Hopewell Valley Arts Council Awards Scholarships for Second Year

Winners of the 2016 Hopewell Valley Arts Council scholarships
From L to R: Hopewell Valley Arts Council President Randee Tengi with the organization’s 2016 scholarship winners Danielle Costanzo; Michaela Pietrinferno; and Reinah Bauer. Scholarship recipient Demi Zhang not pictured. Hopewell Valley Central High School “Class of 2016” Graduates Recognized in the Arts

Hopewell Valley Central High School “Class of 2016” Graduates Recognized in the Arts

PENNINGTON, NJ July 1, 2016—For a second year, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council (@hvartscouncil) has awarded scholarships to four outstanding graduating seniors of Hopewell Valley Central High School.

At a reception for this year’s winners and their parents, Arts Council President Randee Tengi highlighted that the scholarships are granted to outstanding Hopewell Valley students in recognition for their creative accomplishments and ambitions. The Arts Council started the scholarship program in 2015 during the organization’s very 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.

Arts Council Program Director Carol Lipson added, “We are so proud of the young artists of Hopewell Valley. Their performances and exhibits and sharing of their talents are part of what makes Hopewell Valley an art-rich community.  Recognizing young artists with these scholarships is one of the most awesome things we do!”

This year’s recipients are:

  • Reinah Bauer, who will continue her involvement with instrumental music and voice performance in the Rutgers University Honors Program;
  • Danielle Costanzo, who will study performing arts at Muhlenberg College;
  • Michaela Pietrinferno who will study technical theater at Savannah College of Art and Design; and
  • Demi Zhang, who will continue her development as a visual artist at Rutgers University.

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

About the Hopewell Valley Arts Council

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council is a nonprofit organization dedicated to celebrating “art in the everyday” throughout the Hopewell Valley region of New Jersey, including Hopewell Township, Titusville, Hopewell Borough and Pennington Borough. Now in its second year of operation, the Arts Council has blossomed as an art-focused partner for many community institutions and events. Already in the first half of 2016, the Council has brought art activities, performances and exhibits to Capital Health Medical Center—Hopewell; the Pennington Public Library; the Mount Rose Preserve Open House; Pennington Day; Pennington Borough’s Memorial Day Festivities; the Hopewell Valley Come Outside and Play Initiative; and Hopewell Borough’s 125th Anniversary Celebrations. Through its efforts to cultivate art appreciation and participation, the Arts Council aims to nurture a vibrant, creative and engaged community. The organization grew out of the 2014 Hopewell Stampede, a project initiated by a passionate group of art-loving residents who enlisted local artists to decorate more than 70 oversized, fiberglass oxen. The oxen were displayed throughout the community.

For more information, visit hvartscouncil.org. Follow the Arts Council on Facebook at Facebook.com/HVStampede/, Instagram, Instagram.com/hvartscouncil and Twitter Twitter.com/hvartscouncil.

Happy Holidays

Your friends at the Hopewell Valley Arts Council wish you and your family a very happy holiday season. We thank you for your support in the past, and hope to see you at our future events and programs, helping us to celebrate art in the everyday.

Below, we shine the spotlight on some council activities, fellow artists, and local artistic endeavors. This time, we are featuring Stampede artist Linda Bradshaw, whose lovely watercolor birch trees transformed her ox, Rooted, into a magical winter wonderland.


WW2015-bannerCheck out the second annual MercerMe.com and the Hopewell Valley Arts Council 2015 #HVWinterWindows contest page. Hopewell Valley businesses have installed their beautiful holiday shopping window displays featuring this year’s Winter Windows theme –  “Shimmering, Glistening, Sparkling!” The initiative is designed to draw attention and promote Hopewell Valley’s unique small businesses and celebrate art in our community. During the rest of December, through January 4th visit this page as often as you like to view the entries and vote for your favorites.

Millstone11-2015-Jones Oxen-purchaseMiss your old friends? Stop by the Millstone Gallery at Merwick Care & Rehabilitation Center and see The Oxen of Hopewell, photos of all 69 oxen by Allen Jones, on display through January 22.

The aMAZing Pumpkin Carve was… AMAZING! View our photo gallery of 50 sculpted and carved giant pumpkins, and starting getting excited about next year!

merchandise_toteNeed a holiday gift for someone (or yourself)? Give the gift of membership in the HV Arts Council – and get this great tote bag, too! Be a part of this new organization with a strong focus on building community, and having FUN!

Want to be a part of the this new and growing organization? Become an Arts Council volunteer – just email us at hvartscouncil@gmail.com and tell us how you see yourself celebrating art in the everyday.

