What is the region’s most fun, original, accessible work of art, capturing the attention of culture lovers throughout the region and nearby Bucks County? It first took the form of life-sized painted and decorated oxen, and is now taking shape as giant carved pumpkins. Its ability to transform itself artfully mirrors the transformative effect it is having on the entire community.

Incredibly, this work of art is an organization — the Hopewell Valley Arts Council, a masterpiece in progress. Its creators are community arts activists who are sculpting the Arts Council into a home for the arts, in its many forms, in Hopewell Valley. The council has achieved enormous visibility by presenting itself in all corners of Hopewell Valley, and penetrating the hearts and senses of all the Valley’s residents.

The council first infused the community landscape — literally and figuratively — with its Stampede of 69 life-sized ox sculptures crafted by area. The exhibition featured what the public labeled “incredible”, “awesome”, and “spectacular” works of art, giving shape to the council’s philosophy of “celebrating art in the everyday.”

Now the Arts Council board members have planned the next big event for the valley, “The aMAZing Pumpkin Carve” — an exhibition of giant carved pumpkins.

From October 9 through 11 at Howell Living History Farm, the council will display 50 giant pumpkins, each carved and crafted by area artists, and sponsored by local businesses and residents. Characteristic of the Arts Council’s focus on the community and partnerships, this pumpkin patch of sculptures is made possible by the council’s partnering with Howell Farm’s Corn Maze.

The weekend of activities begins on Thursday, October 8, with The aMAZing Pumpkin Preview Party, a ticketed event open to the public, featuring down-home fun with a BBQ and the music of local favorites The Bluewave Ramblers. Visitors throughout the weekend will be treated to a labyrinth gallery of gigantic colorful, distinctive organic sculptures immediately adjacent to the corn maze. The aMAZing Pumpkin Carve will include carving demonstrations and prizes for the most distinctive creations.

“We are excited to invite the entire region to join us at our amazing pumpkin carve. We’re looking for creative pumpkin carving artists to think outside the box and create imaginative, fun works of art. Community-minded sponsors are needed to help keep the ticket prices affordable so this unique event can be enjoyed by young and young at heart,” said council President Randee Tengi.

Next up, on October 3 and 4, is a collaboration with Tour Des Arts, an annual opportunity to visit the studios of Hopewell artists. The council will help promote the event, and establish a headquarters at the Hopewell Train Station where studio visitors can pick up maps, see representative works, and enjoy the festive ambiance.

“Collaborating with community groups is a primary tool used by the Arts Council in its quest to become a masterful arts organization serving the region’s residents. We look forward to continuing and growing these collaborations for many years to come,” said Executive Director David Miller.

Later this fall the council will launch a concert series entitled “Art: The Language of Expression.” Its first concert will take place on November 15 at the Unitarian Universalist Church in Titusville. “Watch art come alive while listening to the jazz of renowned recording artist The Steve Rudolph Quartet as artist Emily Muschinske translates the music onto a large canvas over the course of the performance,” said Miller.

To learn more about the Hopewell Valley Arts Council visit www.hvartscouncil.org.

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