Art Abounds Indoors and Outdoors in New Jersey
Whether you’re a connoisseur of fine art or can’t tell the difference between Renaissance and Realism, spark your creative side this summer with a New Jersey arts & culture experience. The state mounts a vibrant arts calendar with plenty of outdoor venues and events to enjoy during the seasonable weather.
Oh, the merry (and arty) months of May and June!
Along with flowers, late spring in New Jersey blooms with arts & crafts fairs. Browse all manner of artwork and handcrafted items, meet the artists and enjoy the friendly, lively vibe of a street fair practically every weekend. Princeton, Fanwood, Cape May and Seaside Heights are among the many New Jersey towns with art fairs happening soon.
If you’re looking for juried art fairs, check out the 30th annual Fine Arts and Crafts at Verona Park or the 27th Spring Fine Arts and Crafts in Brookdale Park (Bloomfield/Montclair), in May and June respectively. Late spring is also a good time to peruse the calendars of NJ’s performing arts venues to see what’s coming for the summer season and purchase those “must have” concert tickets. Pair your arts experience with a B&B stay and a winery tour—and your anniversary celebration plans are set!
It’s perfectly clear: New Jersey is a center for glass art.
It may be known for the mythical Jersey Devil, but southern New Jersey is the real birthplace of America’s important glass industry. Rich with the natural resources needed to make glass, the area was home to the nation’s earliest successful glass factory (1739). This summer, learn about NJ’s contributions to glass and participate in a hands-on experience at WheatonArts and Cultural Center. Stroll through the Museum of American Glass, watch contemporary glass artists use century-old techniques to create new works of art or make your own glass paperweight memento.
In northern New Jersey, GlassRoots Studio is the only metropolitan “hotshop” for youth and adults, offering workshops in glassblowing, flameworking and more. Other glass studios with interactive experiences include Hot Sand in Asbury Park, Glassworks in Morristown and the Glass Underground in Warren.
Art for outdoor enthusiasts, curious kids and Liberty lovers
Prefer fresh air over hot flames? Then Grounds For Sculpture is for you. Created to make contemporary sculpture more accessible, Grounds For Sculpture provides an informal setting where you stroll outside on 42 landscaped acres, viewing an evolving collection of sculpture and taking advantage of photo ops with the resident peacocks. Dine at one of the on-site restaurants or request a Picnic-in-the-Park from the café and enjoy an al fresco repast on the scenic grounds.
Many of the installations at Grounds For Sculpture are quite large, but if “colossal” is more your style, take the ferry from Liberty State Park to see Bartholdi’s neoclassic sculpture Liberty Enlightening the World, better known as the Statue of Liberty. Other places to enjoy outdoor art installations on a smaller scale include the museum garden at Newark Museum and the Princeton University Art Museum, which offers a self-guided tour of outdoor sculpture geared towards children. Speaking of kid-friendly art, the Montclair Art Museum features a Family Learning Lab, an interactive space where families can further explore the current exhibition. Stay tuned for the museum’s upcoming fall exhibit of Eric Carle, beloved children’s book illustrator of such classics as The Very Hungry Caterpillar.
Learn more about art fairs, live music performances and museum exhibits at visitnj.org. Download a free NJ travel guide or sign up for e-news from New Jersey Travel and Tourism and make your plans to experience the arts in New Jersey in the coming season.