Artist Spotlight: Linda Bradshaw

McDougald's Barn in Winter-lowerres
Visit the Silva Gallery of Art at The Pennington School to view the beautiful watercolors of Stampede artist Linda Bradshaw (“Rooted”). She can make the medium of watercolor depict anything she wishes—boats resting on the water, grasses blowing in the breeze, people walking on a beach, trees standing in the snow. Every time, the work reveals the lusciousness of light and shadow. Bradshaw intensely observes her world wherever she goes, and brings back paintings that make viewers reconsider how they have observed their own world.Images in Water and Light will remain on view through January 15, 2016.

On October 18, our friends at the Titusville Methodist Church held a celebration in honor of their Stampede ox, Luke the Celtic Ox. The service included a special children’s message explaining the significance of Luke and the imagery of the ox; a video with a wonderful message from the artist, Terry Anderson, who was unable to attend; a greeting from members of the Arts Council; a talk about the significance of the oxen in history from a gentleman who takes care of the oxen at Howell Farm; and multi-denominational greetings from a Roman Catholic and Buddhist leader.

DSC_0362   DSC_0372

The service was followed by a delicious luncheon with an Ox cake for dessert!  The group then went down the lawn to the ox, where it was officially dedicated and blessed with holy water. Kids couldn’t wait to get their picture taken with Luke.

2015 Scholarship Winners

scholarship winner 2015
Ahn Francesca Nong, Katherine Cleveland, Ian Goldsmith, and Tara Schmitt

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council is pleased to announce its first round of scholarships awarded to graduating seniors from Hopewell Valley Central High School. At a reception for the winners and their parents at the Council’s June 10, 2015 board meeting, four students were recognized for their creative accomplishments and ambitions and awarded $500 scholarships. The recipients are Ahn Francesca Nong, Katherine Cleveland, Ian Goldsmith, and Tara Schmitt.

Responding to the Arts Council’s mission of celebrating art in the everyday, these students shared in application essays how the arts have enriched and shaped their lives and their visions for the future. The students’ intended pursuits at universities and institutes include art history and international cultural commerce, music and world cultures, musical theatre and stagecraft, and the culinary arts. The Hopewell Valley Arts Council is delighted to celebrate and encourage the talents and aspirations of our youth. These scholarships reflect an on-going commitment to support arts education and exploration for all, as well as recognition of the role art and creativity play in an enriched life.

For further information on the 2015 Hopewell Valley Arts Council Scholars and all the upcoming activities of the Council visit to www.hvartscouncil.org or contact Council executive director David Miller.

Introducing Executive Director David Miller

Following the great success of the Stampede, the inaugural project of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, the Council is pleased to announce the hire of David Miller as its first executive director.  Serving Hopewell Valley, comprised of Hopewell Township and the boroughs of Hopewell and Pennington; the Council, which started just two years ago, is excited to be taking this important step forward.  Mr. Miller, a highly respected arts management professional, brings over 35 years of experience to the post and to the tasks of planning the Council’s programmatic advance and building a strong organizational base for future operations.

Miller, a lifelong central NJ resident and the former executive director of the New Jersey State Council on the Arts and Grounds For Sculpture, began his career in local arts development as administrator of the Burlington Council Cultural & Heritage Commission and later as Community Arts Coordinator for the State Arts Council where he rose to become executive director, a post he later held with Grounds For Sculpture. To every post he has earned distinction for sound planning and innovative programming.  Hopewell Valley Arts Council Co-Presidents Betsy Ackerman and Randee Tengi issued the following statement: “We welcome David Miller to this important post at this auspicious moment in our development, when we have successfully launched the Council and captured the energy, recognition, and support of the communities we serve.  His wealth of experience, broad knowledge, and enthusiasm for the value of art to community vitality exactly match the exciting challenges and opportunities in front of us.”

Formed two years ago by dedicated residents throughout the Valley, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council is coming off the tremendous success of its Stampede project, which celebrated the talents of area artists through the colorful and imaginative creation of 69 life-sized ox sculptures.  After two months roaming the valley as a public art exhibit, the sculptures were sold to supporters both near and far. The final 11 oxen were most recently showcased and auctioned at the Council’s inaugural ‘Year of the Ox’ gala held at Grounds For Sculpture in January.  As Miller noted, “The Stampede was the perfect project for a perfect launch, one that not only captured the attention and delight of the entire Hopewell Valley, but fortified regional identity and forged new partnerships in the community to bolster other initiatives the Council has been building.” These include a fall 2014 arts workshop series, the “Winter Windows” displays that local merchants throughout the region created to show support for the arts, and February’s Restaurant Week, a celebration of regional culinary arts. “With such a great start,” Miller continued, “there’s no telling what can be accomplished next.”

