THE SECRET TEA ROOM is on a short summer break and will be returning Wednesday, August 28! New dates will be added to the calendar soon.

Plein Air Painting Workshop

with THE BLUE PLANET featured artist, JULIO VALDEZ
Sunday, September 25, 2 – 6 pm
Reeves-Reed Arboretum

165 Hobart Avenue
Summit, NJ 07901

Summit, NJ Art arises from both observation and imagination. Drawing inspiration from the luscious grounds of Reeves-Reed Arboretum, THE BLUE PLANET featured artist and guest instructor, Julio Valdez, will lead a very special plein air workshop on Sunday, September 25, from 2 to 4 pm.

Beginners and experts alike will be able to create a small drawing by first sketching out the elements of the chosen subject matter – the essence of the scene. Mr. Valdez will work with each participant in formatting and placement, as you create a drawing that explores the rich colors of the Arboretum. And every participant will be able to take home their new work the same day.

Plein air is a term derived from the French phrase en plein air, which literally means, "in the open air." It is a familiar concept today, but in the late 1800's, when Impressionists ventured out of their studios into nature to capture the effects of sunlight, it was quite revolutionary. The workshop is limited to 15 participants and reservations are required. The fee for the workshop, which includes all materials, is $95 per person. Please contact Doreen Schindler, at 908-273-8787 x 1010 or, or register online at

Immediately following the workshop, the participants and the general public are invited to a reception at the Arboretum, from 4 to 6 pm, where they will have a personal tour of the current exhibition at the Wisner House Gallery, THE BLUE PLANET, featuring waterscapes by Julio Valdez, and installation sculptures by ten additional artists. This free event will give the public the opportunity to tour the grounds and experience the artworks in a unique, natural setting. Mr. Valdez and other artists will be on hand to talk about their works – the process and inspiration. Refreshments will be served.

Painter, printmaker, teacher and mixed installation artist, Julio Valdez, has taken the motif of water to create some extraordinary paintings and unique works on paper, for the exhibition at Reeves-Reed Arboretum.  THE BLUE PLANET also showcases water-themed sculptures from Sam Bogner, Cindy Booth, Carla Goldberg, Tom Holmes, Susan Manspeizer, Dave McNeil, Lori Merhige, Shelley Parriott, Herman Roggeman, and a special active water feature by Atlantis Water Gardens. All works are for sale and the participating artists will donate 30% of each purchase to the Arboretum. THE BLUE PLANET runs through October 30.

About Reeves-Reed Arboretum: Celebrating over 40 years as an historic public garden, education resource, and non-profit conservancy, Reeves-Reed Arboretum engages, educates and enriches the public through horticulture and environmental education, and the care and utilization of the gardens and estate. Open 7 days a week from dawn till dusk, the Arboretum is listed on both the National and New Jersey State Historic Registers. Funding for RRA has been made possible in part by the NJ Historical Commission, a division of the Department of State, through a grant administered by the Union County Office of Cultural & Heritage Affairs, Dept. of Parks & Community Renewal.

Reeves-Reed Arboretum...a place to grow for everyone!