PENNINGTON – The Hopewell Valley Arts Council’s community art project and exhibition, ArtSpires, received overwhelming support from artists and community members. Sixty-three colorful sculptures, decorated by local artists and community members, were installed in clusters at 19 locations throughout Hopewell Valley in fall 2020. ArtSpires were sold during the month-long online auction to benefit the HV Arts Council and artists in December 2020. While all the ArtSpires found future homes, they will remain on display until spring 2021.
ArtSpires commemorates the loss of native ash trees from the harmful effects of the emerald ash borer beetle as the culmination of the organization’s multi-year initiative Out of the Ashes: Art Emerging from Fallen Trees. Wood for these projects were milled from ash trees felled by Hopewell Township and transformed into art.
“Participating in the ArtSpires community project was a beautiful experience,” reflected artist Sheetu Batra. “The HV Arts Council did a terrific job with all of the efforts that went into making this project a success. For us personally, it was a great way to connect as a family and create something beautiful during these tough times.”
Artists and bidders alike were inspired by the project. Local resident Betty Ruger, who painted two spires, said, “It was such fun to be a part of the ArtSpires project. All of the creativity from the folks here in the Valley is truly amazing. I feel blessed to have been a part of it.”
“This was truly a community effort bringing together our creative artists, municipal support, enthusiastic bidders, and, of course, Mother Nature,” said Carol Lipson, HV Arts Council executive director, “Special thanks to Delis Landscaping of Pennington, for their generosity installing the spires throughout the Valley.”
While it is best to see the ArtSpires in-person before they go to their new homes in the spring, you can view them anytime at the HV Arts Council website. For artist statements and photos of all of the ArtSpires, plus a colorful map, please see www.hvartscouncil.org/artspires.