Studio Montclair Opening Reception: Portfolio Series: Interiors

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Studio Montclair Inc. (SMI) announces its new exhibit “Portfolio Series: Interiors”.The exhibit, which features the work of Bette Blank, Matt Roberts, and Ira Wagner opens on November 3 and runs until November 28, 2012, at the Montclair Public Library.

“Interiors” is the theme and the thread that connects the work of these three accomplished artists. The trio considers human behavior as a conversation between what’s inside and outside of us. “Each artist brings a fresh perspective to this theme,” says Patricia Selden, who curated the exhibit along with Amy Becker.

Bette Blank’s paintings depict a playful, yet questioning, look at commercial and domestic interiors. The formal relationships of the figures, furnishings, and other objects, along with Blank’s sense of color, create a narrative tale. Her compositions, often using a bird’s eye vantage point, enable the viewer to impartially see the entire visual stage without impediments. As a result, the viewer is welcome to consider the interior lives of Blank’s subjects, along with a sense of the artist’s witty, thoughtful perspective on her subjects.

Matt Roberts’ work focuses on the expressiveness of the human face to illuminate his subjects’ inner emotional lives. His collages use his own original photographs, images from other sources such as magazines, or a mix of the two. A sense of alienation and melancholy permeates his pieces. However, Roberts’ outlook does not keep the viewer at arm’s length; in fact, his concentration on the face invites contemplation of his subjects’ emotional state.

Photographer Ira Wagner’s work uses apartment building lobbies to discover something of each building’s social personality. Wagner depicts these active spaces during quiet moments. Each building’s unique sense of place, mingled with an unmistakable aura of time’s passage, provides poignant commentary on these commonly shared settings. “A constant in this show is the artists’ implicit desire for their works to eliminate barriers between viewers and what they see,” says Becker. “In that way, the artists continue to pursue the universal goal of breaking down the walls between internal thoughts and their external manifestations.”

Patricia Selden is an Art Advisor for art collectors, corporations, and municipal and private public art projects. She chaired the Montclair Public Art Committee, resulting in numerous completed art projects. She has been a member of the Montclair Art Museum Board of Trustees for a decade. She is a graduate of Christie's Program in Art Connoisseurship and the Art Market and Sotheby’s London Contemporary Art Program. Selden teaches courses at Montclair State University on buying art and the global art marketplace, and has juried and curated exhibitions for institutions on the east and west coasts.

Amy Becker is an exhibiting fine art photographer. Her award-winning photographs have been exhibited around the country. She is also on the Board of the Madison Arts and Culture Alliance, where she chaired the Madison Artist Studio Tour for three years. Becker is trained in both traditional and digital photography. Her formal photographic background includes coursework at the International Center of Photography and County College of Morris.

Studio Montclair Inc. is a non-profit organization of exhibiting professional and emerging artists and others interested in the visual arts. The mission of the organization is to promote culture and education in the visual arts.

This program is made possible in part by funds from the New Jersey State Council on the Arts/Department of State, a Partner Agency of the National Endowment for the Arts and administered by the Essex County Division of Cultural and Historic Affairs.


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