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Service alert Open

All Middlesex County buildings will remain closed to the general public until further notice due to COVID-19. Only select County services are available on an appointment basis.
Johnson and Donaldson Parks are open with limited services and amenities. For more information, click here.


Join us for Art in the Park!

Grab your sketchbook, drawing supplies, oil pastels, paints or whatever materials you have at home and get outside! Sketch your way through the County’s local parks with an artist as your guide every Saturday in July and August 1 pm to 3 pm.​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Programs are open to all ages, and do not require registration.Bring your own supplies. Read on for additional information on each session, including specific meeting spots, suggested supplies, activity guides and more!​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​




Art in the Park

Each Session: 1pm - 3pm​

Saturday, July 10
Historical Architecture​
East Jersey Old Town Village 
1050 River Road, Piscataway​
Saturday, August 7
Bay & Lighthouse Landscapes
Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
201 John T. O'Leary Blvd., South Amboy
Saturday, July 17
Sketching Animals
The Lodge at Thompson Park
1701 Perrineville Road, Monroe
Saturday, August 14​
Figure Drawing​
Monument Square Park
2 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick
Saturday, July 24
Lake Views
Spring Lake Park
2505 Plainfield Avenue, S. Plainfield
​(Pearl Place Leads Into Park)
Saturday, August 21
Fall Harvest
Earth Center Session II Davidson Mill Pond
42 Riva Avenue, South Brunswick
Saturday, July 31
Botanical Illustration
Earth Center Session I Davidson Mill Pond
42 Riva Avenue, North Brunswick
Saturday, August 28
East Jeresy Old Town Village
1050 River Road, Piscataway

Programming is dependent on weather. Please call 732-296-8966 for program status.


​​East Jersey Old Town Village
1050 River Road, Piscataway
Meet us in the Parking lot

​The Lodge @ Thompson Park
1701 Perrineville Road, Monroe
Meet us in the parking lot by the Lodge

Spring Lake Park
2505 Plainfield Avenue, South Plainfield
(Pearl Place Leads into Park)
Meet us by the Gazebo

Earth Center @ Davidson Mill Pond
42 Riva Avenue, South Brunswick
Meet us at the Earth Center

Raritan Bay Waterfront Park
201 John T O'Leary Blvd, South Amboy
Meet us by the Gazebos

​Monument Square Park
2 Livingston Avenue, New Brunswick

Suggested Supplies List:

Non-Art Supplies:
  • Water
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug-Repellent
  • Hat
  • Lawn Chair
  • Brown Bag Lunch

Artist Information

Donate MuseDontae Muse

Dontae Muse is the first artist for our Art in the Park Series. Since 2016, Dontae has been the co-owner of Above Art Studios located in New Brunswick, NJ and best-selling author of Tripping Over Canvases: How To Open Your Own Art Gallery With No Prior Experience. The gallery has won many awards and Dontae has found himself as an advisor or on the boards of the New Jersey Art Adminstrators of Color, Institute of Music For Children, New Brunswick HeART festival, New Brunswick NAACP, and has become an Artrepreneur coach and an advocate for fair payment to artists for artistic services.

Joan ConwayJoan Conway

Joan Conway began her career in the Piscataway School district teaching art at the middle school level and later she branched out to other grade levels as she took on a supervisory role for the district. Her career advanced to district supervisor for the visual arts and later developed into the District Director for the Visual Practical and Performing Arts. Joan was an integral in advancing arts education in the Piscataway community as well as the state. She served several years in leadership capacities for the Art Administrators of New Jersey as President, Vice-President, Secretary and Student Achievement Award Chairperson while being active with the NJ Department of Education initiatives such as: NJDOE New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards, Assessment and Evaluations. She was named Supervisor of the Year in 2002 by the NJ Principal Supervisor Association and worked on the State Advisory Committee on Professional Development for School Leaders as the NJPSA representative. Joan holds a BA and MA in Fine Arts with a K-12 education certificate as well as a MA in Educational Administration from Kean College.

