Wheaton Springs

Image of a banner for Wheaton Springs. The background of the banner is a photo taken of the top and smokestack of the WheatonArts Glass Studio. There is a bright blue sky, clouds, and green trees behind it. There is white text on the top right corner of the image that reads "Wheaton Springs". There are two circular images on the bottom left of the banner. The image on the left is of a member of the WheatonArts Glass Studio team blowing glass and using a large pair of metal tweezers to sculpt the orange hot glass at the end of a metal rod. The image on the right is of a WheatonArts Ceramic Artist smiling while using both hands to sculpt a tall mass of clay on a potter's wheel.


FREE on Saturday, April 6
10 a.m. to 4 p.m., rain or shine!

Join us for our free 2024 “kick-off” event celebrating a new season!

Celebrate the start of WheatonArts’ creative season with this free kick-off event highlighting our many daily offerings and hands-on programming! Explore thought-provoking exhibits in the Museum of American Glass and Down Jersey Folklife Center, showcasing glass collections and the complexities and values of traditional arts through modern-day times. Experience various artist demonstrations throughout the campus, including glassmaking, pottery, 3D printing, large-scale murals, and more. Discover a series of free hands-on projects to create across campus, and discounted glass-fused projects in the Education Studio. Enjoy a bite to eat from food vendors and listen to live music.

Wheaton Springs offers every visitor the chance to explore, experience, and create across a campus that inspires and heals the senses. Admission to all WheatonArts exhibits and artist studio demonstrations are FREE and open to the public, part of “Family Days! Presented by PNC Arts Alive!” 

Image of a glass Jacob's Ladder found in the WheatonArts Museum of American Glass. The tall piece is made up of a long continuous thin glass rod that spirals in square shapes from top to bottom. The piece is resting on a white background and it's shadow extends from the piece to the bottom left corner of the image.
Image of a piece from the WheatonArts Down Jersey Folklife Center. The piece is in front of a diagonal wood background and is comprised of a straw-like upper body, a round diamond-shape silver mask, another rectangular piece of silver that curves in on the sides on top of the mask, and eight tall black tubes standing on top of the rectangular silver piece. Each tube has a thick silver stripe around the top and bottom it. The mask has two eyes, a pronounced nose and forehead, five holes that loop around the nose, and a black rectangular piece on each side of the forehead that connect to a red strip that goes around the bottom of the mask.
Image of two masks resting on a white to light gray gradient backdrop. The mask on the left is black with red lips and a round red mask around the the eyes and nose. Around the eyes is smaller beige round mask. There is more beige outlining the bottom of the red mask. There is also a matching vertical stripe that starts at the top of the entire black mask and extends through the middle of the forehead to the beige part of the red mask stopping right before the red mask ends around the nose. Around the top of the black mask is a long cylindrical black head piece with six small white cowrie shells along the front side of it. A white cloth with fringe and three dark blue stripes towards the top and middle of it rests around the entire mask. The mask on the right side of the image is smaller than the one on the left. This mask is black with light brown highlights and speckles throughout the base. This mask has white teeth with a gap in the center and a thin, rectangular red mask around the eyes. This mask also has a cylindrical head piece draped around the top of it. This piece is the same color as the rest of the base of the mask, but is covered in three rows of small white cowrie shells lined up next to one another alongside the top and front side of the head piece. Behind this mask is another cloth. This cloth has a pattern of gray and beige stripes.

EXPLORE – Exhibitions

Museum of American Glass
Centuries of Tomfoolery: Trick Glasses, Pipes, and Whimsical Delights
Through the centuries, glassmakers have skillfully crafted vessels, pipes, and whimsical objects for communal entertainment. Whether intricately designed or deceptively simple, these devices are valued for more than their function and artistic merit. They prompt us to reflect on evolving cultural mores and society’s sense of humor at specific points in time. They reveal the glassmaker’s imagination and their significant role in facilitating pleasurable social interactions. Explore a fascinating group of objects through the lens of working artists compelled to recreate clever glassblowing feats from the past and push the boundaries of contemporary functional art. 

