ECO Fair

Coral-colored rose is the background with white text "ECO Fair: Awakening of Mother Earth". White line graphic of Native group playing musical instruments.

ECO Fair

Save the Date! Saturday, May 6, 2023
10 a.m. to 4 p.m. rain or shine

Below are the event details from 2022 for reference. Please check back at a later time as we plan an engaging 2023 program for everyone! Thank you.

In partnership with the Authority of Cumberland County, WheatonArts presents the 15th annual ECO Fair, a FREE Family Day event inspired by natural and artful living!

WheatonArts’ vision of artistry and creativity reveals a broad spectrum of project themes that are meaningful for individuals, communities, and the society at large. Some interpret universal human values, while others focus on more specific issues such as expressions of identity through arts or artists’ views of profound social challenges.

ECO Fair reflects themes that are relevant for all humans but are explored differently through various artistic and cultural activities around the globe. The relationships between humans and nature, the humans’ impact on nature, and nature’s impact on human lives have inspired visual and performing artists for centuries. In recent years when humanity struggles to overcome damages and restore a natural balance on earth, these themes have become even more relevant and inspire various artistic expressions.

ECO Fair, a campus-wide event, features local gardening clubs, including Rutgers Master Gardeners with various plants and herbs for sale, handmade works of New Jersey artists, environmental organizations, Nature Trail tours, eco-friendly activities for families and more. This year we have incorporated a festival that presents the human/nature relationships as interpreted in the cultures of the Central and South American communities in our area. This “Awakening of Mother Earth” festival symbolizes a new season that brings new expectations, hopes, and celebrations that reconnect us with Mother Earth through ritual, art, music, and dance.

Admission to all WheatonArts exhibits and artist studio demonstrations are free and open to the public for the day, part of WheatonArts Family Days presented by PNC Arts Alive! ECO Fair: Awakening of Mother Earth is presented in partnership with The Authority of Cumberland County, CU Maurice River, and Rutgers Master Gardeners.

Give us your zip code at the gate and receive a FREE Eco-shopping bag, courtesy of the Cumberland County Improvement Authority! While supplies last. 

Peruvian artist Rosa Carhuallanqui holding a handmade musical instrument and colorful dress, shawl, and hat.

Awakening of Mother Earth Festival

Reconnect with Mother Earth through art, music, and dance with this vivid introduction to the unique traditions & cultures of the Central & South American communities in our area. Musicians and dancers guide us on our journey to rediscover our ancestors’ wisdom, reflect on today’s challenges, and find ways to restore harmony in our world. Narrated music & dance performances feature Bolivian, Venezuelan, Brazilian, Peruvian, Ecuadorian, and Paraguayan groups that have found this message preserved in their cultural heritage.

Unique displays and hands-on demonstrations of folk & traditional arts include Peruvian masks, retablos, Chilean horsehair miniatures, Bolivian traditional garments & herbs, Otomi amate paper arts, Peruvian Paso horse tack, Ecuadorian & Bolivian musical instruments, Venezuelan Yare masks, and Colombian weavings, and more! Scroll down for the full Festival schedule. 

Rutgers Master Gardener’s Plant Sale

The Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County focus on growing native, pollinator-friendly plants and Rutgers varieties. Stock up on a wide variety of flowers, vegetables, herbs, trees, and shrubs. To attract pollinators to your yard, buy native flowers like milkweed, joe pye weed, and bee balm. Native shrubs like summersweet, viburnum, and dogwood will keep the birds happy! Build your herb garden with offerings of parsley, basil, chives, oregano, and more. Try growing some unique vegetables like shishito peppers, okra, and tomatillos. Many traditional vegetable crops like eggplants, tomatoes, and peppers will also be available. Plan Ahead: Bring a box or wagon if you plan on buying a lot of plants! 

Visit the Rutgers Master Gardeners booth for Helpline on the Road, to submit your gardening and lawn questions to be answered by the Master Gardeners!

Attendees of a previous ECO Fair event admire and shop for varieties of plants arranged on a vendor table. Different color tents, other attendees, and trees stand in the background.
A child rolling red ink onto the rings of pre-cut log, the first step to create a Tree Ring Print.

FREE Family Art Activities 

Walking Insect Puppets
Puppets inspire hours of imaginative play! Create animated puppets using constriction paper, googly eyes, and popsicle sticks. These puppets are designed to be large and chunky so even small children can activate them.

Handprint Paper Lilies
Create a paper lily flower using your unique handprint! These handprint lilies are beautiful and very easy to make. 

Dried Bean Mosaics
Let’s make highly-textured art with beans! Create a natural-toned mosaic using a colorful variety of dried beans and cardboard. 

Fused Glass Magnet or Pendant (fee-based)
Create a fused glass magnet or pendant, beginning with a 2″ x 2″ inch pre-fused glass blank. Using small pre-cut pieces of glass and an assortment of accessory glass, including frit and stringers, create a design to be tack fused. After firing your fused glass, our artists will glue a bail or a magnet to the back, depending on your project choice. In one week, completed glass magnets and pendants will be ready to pick up or ship (for a fee). This glass fusing activity has a discounted fee of $10 per piece. 

The Magic of Recycling with Magician Bill Kerwood

Laugh & learn with this magical comedy while learning exactly how to recycle in Cumberland County. Discover simple yet amazing tricks that you can do for your friends & family again & again. Presented by the Authority of Cumberland County.

Plan for the Ban

Visit the booth of The Authority to learn about the single-use plastic ban and “Know What to Throw” for the Cumberland County Recycle Guidelines. Discover anti-litter and recycling resources. Get creative while you’re there by designing your own Reusable Bag!

