One of my favorite places in Montclair is the contemporary art jewelry studio, Gallery Loupe–the underrated gem of Church Street.
In the center of the small, spare white space is a long table topped with whatever collection is currently on display. The furniture also functions as an oversized jewelry box, featuring dozens of drawers filled with wearable works of art. My young daughter delights in gently sliding open those slim drawers, each containing a gorgeous, gleaming surprise.
Since 2006, co-owners Patti Bleicher and Eileen David have organized exhibits showcasing stunningly intricate, imaginative pieces created by internationally renowned artists, as well as up-and-comers. The studio’s motto: “To explore the unlimited possibilities of self-adornment.”
In an effort to garner more local name recognition, Bleicher and David recently helped bring the bling to the Montclair Film Festival’s Oscar Eve Party by loaning items from the gallery’s collection to members of the Festival’s benefit committee. The members chose to wear pieces by artists Joan Parcher, Marjorie Simon, Seung-Hea Lee, Georg Dobler, and Barbara Seidenath.
Currently on exhibit at the studio is a poetic collection of three-dimensional brooches and necklaces featuring landscapes of miniature swans, elephants, rabbits, bears and deer attached to round silver bases and coated with vibrant epoxy resins. They’re the latest work of noted Israeli jeweler and artist Shirly Bar-Amotz. The show, a symbolic representation of fairytales, is entitled: “Happy Days.”
In a word, it’s enchanting–and definitely worth seeing. But hurry, the exhibit ends next Tuesday, March 11th.
50 Church Street Montclair, NJ