For more than 20 years, the Somerset County Environmental Education Center in Basking Ridge have invited children from throughout the county to display their vision of nature at the annual "Nature Through a Child's Eye" exhibit.
This year's show, with more then 500 works of art from 21 elementary and middle schools throughout Somerset County, opened on Jan. 2 and will continue through Jan. 27 at the EEC at 190 Lord Stirling Road.
This past weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday, the EEC held another event that Environmental Sciences Catherine Schrein called "one of the highlights of our year."
Annual reception welcomes hundreds of student artists and their families
Those children whose work is on display this month were invited to a reception that not only honored them for their art pieces, but also provided an opportunity to make crafts, enjoy refreshments and socialize with friends.
"It is a great way to kick off the year because it brings in so many people from the entire county. We have students from kindergartners through the sixth grade presenting their amazing art. The parents, the family, the grandparents, the aunts, the uncles all come out and are so supportive of the artists. We think it is a real good family program."
"It's beautiful work," Roberta Vladimer, art teacher at Woods Road School in Hillsborough, said of the exhibit, which includes paintings and artworks that include materials from nature.
By now, Vladimer said the school's children in kindergarten through grade 4 who contribute to the art show look forward to the countywide show. "When I go and tell them their artwork has been selected, their jump out of their skins," she said.
Naturalist Vanessa Darras said that between 400 to 500 people, adults and children, attended on Saturday, and hundreds more were expected on Sunday.
—Linda Sadlouskos contributed to this story.