Just around the corner is a workshop on April 30 titled “Wine Showdown – France vs. The World,” which will compare wines from France to similar varietals from other regions, as well as pair the wines with wonderful culinary experiences prepared by The Brothers Moon chef Will Mooney. Bringing more art into valley life, the Council is creating concerts, summer family art workshops, and various arts demonstration and engagement projects at upcoming community events throughout the valley.

Mr. Miller will take the post initially on a part-time basis and work with the board and a growing number of volunteers and community stakeholders to map out the Council’s next steps with the goal of sustaining momentum and building a larger, durable base for future growth. The Council fills an important role in a unique, talent-rich region of the state, which previously had no organization devoted to promoting all the ways that art, artists, and the larger creative community enrich lives, improve quality of life, and contribute to such vital civic concerns as education, community and economic development, preservation, conservation, and healthcare. The Hopewell Valley Arts Council embraces an open philosophy that recognizes the arts are for everyone, every day, and are alive and worth fostering in all human endeavor throughout the region, as expressed by their mission of “celebrating art in the everyday.”

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council is a private non-profit, charitable organization that looks forward to many future announcements of valuable, exciting programs for the people of the Hopewell Valley and the region.  For further information or to join the growing number of residents who believe the arts matter here, visit our website at www.hvartscouncil.org.

‘Ox’tion Gala’ at Grounds for Sculpture features first-place ‘Think Inside the Ox’

By Janet Purcell | For The Times of Trenton 
on January 20, 2015 at 9:30 AM, updated January 20, 2015 at 9:35 AM

By now, most everyone in this region’s art community knows about the Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s 69 fiberglass oxen that were given artistic personalities by local artists and spent weeks on display throughout Hopewell Valley.

The group held an online auction for 33 of the oxen in “The Stampede” project and raised more than $73,000 by the time it ended in October. Another 11 oxen are being offered during a live auction and dinner Saturday at Grounds for Sculpture during an event dubbed the “Ox’tion Gala.”

Among of the oxen being auctioned Saturday is Dana Weekley’s “Think Inside The Ox,” which is covered in yellow, blue and green mandalas. In August, three independent judges with strong credentials selected Weekley’s entry as first place overall for the project.

Weekley says she never thought of herself as an artist even though she spent hours drawing with her Spirograph as a kid and staring down into roses when she worked with her father in his flower business.

9TDW1“Think Inside the Ox” by Dana Weekley.

She wanted to be a math teacher but when Weekley took night school courses at Rider University in calculus, she also took a studio art class with Professor Harry A. Naar — and dropped out.

“I was trying to make it all perfect and just couldn’t do it,” she says.

It wasn’t until 2007 when she was drawing with her 7-year-old old son that she found her artistic inspiration.

“He was just drawing, abstract, and I would be looking around for something outside myself to draw,” Weekley says. “I asked him what I should draw and he said, ‘draw what’s inside you.’ It was like it burst upon me and I knew at that moment it had changed my life forever.”

Before that I had been controlling, critical and judgmental about my work. I looked outside myself, and was intimidated by a blank canvas—a metaphor about how I lived my life in general. When the art channel opened, it began to, and still does, guide me through transformations toward self-realization, personal freedom, present moment awareness, self-love and trust in God. A far more powerful perspective, to be sure.”

Soon her drawings evolved into the mandalas she does today. They began as black and white drawings and then color flooded into them. Now Weekley prints her kaleidoscopic designs on fine matte papers, on canvas, on fabric for wall hangings and on vinyl or other fabric-like materials for decals that can be mounted on a wall.

She’d attended the Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s call for artists because she wanted the connection with other artists. But when the idea of the Stampede began to develop, she says the concept of adding art to an ox was intimidating.

“I had no idea how I was going to do an ox,” Weekley says. “It was insane.”

She describes several ideas she toyed with before deciding that to achieve the fluidity of design she wanted, it would be best to use glue and paper. She purchased a decorate-it-yourself piggy bank to use as a prototype and began cutting her drawings in strips and gluing them on.

“I think of myself as a scribe, a tool, and I started working on the ox cutting the mandala I had designed for him into strips and gluing them on while I listened to pod casts of spiritual people talking for hours and I loved doing it and cried when he left,” Weekley says.

Then disaster struck. The sealant used to make the ox weatherproof didn’t hold and large sections all over the ox bubbled up and had to be scraped off.

