Randolph Artworks Program Says Goodbye to Its' Founder, Jean Devlin

(L to R) Councilman Roman Hirniak, Jeanne Devlin, Mayor Jim Loveys, Assistant Director of Parks and Recreation Jeanne Montemarano Credits: Chris Manderioli
New Coordinator Kelly Varga and Jean Devlin Credits: Chris Manderioli
Mrs. Devlin surrounded by some of her longtime students Credits: Chris Manderioli
Credits: Chris Manderioli
Credits: Chris Manderioli
Credits: Chris Manderioli
Credits: Chris Manderioli
Credits: Chris Manderioli
Credits: Chris Manderioli

RANDOLPH, NJ- The Artworks Program had their annual art show on Friday, April 25, but with that joyful celebration also brought a sad goodbye. Program Coordinator and Founder of the Artworks Program, Jean Devlin, retired from the program at the end of April and will be saying her final goodbyes to Randolph.

“I had a lot of experience in working with people with disabilities. When I moved to town I missed teaching and I missed the creative aspect of it and I was just so fortunate to combine both of those loves,” said Devlin.

Devlin is certified in special education and elementary education with a minor in fine arts. She was the director of a fine arts program for developmentally disabled individuals earlier in her career before she had her two children. She stopped working for a while to take care of her children, and moved to Randolph.             

Sign Up for E-News

When her children were born, Devlin knew she wanted to stay home with them. However, she also knew she wanted to do more and began teaching classes in 1995.

The program started in the home of one of Devlin’s friends, offering fine arts classes to children. “We built a studio in her basement and started off really small with just a few classes. After probably a year or two, the waiting list was so big that we couldn’t accommodate all of the people. When you look back it’s really amazing. Obviously, there is a need for things in town other than sports.”

Several years later, Devlin’s friend relocated to Georgia. Devlin decided to continue the program and approached several people in Randolph about utilizing a space to continue these art classes.

John Van Brunt, who was then the director of Parks and Recreation, told Devlin she could have some classes in the Teen Center since it was not used during the week. In 2001, the Artworks Program  began at the old stone house behind the municipal building. The Teen Center and the program shared the space for a year, worked out of the VFW for a couple of years,  and in 2004 the town formally moved them in to use the building solely for Artworks.

“Kudos to the town of Randolph and the officials for allowing this program because I don’t know of another town with an arts program similar to this one,” said Devlin.

What started with a few classes grew into a comprehensive program for children, teens and adults, presently offering 21 classes weekly attended by over 250 students. A variety of art summer camps are held and shows featuring students are held each year.

Devlin teaches kids from ages three and a half up to eighth grade. The program’s growth has allowed there to be classes for high school students and adults. The classes for preschoolers and middle school students have always maintained a curriculum with an instruction objective for the kids to create and have fun.

“I have always felt that it’s really important for Artworks to be a completely noncompetitive environment. I think we’ve done really well enforcing that. There is no one that is better than the other. Everybody is there to learn something about fine arts, about the world, about themselves.”

Artworks had their 13th Annual Art Show that displayed the work of everyone in the program. Students had the option to submit two pieces of work for the show. The show was an open house event for the entire public. Kids come with their parents and invite grandparents, friends, even neighbors and teachers.

“It’s just like a happy celebration for another great year,” said Devlin. “The art show is always a big hit. The kids are all excited. I would say just about everyone in the program comes.”

Devlin’s family threw her a retirement party on the same night. Family and friends that she has worked with for years all had dinner together. Devlin described it as “really nice,” and that she was “going out in style.”

Devlin is proud of what Artworks has become and is confident the program will continue to exemplify the high standards that the students are accustomed to.  In addition to teaching nine classes at Artworks, Devlin was also the program coordinator.

Kelly Varga was selected to be the new program coordinator, and Leah Tomaino will be coordinating the summer camps.  New instructors will be hired to supplement  the talented Artworks staff who will continue their classes.  Cathy Demers, who has been with Artworks since 2004 and assists with Young Artists classes, will also be leaving and she will be greatly missed.

