With little more than a few rumblings to warn the citizens of the greater Hopewell Valley,
........a stampede of colorfully painted fiberglass Oxen were let out to pasture in an effort to lend a hand in raising funds for the arts.
Tasked with with raising awareness for furthering the local art community, the Hopewell Valley Council of the Arts had upwards of
60 blank Oxen bodies dutifully distributed among local artists, businesses ,and schools.
Each one was to be painted then displayed Valley wide,
over hill and dale, as far as the eye can see, and then rounded up, auctioned off, and given new homes.
For several short months the Oxen grazed in brilliantly decorated fashion, strategically placed
throughout the boroughs of Hopewell, Pennington, and Hopewell Township, a somewhat rural section of Mercer County.
Silently they grazed on the attention generated by the odd placements, unique paint schemes, local themes, and visual renditions of the artists dreams.
After a while, the predictable treatment by the usual suspects had the Oxen being subject to extra coats of unwanted decorative substances,
......as well as the obligatory Oxen tipping which has been known to happen in those parts of the Sourlands for generations. (vandals will be vandals)
Once the mission of raising awareness to the arts was accomplished, which was apparent by the throngs of Oxen seeking interlopers from
parts unknown, the complainers venting the customary "safety hazard" diatribes in the local press,...the Oxen, alas, were wrangled back in and auctioned off.
Fortunately,....since they traveled kind of slow, I was in a position to catch up with most of the herd for some pictures.
Everyone seemed to love the art installation and it really was something to see.
It was awesome actually,....as the artists can attest, and the fun of the quest, brought out all the best..... in that small Hamlet of Hopewell.
There was even one special Ox that caught my eye and for reasons unknown with no actual connection officially, due to several reasons, instantly became my favorite Ox.
One spectacularly decorated Ox was emblazoned in all shades of Emerald Green.
It was placed on the firehouse lawn,..of the very firehouse in Hopewell where I formerly went by the given callsign: WIZARD.
The name of that one was Wizard of Ox.
For some odd, inexplicable, WEIRD reason,....that still makes me wonder if all weird is coincidental, just a figment of ones imagination,
or simply the weird mysterious work of Wizardry,....here in Weird NJ.
Enjoy the photo tour,...
** If you keep your eyes open when traveling through Hopewell some Oxen still remain, but please, no feeding and no tipping**
The calm before a stormy stampede
Jersey Fresh by Trenton`s own Leon Rainbow
This Ox was one of the initially vandalized installations,...but it cleaned up well as can be seen.
When odd things began to happen,....I started calling this phenomenon Alien Abduct-a-Bull
Out to pasture
As seen in Pennington N.J.
Almost seventy locations,....I took days and nights to visit almost each one. Some of the 60+ werent there. The entire installation could be visited in a few hours if you knew the area.
Small residential lawns,...and wide open spaces,....the Oxen turned up in all manner of places.
Patches was done by local school kids,....hence the iPhone painted on it.
Oddly enough the pre-painted Oxen matched the fall foilage that emerged as it sat there,....weeks later.
Autumn will never be the same....
Lindy,....Hopewells aviator hero,....basks in the limelight.
Most were easy to see when driving by,...some were hard to get a picture of,..such as this Ox,due to location.
It was a journey thats for sure,...How many more are there?,...where am I?? whaaa,...?? Only 40 more to go?,...ughh It was fun,....if you like that kind of thing.
They were EVER-Y-WHERE....
This one sits on a hilltop with the Coleman Farm just below in the Amwell Valley. Legend has it that the residents named the Valleys Hopewell and Amwell after yelling matches across the hilltops.
Hope you are well!!!!!!...........Am well !!!!!....Lindberghs place Highfields is just beyond the Farm.
New Jersey,....Wired For Weird
All the colors of the Rainbow....
Attention to detail,....each of the Oxen a true work of art,..all added together created an amazing thing all of New Jersey should be proud of,....for 100% sure.(while it lasted anyways...)
Is there a glowing thing above my horns??,......no really,..is there?? Stop,.. it`s not funny,..I have no upper muscle tonality,...is there a glowing thing above me?? Helloooo...
GREETINGS!!! From Weird NJ,......
Note for note a melody to the eyes,....
Evening on the frontlines,...The Stampede gets ready to retire.
Onward through the night,...auctioned off to the highest bidder to support the arts.
This series of photos was taken just steps away from where Dr. Knowitall broke her Ebola quarantine,....I burned my shoes later that day.
If you see a wild herd of FiberGlass Oxen,......Look intently,but,...do not approach.
Just remember,...an artist from New Jersey made them.....Weird NJ.