragonfly

Mosaic Stepping Stone DIY

Upcycled Bicycle Wind Chimes


For all your gardening and landscape needs, be sure to look to Arts Council Stampede Sponsor, Rosedale Mills, and other Hopewell Valley nurseries like Stony Brook Gardens.

How to Become a Culinary Connoisseur In Just One Summer

Chef Will!At the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, we believe art presents itself in many ways everyday, with the culinary arts being one of them! Have you ever wished that you could cook your own beautiful meals, like the ones you see at local restaurants like Brother’s Moon in Hopewell Borough? We got the dish first hand from chef William Mooney, who has provided us with some advice for mastering the culinary arts.

But first, it’s important to understand why cooking is an art. William explains that the preparation and cooking of food is perceived by all of the senses. It is smelled, seen, tasted, felt (texture) and heard. Prepping and cooking is a craft. And it is the eating, which brings up feelings within us – happiness, anger, joy, sadness, etc. – that is the art. Food encompasses many things; food is nature, food is beauty, and food is love.

And if you get started with these suggestions from William today, you may even become a culinary connoisseur by fall!

1. Build the understanding of what it takes to procure and produce the foods.

William notes that talking to the experts is a must. Farm markets are a great source for seasonal foods, and we have plenty here in Hopewell Valley. Talk to farmers about what they grow and why. Talk to chefs about how they cook what they cook. Remember, most farmers are not cooks and most cooks and not farmers!Speak with the shop owners of spice stores, olive oil stores, and specialty food shops. People who work at smaller businesses are typically more helpful when it comes to teaching others about products and ingredients.

2. Learn the techniques and methods of cooking and kitchen working.

Here’s some appetizing news: the best way to learn the culinary arts is to cook and eat! Take some cooking classes and speak with the instructors. Some folks learn by eating, some can only learn by doing. And while you’re there, focus on learning the techniques, not the fads. William (who teaches cooking classes! find out more here) likes to teach knife skills early, and then the use of heat and cold, moving on to cooking and then seasoning. Timing is something that comes with experience.

As in any field of art, much work and study is required to become a good cook. Did you know that many of the techniques, methods, and tools used in the fine arts are required in cooking? William recommends that you learn to follow the directions the first time. Those recipes were written that way for a reason! And start working on your knife skills; if it looks good, it will taste better, and good knife skills save time and finger tips.

3. Taste, taste, taste!

Build a large memory bank of tastes, scents, and flavor combinations, textures (both tactile and visual), learn the smells and sounds of the foods during their preparation and cooking processes. Taste, taste, taste, and soon you’ll know how it is supposed to taste. Develop your taste memories and opinions. The more you do this the better your palate will become.

The most important lesson William shared with us is to follow your heart. Just go ahead and try. You can always (or almost always) fix the problems with a dish or recipe, or you can start over. Learning to cook requires patience, practice, and strength of character, but also a creative mind and desire to express that creativity.

Get ready, Hopewell Valley, the Stampede has come to town!

The Hopewell Valley Stampede has arrived! Visit our Stampede website to see information about  all of the oxen, artists, and sponsors.

Daisy is looking for you to join the fun!

The fun begins when you pick up your free Stampede Exhibition map and you’re on your way!

You can participate in “Where’s Olly?”, a contest that lets you use your smartphone to track all of the oxen you’ve visited and vote on your favorite.

Are you a cyclist? Follow one of five different routes that wind you through the beautiful countryside and past the gorgeous oxen! Rather drive? Follow the “Cattle Drive” instead.

Have you fallen in love?  Decided there is a particular ox that you must have?  You are in luck! Many of the Stampede oxen are part of an online auction that ends on October 19 at 3pm! So hurry and place your bid!

Stay tuned!  You can keep up on all the events, programs and activities by following the Hopewell Valley Arts Council on FaceBook and Instagram (#ollyox, @hvartscouncil).

But don’t dilly dally – the public art exhibit will end on October 19!