“Painting is almost like a religious experience which should go on and on. 
Age just gives you the freedom to do some things you’ve never done before. Great work can comes at any stage in life”

— Will Barnet

About the Show

This year New Jersey’s Senior Citizen Art Show is “58 years young,” and back in person for the second time after facing down the challenges of 2020 and 2021. The art featured in this annual exhibit represents the first-place winners selected from local County Senior Art Shows held earlier in the year. Both professional and non-professional New Jersey artists aged 60 or older may enter their local county shows. All County shows are juried, and the first place professional and non-professional winners in all categories (acrylics, crafts, digital art, mixed media, oils, pastels, prints, photography, sculpture, watercolor and works on paper) automatically go on to the State Show.

The State Senior Art Show is made possible thanks to the hard work of the Coordinators who run the Senior Art Shows for each of New Jersey’s counties. To find the contact person for your County Senior Citizen Art Show, check out the County Shows page.

About The Co-Sponsors

New Jersey State Council on the Arts

The New Jersey State Council on the Arts, created in 1966, is a division of the NJ Department of State. The Council was established to encourage and foster public interest in the arts; enlarge public and private resources devoted to the arts; promote freedom of expression in the arts; and facilitate the inclusion of art in every public building in New Jersey. The Council receives direct appropriations from the State of New Jersey through a dedicated, renewable Hotel/Motel Occupancy fee, as well as competitive grants from the National Endowment for the Arts. 

To learn more: www.artscouncil.nj.gov

Mercer County Division of Culture & Heritage

Mercer County’s Division of Culture & Heritage, part of the County’s Office of Economic Development, was established in 1970 to promote yearlong programming in the arts, cultural heritage, and regional history in Mercer County. The Division supports local arts and historical groups through its grant programs, and hosts annual arts and heritage events celebrating the diversity and inclusiveness of art in all its forms. The Division is supported through grants from the NJ State Council on the Arts and NJ Historical Commission, as well as with support from the Mercer County Board of County Commissioners.   

To learn more:  http://www.mercercounty.org/departments/culture-and-heritage

A Brief History of the Show

The New Jersey Senior Citizen Art Show [Senior Arts Show] has celebrated the creative power of the State’s oldest artists for more than half a century. The first statewide show was hosted in 1966 by New Jersey’s Division on Aging as a recreational opportunity for senior citizens. In 1998, the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, working cooperatively with the State’s Association of Area Agencies on Aging (NJ4A), assumed responsibility for the show. Since then it has evolved from a purely recreational event to the prestigious arts exhibit it is today. 

Over the years, various County arts agencies and senior services offices – including Hunterdon County’s Division of Senior, Disabilities & Veterans’ Services and the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs – have partnered with the State Council on the Arts to administer this program. Since 2014, Mercer County’s Division of Culture & Heritage has taken on this role, and is proud partner with the State Arts Council on this program.

That first Senior Arts Show was held at the New Jersey State Museum and featured only paintings. The show has changed venues several times over the years. Other venues have included Monmouth County’s Library Headquarters and the Hunterdon County Complex in Flemington. In 2009, the exhibit found an ideal home at Meadow Lakes, a Springpoint Senior Living Community in East Windsor, Mercer County. We hope to be returning to Meadow Lakes in the near future.

Photo credits: Patti Constance, Sherri Phelps, Jack Turkel, Andrew Wilkinson, Sarita Wilson

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