From June 12-14 the Hopewell Valley community was invited to commune with nature and “Get Outside and Play!” Many outdoor activities were offered by over a dozen community organizations, including a summer walk, orienteering, a day on the farm, star gazing, and an outdoor art room, sponsored by the Hopewell Valley Arts Council and partner Art Sparks. It was misty, but the rain stayed away for the Outdoor Art Room, held in Pennington’s Kunkel Park. After school that afternoon, students of all ages came to make art with natural objects in a fun outdoor setting.
If your best thoughts come to you in the silence and beauty of nature, get your hiking shoes on and head to Baldpate Mountain. Once you hike up to the top you’ll be rewarded with amazing views of Hopewell Valley and the Delaware River!
Many classic plays and muscials have been acted out on this stage including West Side Story, Into the Woods, and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat. Get your feet tapping along to the music and your visions flowing as you enjoy the art of theater in a picturesque, outdoor setting.
The Delaware River & Canal
While you’re at Washington Crossing Park, veer off the canal path and head towards the Delaware River. Clear your mind as the water gently laps against the banks. You’re in Titusville, the Hopewell Valley village on the river, one of New Jersey’s best-kept secrets. Here you’ll find a charming row of homes that date back to the mid 1800’s. Some homes feature architecture and design that you don’t see much anymore. If you’re inspired by history you’ll love walking down this River Drive!
Isn’t the best kind of inspiration the kind you can eat? Any local culinary artist knows how lucky we are to live in the Garden State. At this weekly farmer’s market you can talk with the farmers and artisans, who sell everything from fresh produce to wine. Find out the story behind those tasty tomatoes and sugar-sweet corn. With so much fresh produce at your disposal, there’s no doubt that your dishes will begin to exude creativity!
Hopewell Valley Art Galleries
Along the main and side streets of Pennington and Hopewell you’ll find a handful of art galleries displaying the works of very talented local artists; don’t be afraid to pop in and speak with them. It’s important to remember that some of the best artists were inspired by the people who came before them. You can get to know some of these artists even better at the “Not Your Everyday Ox” Art Show through June 27th at Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell.
Did we miss one of your favorite local places to find artistic inspiration? Tell us your story below.
Pennington Day was a lot more colorful this year thanks to our exhibit in Howe Commons. The HV Arts Council was quite honored (and excited) when it were was asked to help out, and to bring along its growing stampede of beautifully decorated oxen.
On this beautiful Saturday, families from all over Hopewell Valley and beyond came out to meet their friends and neighbors and check out all the talented artists’ work. We dined on delicious food from local purveyors, danced along to the music, and started a new tradition of an artful presence.
Setting off the excitement and splendor of Pennington Day were our 20-foot banners encouraging residents to “celebrate art in the everyday.” Ten artists exhibited their work, many which are also participating in the stampede! Some artists were even working on painting their ox while the event was going on. This gave everyone a chance to meet the people behind the designs, and to see these blossoming works of art up close. How’s that for talent?
The day exuded creativity all over, from the youngest children dressed up in their craziest outfits and the playful face paintings, to lively musical performances, to the showcase of beautiful oxen, paintings, birdhouses, sculptures and quilts.
For more photos from Pennington Day, Click here. Just looking at them will give you reason enough to come out for Pennington Day, 2015!
The Star-Ledger on March 21, 2014
The Hopewell Valley Arts Council would like to thank the Rothwell family, the staff of Pennington Quality Market, Frank Flegeal and his Hopewell Valley Central High School (CHS) film students and the many performing and culinary artists who lent their time and energy to a celebration of art in the everyday last Saturday at PQM. The festive event introduced Olly the life-size fiberglass ox to many valley residents, and raised more than $6,000 for the arts council’s public art exhibit, the Stampede (“A stampede of creativity headed toward Hopewell — Art-awareness project calling on artists to decorate fiberglass oxen for auction,” Nov. 4, 2013).
Flash mobs sang and danced in the aisles and improvisational dancers roamed the store, while PQM staff demonstrated the culinary arts at sampling stations throughout the market.
Our gratitude to PQM staff who helped us plan and implement the event, the flower shop for Olly’s colorful garland, the market’s chefs who kept shoppers sated and the talents of Con Brio, the Hopewell Valley Chorus, the Hopewell Valley Youth Chorale, JigSaw Dance Company, the Marie Moore School of Irish Dance, Pennington Dance, Wayne Stockton Brown, CHS TV production crew, the Stampede committee, our local artists who volunteered as celebrity baggers, and all the shoppers and residents whose purchases supported the event.
Thanks to the continued support of our businesses, residents, schools and artists, more than 50 decorated fiberglass oxen will roam throughout the valley this summer.
— Betsy Ackerman and Randee Tengi,
The writers are co-chairwomen of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council (hvartscouncil.org).