Weekend Arts & Entertainment Calendar: October 5 – 8

BY  |  Thursday, Oct 05, 2017 10:15am  |  COMMENTS (0)


First Free Thursday Nights at MAM

So many great local events to enjoy this weekend! From live music and concerts, to comedy and theater, to films and social events, this is your guide to what’s happening:

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“Celebrating Aging in Film” Kicks Off In Montclair With Exciting Movies & Events, 10/20-22

Tuesday, Oct 03, 2017 12:57pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Don’t miss the film event of the season. On October 20-22, Aging in Montclair presents the East Coast debut of San Diego’s popular festival Celebrating Aging In Film. Curated and moderated by series founder, aging expert and author, Professor Mario Garrett, Ph.D., this three-day weekend educational event will shed light on how the aging narrative is transforming our culture.

Aging In Montclair and bevival.com are presenting the film series.

Up will be shown Friday, October 20th at 2.30 pm at Montclair State University. Following each screening, educator, author, and aging expert Professor Mario Garrett, Ph.D will lead a stimulating discussion about different themes. The discussion theme for Up will be animation and humor .

On Saturday, October 21st at MSU: Cherry Blossoms will be screened at 1.30. The discussion theme is intergenerational relationships. This will be followed by a reception with Iris Murdock expert Sophie Glazer and Professor Mario Garrett, Ph.D. The film Iris will then be shown at 6.15 pm. The discussion following the screening will be on themes of transition and romance.

Sunday at The Montclair Art Museum: The World’s Fastest Indian at 3.00 pm to 5.15 pm.The discussion will center on creativity and individualism.

Get details about the films and purchase tickets at aginginmontclair.org/film-series
or call 973-707-5088

The Creativity Caravan Announces October Exhibit with Montclair Artist Jennifer Levine

BY  |  Monday, Oct 02, 2017 2:15pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Creativity Caravan, a creative arts studio, gallery, and “imaginarium” devoted to building community through creative action, proudly announces an upcoming exhibit featuring the work of Montclair-based self-described “neo-outsider artist” Jennifer Levine. According to Levine, her work is inspired by the energy and cultural richness of the town of Montclair. She is also currently spearheading Art Park Montclair, a campaign to transform underused public space into art “playgrounds.”

The exhibit will open on Friday October 6 with a free reception from 7 – 9:30 p.m. The public is invited to meet the artist, view her current work and hear more about her process and her plans for creating the art park.

Levine says she started painting 10 years ago when she was going through a divorce. “I had no experience painting, but needed something to hold onto as I faced the ordeal. I read Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way and it led me through a process that ultimately changed my life in the most profound and wonderful way. Through drawing and painting, I was able to unearth the depth of my being and find a way to express myself that served others. I continue to paint almost every day and love every minute of the process.” Continue Reading

What to Do in October

BY  |  Sunday, Oct 01, 2017 8:55am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Mark your calendars! Here’s a roundup of what’s happening in the Montclair area in October:

October 1

October 2


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Weekend Arts & Entertainment Calendar: September 28 – October 1

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 28, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Lots of great local events to enjoy this weekend! From live music and concerts, to comedy and theater, to films and social events, this is your guide to what’s happening:

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Artists Interpret Climate, Race, Gender Identity at Montclair Art Musuem

BY  |  Monday, Sep 25, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair resident and nationally renowned contemporary artist Philemona Williamson has her first ever solo exhibition of 20 thematic oil paintings at Montclair Art Museum now, through January 7.

Philemon Williams (b.1951) Eventual Autumn, 2003. Oil on Linen 62×50 in. Courtesy of the artist and June Kelly Gallery, New York

Large and colorful, children populate her 20 wildly enchanting, entertaining and thought provoking canvasses. The works span Williams’ career from 1988 to the present. Often autobiographically inspired, there is action, play, emotion and of course her own narrative on the fluidity and ambiguity of age, race, class and gender – a frequent topic for these days.