“I had just spent April to September on him and now I had to start at the beginning again, do an underlay and have it meet up properly with the layer that was still there. I cried,” she says. “But then I got over it and, thankfully, my husband stripped and prepped him, I finished, we sealed him with a new sealant and he was better than ever. I cried again when he had to leave the second time. He’d become a good friend.”

And now Weekley is back to making mandalas full time again, beginning to create them using 3-D printing and connecting with people from all parts of the world through her website, ninetomatoes.com, a name she says just “dropped in” on her.

“People have found me from all over the world — deeply spiritual people in Australia, Canada, South America and throughout the States,” Weekley says. “I love working with people making their own mandalas. They send me their drawing, we connect and I get a sense of who they are. Then I move their drawings around and they evolve into their own personal mandala. I love it when people begin to find their essence.”

Finale Video

On October 19, 2014, the Stampede Finale was held on the grounds of Hopewell Elementary School. The party celebrated the end of the Stampede’s public art exhibit, and the winners of the online auction were announced. Video journalist John Bauwen was on hand to capture the excitement and sentiments of the event. You can watch the video on Verizon FiOS News1.

Sale of decorated oxen nets $73K for Hopewell Valley Arts Council

By Brendan McGrath | Times of Trenton 
Email the author | Follow on Twitter
on October 21, 2014 at 3:21 PM


The colorful oxen that have lined Hopewell Valley’s landscape since August are turning the local arts council green to the tune of $73,000.

The money, raised by auctioning off 33 of 69 decorated fiberglass oxen, will be used by the nascent Hopewell Valley Arts Council for future public arts projects and workshops.

This project, “The Stampede,” was the arts council’s first big project after being established early this year.

When the life-sized oxen arrived in March, they were white and blank of any design. Artists then embellished them and the arts council installed them throughout Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough and Pennington.

An online auction featuring 33 of the oxen ended Sunday ahead of a celebration of the project at Hopewell Elementary.

The total amount of money bid on the oxen hovered between $20,000 and $30,000 for a long time, project coordinator Liz Bell said. Then as the auction drew to a close, something changed.

“In the last 24 hours it just popped,” Bell said.

The auction brought in a total of $73,581. Every ox sold for at least $1,200, with “Luke the Celtic Ox” earning the top bid at $4,817.

Another 11 oxen, including one that was just revealed Sunday, will be sold in a live auction at a gala in January. The remaining oxen were prepurchased by sponsors to fund the project.

The oxen that will be auctioned off will be featured together in a herd somewhere in Hopewell Valley later this fall.

The process has been a gratifying one for the arts council.

“We certainly worked very hard in putting this together and learned a lot in the process,” Bell said.

The project was intended to increase awareness of arts in the community and raise funds for the council. Bell said she thinks both objectives were achieved.

“I think the community has an idea that there’s an arts council in town,” she said.

Now, the council will begin its educational workshops on crafts, including ornament making and jewelry design.

The oxen are being picked up from their various locations this week, but some can still be viewed.

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

Celebrating the Culinary Arts: Edible Art

October is Art Month at thePennington Farmers Market. On October 11, show your love of the culinary arts by entering the Arts Council’s “art in the everyday bake-off” featuring the bounty of our local fall produce. Or, visit the Arts Council tent and try your hand at making a beautiful artistic creation of fruits, vegetables, and flowers.


This time of year the local farmer’s markets are brimming with colorful, flavorful produce including apples, beets, corn, tomatoes, squash and pumpkins. They can all be turned into beautiful creations that are fun to eat! Here is some inspiration from around the web for edible art that you can try at home.

Pantone Rainbow Tarts


Where would we be without Pantone’s library of beautiful color? Make your own edible color chips out of food, like this recipe for passionfruit cheesecake.

25 Adorable Food Animals


If your mother ever told you not to play with your food, we’re hoping you’ll break the rules this one time. Haven’t you always wanted to make a poodle out of your cauliflower? And you’re in luck – October and November are the months for cauliflower; you’ll find it at your local New Jersey farmers market.

Breakfast Art


Use a piece of toast as your canvas like these creative people did to recreate famous works of art.

Food Turned Paint


If you’re out of watercolors, color rich foods like blackberries, beets (at the farmers market all season long), and spices like turmeric can be just as beautiful. Click the link above for a tutorial.

