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,, later this summer.

If you are interested in having the MAM Art Truck at your event, contact

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.

Montclair Art Museum Celebrates Centennial with June Toast & Taste Fundraising Event

BY  |  Tuesday, May 27, 2014 10:30am  |  COMMENTS (0)

centennial toast 2In the mood to express your Inner James Bond or one of his, um, female colleagues, and sample a variety of wines, microbrewed beers and spirits while chomping on good food on the grounds of New Jersey’s first public museum?

Two Aston Martins (Mr. Bond’s preferred mode of transportation) will join the Montclair Art Museum’s 12,000-plus works of art on Friday, June 13, 2014 as part of the institution’s Centennial Toast & Taste fundraising event from 7:00-10:00 p.m. at its 3 South Mountain location in Montclair. The outdoor event (weather permitting) is a part of the Museum’s year-long series of celebrations marking its 100th birthday.

Attendees will be able to check out Aston Martin’s Rapide S (MSRP: $215,000) and Vantage V8 (MSRP: $128,000) parked in front of the museum, courtesy of sponsor Aston Martin of Summit/Short Hills (future test-drives at another site may be available.)

They will also sample wine, beer, scotches and bourbons and food from sponsors Amanti Vino, New Jersey Beer Co., Upstairs Restaurant & Bar, The Hunger Construction food truck and MBDelicious Home Baked Goods. Elements Therapeutic Massage (another sponsor) will offer massages. Tickets are $75 for members and $85 for non-members (attendees must be 21 years old) and can be purchased on MAM’s website. Continue Reading

Montclair Celebrates Decades: A Century Of Fashion at MAM

BY  |  Monday, Apr 14, 2014 3:17pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Cameron Silver discussing the history of fashion

Cameron Silver discussing the history of fashion.

Over 250 guests enjoyed the sold out Decades: A Century of Fashion Luncheon, Lecture, and Trunk Show featuring Cameron Silver, the King of Vintage. Silver is a preeminent fashion historian, proprietor of Decades (LA’s premier vintage fashion boutique), author, and BravoTV personality. Attendees were treated to a luxury basket raffle and exclusive vintage trunk show as well as a fabulous lunch catered by Events by Joni and a lecture on the history of fashion by Silver. Guests were also invited to donate items to the Career Closet in Livingston, NJ. Continue Reading

Don’t Miss The Centennial Ball at MAM, April 26

BY  |  Thursday, Apr 10, 2014 11:16am  |  COMMENTS (0)

building_Yellow (1)Montclair Art Museum will celebrate 100 years on Saturday, April 26, with the Centennial Ball and attendees are urged to purchase tickets early as they are in high demand after the sold-out Decades: A Century of Fashion Luncheon, Lecture, and Trunk Show with BravoTV’s Cameron Silver, which took place on April 9.

Guests are invited to dress from their favorite decade for The Centennial Ball, a chic soirée to celebrate art and fashion through the century. Cocktails will be held in Leir Hall at 6:30 p.m. inside the Museum followed by dinner in the Grand Tent at 8 p.m. on the front lawn and the Fashionably Late Dance Party at 9:30 p.m. in Leir Hall. Continue Reading

Montclair Art Museum Brings Spencer Finch and Vik Muniz for MSU/MAM Art Talks Series

BY  |  Monday, Apr 07, 2014 2:30pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Art Museum Brings Spencer Finch and Vik Muniz for MSU/MAM Art Talks SeriesThe Montclair Art Museum (MAM) and Montclair State University are proud to welcome internationally recognized contemporary artists Spencer Finch and Vik Muniz for the spring 2014 season of the MSU/MAM Art Talks series. The lectures will take place in the Museum’s Leir Hall, with Finch on April 10 and Muniz on April 17, both at 7 p.m. Continue Reading

MAM Deputy Director to Become Grounds For Sculpture Executive Director

BY  |  Wednesday, Apr 02, 2014 7:23pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Gary_Garrido_Schneider_Headshot_GFSGrounds For Sculpture, a sprawling, whimsical sculpture garden in Hamilton, NJ, announced today the appointment of its new Executive Director, Gary Garrido Schneider, who will leave his position as the Deputy Director of the Montclair Art Museum.

Schneider will take office on May 5, overseeing the 42-acre not-for-profit arts center and its operations. He’ll  be guided by GFS Interim Executive Director, Michael Chang, as well as a select committee of board members established for the purpose of aiding in this transition. The executive search process was led by Arts Consulting Group.

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