We can’t go inside our favorite galleries or the Montclair Art Museum yet, but now art is coming to the streets, showcased in storefronts now quiet due to COVID-19.
Take a masked walk and see the new art that’s popping up around Montclair, thanks to a new local outdoor art initiative, Fresh Air Montclair Exhibitions. Two inaugural shows have already been installed within the storefronts of Montclair Center, through the efforts of local entrepreneurs and curators, Mary Scotti of 73 See Gallery Design Studio and Kathryn Waggener McGuire of Clerestory Fine Art.
“Seeds to the Future,” organized by 73 See Gallery and Design Studio, features the work of artists Kate Dodd, Yvette Lucas and Monika Smerdel along with the work of neighborhood children at Pure Energy Hair Studio at 460 Bloomfield Avenue.
The exhibitions are free to view and will continue until storefronts re-open. More exhibitions will be announced shortly and be installed in the coming weeks.
“EGALLUTS: Quarantined“ comprises works from Montclair native photographer Armando “OUTthere” Diaz taken since the lockdown began in New Jersey. Based on Clerestory Fine Art’s “Everybody’s Got a Little Light Under the Sun” exhibition and event series of Diaz’s work, the display focuses on Montclair residents working during the Covid-19 crisis. The images document a variety of people in different states of work, play, camaraderie and reflection, almost entirely wearing masks.
At 460 Bloomfield Ave, 73 See Gallery Design Studio has installed an exhibition of three artists to reflect and inform Pure Energy Hair Studio’s mission of positive energy and wellness. In the left window, an exhibition of Kate Dodd’s Privacy Series, an ongoing series of collages that began with a collection of windowed envelopes. The window became a portal and a separation, resonating with our current quarantine. Monika Smerdel’s installation, Garden of Wings, uses origami butterflies, traditionally believed to be messengers from the afterlife. On the right, Yvette Lucas presents two works which pairs our love of nature with our willful destruction of the environment, Mother II and Moth Mandala II.
Fresh Air Montclair Exhibitions is a joint project between Clerestory Fine Art, 73 See Gallery and Design Studio and the Montclair Center BID and sponsored by Whole Foods Montclair. Fresh Air Montclair Exhibitions hopes to activate Montclair sidewalks with engaging, informative and stimulating works of art and encourage use and enjoyment of our commercial district. Details of the project will be on the Instagram account @freshairmontclair and at the website www.freshairmontclair.com. Artists and property owners interested in participating apply through the online portal on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org