After retiring from the Piscataway School District, Joan continued to pursue her commitment to arts education by teaching for the Middlesex and Monmouth County Arts and Education Center, by volunteering as a docent for the Rutgers Zimmerli Art Museum and becoming an adjunct professor teaching and supervising student interns for New Jersey City University. Other artistic interests pursued included the appointment of Commissioner to the Middlesex County Cultural Heritage Commission. She has adjudicated several art shows including the Student Congressional Award. With fond memories of remembering Piscataway students enjoying their time at the Middlesex County Teen Arts Festival, Joan sought out individuals who saw the worth for the teen students to celebrate their talents and learn from others by bringing back the Middlesex County Teen Arts Festival in 2019.

After moving from Edison, Joan moved to South Amboy where she was challenged with a way to get families into the town to enjoy an event. That event turned into 2011Artsfest. Presently, Joan is the Director for the SA Arts Gallery and Vice-President of the South Amboy Arts Alliance and is busy planning 2021 Artsfest.

Donate MuseHal VanDermark

Inspire Art Gallery & Studio, a Dunellen-NJ-based nonprofit, has transformed a downtown garage into a gallery and studio space. Originally founded in Spring 2018 by US Navy veteran Hal VanDermark, Inspire Art Gallery serves both artists and art-lovers young and old by providing monthly curated shows, educational programs, and community-oriented events. New this year, Inspire is offering yearly memberships as an initiative for art consumers and artists to save as they engage.

VanDermark has a plan for the gallery that includes poetry nights, open mic nights, paint & sip parties, adult classes and children’s programming. But he also has a vision for Dunellen. “I’d like to see this town become a hub for the arts, like New Brunswick.”

When he’s painting, VanDermark’s mind goes where the brush goes. “Until the brush stops on the canvas, and the painting is complete, there’s nothing that goes on in my head.” Inspired by his late mother who passed away early in his life, VanDermark often immerses himself in landscape art, while indulging in abstract and mixed use projects.

Anyone can be an artist, he says. “Everyone has talent. You just have to harvest it. It’s like a job. It takes practice, it’s not something that you’re just born with. You have to put the work and time in to develop your craft.”

To find out more about the gallery, memberships and opening shows, visit

Need Some Inspiration?

Sketching Botanical Illustrations

​​Alice R. Tangerini

Alice R. Tangerini (born April 25, 1949) is an American botanical illustrator. In 1972, Tangerini was hired as a staff illustrator for the Department of Botany at the National Museum of Natural History by American botanist Lyman Bradford Smith. Prior to working at the Smithsonian Institution, she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Virginia Commonwealth University. As of March 9, 2017, Tangerini remains the only botanical illustrator ever hired by the Smithsonian.​

Sarracenia Flava Botanical Illustration by Alice Tangerini
​ ​
Loranthus Botanical Illustration by Alice Tangerini
Annona Muricata Botanical Illustration by Alice Tangerini
Botanical Illustration by Alice Tangerini

Sketching Landscapes

Asher Brown Durand of Maplewood and George Inness of Montclair are two Hudson River School Painters with ties to NJ. Both artists lived in New Jersey during different parts of their lives and painted the scenes around them as well as scenes across America and Europe. Both were dedicated to painting nature as they saw it. (Select a thumbnail to view it larger)

New Jersey Landscape by Asher Brown Durand - 1854​
The Beeches by Asher Brown Durand - 1845​
Progress (The Advance of Civilization) by Asher Brown Durand - 1853
Early Autumn, Montclair by George Inness - 1888
Sunset at Montclair by George Inness - 1885
Early Autumn, Montclair by George Inness - 1891

Sketching Animals

Jerry Pinkney

Jerry Pinkney is an American illustrator and writer of children's books. Pinkney has illustrated over 100 books since 1964, including picture books, nonfiction titles and novels. Pinkney's works address diverse themes and are usually done in watercolors. We hope these animal drawings give you some inspiration for sketching animals!(Tap a thumbnail to view larger image)


Historical Architecture

Check out these publications available from the Middlesex County Historical Archives and Library's Online Collections for local architectural inspiration! Tap on any of the titles below to view its contents

These books were used by the modelers at Federal Seaboard Terra Cotta in Perth Amboy for inspiration with architectural terra cotta​
Grammar of Ornament, book cover​​
​​Book, The Colored Ornament of all Historical Style
Here are some designs from the 1950s and 60s
​​CV Durathin Design Series Booklet
Building Progress Magazine, February 1965
"The architect : or, Practical house carpenter," by Asher Benjamin, 1773-1845​​ ​
Open book with architectural designs, 1773-1845 


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