Hello Thanksgiving!

We wish you all a fantastic Thanksgiving! Please share with us here what you are thankful for – in words or pictures. We’d love to see it!

the messy artist thanksgivingWhile we can’t quite believe that the holiday season of the year is upon us, we are happy to embrace its sentiments. With Thanksgiving here next week, we are feeling thankful for all that we have in our lives, and feeling very grateful.

Our students are always at the top of our list of what we are thankful for, and we are grateful for every family who takes a class with us, has a birthday party here, comes to summer camp, etc, etc. So many wonderful people have passed through our doors over the past 16 years.  Here just a few:

One way we are expressing our gratitude for all to see is by taking part in the Gratitude Graffiti Project again this year. Everyone is invited to come draw (or write) on our windows with paint pens about what they are grateful for. It’s open to everyone – students or not. When we started this year’s project, a couple staff members went out to write on the window. At the same time, they both wrote “Art”!.   That is another item at the top of the list that we are thankful for.

Another way we are expressing our thankfulness this month is by hosting a food drive for the Community Soup Kitchen of Morristown. The staff is donating food and other supplies to locals in need, and we welcome donations from the public as well. Donations can be brought by any time the studio is open; there is a box in the entryway to receive them.   We are proud to be able to “pay it forward” to such a wonderful organization.

Current Needs flyer w MA infoWe wish you all a fantastic Thanksgiving! Please share with us what you are thankful for – in words or pictures.  We’d love to see it!

Community Service Update

At The Messy Artist, we believe in giving back to the community. Our lives are touched in a positive way by every student and family that we meet, and we want to honor that by paying it forward to make a difference in the world.

We have two upcoming community service events that we are excited to announce: an art supply drive to benefit Goryeb Children’s Hospital, and a craft table we are hosting at the Garden State Good Cookies 4th Annual Family Fun Day.

messy artist cookies for kids crafts
Garden State Good Cookies
Goryeb Children's Hospital
Goryeb Children’s Hospital

We got the idea for the art supply drive when we contacted the Goryeb Children’s Hospital to see if they would like us to donate some of our kids artwork and cards for their walls. When they told us that most of their art was created by their patients, the idea for an art supply drive was born.  We know how important it is for children to express themselves through art, and this would be a perfect way to provide tools for the kids to make art while in the hospital.

Goryeb Children's Hospital
Goryeb Children’s Hospital

To get the ball rolling, our students pitched in and decorated this box to collect the donations.  They loved decorating it so much that they painted over and over it – this box may have ten layers of paint!  It will be in our entryway to collect contributions.fine art class and parties kids art goryeb hospital art class nj children community serivce goryeb

Please join us in donating new, unused art supplies that we will deliver to the Hospital at the end of the drive.  Canvas, paint, model magic, and brushes are some of the things suggested – or anything you think of would be appreciated.  We will be donating art supplies, and hope you will too!

Children’s Art Supply Drive to benefit Goryeb Children’s Hospital
The Messy Artist
356 Route 10 West, East Hanover, NJ
March 15 – April 15

Continuing our commitment to helping kids, we are also partnering with Garden State Good Cookies by hosting a craft table on May 10 at their 4th Annual Family Fun Day.

Garden State Good Cookies Annual Family Fun Day
Garden State Good Cookies Annual Family Fun Day

Their events are lots of fun for a great cause, with many activities for kids and of course, lots of cookies. Featured at the free event will be face painting, djs, children’s entertainment and giveaways. We’ll have special Messy Artist crafts for kids to enjoy, so please stop by and say hello. All proceeds support Cookies for Kids’ Cancer, a national charity, whose mission is to find more effective  and safer treatments for children with  cancer.  Garden State Good Cookies has raised over $30,000 in support of this charity.

Garden State Good Cookies Family Fun Day
Garden State Good Cookies Family Fun Day

4th Annual Family Fun Day
Saturday, May 10
10-2 pm; rain or shine
Bauer Community Center in Taylor Park, Millburn.
The event is open to the general public, and admission is free.
For more information: www.gardenstategoodcookies.com
Email: millburn.kidshelpingkids@gmail.com

Other recent community service events since we moved to our East Hanover location have been:

Children’s Book Drive in Conjunction with Bridge of Books

Blood Drive in Conjunction with the Red Cross

Smiles for Savannah, a Fundraiser for Nephcure


hello blood donors!

On Sunday July 28, our art studio was transformed for a unique event. The easels and paint – gone.  The paper and clay – gone.  Summer camp and birthday party supplies – also gone.  All were moved out of the way so that the American Red Cross could set up their equipment for a blood drive.

new jersey kids art class blood drive

“This was our first blood drive and we were thrilled with the way it turned out,” said Donna Bernstein (our CEO here at The Messy Artist).  “We moved to this location in East Hanover last summer and have been wanting to do a blood drive ever since. It was fantastic to see our students’ families and the community come in and be so generous to donate blood.”