“Kelly has passion for Artworks and what the program is and that’s just what we need. You work hard in the administrative part because it’s not always easy but if you love the center and you love what you do it’s worth every minute of the work that you put in and Kelly definitely has what it’s going to take.”

Devlin will take on new adventures and pursue her love of traveling with her husband. The couple, who has lived in Randolph for 26 years, will be moving to their house on Long Beach Island for the summer.

“We’re ready to move and explore and travel. I will go anywhere. I’ve been to all 50 states. I’d love to revisit some of them and there are so many countries I want to go to. It’s like a new exciting chapter. I’m not really looking at it as retirement as much as just a change.”

She still plans on staying in the area and moving back to Morristown in the Fall to stay close to friends.

“That’s such a big part of my life. It’s never going to leave me,” Devlin said about her Artworks experience. “I’m going to miss the kids. I would absolutely come back and visit. All those years ago I hope to create a place where people could come and learn about art and express themselves creatively without any sort of judgment or competition and have fun in the process of doing that. I believe I succeeded in that and I’m proud of Artworks, the program and the staff that works there. It’s a special place.”

In an email Devlin sent out to participants of the Artworks program, she wrote:

“I would like to extend a very special thank you to all of you because without your support, the Artworks Studio classes would not be as popular as they are today. Many of you have been with the program since its inception and seeing students return year after year after year assures me that we are doing something right! So often, Artworks feels like a big, extended family and I will miss seeing all of our students on a regular basis.  I am confident that I am leaving Artworks in competent hands. It has been an honor and a privilege to work with such devoted, talented and fun people!”

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Winter Forecast for 3-5 Inches Continues through Early Sunday Morning in Randolph Area

February 17, 2018

RANDOLPH, NJ- A winter weather advisory remains In Effect From 4 pm this afternoon to 4 am Sunday according to the National Weather Service.

Total snow accumulations of 3 to 5 inches are  expected. 

Snow will quickly overspread the area from the southwest, becoming moderate to potentially  heavy at times this evening.

The snow should be finished by 4 a.m.

Plan ...

Annual Health Fitness and Fun Fest March 24 To Include Collection For Randolph Animal Shelter

February 23, 2018

Randolph, NJ — Randolph Pain Relief and Wellness Center (PRWC) is hosting the fourth annual Health, Fitness and Fun Fest (previously Community Wellness Fest) on Saturday, March 24 from 12 pm - 3 pm at Randolph Middle School.

This year, Randolph PRWC will partner with the P.A.W.S. Club at RMS, advised by guidance counselor LuAnn Mizzoni, to hold a collection drive to ...

Morristown Happenings: Things to do in Morristown this Weekend

February 23, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ -  What are you doing this weekend? From sporting events, classes, wine tastings, demonstrations, markets, popups and more, Morristown has plans for you this weekend.


Friday February 23

Friday Films; showing of Strength Defines Us; (R); Morris County Library; 2pm - 5pm

Lego Club (ages 5 - 12); Morris County Library; 3pm - 4:30pm

Outdoor Skills- Keeping ...

January Randolph Police Blotter Includes Many Outstanding Warrants

February 15, 2018

Jan 3, Janeth Ladino-Varon, 45, Randolph was arrested for an outstanding warrant issued by the Randolph Twp Municipal Court.  .  The defendant was processed and released.

Jan 10, Patrick C. Lake, 30, Denville was arrested and charged with burglary, criminal attempt and criminal mischief.  Lake was processed and transported to the Morris County Correctional Facility.

Jan 15, ...

Randolph Mayor Reflects on Interests and Concerns of Residents

February 15, 2018

I hope that everyone is enjoying the winter weather here in beautiful Randolph Township! It’s a wonderful time to enjoy many outdoor activities with family. From ice skating to sledding to skiing, it’s our varied seasons that attract so many to our wonderful community. Just be sure to stay safe. Do not ever go out on thin ice, and be careful when heading down those slopes! For those ...

Ledgewood Commons Asks State to OK Route 10 Work

February 21, 2018

ROXBURY, NJ – The company converting Ledgewood Mall into The Shops at Ledgewood Commons has asked the state to approve its plan to modify Route 10 to accommodate the project.

