Coming To A Public Space Near You: Art Park Montclair

Montclair is known as an arts destination but it doesn’t have an art park. Montclair artist Jennifer Levine would like to change that.

Levine and artist Elizabeth Jacobs (who created the “Tony” bench at the corner of Park Street and Chestnut) came up with the idea for Art Park Montclair (APM), an open, accessible, inviting public space for the community to gather and connect through a shared artistic experience. The project team now includes Amy Tingle and Maya Stein of The Creativity Caravan – a Montclair-based creative arts workshop, gallery, and studio space – and Alex Nunez of Colectivo Workshop, an architectural design-build studio.

The mission of Art Park Montclair is to celebrate the cultural richness of Montclair through experiences that promote creative play, inspire self-expression, and deepen connection to and pride of the community. Through engaging installations, inviting gathering spaces, and unique sculptural and educational features, Art Park Montclair will be a lively and evolving destination for locals and visitors alike.

Levine is in talks with a number of community stakeholders to identify existing public spaces and parks that might be the home for Art Park Montclair. Once the site is selected, Art Park Montclair will be completed in three stages. These include: the design and installation of a community-themed mural; a performance area and other art elements; and the seating components (benches, chairs, etc.) Target date for completion of Art Park Montclair is August 1, 2018. Levine is working with her team to raise $40,000 to fund the park (look for Levine tonight (Friday, 7/28) on Church Street near South Park from 5-8 p.m., where she will be creating Soul Portraits in exchange for donations).

Start-up costs to develop plans, design architectural renderings, and launch a website and marketing campaign will be covered by individual donations. Building and implementation costs will be met through a combination of a crowd-sourced campaign, arts and community grants, and tax-deductible organization contributions. To make a tax deductible donation, visit To support the vision of Art Park Montclair, visit and vote for the Art Park Montclair initiative on PLANETCIVIC.

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  1. This initiative would have a much better chance of success if instead of Art Park, it was renamed Art Parking Lot. After all, the storage and movement of cars is what we care most about in this town. It now wonder why every public space initiative in this town (art park, community garden, farmers market, open streets etc) is heading to the a tiny triangle of crane park, it because it the only public space in Montclair center…

    We don’t do public space in Montclair..we take every left over inch and hand it over to the car to either drive faster or park better.

    Clever initiative by these folks, but probably best just to ask permission to use some desolate slab of asphalt on the weekend when cars and thier drivers temporarily grant us permission to use what is rightfully theirs…much like walnut farmers market…we’d rather hold our community events in baking hot parking lots that in the lush green spaces immediately adjacent to them (Erie park) anyway.

  2. parkour,

    Seriously, Montclair residents prefer their children to get their CTE from synthetic turf fields starting in grade school. The big push is for this and faster replacement of the 10 yr their lifespans.

    Why, when they are either past their prime and prefer predictable footing or they are their wearing 4″ wedges, would they want to walk on uneven, lush grass that stains what pants?

    Have you been in our parks recently? We have over 38,000 residents and, aside from competitive events, they may contain 2-3 dozen people at any one time on an average day. I had to laugh out loud about citing Erie Park. Absolutely no one goes there, ever, never. Their biggest issue there is to put in extra lighting so they can use it to get home safely from the train. Seriously, I know you have never been there. ‘Fess up.

  3. You can make all the snarky comments you want, you know it’s an amazing idea and will be loved by all ages in this town. Might even get smile out of you cranky commentators. 😉 Go Jen!

  4. jsmom,

    Admit it, it is an average idea. And I know you’re not into diversity, but you should respect your fellow residents that don’t smile through life like you do.

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