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Noyes, Sounds Like Home

As a kid, countless elementary school excursions took place at the Noyes Museum in Oceanville, NJ. Its folk art collection signified a culture with which I was unfamiliar as a transplant in Southern New Jersey. Yet about two weeks ago, I visited the Noyes Museum for the first time in at least 15 years and I was blown away by the current exhibits there. 

In particular, Victor Grasso’s Fable was absolutely stunning. He’s self-taught, which seems unjust considering how perfectly detailed each of his paintings were.

Each portrait is inspired by mythical characters and folklore, and the piercing gaze of each figure is framed by a stark black background, creating a wonderfully dramatic feeling. Siren is an excellent example of the delicateness of Grasso’s brush. I love the juxtaposition of the shark jaw and lace, danger and innocence

During my visit, I also got to check out the Noise@Noyes: MOVIS exhibit, which was a multi-artist show on the theme of sound and noise, as well as the Signature Artist Exhibition, which was a mix of works by the museum’s artists.

Beyond the museum is the Forsythe Wildlife Refuge. My friend suggested that I walk around to take some photographs, which gave me the chance to explore outside the museum a bit more. Behind the Noyes is a lake, where I found these recycled lids strung together and attached to a branch. I couldn’t tell if it was an installation, or if just some local kids made some art. Either way, it was a fantastic feeling to be out in the sun, feeling the breeze, and listening to the clang of re-made art.

Lately, I get super sentimental when I go home, so visiting the Noyes Museum was no exception. It’s a beautiful location, both inside and out. It was particularly neat to see how the museum had changed and the amazing talent and diversity of local artists on display.

The Noyes Museum is located at 733 Lily Lake Road, Oceanville, NJ and open every day.

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