The familiarity of her characters and the symbolism in her art is striking and accessible. One painting which stopped me in my tracks, “Eventual Autumn” (2003) depicts two adolescents who have dropped their toys in a backdrop of falling leaves. Are they two boys, a girl and a boy? You can’t really tell by their clothing or facial features, which seem mismatched. And the muted skin tones leave ethnicity and race in question. The two friends are holding hands; it seems the artist depicts identities and relationships in transition, yet to be defined. Does it matter? You may have seen this painting displayed on the exhibition’s flag banners around town – go see the painting for yourself.

Philemona Williamson (b. 1951) In the Studio, 2017. Composite photograph printed on Poplin. Photographs by Peter Jacobs Fine Arts Imaging. Image courtesy of the artist.

Passing through the exhibition’s first and second gallery, visitors are treated to the museum’s beautiful atrium which always affords artists a unique space for display. Williamson does not disappoint, with her first sculptural works conceived specially for the space. A collection of four large abstract “Topsy-Turvy Dolls”(2017) occupy the alcoves – folk art dolls without the typical dress – laying bare the textile figures of contrasting skin colors though of dubious gender. The message of unity and inclusiveness is clear – portrayed in a happy, comforting way.

Philemona Williamson (b. 1951) Limbs, 2016. Oil on linen. Collection of Philemona Williamson. Image courtesy of the artist.

The largest painting, “Limbs” (2016), takes a more impressionistic form showing the artistic process on the canvas of unpainted areas of faces and clothing, overlapping lines, and a rich palette – all which lends movement of children’s limbs in the limbs of a tree.

Finally, don’t overlook Williamson’s gigantic composite photographic mural occupying the museum’s Laurie Staircase. Here again the artist has taken advantage of the space to create a photographic collage of her personal sources of artistic inspiration, letting us all in on elements that touch her soul and by design, ours as well.

New York artist, Charles Burchfield, exhibits a different kind of inspiration for a lifetime of paintings, drawings and watercolors – a sampling of which, on loan from the Burchfield Penny Art Center in Buffalo, is featured at MAM – also through January 7.

Sunburst, 1929–31. Charles E. Burchfield (1893–1967) Oil on canvas. The Charles Rand Penney Collection of Works by Charles E. Burchfield, 1994. Reproduced with permission from the Charles E. Burchfield Foundation and the Burchfield Penney Art Center.

Weather patterns, in all its permutations, is what directed the artist’s vision. As weather and light are constantly changing during the day, all of Burchfield’s works contain unmistakable motion and progression – you see wind, rain, heat, cold, sun, shade, light, darkness often all in one painting. A keen observer of nature, Burchfield said the best work is done in retrospection. Continue Reading

BOO! Montclair Film October Cinema505 Lineup Includes Horror Classics

BY  |  Sunday, Sep 24, 2017 2:45pm  |  COMMENTS (0)

Montclair Film has a spooky lineup in store for filmgoers this October for its Cinema505 screening space located in the Investors Bank Film & Media Center at 505 Bloomfield in Montclair. Continuing its Montclair Film + Classics series, October features SLASHERS!, a retrospective program of the horror genre’s touchstone films, all presented on the big screen, including the 4K restoration of Tobe Hooper’s THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE, the restored version of John Carpenter’s HALLOWEEN, and more. October also sees the continuation of The Mastery of Miyazaki series, which features the Japanese animation legend’s all ages classic PONYO, presented in English for the enjoyment of younger children.

October will also see runs of the critically acclaimed new documentary releases THE FORCE, directed by Peter Nicks, EX LIBRIS: NEW YORK PUBLIC LIBRARY, a masterful portrait of the New York Public Library directed by documentary film legend Frederick Wiseman, Jeff Malmberg and Chris Shellen’s Montclair Film Festival hit SPETTACOLO returns, THE PARIS OPERA, a wonderful documentary about the legendary Parisian theater directed by Jean-Stéphane Bron, and REVOLUTION ’67 directed by Jerome + Marylou Bongiorno features in Filmmakers Local 505 program, a look at the 1967 Revolution in Newark, NJ.

