Montclair Art Museum Chief Curator Gail Stavitsky Honored With a 2015 John Cotton Dana Award

BY  |  Friday, May 22, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Art Museum

Gail Stavitsky, chief curator of the Montclair Art Museum (MAM), has been selected to receive the 2015 John Cotton Dana Award from the New Jersey Association of Museums.

Stavitsky is being honored for advancing the service of museums to the region, for demonstrating visionary and innovative leadership, and for epitomizing the highest standards of professional commitment as exemplified by museum pioneer John Cotton Dana (1856–1929). The award will be presented at the NJAM Annual Meeting at the beautiful Grounds for Sculpture on June 1.

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MAM Announces the Vance Wall Education Center and its New Director

BY  |  Friday, Apr 24, 2015 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Leah_Fox (1)

The Montclair Art Museum is reorganizing its education and art school programs, bringing them all under the umbrella of the newly named Vance Wall Art Education Center. The center—made possible by a generous donation by the Vance Wall Foundation—will enable a strategic and ambitious expansion of MAM’s educational profile in the region. Leah Fox has been appointed MAM’s first director of the Vance Wall Art Education Center.

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Celebrate MAM’s exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s at the ’90s Dance Party

BY  |  Monday, Feb 23, 2015 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s

Love the 1990s? Break out your ripped jeans, flannel, and Doc Martens and go to Montclair Art Museum’s (MAM) ’90s Dance Party on Saturday, March 7. Inspired by the Museum’s current exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, the first major museum survey of art from the pivotal decade, this party will take you back in the day.

From Nirvana to No Doubt, Backstreet Boys to Blink 182, and Smashing Pumpkins to Spin Doctors, “Saved by the 90s: A Party with The Bayside Tigers,” the Ultimate ’90s Tribute Band, will set the scene with all your favorite ’90s tunes. Then, DJ Gabriel Levy will keep you dancing until it’s time to peace out. You can Vogue, do The Humpty Dance, bust a move doing The Hammer, start a mosh pit, do your best Fly Girls imitation, or break out The Carlton. Whatever ’90s dance moves you show off, you’ll have a blast.

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Take Your Time, Hurry Up to See MAM’s Come As You Are: Art of the 1990s

BY  |  Monday, Feb 16, 2015 12:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Elizabeth Peyton (born 1965, USA), Princess Kurt, 1995, Oil on linen

Elizabeth Peyton (born 1965, USA), Princess Kurt, 1995, Oil on linen

Montclair Art Museum’s (MAM) current contemporary art exhibition Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, curated by Alexandra Schwartz (a Gen-X-er), is divided into three periods and three themes: early 90s and identity and the “identity politics” debates, mid ’90s and the digital revolution, and late ’90s through 2001 and globalization. Works on view include installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photographs, video, and digital art. The show’s name is a nod to the early 90s grunge band Nirvana, whose songs and front man Kurt Cobain, were angst-filled and identity and purpose seeking.

“It seems to me that the birth of Contemporary Art was in the 90s,” said Schwartz at the exhibit’s press preview a couple of days before the show opened to the public on February 8. Come As You Are is the first major museum survey to examine the art of this pivotal decade in its historical context.

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Fabulous February First Free Thursday Night at MAM

BY  |  Wednesday, Jan 28, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

First Free Thursday Night

We love Montclair Art Museum’s Free First Thursday Nights. Who wouldn’t? You get free museum admission, live music, fun activities, a full-service bar, and great food to enjoy—it’s a great night out.

Offerings change on a monthly basis, and First Thursday Night on Thursday, February 5, offers fabulous fun.

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Coffee With…the Curator: Alexandra Schwartz of MAM

BY  |  Thursday, Jan 08, 2015 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Alexandra SchwartzBeginning on February 8, Montclair Art Museum (MAM) will present Come as You Are: Art of the 1990s, the first major museum survey to examine the art of the ’90s in its historical context. The exhibition was curated by Alexandra Schwartz and showcases approximately 65 works by 45 artists born or practicing in the United States and will comprise installations, paintings, sculptures, drawings, prints, photography, video, and digital art. The artists in the exhibition came of age during the 90s and reflect the diverse nature of the art world during this time, as artists of color, women artists, and LGBT artists attained increased prominence.

Alexandra Schwartz was born and raised in Washington D.C. and currently lives on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. She received a B.A. from Harvard University and an M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She joined MAM in 2010 as its first curator of contemporary art. Previously she was on the curatorial staff of the Museum of Modern Art. She is a writer, editor and has taught at Columbia University, the University of Michigan, Montclair State University, the Whitney Museum of American Art, and MoMA.

Baristanet met with Schwartz to discuss the upcoming exhibit, her personal influences and learn a bit more about MAM’s curator of contemporary art:

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MAM Art Talks Thursday : Sanford Biggers

BY  |  Tuesday, Nov 18, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

sanford biggers

Sakrua, 2014, antique quilt fragments, spray paint, acrylic, and assorted textile on antique quilt. Courtesy of the artist and David Castillo Gallery, Miami FL.

