A Guide to New Jersey’s Outdoor Art and Sculpture Exhibitions

Are you looking for unique outdoor art experiences in New Jersey? Look no further! From the Grounds for Sculpture in Hamilton to the Riker Hill Art Park in Livingston, there are plenty of outdoor art exhibitions and sculpture gardens in New Jersey to explore and enjoy. This guide will help you discover some of the best outdoor art exhibitions and sculpture gardens in the state, so you can plan a day trip or weekend getaway that’s sure to spark your creativity. 

Grounds for Sculpture

Grounds for Sculpture beautiful arch bridge nature trail going over pond.

Grounds for Sculpture is a breathtaking 42-acre outdoor museum and sculpture park that highlights modern and contemporary artworks, just a short drive from Windsor Woods. It is situated on the former site of Trenton Speedway in Hamilton, New Jersey, and offers a unique experience for visitors to engage with art in a natural and interactive environment. 

One of the highlights of Grounds for Sculpture is the Seward Johnson sculpture collection, which makes up more than 200 works by Johnson himself and other renowned artists. Johnson’s sculptures are known for their hyperrealism and attention to detail, which are evident in his lifelike renditions of people engaging in everyday activities such as walking, reading, and playing. Visitors to Grounds for Sculpture can see many of Johnson’s works, including his famous 26-foot Marilyn Monroe statue.  

Aside from Johnson’s sculptures, there are many other works of art scattered throughout the park, including large-scale installations, whimsical garden sculptures, and beautiful water features. The park also boasts beautifully landscaped gardens and walking trails, making it the perfect destination for a relaxing summer day. 

Grounds for Sculpture also hosts a variety of events and educational programs throughout the year. Visitors can take part in guided tours, artist talks, and workshops to learn more about the artworks on display and gain a deeper understanding of the creative process. 

Whether you’re an art lover, a nature enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique day out, Grounds for Sculpture is an incredible New Jersey destination worth exploring. With its vast collection of sculptures, beautiful gardens, and engaging programming, it is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who visits. 

Greenwood Gardens 

An artistic water fountain at Greenwood Gardens featuring a series of cascading steps that guide the flow of water.
Source: Yelp

Greenwood Gardens is a hidden gem in New Jersey that is a must-visit for anyone who loves art, nature, and history. This 28-acre formal Italianate Garden is in the Short Hills section of Millburn, in Essex County. The gardens were designed in the early 20th century by landscape architect William Wells Bosworth, and are now listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is also conveniently located near Cider Mill Townhomes in Livingston, NJ.  

Greenwood Gardens is not just a place to admire beautiful plants and flowers; it’s also a venue for art exhibitions and events. The gardens feature a variety of sculptures by contemporary artists, including Will Ryman, Todd Slaughter, and Foon Sham. The art installations are carefully placed among the plants and flowers, creating a unique and unforgettable experience for visitors. 

The gardens also offer guided tours and workshops throughout the year. Visitors can take a guided tour of the gardens and learn about the history of Greenwood Gardens, the plants and flowers that grow there, and the sculptures on display. The workshops cover a variety of topics, from botanical illustration to flower arranging. 

In addition to the gardens, Greenwood also offers a historic home tour. The home was built in 1911 and features beautiful architecture and artwork. Visitors can take a guided tour of the home and learn about the history of the Greenwood family and their impact on the local community. 

Overall, Greenwood Gardens is a unique and enchanting place that should not be missed. With its beautiful gardens, art exhibitions, and historic home, it offers a little something for everyone. 

Clifton Arts Sculpture Garden 

Detailed view of a metal artistic sculpture up close.

Located in the city of Clifton, the Clifton Arts Center Sculpture Garden is a hidden gem that should not be missed. This beautiful garden is found behind the Clifton Arts Center building and houses several impressive works of art. It’s just minutes away from Oakes Pond at Bloomfield

The garden itself is a peaceful and serene space that is perfect for relaxation and reflection. The sculptures are integrated seamlessly into the landscape, making for a cohesive and enjoyable experience. Visitors can explore the garden at their own pace, taking in the beauty of the artwork and the natural surroundings. 

The Clifton Arts Center Sculpture Garden is a wonderful example of how art can be integrated into nature to create a unique experience. It’s a beautiful place to visit for anyone interested in art, nature, or simply looking for a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. So, if you find yourself in Clifton, be sure to check out this incredible garden. 

Wooden Walls Project 

Creative artist working on an outdoor wall mural with paint.

Located in the vibrant city of Asbury Park, Wooden Walls is a unique outdoor art exhibition that showcases a variety of mural paintings by local and international artists. As you wander along the boardwalk, around downtown, and throughout the local parks, you’ll come across colorful and striking paintings that will leave you in awe. If you live at Middlebrook at Monmouth or Green Meadows at Pleasant Plains, you’re in luck, as Wooden Walls is a quick drive away! 

The project began in 2015 when the city commissioned a series of murals along the boardwalk as a way to revitalize the area and create a welcoming environment for visitors. Since then, the exhibition has grown, and now there are over 30 murals painted by artists from all over the world. 

Each year, the exhibition continues to expand, with new artists adding their own touch to the wooden walls that line the boardwalk. Some of the artists featured include Porkchop, DeeDee, Paige Smith, Hellbent, and Bradley Hoffer.  

One of the most impressive aspects of Wooden Walls is that it’s completely free to the public, making it accessible to anyone who wants to enjoy the artwork. Additionally, it’s an outdoor exhibition, so you can enjoy it in the summer sunshine and fresh, salty air. 

If you’re planning to visit Wooden Walls, be sure to bring your camera and take your time to appreciate each piece. The art ranges from playful and whimsical to powerful and thought-provoking, making for an unforgettable experience. 

Riker Hill Art Park 

Abstract geometric sculpture on display at Riker Hill Art Park.
Source: Yelp

Riker Hill Art Park is one of the most unique outdoor art exhibitions in New Jersey. Situated in a former Nike Missile base, it is an artistic community in Livingston, Essex County, which has been transformed into a beautiful art park. It’s a quick trip from The Enclave at Livingston. Together with the Walter Kidde Dinosaur Park and Becker Park, it forms the Riker Hill Complex. 

The park features 40 acres of trails and gardens that wind around the former military base, which now houses a collection of artwork, including sculptures and paintings. Visitors can wander through the park and marvel at the many sculptures that are scattered throughout the grounds. 

In addition to the artwork, Riker Hill Art Park also hosts a variety of events throughout the year, including art exhibitions, concerts, and workshops. The park is also home to a community garden, which offers visitors the chance to connect with nature and learn about sustainable gardening practices. 

Overall, Riker Hill Art Park is a wonderful place to visit for anyone who is interested in outdoor art exhibitions or who simply wants to enjoy a beautiful day in nature. The combination of art and nature creates a peaceful and thought-provoking environment that is sure to inspire visitors of all ages. So next time you’re in the area, be sure to stop by and explore this unique outdoor art exhibition in New Jersey!