Nestled away in a tight alley on Pine Street in Montclair is an amazing trove unknown to many in Baristaville. Owned by Montclair artist Mary Z, the 73 See Gallery & Design Studio is both a creative showcase as well as a work of art in its own right.
The gallery, opened officially on April 8, was once an ice factory, but after a year and a half of renovations — with the help of the local community — it has been transformed into the ideal space for exhibiting art. From the shape of the walls to the color of the floors, the structure was “designed by Mary, built by the community,” says Stan Stepney, business manager and executive director of the gallery.
She is enthusiastic about joining the Pine Street Historic District.
“People who come, say ‘I didn’t think anything like this could be on Pine Street,'” said Z. “It’s a shock value. But, I don’t know another gallery in Montclair that has this kind of wall space and the ability to show in this way. That’s exciting to me.”
Both Z and Stepney believe the increase in local businesses will bring about a much needed revival to the neighborhood. They recognize that the rejuvenation of Pine Street requires foot traffic from visitors, which is why 73 See Gallery holds weekly and monthly events for the public.
Every Tuesday night from 7pm-9:30 p.m., Z holds art classes for women, who are exploring their creative sides. The class is $240 for an 8 class session (about $30 per class). Classes are revolving, which means you can join at anytime and don’t have to attend consecutive weeks. Z is working on creating a scholarship fund for those who need tuition assistance.
On August 13th, and every second Saturday of the month, the gallery will feature a night of music, poetry, and more for a $10 charge.
There are still many aspects Z would like to explore with the gallery, like creating an art class for local kids and turning the adjacent alley into a library, where people can learn and ask questions about art.
You can visit the 73 See Gallery & Design Studio on: Tuesday-Sunday 10-6pm and Saturday 10-3pm.
For information, click on www.73seegallery.com or call 973-746-8737.