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Re-Purposed Done Right

Find out why empty wine bottles are worth buying at Amanti Vino... and more...

Find out why empty wine bottles are worth buying at Amanti Vino, plus local design firm MADLAB turns discards into desirables and @The Art Studio gives a good art bang for your buck. It’s all here in today’s About Town…

Montclair artist Jennifer Levine is no stranger to Church Street, or its revolving mix of boutiques and restaurants. Her murals have graced the walls of Dulce, Next Cleaners, and Terra. (Levine’s mural even moved with Terra to its new library digs.) Now her latest conquest, err venue, is the much-loved wine shop Amanti Vino

During the month of June, Levine will have 21 collaged-bottles displayed at Amanti Vino. This is the artist’s second time doing such an installation at the Church Street shop. The collection, appropriately titled “21 Bottles” consists of mostly wine and beer with an errant whiskey bottle in the mix. 

Each piece is one-of-a kind, and breathes its own persona due, in part, to the clay “heads” affixed to the top. All are for sale, with the smaller collaged bottles priced at $35.00 and the larger at $65.00.

As for how she obtained the aforementioned bottles, Levine tells me, Instead of collecting them from various trash receptacles this time, I actually drank all the wine and beer!” Doesn’t that just endear her artwork all the more? (Although she had to admit the whiskey bottle was not consumed but rather pulled from a recycle bin.)

In addition to the bottles at Amanti Vino, you can find the adorable artist and her work, next weekend at MAM’s affordable art sale as well as at several other locations in New Jersey. Go here for more details.

And speaking of re-purposing items for art…

Montclair architecture firm MADLAB (also responsible for the wine bottle chandelier in Amanti Vino) recently donated their deft design skills at the Charles H. Bullock Green Ball fundraiser auction. The auction item bid on consists of a 2-day workshop in which the MADLAB folks will design and build a one-of-a-kind piece (table, chandelier or chair) using only the winning family’s discarded/unused materials. “We tried to design an auction item that really challenges our concepts of living responsibly. Apparently it was fought over!” explains MADLAB partner Petia Morozov.

Stay tuned for an update on the progress of the trash-to-treasure piece and, although nothing is concrete (pun intended) Morozov says this may be a regular feature they add to their services at MADLAB. So you may want to wait before you yard sale your unused items this summer…

Last bit of art-related news...

I am not a huge proponent of scheduling kids to their teeth with activities, but I do go for affordable enriching activities, like the upcoming drop-in classes at @ the Art Studio.

For $5—yes $5! Kids can do a digital photography scavenger hunt, make sculptures, tee-shirt art, build a terrarium and make a lightning bug box (sure beats the old jars we got by with as kids).

The classes begin next week and run every Tuesday and Wednesday at 4pm during the month of June. Here’s the complete schedule:

Tuesday, June 7th: Digital Photography Scavenger hunt.

Wednesday, June 8th: Living Sculpture—make a terrarium.

Tuesday, June 14th: Squid Sculpture—make a large squid.

Wednesday, June 15th: Clay Creatures.

Tuesday June 21st: T-shirt & Sneaker Art—Decorate and transform T-shirts and sneakers for summer—extra $10 for sneakers. Please provide child's size when you rsvp.

Wednesday June 22nd: Lightning Bug Boxes—make houses for the lightning bugs you will be collecting this summer.

The classes are drop-in, but they recommend emailing monalisa@studiokidsart.com to reserve a spot. Some of the classes may have an additional materials fee. @The Art Studio is located at 211 Glenridge Ave., Montclair.         

Tara Chowaniec is a very plugged-in writer, curious wanderer, and mother of two gorgeous girls.

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