The plans, sent to the state Department of Transportation (DOT), comply with an August request by the Roxbury Township Council that a proposed left-turn lane on westbound Route 10 be significantly longer than ...

Upcoming Events


Tue, March 6, 4:30 PM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Explorer's Club

Arts & Entertainment Community Calendar Education Health & Wellness Other


Wed, March 7, 7:00 PM

Randolph Township Free Public Library, Randolph

Rutgers Master Gardeners Presents: Gardening in ...

Community Calendar


Sat, March 10, 10:00 AM


The Westmont Montessori School Open House

Randolph High School Fencing; Background on The Schools Most Underrated Team 

February 22, 2018

In The Schools


RANDOLPH, NJ--The Randolph High School fencing program may not be the most glamorous sports program in the school, nor is it the most popular. Some more mainstream sports that Randolph is successful in, such as hockey or basketball, overshadow the underdog fencing organization. However, the RHS fencing team has been consistent throughout the years, finding success in, ...

The Morris County Crusaders After Strong First Season Prepare For 2018

February 19, 2018

EAST HANOVER, N.J.- When the discussion about football in an unlimited weight league among eighth graders, Coaches Odysseas Delaportas and Jeff Eisele of Jefferson decided to take action. American Youth Football, a non-profit football and cheer program bearing the logo, "non intrusive all inclusive seemed like a perfect fit. 

Delaportas and ...

Beyond Thoughts and Prayers: The East Brunswick #NeverAgain Vigil

February 21, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - On Sunday, February 25th at 6:30 pm on the EBHS football field, the Township of East Brunswick will host a vigil to honor the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida and those of prior school shootings and to show our commitment to the safety of our school community. 

On February 14, which was both Ash Wednesday and ...

Parent Guide to Helping Kids Cope With the Florida Mass Shooting

February 18, 2018

The massacre at a Florida high school on Wednesday is hard for adults to wrap their head around, but it can be completely overwhelming for children who hear about it or see images of the carnage. Parents need to help guide their children through the fear, anger, upset and helplessness such a horrific attack can stir up in children.

“The first thing parents should do is assess their own ...

MCST Student Wins Rachael Ray's “Cook Your Way To Culinary School” Competition

February 20, 2018

Denville, NJ – Nick Capone, a high school senior in the Academy for Culinary Arts at the Morris County School of Technology (MCST) in Denville, was one of four young aspiring chefs who competed to make their dreams of attending culinary school a reality in Rachael Ray’s “Cook Your Way to Culinary School” competition.

The competition aired on RACHAEL RAY Friday, ...

Atlantic Health System Earns Spot for 10th Year on Fortune’s ‘100 Best Companies To Work For®’ List

Atlantic Health System, a leading provider of health care in New Jersey, today celebrated a decade of excellence after it was recognized among Fortune’s “100 Best Companies to Work For®,” ranking number 74 in its tenth consecutive year on the prestigious annual list.

It is the only health care delivery system from New Jersey, and the top-ranked New Jersey based company on ...

CCM Library to Offer Free Workshops in Grant Writing and Fundraising Workshops Provided by Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network

RANDOLPH, NJ – The County College of Morris (CCM) Library’s Foundation Center Funding Information Network is offering three free workshops on the Foundation Center products during the college’s Spring Break, March 12-15.   The CCM Library is a participant in the Foundation Center’s Funding Information Network. Network partners provide a suite of ...

CCM Launches a Degree in Virtual Reality Providing Students with a Range of Options in a Rapidly Developing Field

RANDOLPH, NJ – From gaming to training surgeons, virtual reality (VR) has become an increasingly used technology for both entertainment and learning. Recognizing that VR will only continue to grow as it becomes even more prevalent in our lives, County College of Morris (CCM) has launched an Associate in Applied Science degree in VR.

The degree will be offered starting with the Fall 2018 ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 18, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Guest Column: The Great "Wait" of the College Process

February 18, 2018

"The Great Wait" of the College Application Process

For all the high school seniors and their parents, we are in the stressful "waiting period".  We've just finished or are finishing applications to all the schools we might possibly want to attend next year and now sit and wait our fate after the $60-$80 non-refundable application fees to at least 8-13 schools and ...