The Museum staff will be on hand to engage visitors venturing through the new exhibit and galleries. See if you can spot the latest acquisitions that foretell exciting changes coming in 2025!

Down Jersey Folklife Center
Ceremonies in Circles
This exhibition features traditional masks, garments, and objects related to special rituals and community celebrations of West African cultures. Most featured artworks were created by artists in our region, with others acquired from private collections. The exhibit provides insights into the West African traditions of masquerade as well as artistic interpretations of old wisdom and new meanings.

2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. – Artist Talk: African Masks & Masquerades
Join us for the folklife exhibition opening with light refreshments and an exciting Artist Talk by master mask makers Ira L. Bond and Richard Robinson Jr. Follow along as they share personal experiences with their artworks, stories, and drum rhythms associated with African masquerades.

Flameworking Artist Bill Futer shapes a piece of pink glass cane over a torch in the Flamework Studio.
Image of WheatonArts Glass Artist Alexander Rosenberg working at a glass blowing bench. Alex is using one hand on a glass blowing rod that has a large yellow vessel-shaped hot glass piece with a smaller tube-like opening at the top of it towards the end of the rod. Alex is blowing into a metal tube that curves at a right angle towards the hot glass. There is a small cone towards the end of the tube. Alex is wearing glasses, a short sleeve black shirt, and a large protective sleeve on the left arm.
A wood-carved gnome by local artist Domenick Maggio is displayed over a white background. It is holding a yellow flower, "wearing" a green painted shirt, and has a long white beard, with a floppy brown hat covering its eyes.
J. Kenneth Leap kneeling in front of eagle mural.
Image of WheatonArts Ceramic Artist Terry Plasket leaning over a tan potters wheel. He is using both hands to sculpt a beige circular lid with a small knob sticking up from the center of it. There are small rectangular silver pieces holding the lid in place. There are three beige clay pots resting at the front of the images, eight beige clay vessels resting on top of beige discs in the background of the photo. Three taller clay vases and the top of a luminary are resting behind the vessels with a few more clay pieces behind them. Terry has a long pony tail and a short beard. He is wearing glasses, a yellow short sleeve shirt, and black short-sleeve shirt under the yellow.

EXPERIENCE – Artist Demonstrations

3D Printing
Aritimi Design Studio brings their mini printer to demonstrate the 3D printing process from start to end. 

Bead Weaving on a Loom
Watch as Paul Mc Allister uses a photograph and Excel sheet to begin planning a 204-color palette tapestry pattern and demonstrates how the beads are woven with a loom. Then try your hands at weaving a row of beads yourself!

Broom Making
Be amazed as Vicki Dyer demonstrates how whisk brooms, pot scrubbers, and cake testers are made from broom corn.

Feather Painting
Follow the brush strokes of Sina Kurman’s hands as they demonstrate painting beautiful scenes on turkey feathers.

Glass Marbles
In the Flamework Studio, visit with glass artist Bill Futer as he demonstrates the making of glass marbles using glass rods, a torch, and gravity. 

Glass Studio Demos
Meet & greet our Glass Studio Team as they demonstrate their diverse and growing abilities throughout the day! Watch creative demonstrations by Alex Rosenberg, Katey Murphy, Kendall Frank, Jeremy Hayes, Tiffany Leps, and Josh Metzger.

Gnome Carving
Visit the Gallery of Fine Craft to see local woodcarver and artist Domenick Maggio. His Gnome series is a bestseller, and he continues to add new designsStop by to see his latest Gnome with a Red Rose, ask questions, and interact with Domenick as he carves!

Large-scale Murals
Witness a public demonstration of a large-scale 8×8 foot painting by mural artist and glass painter J. Kenneth Leap. He has embellished buildings and outdoor structures all over the world. His goal when designing artwork is to spin a visual narrative for the viewer to get lost in something beautiful, entertaining, and educational. He investigates local histories and searches for community themes to become his subject matter. The resulting artwork celebrates each community’s unique narrative.

Loom Weaving & Spinning
Join the Third Star Fiber Artist Guild to learn the timeless traditions of spinning yarn and weaving on a loom.