Donna Bernstein of The Messy Artist with Jen Rosenblatt of Philly Pretzel Company of Livingston
Donna Bernstein of The Messy Artist with Jen Rosenblatt of Philly Pretzel Company of Livingston

Donors came from all over the local area to donate: Millburn (Bernstein’s home town), Parsippany, Summit, Bloomfield, Chatham, Nutley, East Hanover and Orange were a few of the towns represented.

Instructor Anthony donating blood
Instructor Anthony donating blood

“We put out art supplies so kids could be entertained while their parents donated blood, and local merchants donated coupons so that we were able to provide a gift bag to each donor.  Godfather’s Brick Oven Pizza and Philly Pretzel Factory of Livingston each donated food for today, so the donors had a nice meal or snack to enjoy after giving blood, ” added Donna.

One of our students and her dad before he donated blood
One of our students and her dad before he donated blood

kids art class east hanover blood drivekids art class new jersey blood drivenew jersey childrens art class blood drivelivingston nj kids art class blood drive

We host community service events every season.  In June, we held a drop-in and play fundraiser for one of our students and kidney disease research (see hello Savannah!).  To learn more about upcoming community service projects, please check back.   We are finalizing details for book drive in September, so stay tuned!

florham park kids art class blood drive

nj kids art class blood drive


hello Savannah!

Savannah at Nephcure Fundraiser at Messy Artist
Savannah creating a colllage

This Saturday we hosted a special event at The Messy Artist: a fundraiser for one of our students, Savannah, and Nephcure. Three year old Savannah was diagnosed with Nephrotic Syndrome, a chronic kidney disease, earlier this year.  As a way to help, we opened our studio to families to come in and have fun, create art and raise money for this foundation that supports kidney disease research.




An article featured in the Millburn-Short Hills newspaper The Item explains more about Savannah’s experience with Nephrotic Syndrome:

Millburn Township resident to host fundraiser for NephCure in her art studio

 Thursday, June 27, 2013 Last updated: Thursday June 27, 2013, 2:40 PM



The Item of Millburn and Short Hills

Memorial Day weekend in 2012 was a memorable one for Whippany resident Kimberly Paine and her family but not in a positive way.

Paine remembers almost everything about that weekend. It was Friday, May 25, and she and her family were preparing to spend a weekend at the Jersey shore.

That morning, Paine recalled, her then 2-year-old daughter Savannah had developed swelling in her face. The swelling then worsened and traveled down her daughter’s body to her legs. Paine said she knew something was wrong.

She took her daughter to the hospital where she was diagnosed with nephrotic syndrome (NS), a chronic kidney disorder that affects one in every 200,000 children and can affect adults, too. When an individual has nephrotic syndrome, his or her kidneys leak an excessive amount of protein from the blood into the urine. Since being diagnosed, Savannah has been in the hospital twice because her body relapsed when her doctors tried to wean her off of the steroids. Now she is doing well, according to her mother.

“She’s been a real trooper,” Paine said about her daughter.

And since Savannah has been diagnosed with NS, Paine has gotten involved with raising awareness about the disorder through the NephCure Foundation.

She and Savannah will be attending a fundraiser this Saturday, June 29, called “Smiles for Savannah” at The Messy Artist in East Hanover, which is being hosted by Donna Bernstein, a township resident and owner of the art studio. “We’re thrilled to be able to do this. Nephrotic Syndrome is not a well-known disorder,” Bernstein said.

Bernstein described Savannah, now 3, who is a student in her Monets class for children ages 2 1/2 to 4, as a sweet and vivacious girl who loves to paint and play with play dough.

After Savannah was diagnosed with NS, her mother wanted her to be active in activities with other children her age, so she kept her enrolled in the art class. Keeping Savannah around other youngsters can sometimes be a challenge, her mother explained, since she is at a higher risk of catching chicken pox and other similar viruses.

When a person’s blood is leaking protein, it compromises his or her immune system, Paine explained. In Savannah’s case, Paine noted, because her medication is working well it prevents her from catching such illnesses.

They are both looking forward to Saturday’s event.

“Some people have it but they don’t really talk about it. I hope to raise money, raise awareness and get support groups going,” Paine said.

The fundraising event will be held from 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., in the art studio at 356 Route 10 West, East Hanover. The event, designed for children ages 18 months to 6-years-old, will have five stations for the children to play on including sensory dough, a bean box, a collage project, easel painting and a mystery messy table.

No pre-registration is necessary and all profits will go to the NephCure Foundation. The event costs $25 for one child, $40 for two children and $50 for three children.

Bernstein said their goal is to raise about $1,200 for nephrotic syndrome.

“It’s quite a terrible disease,” she noted.

For more information about the event, visit www.themessyartist.com. To learn about nephrotic syndrome and NephCure, visit www.nephcure.org.



Shredded paper, goop, a translucent collage, table painting, and easels with chalk all added up to a memorable event, and we were proud to make a nice donation to Nephcure after the fundraiser.  Thank you to all the families who came out to make this a great day!





Our next community service event will be our first ever blood drive, on Sunday July 28 from 10am – 3 pm.  You can find out more or even register to donate blood here: http://goo.gl/VXBRt