The Awakening by Seward Johnson
Seward Johnson, The Awakening, ©1981 The Seward Johnson Atelier, Inc.
Choreography: Heidi Cruz-Austin. The Outlet Dance Project, 2021

About the Seward Johnson Project

In 2020, the world, and Hopewell Valley, lost one of its most beloved and well-known artists, J. Seward Johnson II.  Seward was an internationally renowned sculptor and embodied the Johnson family’s long tradition of philanthropy and exploration in his specific area of interest – the arts. Seward was an influential mentor to many local artists, and the founder of Grounds for Sculpture and The Johnson Atelier in Hamilton, NJ.

The Hopewell Valley Arts Council and The Johnson Atelier are partnering to host a year-long celebration of Seward Johnson’s amazing life and the things that he loved.

The focal point of the celebration is the installation of a 70-foot wide monumental sculpture by Seward, The Awakening, at the D&R Greenway’s St. Michaels Farm Preserve in Hopewell Township. With support from the Atlantic Foundation, a family foundation, the Johnson Atelier received a generous grant for the installation of The Awakening.

In addition, the HV Arts Council is bringing ten of Seward’s life-sized sculptures to Hopewell Valley for a special six-month exhibition. The funding for the sculptures is thanks to generous donations from the community and supplemented with a donation from Elaine J. Wold, in honor of her brother Seward Johnson. The sculptures have been placed in high-visibility locations thoughout Hopewell Valley – Hopewell Township, Hopewell Borough, Pennington, and Titusville – including one at each school campus in Hopewell Valley Regional School District.

A wide range of events will take place throughout the summer, highlighting the sculptures and things that Seward loved – including poetry readings, cultural lectures, live music, art exhibitions and workshops. Stay tuned by following us on social or joining our mailing list!

“This temporary installation, The Awakening, invites people to pause and think about their role in protecting the Earth. We were approached by the Johnson Atelier and the Hopewell Valley Arts Council and wanted to be part of this community-wide celebration. We hope that The Awakening will introduce people to our preserve, where they can walk our trails and learn about land preservation. We also hope it will inspire thought about how each of us individually makes choices that affect the Earth and its resources. For me, this sculpture represents the struggles of humanity as we try to protect the Earth during a time of climate change and its impacts on plants and wildlife. While the art installation is temporary, the lands we preserve and steward are forever.” – Linda Mead, D&R Greenway’s President and CEO

The Awakening by Seward Johnson at D&R Greenway’s St. Michael’s Farm Preserve