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Summer Arts at the Museum continues with Barns of Sussex County Exhibit, a Painting Class, and Jazz by Rio Clemente

 Wendy Stamer holding “Fall Reflections” oil painting
 Rio Clemente, “Bishop of Jazz”

Sparta Historical Society will be continuing their summer arts oil painting exhibit, “Barns of Sussex County: Painting by Wendy Stamer,” as part of the ongoing community educational displays sponsored by the Sparta Historical Society. 

The exhibit will be open for viewing at the Van Kirk Homestead Museum on Sunday, August 14 and August 28 from 1 to 4 p.m.   The artist will give an informal talk about her paintings at 2 p.m. only on August 14.

Among the barns in this display at the Historical Society are Sparta’s Baldwin Dew barns of the Smith/Washer farm and the Wakeman barns, which are owned by the artist.  Many barns in Lafayette including the Snook farm, Tanis’ barns, Rainbow’s End and Rock Ridge farm are depicted in this display.   The Bain farm and Hillcrest Dairy in Frankford Township, Waterwheel farm in Fredon and several barns that are no longer standing are also included in this collection of Stamer’s paintings.

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 A few of these barn paintings are from the artist’s private collection, but most will be offered for sale with a commission going to the Sparta Historical Society.  In addition, matted prints of several of these paintings will also be available.

There will be a few family activities including a hay bale climb and opportunity to take photos at our picturesque farm site. 

"We look forward to your visit," said Mary Anne Francisco, Public Relations for the Historical Society.

Stamer, the showcase artist, will also be offering a watercolor class on Sunday, August 7 from 1 until 3 p.m. at the Van Kirk Homestead.  Experience is not required.  All supplies will be provided.   This painting class will have limited participant enrollment and everyone will go home with their painting.  Enroll by calling/emailing Sparta Historical Society and sending check; members $25,  non-members $30.

As a further arts celebration, on Sunday, August 28, the Sparta Historical Society welcomes Morristown native Rio Clemente, the “Bishop of Jazz” and New Jersey Jazz Society’s Musician of the Year, to the Van Kirk Homestead for its Summer Arts at the Museum music event. 

Classically trained at the Juilliard School of Music, Rio Clemente developed a style embracing a diversity of music, including jazz, that made him such a versatile pianist. Bring lawn chairs and a picnic basket.   Members are free and non-members and guests are $5 donation.  In case of a rainy day, this event will be held at the Sparta VFW Hall.

The Sparta Historical Society is located at The Van Kirk Homestead Museum and History Education Center at 336 Main Street in Sparta, use Middle School Driveway.  The mailing address is P.O. Box 312.

Our Summer Arts Exhibition, “Barns of Sussex County” will be shown Sunday August 14 and Sunday, August 28 from 1-4 p.m. with special programs.  Further details or group reservations, call 973-726-0883 or Email:

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