Recap: The Sketchbook Project

Our first Art In The Park event was a resounding success!

Along with our friends in the Roselle Art Association, we hosted the Sketchbook Project on Saturday in Warinanco Park. Despite an overcast day with a little light rain, we welcomed over 200 visitors to our tents to view a worldwide selection of artists’ sketchbooks. The one constant among the visitors, who ranged in age from 3 to 90 years and included local artists, students, families and community leaders, was the big smile on each and every face.

This free event was fully funded by a public grant from the Borough of Roselle and enjoyed the sponsorship of the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the Office of Parks & Recreation. Special guests who attended the event on Saturday were Freeholder Bette Jane Kowalsky, Nicole DeAugustine from the Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, and General Assembly member Jamel Holley, who addressed the happy crowd. We were also pleased to offer free, blank artist sketchbooks to each child in attendance, a gift made possible by the generosity of the Freeholders and Dick Blick Art Materials.

Also among Saturday’s attendees was the founder of the Sketchbook Project, Steven Peterman. This event was special for the Project as well, for although they have travelled to nearly every state in the country since 2006, our event marked their first-ever visit to New Jersey. After such a long wait, Steven was thrilled by the impressive size and enthusiasm of the NJ crowd.

This event has been a long time in the making, so its success is a great joy, especially to WAA board member and Education Outreach Coordinator Laura Brown. Upon joining our leadership board last year, Laura immediately announced her goal of finding a way to host the Sketchbook Project here in New Jersey. Many moths of meetings, emails and paperwork later, we have made her vision come true. The real benefactors of her vision and hard work are all of the people, young and old, who came out to the park on Saturday to be inspired.

With the success of this event, we are looking ahead to our next Art In The Park event. In the meantime, please enjoy these photographs from last Saturday.

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