By GWEN OREL
Montclair is known as an artsy town.
This week Montclair shows its bona fides with the town turning itself into art: Matisse Week started on Saturday, May 13, and continues through Saturday, May 20.
One highlight of this artsy week is the biannual Art Walk. On Friday, May 19, from 6 to 9 p.m., more than 40 merchants are participating in the Art Walk, showing art in their venues. For information, visit montclaircenter.com.
This year, for the first time, a Montclair school is participating in the Art Walk: Glenfield Middle School, Montclair’s arts magnet middle school, is showing student artwork created especially for Matisse Week. One such image, “Blue Dog,” was created by Miranda, a sixth-grader at the school.
Glenfield Middle School is also holding its annual art festival during the art walk, from 7 to 8:30 p.m., at the school, 25 Maple Ave.
Peter Wert, a parent of twins in eighth grade at Glenfield, began talking with Montclair BID Director Israel Cronk about including student-created work in the Art Walk, to present student work to the community.
“It’s sort of a no-brainer,” Wert said. “Why not include student work, since our town is so fortunate to have art magnet schools?” Glenfield’s participation is sort of a test case for other schools, Wert said, a trial run. In the future, he hopes other schools will participate in the twice yearly Art Walks. About 20 student-created works will be exhibited in different spots around town, he said. Eventually, “maybe some of the artists in town will get involved with the schools, too.”
In addition to the Art Walk on Friday, Montclair will show its artsiness throughout Matisse Week. French and Matisse-related items will be available around town to coordinate with the week, which itself is inspired by the Montclair Art Museums three Matisse-related exhibits. Matisse Week will conclude with “Chalk Walk” on Saturday, May 20. Church Street will be closed to traffic so families can safely create chalk paintings on the street.