Meet Luke, the Celtic Ox

TITUSVILLE, N. J. – Come meet Luke, the Celtic Ox, and hear local artist-chaplain Terry Galvin Anderson discuss the artistic and religious inspirations behind the life-sized bovine statue she painted, now “prancing” on the sloping front lawn of the Titusville United Methodist Church, as part of Hopewell Valley’s current “stampede” of 68 oxen, each a unique artistic homage to this area’s agrarian past. This Meet-the-Artist NIght will be held inside the fellowship hall of the Titusville church’s Education Building on Wednesday, October 8, starting at 7 p.m. Until mid-October, Luke will “graze” alongside scenic River Road (Route 29) where it intersects with Church Road in still-rural Titusville.

Luke and ArtistLuke, the Celtic Ox, incorporates a host of symbols from the Book of Kells, an intricate, gilded Celtic masterwork of illuminated manuscript containing the Four Gospels of the Bible’s New Testament, believed to have been created in either medieval Britain or Ireland around 800 A. D.

This modern-day interpretation, Anderson says, incorporates traditional and contemporary illumination techniques and symbols, such as the Celtic spiral on Luke’s forehead and curving triskeles (three-pronged emblems) on the bovine’s shoulder blades. In Celtic art, the ox, a gentle beast of burden, serves as an important symbol of strength and sovereignty. The statue is named after St. Luke, one of the New Testament’s Four Evangelists, often depicted as a winged ox or bull, a figure of Christian sacrifice, service and strength.

“My goal was to bring to life the joy of this great evangelist, artist, physician and patron of iconography by adapting the Celtic vision of Luke the Ox from the Book of Kells, into the present, in an effort to bring joy and hope to people in the everyday, and to enliven the great Celtic sacred-arts traditions in a way that people of all faiths and traditions might feel inspired,” Anderson says. “It is a joy to see so many people engaging with life, love, friendship, beauty, faith and joyful surprise through the many oxen in the Hopewell Stampede!

“This project led me deeply into my own Celtic heritage, and returned me to the golden age of Celtic illumination, manifested beautifully in the Book of Kells,” says Anderson, who plans to present slides October 8 that depict her own spiritual journey through faith and art, while sharing examples of Eastern icons, Western illuminations, and Celtic art, all “painted prayers in honor of God’s great glory.” She anticipates lively dialogue and shared spiritual growth, she says.

Anderson, of Pennington, is a chaplain, mother, artist, spiritual director, art-workshop instructor for schools, churches, universities and retreat centers, former Ivy League joint pre-med/art-history student, long-time businessperson in the pharmaceutical industry, and ongoing student of theology and medieval religious iconography and illuminated illustration.

“Luke, the Celtic Ox” is part of the public “Art in the Everyday” exhibition of 68 life-sized painted or embellished oxen – celebrating this area’s deep and continuing farming ties – sponsored by the recently formed Hopewell Valley Arts Council and currently on display along roadsides, in farm fields and outside businesses throughout Hopewell Township, N. J. According to the Council’s website (www.hvartscouncil.org), the ox is a “significant animal to Mercer County and Hopewell Valley . . . an icon of the Valley’s agricultural heritage. With a team of oxen still plowing the fields at Howell Living History Farm (in northern Hopewell Township), the ox symbolizes strength and teamwork.”

Titusville United Methodist Church (sites.google.com/site/titusvilleumc/home) is located at 7 Church Road – at the corner of River Road (Route 29) and Church Road – in Titusville. Ample parking available.

All welcome! Fall-themed refreshments. Great fellowship. And a lovely night out October 8. Please come!

For more information, please contact The Rev. John Wesley Morrison, church pastor, at 609/737-2622.

Top 10 Reasons to Own an Ox


How would you like to own one of the creatively decorated Stampede oxen? Now you can! While most of the oxen have been sold and are with their new wranglers, eleven ‘oxceptional’ oxen will be sold at a live auction happening at The Year of the Ox Gala on January 24, 2015 at Grounds for Sculpture. Proceeds from the sale of  all the oxen will go to the further development of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council and ongoing programming efforts fostering the mission of celebrating art in the everyday.

If supporting the Hopewell Valley Arts Council isn’t a good enough reason in itself to bid on an ox, here are the top 10 reasons we came up 😉 Can you think of any others to add?

10. To start a farm of life-size fiberglass art animals

9. To brighten things up when the trees lose their leaves

8. Because your parents wouldn’t let you get a pony

7. To mooo-ve and impress your art collecting friends and family

6. To make your holiday card the talk of the town (Olly loves being photographed)

5. To give your children a good hiding place during hide & seek

4. To scare off the deer

3. Because the jungle gym is getting boring

2. To decorate your septic mound

1. To support the Hopewell Valley Arts Council