Arts Council joins with HVMA for Come Outside and Play

Photo by Sue Mitrano
Photo by Sue Mitrano

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 SparksIt 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.

Places Around Hopewell Valley to Find Artistic Inspiration

Baldpate Mountain

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!


View from Baldpate Mountain

Washington Crossing Open Air Theater

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.

Open Air Theatre

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!

Looking out of a Titusville Home towards the Delaware Rier

Pennington Farmers Market

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!

Mr. Eggplant

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 Celebrates Community & The Arts

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!

Supporters Hoofed it to Market to Support the Stampede

The Star-Ledger on March 21, 2014

DSC_1697-dance 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,
Hopewell Township
The writers are co-chairwomen of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council (

Hopewell Valley Arts Council to sell decorated oxen after scattering them in town

DSC_0034-oxBy Michele Angermiller  The Times, Trenton
on March 21, 2014

A “stampede” of fiberglass oxen has been herded into an undisclosed warehouse in Hopewell Township, ready to begin grazing around the area in an effort to draw attention to the arts.

Area artists will transform 55 life-size fiberglass oxen into artistic masterpieces for the Hopewell Valley Stampede art-awareness project. The oxen, which are 8 feet long from tip to tail and weigh 100 pounds, will be decorated by artists and later auctioned off in a fundraiser to benefit the newly formed Hopewell Valley Arts Council.

In April, Capital Health’s Roma Bank Art and Healing Gallery will host a show displaying the oxen designs.

“What we are trying to do is nurture the arts in our local community,” said Carol Lipson, a member of the arts council. “There has always been an emphasis on sports in Hopewell Township, and given how many artists and musicians live in area, we feel it is time to put an emphasis into the arts.”

She added that the “vision” is to build a physical space for the arts council, so artists can have a home to share their creations.

The proceeds of the sales also will fund future projects and events to increase awareness and appreciation of the arts in Hopewell Valley, including the visual, culinary, literary and performing arts. Music festivals centered around the theme will be featured throughout the year, she said.

“There is an opportunity for art in everything we do,” Lipson said.

Hopewell Valley Community Bank, Capital Health, Morehouse Engineering, Betty Wold Johnson, and an “anonymous” donor were joined by 20 additional sponsors who helped fund the project initially, she said.

The arts council worked with Philadelphia-based The Theme Factory to flesh out the original design, created by retired art teacher Linda Bradshaw.

The ox was chosen, Lipson said, as a symbol “to celebrate the farm heritage of the area.”

“Stampede is our first endeavor,” she said of the yearlong celebration, during which the decorated oxen will be displayed throughout the area, including Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton. The pieces will be auctioned in January.

The Hopewell Valley Stampede was inspired by an exhibit introduced in Zurich, Switzerland. In 1998, more than 800 decorated cows were placed throughout Zurich’s landscape, drawing worldwide attention and attracting thousands of local and foreign visitors.

The Stampede is Gaining Momentum

Hopewell Valley News
Published on Friday, January 17

Submitting_PacketIn September, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council formally launched its first initiative, the Stampede, which will pair artists of all ages and media with local sponsors to produce creatively decorated oxen.

In September, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council formally launched its first initiative, the Stampede, which will pair artists of all ages and media with local sponsors to produce creatively decorated oxen that will roam the Valley in August 2014. The culmination of this effort will be a gala auction in January 2015, where these works of art will be auctioned off in a community celebration of the arts.

Thanks to the generosity of five founding sponsors, Capital Health, Hopewell Valley Community Bank, Morehouse Engineering, Betty Wold Johnson and an anonymous donor, the Arts Council held several events last fall in local homes of interest and business venues, to court sponsors and call the Valley’s artists to the cause.

To date, the Arts Council has enjoyed a tremendous turnout, with over 60 artists registering to participate and with local businesses, organizations, and families committing to sponsor over 50 oxen. A stampede is under way!

The undecorated, “naked” oxen will begin arriving in the Valley next month, with the first oxen being delivered to each Hopewell Valley school, allowing students from elementary through high school to participate in this public arts initiative.

In late spring, the Arts Council will hold an event to team, or “yoke” each sponsor with a local artist. Artists will have through June to complete their work, and in late summer, herds of decorated oxen will roam throughout the Valley.

In March, the Arts Council will collaborate with the larger community to “crowd sponsor” an ox, and the Pennington Quality Market will generously donate a percentage of sales that day to sponsor another. Join the celebration!The mission of the Hopewell Valley Arts Council is to nurture a vibrant and involved local community through the arts. Its goal is to cultivate creative exploration and to showcase the Valley’s artists through events and activities that demonstrate artistic vision in the visual, performing, culinary and literary arts. By defining the arts in the most expansive terms, the Hopewell Valley Arts Council encourages everyone to participate in celebrating art in the everyday.

It’s not too late to participate, as either a Sponsor or an Artist. To learn more, visit