Studio Montclair Presents ‘Privilege, Power and Everyday Life’

Studio Montclair presents “Privilege, Power, and Everyday Life,” on exhibit from January 15 through February 19 at Studio Montclair Gallery, 127 Bloomfield Avenue, Montclair, NJ. An opening reception will take place on Sunday, January 17 from 2:00 to 4:30 pm.* For those not yet comfortable with public viewing, an online tour of the exhibit, including audio, will be available for viewing. A ZOOM reception and curator talk will be held on Thursday, January 21 at 7:00 pm. “Privilege, Power, and Everyday Life” features artwork that encourages dialogue about implicit bias and stereotypes.

Donna Bassin, My Own Witness: Rupture and Repair. Sufiyyah, Conceptual portraiture

The exhibit focuses largely on the concept of microaggressions, defined as subtle, intentional—or often unintentional—everyday interactions or behaviors that communicate hostile, derogatory, or negative racial messages or assumptions toward historically marginalized groups. “You are so articulate” presumes that Black people are not usually capable of competent intellectual conversation. Consider the questions, “Who are you? Do you live here?” Asking people to identify themselves in their own garage, home, or car and prove they ‘belong’ sends a message that they are not welcome. Or, “Can I touch your hair,” or worse, touching without even asking. Curiosity is okay but invading someone’s personal space is not. This can make someone feel like they are an animal on display.


Christy O’Connor, Don’t Fucking Touch Me, Acrylic, photo transfer, glitter, fake flowers

The difference between microaggressions and overt discrimination is that people who commit microaggressions are often unaware that they are doing these things. If you point it out to them they may say, “That wasn’t my intention; you are being too sensitive.” Which is yet another microaggression. The weight of these daily interactions underpins very real consequences in marginalized groups: stress, anger, frustration, self-doubt, and ultimately feelings of powerlessness and invisibility. Our hope in “Privilege, Power, and Everyday Life” is to make the invisible, visible as a path towards a more inclusive culture.

Francisco Silva, The Lack of Privilege, Oil on canvas- A group of Latinos waiting in line at a food bank in Queens

*Please note that SMI will be following strict guidelines for indoor gatherings—masks will be required and the number of people in the gallery at one time will be limited. In addition, general viewing will be by appointment only until further notice.

About the Curator:

Theda Sandiford is an award-winning, self-taught artist based in Jersey City, NJ. She has extensively exhibited in galleries and museums nationwide including the MoCADA in Brooklyn, Visual Art Center of New Jersey, Fiber Art Now and the Montclair Art Museum. Her work appears in Jerry Saltz’s personal collection, several high-profile music executive’s collections, and has been licensed to BET’s hit show, ‘Being Mary Jane’.

Theda transforms found and meticulously collected recycled materials into complex mixed media works and installations. Community art making is a key component of her process, creating multilayer and multi-sensory experiences to explore themes such as equity & inclusion, sustainability, anti-racism, skills sharing, and personal wellbeing.

Participating Artists:

Donna Bassin, Richard Brachman, Judith Carlin, Elizabeth Demarco, Martha Diaz Adam, Susan Evans Grove, Denise Fitzgerald, Alyson N Fraser Diaz, Barry Fredericks, Debra Friedkin, Colleen Sweeney Gahrmann, Faith Hagenhofer, June He, Kate Hollitscher, Linda Johns, Alex Katsenelinboigen, Granvilette Kestenbaum, Joan Knauer, Becca Lynes, Jennifer Malone, Evan Stuart Marshall, Leslie Nobler, Courtney Novak, Christy O’Connor, J Steven Patton, Jean-Paul Picard, Adam Pitt, Chris Revelle, Francisco Silva, Linda Steinhardt Majzner, and Miriam Stern.

Exhibition Dates: January 15 – February 19, 2021
Studio Montclair Gallery, 127 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair
Gallery Hours: By appointment only
Opening Reception: Sunday, January 17 from 2:00 to 4:30pm
Zoom Reception and Curator Talk: Thursday, January 21 at 7:00pm
Studio Montclair Contact Info: smi@studiomontclair.org, 862-500-1447

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