Thursday, September 21, 2023

INTERESTING FOLKS: Jane Voorhees of Blairstown, an Artist who Inspires Beauty

A painting by Voorhees (left) and an intricate twig frame. Photo by MB Journe, Nov. 2022

Jane Voorhees is known for her beautiful silver jewelry, stunning pastel paintings and rustic twig accessories. Her work is intricate, with Old World craftsmanship.

In 1983, she and her husband Don moved to Blairstown to raise their family. It is evident that Voorhees’s paintings and twig work are inspired by the majestic woodland region. Her work is outstanding and can be seen at Peters Valley Gallery, located at 19 Kuhn Road, Layton, and Gallery 23, Main Street, Blairstown.

Voorhees in front of Gallery 23, Main Street, Blairstown. Photo by MB Journe, Nov. 2022

Meet her at Gallery 23 during “Jingle on Main, ” a crafter event for the whole family, Saturday, November 26, from 10am to 4pm.

Her jewelry can be described as fantasy pieces of art featuring beautiful woman, angelic cupids, handsome Indian chiefs, playful fairies, majestic wildlife creatures, bouquets of flowers and one-of-a-kind designs in gold and silver with glittering semi-precious stones. She calls her latest work rustic twig work which are frames and accessories expressing her love of nature.

“My mother taught me, from the time I was a little kid, to draw on everything,” she reminisced.

She was enrolled at the Yard School of Art in Montclair with Margaret Yard Tyler, an acclaimed pastel portrait artist for five years.

By the time Voorhees was 13 years old, she won first place in an art contest held in the park. The pastel portrait was of a soldier, a friend of the family. When the judges found out that the artist was a child, they didn’t believe it and disqualified her. Her parents and some judges went to battle for her, insisting it was her work. She still has the award.

Voorhees’s designs are delicately whimsy and skillfully rendered. Photo by MB Journe, Nov. 2022

“My family had a small resort in the Catskills, where I took a class in wax casting, that’s all it took, and I was smitten. I bought a used kiln and started making my own jewelry,” Voorhees stated.

Voorhees studied at Eastern Michigan University, the School of Visual Arts and received a B.A. from Livingston College at Rutgers University. Her supplemental education was in the form of an apprenticeship to jeweler Paul Gollhardt, enameling with Bill Helwig, and jewelry workshops with Chuck Evans, Rick Marshall, Marci Zelmanoff and Mary Ann Scheer.

From 1975-1977, Voorhees worked for Century Casting, a wax production jewelry casting firm in New York City. At that time most of the jewelry was gold with gems. She worked her way up and soon became the manager. Her boss was generous with his knowledge, and she learned much while she was there.

After some time, she started producing her own line of jewelry and has been self-employed
since then. She can be seen on Facebook and Instagram.

Visit Voorhees at
Peters Valley Gallery at
Gallery 23 at

Yelens Choban
MB Journe, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

My name is Marybeth Journe, I feel blessed to be living in this part of New Jersey. I have enjoyed this community taking advantage of the lakes and woods. Always supporting the local businesses that make this my home. As a local artist myself, I know many of our residence if not by name, at least by sight. I feel comfortable interviewing others. I have worked for The Paulinskill Valley Chronical where I provided articles, photographs and billing. I consider myself an artist, journalist, naturalist, gardener and a teacher for the YMCA Camp Mason. I look forward to the work ahead