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Weekend Arts & Entertainment Calendar: September 21 – 24

BY  |  Thursday, Sep 21, 2017 9:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)


Lots of great local events to enjoy this weekend! From live music and concerts, to comedy and theater, to films and social events, this is your guide to what’s happening:
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Ying Fang To Perform With Montclair Orchestra

BY  |  Wednesday, Sep 20, 2017 10:00am  |  COMMENTS (0)

The Montclair Orchestra will present soprano Ying Fang as featured soloist for its inaugural concert on October 22nd. Ms. Fang will sing the solo vocal role in the finale of Mahler’s 4th symphony on the program.

Ms. Fang is a rising star in the opera world, having performed with th Metropolitan Opera, Opera Philadelphia, and at the Verbier Festival in Switzerland, the Ravinia Festival in Italy, and at the Aix-en-Provence Festival in France. She most recently performed the soprano solo in Mahler’s 4th symphony this summer with the New York Philharmonic. Ms. Fang will be joining the Montclair Orchestra between performances at the MET Opera in New York, and National Opera at the Kennedy Center in Washington DC.

“Ying Fang is an incredibly talented singer, and brings a caliber of performance to Montclair that will set high standards for our organization from the very start” says Montclair Orchestra President Andre Weker. “Combined with the level of talent presented by our professional orchestra members, student fellows, and avocational musicians, the organization is poised to provide an incredible level of artistry in the inaugural concert, as well as throughout the season.” Continue Reading

Merchant of Venice Comes to Montclair State’s Peak Performances

BY  |  Tuesday, Sep 19, 2017 9:06am  |  COMMENTS (0)


With five different actors playing the infamous character of Shylock, director Karin Coonrod is excited to bring her Compagnia de Colombari in Shakespeare’s The Merchant of Venice to Peak Performances at Montclair State University’s Alexander Kasser Theatre, opening today (Tuesday, Sept. 19) through Sunday, Oct. 1.

Coonrod brings The Merchant of Venice to Montclair after her company performed it in Venice, Italy last year on the stones of the Jewish Ghetto of Venice to coincide with the 500th anniversary of the ghetto’s founding in conjunction with the 400th anniversary of Shakespeare’s death.

“Now we’re coming into a theatre with all of what we did in the ghetto, but we did not build a set, so our set in the Peak Performances is very very simple,” Coonrod said. “So we’ve really opened up the theatre to show just certain things… for instance we don’t have projections of the ghetto or things like that, so it’s very anti-romantic. I think the play is anti-romantic and so our production is anti-romantic, there’s no piece of romance in it.”

Coonrod describes The Merchant of Venice as a play with an incendiary reputation in which everybody has a dark heart while showing the mendacity of the mainstream culture.

“So the play has a lot of different themes in it and wants to be about love and that sort of thing and in fact it kind of gets derailed from that because everybody has so much self-interest and greed in a way,” Coonrod said.

Coonrod’s interpretation of the play is unique in her decision to have five different actors of different races, nationalities and genders to play Shylock, the Jewish moneylender and the play’s main antagonist.

“I have chosen to have that role played by five actors and they’re five very different actors who each play one of the five scenes and they come together at two moments in the play,” Coonrod said. “One is the sort of pivotal point that unhinges the play in a way and the other is a surprise towards the end.

“First of all the variety gives us a community of Shylock, we see an older black woman, we see an older man from Urugay, we see a Jewish middle-aged man, we see a middle-aged man from India, we see a man from Trinidad,” she said. “The five Shylock’s, the first one is a businessman, the second one is a father, the third one is the mother – a single parent, the fourth one is the widower and the fifth one is the killer, that’s how I’ve divided them up so that you can see all these different aspects of the character.”

The five different Shylock’s in the play can be identified with a gold sash that will be around the actor’s core.

“It is really a joy to see it not interpreted by one person,” Coonrod said. “We need to shake things up and we’re entering into this play in a way that is surprising and will have the most pay off, I think.”

The play will run two hours with no intermission and is free to all Montclair State undergraduates and $20 for all others.
Click here for more information on The Merchant of Venice at Montclair State University’s Peak Performances.

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I'm struck by how much attention is being paid to the details of a parking lot, as opposed to the attention paid to the future impact of the monstrous projects being planned.

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