Don Bloom

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Don Bloom, Painter, Illustrator, Cartoonist and Art Educator, died June 12, at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital, New York. He was 83.

Born in Roxbury, Mass., Bloom settled in East Brunswick, N.J., in 1968. He received his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the 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 the renowned Instituto Allende, 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, Bloom 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 has had dozens of one-man exhibitions in the U.S. and Mexico at museums, galleries, colleges, and libraries. His painting has 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 the East Brunswick Senior Center.

For 34 years, Bloom worked as an Art Educator in the Piscataway Public Schools, serving as Department Chairman from 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, the Summit Art Center, and the Montclair Adult School. He was an instructor for Bloomfield College and Trenton State College (now the College of New Jersey), and taught a workshop for teachers at the Livingston Schools. Bloom also delivered lectures and demonstrations for numerous art groups, and was frequently sought as a judge for art shows and exhibits.

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

Bloom was a member of the National Cartoonists Society, The Associated Artists of New Jersey, the National Education Association, the N.J. Education Association and the Middlesex Country Retired Educators Association. His biography first appeared in “Who’s Who in American Art” in 1970, in publications of the “Dictionary of International Biography,” and he was featured in the National Cartoonists Society Album, 50th Anniversary edition, published in 1996.

Bloom 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, CPA’s, including those on Babe Ruth, Roberto Clemente, Jim Thorpe, all the U.S. Presidents, and many others. In 1998, these cachets were awarded a second prize at the Americover Society’s Annual National Conference. Some have been shown at the Baseball Hall of Fame, Cooperstown, N.Y.

He was a member of the East Brunswick Jewish Center, serving in several leadership positions for more than 25 years, where he 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, Bloom was recognized through Mayoral Proclamations by East Brunswick, North Brunswick and South River townships.

Mr. Bloom was married to Jeanette Bloom for 36 years, until her death in June, 2004. He is survived by a son, Richard of Durham, NC; two daughters, Lisa Hughes and her husband Gary of Ocean, N.J., and Deborah Berman and her husband, Andrew of Tenafly, N.J.; and five grandchildren: Melanie, Meghan, Hannah, Sarah and Julia.

Funeral services were arranged by Mount Sinai Memorial Chapels, East Brunswick.