This Thursday, November 20, join Montclair Art Museum’s Art Talk on Sandford Biggers.

Biggers is an interdisciplinary artist who works in film/video, installation, sculpture, music, and performance. He has achieved international prominence over the last decade with a diverse body of work that explores themes of identity, race, American history, and spirituality, often by blending installation and performance. In Codex, a recent project, Biggers continues to probe these themes through another stylistic departure: painting on historical quilts, many of which were gifts to the artist from descendants of slave owners.

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MAM Hosts 12th Annual Conversation on Education and the Arts

BY  |  Monday, Nov 10, 2014 12:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

susan striker

Susan Striker

The Conversation on Education and the Arts series is an annual lecture sponsored by the Montclair Community Pre-K and hosted by Montclair Art Museum (MAM). Past speakers have included educators, scholars, artists, and authors interested in progressive teaching methods: Howard Gardner (2003 & 2012), Leon Botstein (2004), Lillian Katz (2005), Maxine Greene (2006), Eric Carle (2007), Lella Gandini (2008), Philip Yenawine (2009), Faith Ringgold (2010), Claudia Cornett (2011), and Co-Creator and Executive Producer at Nickelodeon, Montclair resident Chris Gifford (2013).

Susan Striker will speak at the 12th Annual Conversation on Education and the Arts Lecture. Striker is the author of the best-selling Anti-Coloring Book® series with over one million books in print all over the world. Designed to stimulate creativity and encourage problem solving and critical thinking, the books “help children draw their own pictures as well as their own conclusions about life.” She has had a long, successful career teaching art to young children, taught art education methodology to university students, and developed art curricula. Ms. Striker’s work has been the subject of numerous television shows, both nationally and internationally.

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From Montgomery to Montclair: African-American Quilts at Montclair Art Museum

BY  |  Monday, Sep 22, 2014 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (1)

wells maskOn July 2, 1964, the United States enacted the Civil Rights Act, outlawing discrimination against any person based on race, color, religion, sex and national origin. To commemorate the 50th anniversary of that landmark act, the Montclair Art Museum is presenting 30 colorful and creatively designed quilts by African-American quiltmakers primarily from West Alabama.

“From Heart to Hand: African-American Quilts from the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts,” which opened Saturday, showcases 29 quilts on loan from the Montgomery Museum, most of which were made between the mid-1950s and the end of the 20th century.

Quilts are as American as apple pie, but few may realize the prominence they’ve played in African-American communities. Gee’s Bend, Ala., an isolated African-American community founded by freed slaves after the Civil War, became known for its quiltmaking, a skill that has been passed down through the community for generations. Created as a way to support struggling poor families, the quilts have been displayed in art museums throughout the country. Continue Reading

There’s A New Truck In Town: The MAM Art Truck

BY  |  Thursday, Jul 03, 2014 3:00pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

art truck 2No, it’s not another food truck, but you may have caught a glimpse of it already, maybe at the Tuesday Montclair Farmers Market in Montclair Center?

Montclair Art Museum is dishing out art to the community with The MAM Art Truck. The truck rolls out officially on July 4, at Montclair’s July 4th Parade. (Here’s a schedule of where to find the MAM art Truck).

The truck is a mobile open studio, housed in a retrofitted ice cream truck, that offers free art projects and lessons to MAM’s community. MAM hopes the sight of the cheery truck tooling around town will also raise visibility for the Museum and its Yard School of Art in surrounding towns while feeding creativity in underserved communities and audiences.

art truck 4

“No museum or arts organization in our geographic area offers a comparable outreach project. We’re excited at the ability to bring art-making anywhere to anyone and hope that the community will in turn see the Museum as an accessible and welcoming resource,” said MAM Director Lora Urbanelli.

Artist Dan Fenelon and MAM educator Peg Kenselaar will drive the truck in the Montclair 4th of July parade and then lead its first art project during the picnic afterward. The project will be family friendly and free. Additional venues are being booked and include the Montclair Jazz Festival (August 16), Meet Me in Morristown (last Thursdays in July, August, and September), and the Feast of St. Sebastian in Montclair (August 20–24). The MAM Art Truck will also make regular weekday appearances at senior centers including Canterbury at Cedar Grove, Crane’s Mill (West Caldwell), Emeritus (West Orange), Passaic Senior Center, and Cedar Crest (Pompton Plains), as well as at community pools in Montclair, Summit, and South Orange.

There's A New Truck In Town: The MAM Art Truck

Follow the MAM art truck on social media with the hashtag #MAMarttruck and look for the launch of a detailed location schedule on MAM’s website, montclairartmuseum.org, later this summer.

If you are interested in having the MAM Art Truck at your event, contact arttruck@montclairartmuseum.org

The Art Truck is sponsored by the Partners for Health Foundation. Additional generous support provided by Tracy and Jim Leitner, Friends of the Make it Happen Fund, and The Montclair Foundation.

Featured Comment

I’d love to take the family to see Robin Hood on stage and his attempts to help the 99%!

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