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Don Bloom
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Don Bloom

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Don Bloom, 83, of East Brunswick died June 12, 2016. Born in Roxbury, Mass., he moved to East Brunswick in 1968. 

Mr. Bloom received his bachelor of fine arts from Massachusetts College of the Arts in 1953, attended the Art Students League of New York on scholarships from 1953 to 1955, and in 1956 was awarded a full scholarship to Instituto Allende in San Miguel, Mexico, where he received his MFA in painting in 1957. That same year the Newark News featured him as one of the five “Artists of the Year” in New Jersey. 

In 1960 he was awarded the John Simon Guggenheim Fellowship for Creative Painting, and in 1964 and 1965, he was a resident fellow at the Huntington Hartford Foundation in Pacific Palisades, Calif. His work was featured in the Whitney Museum Annual in 1960, and he had dozens of one-man exhibitions at museums, galleries, colleges, and libraries in the United States and Mexico. His paintings earned him numerous accolades and awards at the state and national level. 

His paintings are held in hundreds of private collections and in numerous New Jersey colleges, public institutions, and libraries, including the East Brunswick and South River libraries, the South River Council of Congregations, and East Brunswick Senior Center.

For 34 years he worked as an art educator in the Piscataway Public Schools, serving as department chairman, 1966-1983. He was also an instructor in drawing and painting for several northern New Jersey art centers, including the Livingston and Morris County art associations, Summit Art Center, and Montclair Adult School. He was an instructor for Bloomfield College and Trenton State College, and taught a workshop for Livingston schoolteachers. He also delivered lectures and demonstrations for numerous art groups, and was frequently sought as a judge for art shows and exhibits.

An acclaimed editorial cartoonist, for 12 years his editorial drawings appeared in the Greater Media newspapers, and he also illustrated for the Forbes newspapers. Ten of his editorial cartoons are in the permanent collection of the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Fla. 

He was a member of the National Cartoonists Society, The Associated Artists of New Jersey, the National Education Association, NJ Education Association, and the Middlesex County Retired Educators Association. His biography first appeared in Who’s Who in American Art in 1970 and in publications of the Dictionary of International Biography, and he was featured in the National Cartoonists Society Album’s 50th anniversary edition in 1996.

He illustrated several books, including Piscataway’s Story, a history of Piscataway for children, authored by Margery Oleskie. He executed numerous “First Day Covers” for the Old Bridge Philatelic Corporation and Mendlowitz, Weitsen, CPAs, including those on Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, Jim Thorpe, and all the U.S. presidents. In 1998, these cachets were awarded a second prize at the Americover Society’s annual national conference. Some were shown at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, NY.

He was a member of East Brunswick Jewish Center, serving in several leadership positions for more than 25 years, and was named Man of the Year in 1987. In 1998, the Northern New Jersey Region selected him as Man of the Year, its highest honor.

From November 2000 to March 2001, he was recognized through mayoral proclamations in East Brunswick, North Brunswick, and South River townships. 

Predeceased by his wife of 36 years, Jeanette, in 2004, he is survived by his son, Richard of Durham, NC; two daughters, Lisa (Gary) Hughes of Ocean and Deborah (Andrew) Berman of Tenafly; and five grandchildren.

Services were held June 14 with arrangements by Mount Sinai Memorial Chapels, East Brunswick.

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