Magician Bill Kerwood surrounded by children.

Scavenger Hunt with Naturalists

Walk the WheatonArts Nature Trail and join the Scavenger Hunt at 10:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. Both the young and young-at-heart can participate at their leisure. Naturalists will be stationed along the trail to help with the hunt and to answer questions along the walk. Be among the first 50 to complete the hunt and receive an official WheatonArts Nature Trail Explorer button! Led by CU Maurice River Naturalists and Nature Enthusiasts. 

There are two boxes of recycled crazy crayons boxed and unboxed and arranged on a white workspace.

Crayon Recycling

Imagine how many ways we can all reduce, reuse, & recycle to nurture our planet to create a better tomorrow. One easy way to help is by participating in Crazy Crayon’s National Crayon Recycling Program, and WheatonArts is a collection site! Bring your old crayons to the General Store at WheatonArts to be recycled during ECO Fair.

40+ Vendors: Local Artists, Garden Clubs, & Enivornmental Groups

Appel Farm Arts & Music Center
Art In Motion Of Southern NJ
Atlantic County Utilities Authority
Beads on Cypress
Countryside Garden Club
Creating Health, LL T/A Environmental Purification Co
CU Maurice River
Cumberland Air Solutions
Cumberland County Department of Planning Tourism & Community Affairs
Cumberland County Mosquito Control Division
Deppenwood Products
Dye of Your Dreams

Happy Goats Soap Co.
Harvest Trading Post
Hou Tien Cheng – Chinese Paper Cutting
Hyland Trail Designs
Jalma Farms

J L Mixner Nursery
Lavender and Old Lace
Murphy’s Farm Market
Nedia Art
Photography by Dennis Abriola
Phyllis Seidner Pottery
Precios Art, LLC
Ralston “Hop” Edwards, Wood Carving
Ray Yoast, Wood Carving
Renewal By Andersen

Running With Scissors, Custom Quilts and Crafts
Rutgers Master Gardeners of Cumberland County
Samantha Bartlett Ceramics
South Jersey Artist Collective
South Shore Stitchers Quilt Guild
Southern NJ African Violet Club
Studio del Vetro
Sweet Pea
The Authority of Cumberland County
The Great Full Garden
Tori’s Critters LLC
White Cloud Massage

Food & Refreshments

Black Bird Local
MattyG’s Dogz
Tacos Al Carbon
Twisted Lemonade

Crowd of children and adults exploring the booths at the ECO Fair.

Awakening of Mother Earth Festival Schedule

Grounds Performances & Ceremonies

  • 12 p.m. to 12:10 p.m. – Acarajé Drums, Brazilian Samba Reggae Drumming
  • 12:15 p.m. to 12:45 p.m. – Júlia García, “Awakening of Mother Earth” Ceremony
  • 1:50 p.m. to 2:20 p.m. – Júlia García, Ritual in Honor of the Andean Animals

Event Center Performances
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

 “A View from the Mountain” Music and Dance Story on stage. It is a story that unites all stage performances. Musicians and dancers guide us on our journey to rediscover our ancestors’ wisdom, reflect on today’s challenges, and find ways to restore harmony in our world.  

  • Inkhay Andean Folk Music
  • Diablada Boliviana
  • Peru Inca Folk Dance School
  • Elenco Paraguay Danza
  • David Camero
  • Acarajé Drums

Event Center Demonstrations/Displays
1 p.m. to 4 p.m. 

Traditional and contemporary visual art displays, demonstrations, and hands-on activities provide unique experiences of old imagery and present-day creativity.

  • Juan Pepe Santana: Andean Musical Instruments
  • Nelly Zapata: Bolivian Masks and Costumes
  • Júlia García: Bolivian Folk Arts, Musical Instruments, Medicinal Herbs
  • María Francisca Salvo & Teresa Barros: Chilean Horsehair Miniatures
  • Rosa Carhuallanqui: Peruvian Masks and Traditional Garments
  • Patricia Aranibar: Peruvian Ceramics and Retablos
  • Patricia Martinez Arones: Peruvian Ceramics
  • Elva Navarro Acharte: Peruvian Textile Arts and Paintings
  • David Camero: Venezuelan Masks
  • Doris Rogers: Multimedia Arts
  • Gustavo Boada: Peruvian Masks
  • Ubaldo Sanchez: Guatemalan Painted Maracas
  • Mary Grace Gardner: Guatemalan Fabrics
  • Art Installation: “Pachamama Face” created by Gustavo Boada
Boliviana Diablada Llamerada Dance dancers perform for a room of school-aged children. There are flags of multiple countries displayed on a wall in the background.
Elenco Paraguay Danza performers pose on a stage in pink and blue festive skirts, white lace tops, and black cultural shawl wraps.
Pepe Santana Inkhay Anean Music performers play wood instruments as they wear cultural red and white clothing. They stand in front of a peach-colored wall.

Please check this page for updates as the event gets closer. Thank you!

Logos for "The Authority: Improving Your Tomorrow.", "Rutgers: New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station." and "CU Maurice River." All logos are against a gray and white checkered background.
Multiple logos against a white background each read: “New Jersey Council for the Humanities”; “New Jersey State Council on the Arts: Est. 1966”; “National Endowment for the Arts:”; “New Jersey Historical Commission”; “Embassy of Chile: Washington, DC”; “Artesanias de Chile”; “Friends of the Ixchel Museum: Supporting the Textile Artists of Guatemala”; “Cumberland County Cultural & Heritage Commission”; “Raices Culturales Antinoamericanas".