Local Colors: A Closing Reception and Benefit For Lamp For Haiti

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On Saturday April 6th from 6-9pm, Fern Bass, will be holding a closing reception of her show, Local Colors, at The Gallery At Hillside Square in Montclair. The closing reception will benefit Lamp for Haiti, as Bass will donate 10% of sales to the organization.

Bass and Lamp for Haiti’s founder and Board Chair, Dr. James Morgan, will provide commentary about the local community perspective which plays a key role in both Bass and Morgan’s work at 7 p.m.

The show features paintings and drawings of people in eating, working, talking and thinking in Montclair’s cafés such as Raymond’s, The Corner and Le Salbuen. The reception will include wine and small bites donated from these Montclair cafes and other local establishments. Guests will be able to see Bass’s highly structured compositions which reflect a search for spatial pathways and color harmonies that capture the interplay of public and private.

Says Bass, “As an introverted extrovert who spends a lot of time alone in the studio, I frequent cafes for my daily fix of inspiration, which comes from both caffeine and people. I love
to sit alone in these public places and observe. When I am daydreaming in a cafe, I often find myself tuning in to the people around me, as if I were a kind of cafe spy. What I see is subtle yet deep — nothing I can describe in words, only pictures.”

“My inspiration for this current body of work was watching people eating, working, talking, and thinking in Montclair’s cafés. My children used to admonish me for staring, so I began to surreptitiously photograph people in cafes several years ago. I arouse no suspicion as I just look like everyone else taking selfies. I like to catch people engaged in quiet moments of private thought, whether they are a barista, patron or server. Then I go back to my studio and try to visually represent these internal experiences in my paintings.”

My subjects have always been people. Painting is my way of participating in another’s experience, of thinning the membrane that exists between all of us. It is relational. It is my way of connecting.”

Lamp For Haiti, founded in 2006 by Montclair resident Dr. James Morgan, is a nonprofit that operates a full service health center in Cite Soleil, Haiti which cares for over 15,000 patients a year and also provides community support through education and clean water initiatives.

Morgan says, “Recently Fern worked with us on a collaborative mural project that will soon be installed at our health center. We are appreciative that now a portion of her proceeds will benefit our mission in Haiti. For example, if a painting purchase contributes $200 to Lamp for Haiti those funds can feed two severely malnourished children in our life-saving child nutrition program. So this art can be life-changing in ways beyond beauty alone. I look forward to sharing a short update on our work in Haiti on April 6th.”

Bass, founder and head instructor at Bass Arts Studio, is a working artist whose work has been widely shown in solo and group exhibitions in New Jersey and New York City. Before devoting herself to making art and teaching full time, she worked as a graphic designer and art director at The New York Times, Conde Nast and Fairchild Publications. She has a BFA from Pratt Institute, and attended the Art Students League and the Brooklyn Museum Art School.

The Gallery at Hillside Square (8 Hillside Ave., Montclair) is open Monday through Friday, 7:00am-7:00pm. For sales inquiries contact Fern Bass: 201-341-7714, bassartsstudio@gmail.com or visit fernbass.com

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