Walk past a string of vacant stores on Bloomfield Avenue and be prepared to do a double take. These once empty spaces have been transformed with striking art that’s turning Montclair Center into a walkable gallery experience. And now, businesses that are open are also showcasing art as well.
Fifteen artists have taken over spaces all around Montclair Center. An additional five shows will be added to those currently on view (scroll down for the full list). These exhibitions are all part of Fresh Air Montclair Exhibitions, a joint project from Clerestory Fine Arts, 73 See Gallery Design Studio and the Montclair Center BID.
Details of the project can be found on Instagram @freshairmontclair and at the website www.freshairmontclair.com. Artists and property owners interested in participating should apply through the online portal on the website or email firstname.lastname@example.org
- 127 Bloomfield Ave., Studio Montclair. “COVID-19 Cut Ups” by Joe Castronova use the language of abstraction, graffiti and nature to talk about issues of conflict, resolution and visual harmony. Linda Streicher’s “Drawing in Space” interacts directly with the facade and display area architecture to alter the viewer’s spatial perceptions. Puppets from Santiago Cohen were originally made for Jersey City’s Day of the Dead parade. Suprina’s installation “Faux Forest” is a commentary on how much “stuff’ we consume and throw away. Organized by Studio Montclair.
- 344 Bloomfield Ave., Suits by Hipolito Pollantis. HiCoup’s energetic, mixed media works are from a series called “IZMS” and use abstract expressionism to reflect on the various “isms” in our lives: racism, sexism, capitalism, etc. Organized by 73 See Gallery Design Studio.
- 460 Bloomfield Ave., Pure Energy Hair Studio. The windows include Kate Dodd’s Privacy Series, an ongoing series of collages that began with a collection of windowed envelopes that reflect our current quarantine; Monika Smerdel’s, Garden of Wings uses origami butterflies recalling their traditional role as messengers from the afterlife; Yvette Lucas’s works pair our love of nature with our willful destruction of the environment. There is also an installation of children’s artworks that encourage thoughts of growing, thriving and blooming. Organized by 73 See Gallery Design Studio.
- 18-30 South Fullerton Ave., the Crescent Shops. “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. Organized by Clerestory Fine Art.
- 15 South Fullerton Ave at L&B Healthy Pet Markets. Photographs from Venture Studios celebrate all the pets that have supported us during this difficult time. Organized by 73 See Gallery Design Studio.
- 491 Bloomfield Ave. Vault 491. Dynamic portraits by Ron EA Powell, local artist and masterful painter and engraver. Clerestory Fine Art and the Bravitas Group.
- 619-641 Bloomfield Ave. HiCoup’s “Monsters Delight and Such,” a presentation of mixed media works comments on our relationship within space from psychological to physical to animate and inanimate. 73 See Gallery Design Studio.
- 619 Bloomfield Ave. Dan Fenelon and Oliver Lake. Dan Fenelon’s “Urban Illuminations” comprises a mobile, mural and paintings that were created to be uplifting. Oliver Lake’s “Walking Sticks” adorned, painted walking sticks are the further artistic expression of this renowned jazz musician. 73 See Gallery Design Studio.
- 631 Bloomfield Ave. Steve Kelly’s “It’s Over. 2020,” is a site-specific installation that reflects the unprecedented chaos and confusion of this year. The installation is from the exterior of the building, with a spray paint mural, to the interior of the space, visible through the window, with 3D objects, drawing and painting. Clerestory Fine Art.
- 633 Bloomfield Ave. An installation of botanical artistry from Amy Gofton of Studio Nectar, titled “Fragility | Resilience.” Each design is an expression of our awe for all that blooms and decays, perfect in its imperfection. Clerestory Fine Art.
- 635 Bloomfield Ave. In one of the most dramatic transformations on Bloomfield Ave., the artist Charlie Spaderman has changed the space to a pristine black and white installation of sculptures and photographs. In this work, he discusses dynamic pressure and investigates the assemblage of objects. Clerestory Fine Art.
- 10 Lackawanna Plaza, Montclair Innovation Lab Powered by Montclair State University. “COVID-19 Small Business Project,” a hope-filled community photoshoot project of small business owners throughout Montclair from Jennifer Bladel, owner of the Village Studio.
- 49 Church St., Java Love
- 131 Glenridge Ave., the Clubhouse
- 493 Bloomfield Ave.
- 427 Bloomfield Ave.
Fresh Air Montclair exhibitions are presented by BDP Holdings/Bridget & David Placek and The Bravitas Group/Silver Family Foundation with additional support has provided by Whole Foods Market.