Studio Montclair, Inc (SMI) presents “I Am Here,” an exhibition in collaboration with Out Montclair now open through October 20 at Studio Montclair Gallery. An opening reception will be held on Friday, September 22, from 6–9 p.m.
According to SMI, the artwork in this exhibition “reflects what it means to be queer and the ramifications—both positive and negative—of LGBTQIA+ individuals “being themselves.” The works express the joy and power queer communities feel as they take up space, gather, come together, and make themselves fully known. It reflects the hopes, triumphs, fears, disappointments, and anger of the LGBTQIA+ community in times past and present. This exhibit is a celebration of community, an invitation to gather and come together to support each other and inspire the wider community. It seeks to create a space for LGBTQIA+ individuals to feel pride with other community members and serve as a reminder that there is strength and beauty in numbers.”
Jesse Bandler Firestone, a curator and lecturer of contemporary art, is currently the Curator and Exhibition Coordinator at Montclair State University. Previously, he was Assistant Curator at Wave Hill, a garden and cultural center in The Bronx, and Curatorial and Production Assistant at The Shed, a nonprofit dedicated to art and ideas spanning all forms of creativity. Firestone has lectured at Pratt and Harvard University and has organized exhibitions at various institutions and project spaces across the United States.
Jennifer Liseo, Photography Director for Out Montclair, also runs her own studio collective, LISEO+CO. Her work has been published in various editorials and news outlets, including the New York Times Sunday Styles section. Previously, she was the lead photographer for the Anti-Defamation League, where she worked cross-agency directing photography for trainings, rallies, testimonies in the halls of Congress, lobbying on the Hill, missions, press conferences, workshops, and other venues. This work inspired her to participate in a Social Impact Storytelling program at Georgetown University, and she consequently founded “Photos For Good” to bring together her passion for community engagement and telling stories through photography and art.
Mary Apikox, Joseph Boss, Andrew Burger, Joan Cox, circe dunnell, Yolanda Fudora, Kristina Hagman, Jenny Jiyoung Han, Matthew Heckart, Kristen Lynn Iannuzzelli, Erin Kuhn, Feng Li, Natania Lyson, Stephen Mead, Kimberly Miller, Samantha Natarian, Nova *, John Piccoli, Midori Samson, able 6, Sabrina Skinner, Lasha Stewart, Miriam Untoria, Laura Warne, and Andie Wei
I Am Here
September 15 – October 20, 2023
Opening Reception: Friday, September 22 from 6–9 p.m.
Studio Montclair Gallery, 127 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, NJ
Check SMI website for hours