Pottery Kiln Tours & Teapots
Join ceramic artist Phyllis Seidner in the Pottery Studio at 11 a.m., 12 p.m., and 1 p.m. for a Kiln Tour to learn about the glazing process of clay. Throughout the day, watch ceramic artist Terry Plasket make and assemble handcrafted clay teapots.

Pysanky Egg Designs
Discover the art of Pysanka, the Ukrainian tradition of decorating real eggshells, as demonstrated by Heather Davis.

One of the oldest traditional crafts in human history, discover various cutting techniques and styles of woodcarving demonstrated by local artists Hop Edwards & Ray Yoast.

CREATE – Family Art Activities 

Faux Stained Glass Suncatchers
Create a colorful suncatcher for your window using construction paper and tissue paper that resembles stained glass. 

Paper Plate Flowers
Discover the magic of transforming simple paper plates into stunning bursts of colorful flowers! Cut white paper plates into various petal shapes, color with markers, and then layer them to create dimensional blossoms.

Community Wings: A Collaborative Art Project
We invite participants of all ages to unleash their artistic talents and contribute to a colorful set of feathered wings symbolizing unity, diversity, and the collective spirit. Whether you prefer bold colors, intricate patterns, or whimsical doodles, our pre-cut feathers will be your canvas. Every feather design tells a unique story, and every participant contributes to something greater than themselves. We will assemble the feathers to form a pair of wings to serve as a vibrant backdrop for photos. Unleash your inner artist, strike a pose, spread your wings, and capture memories celebrating creativity, community, and diversity!

Bird Feeders
Join Rutgers Master Gardeners to learn interesting facts about native bird species, their characteristics, and bird calls. Children can craft a homemade bird feeder to take home!

Fused Glass Magnet, Pendant, or Suncatcher (fee-based)
Create a fused glass project of your choice starting with a 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 projects will be ready to pick up or ship (for a fee). This glass fusing activity has a discounted fee of $10 per magnet/pendant and $20 per suncatcher.

Three rainbow handcrafted coffee filter hearts in the center of the image are a part of the Wheaton Springs hands-on-activities.
A colored varied paper sculpture made with tissue paper, cardstock, and carboard. These materials come together to create a flower shaped sculpture with a flat bottom and red, orange, and yellow petals forming the "flower"
Image of a square-shaped fused glass make your own piece held with two hands towards the camera. Under the piece is a clear plastic cup with colorful glass frit inside of it and a silver utensil. The base of the piece is white. It has red frit gathered in a small circle in the middle of the piece, seven yellow triangular pieces gathered around the red, and small multicolored frit pieces gathered around the design in the background on top of the white base.

CELEBRATE – Live Music

The Tabernacle Reggae Band
Based in the Philadelphia area, they’re honored to be the creative, conscious musical source of all things Reggae! Hailing from Jamaica, they bring a sweet, lively, unique blend of authentic original songs, eclectic influences, and covers from Bob Marley, Jimi Cliff, Peter Tosh, Toots and the Maytals to the Motown Sound Reggae Style and more! Enjoy mesmerizing vocals, colorful rhythm guitar, energetic keyboards, infectious baselines & pulsating percussions. Dance to the melodic sounds that transport you to the islands with positive vibrations that speak to the upliftment of the human condition.

Image of seven members of the Tabernacle Reggae Band posing for the camera on a stage surrounded by instruments and microphones. There are five members on the left side of the image and three on the right. The three members on the right side of the image are holding instruments. Two are holding guitars and the member in the middle is holding a woodwind instrument. There is a large drum set in between the five members and the three.

Food Vendors

Enjoy a selection of flavors with the following food vendors and picnic on the grounds during your visit.

Karen and the Nut
Macs & Munchies
Top Shelf Mobile Cuisine
Tacos Al Carbon

In the General Store, excite your taste buds with food samplings of jams, jellies, pickles, and fruit shrubs in bright spring flavors from Tait Farm Foods and Crisp & Co Pickles.

Top Shelf Mobile Cuisine truck serving visitors to the Summer Antique and food market at wheatonarts

Please check back for programming updates as the event gets closer. Thank you!