(WASHINGTON TOWNSHIP, NJ) -- Forced to utilize the rain date of May 15, the Friends of the Olde Stone House Village had a successful Plein Air event this year following the inaugural event in 2021. Nine artists painted their selection of subjects in the pastoral setting at the historical village at 208 Egg Harbor Road in Washington Township, Gloucester County. Returning artist participant Norman Schmidt commented “It was a wonderful event and all involved did a great job.”
In addition to the artists painting all over the village, Liv Smith from Appel Farm taught a children’s art class. Seven local children created handmade paper flowers in the open air. Ms. Smith commented, “For children and adults alike, creating art in a communal environment is a uniquely satisfying experience, but to do so while immersed in such a historically rich setting was truly magical.” Thank you to our friends Amanda Kaley (and her husband Michael Fromm) from Creativity CoLaboratory Charter School and Appel Farm for providing the teacher and an information table at the event.
Fine art vendors Bonnie and Abe Warren (Handcrafted by Abe Warren) from Quentin had a beautiful array of sculptural wooden charcuterie boards made of many varieties of wood, allowing the natural grain and shadings to show through the food safe coating. Photographer Wendy Burke set up a lovely display of artistic photographic accents for the home, many scenes from nature and rural life.
Judge Nicole Schmitt, art teacher at the BIrches School in Washington Township, observed the artists throughout the day and was a capable judge of the completed paintings. Annie Stack of Kennett Square, PA won third prize $50 with her oil painting of the Morgan (Olde Stone) House. Ms. Strack commented “This is the second time I've participated in the Olde Stone Village Plein Air, and it was another fabulous event! The weather was perfect and the location is rich with subject matter for artists, making it a very enjoyable day for everyone. I can hardly wait for the next event!” Illustrator Norman Schmidt of Erial won second prize $100 with his painting of Bunker Hill Presbyterian Church. When he began planning his painting, Norm remarked “I’m tired of green” and used purple as his main background color for a striking treatment of the old church titled “Purple Rain.” Winning first prize $150 for the second year, Dawn Kohansky of Millville painted “Inside Looking Out” from inside the Morgan House, a viewpoint suggested to her by Ted Stout, President of the Friends and a descendant of the Morgan family.
The historic village is anchored by the Morgan House (Olde Stone House) and four additional historic buildings which were moved to the site in the 1970s and 1980s. The village has annual events including Harvest Fest in September, The Magic of Christmas in December, Classic Car Show in April, and Plein Air in May. The Friends also have a free open House on second Saturdays during warm months. Coming on June 11, catch the free Antique Toy presentation provided by Gloucester County Historical Commission and Village Tour 1:00pm-3:00pm.
This program is made possible by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, a partner agency of the National Endowment for the Art and the Gloucester County Cultural and Heritage Commission. Additional support is provided by Sustainable Washington Township, Washington Township Historic Preservation Commission, and the Friends of the Olde Stone House Village.
IMAGES: (from top to bottom) Annie-Strack, Dawn Kohansky, Norman Schmidt, Ellen Gavin, and the 2022 Plein Air Artists.