Walk the (art) walk, talk the (art) talk: ART TALK in Montclair
Friday, Nov. 30, 6-9 p.m.
6:10 p.m. Flat File, Arjan Zazueta, exhibiting artist. 241 Lorraine Ave.
6:35 p.m. Ampersand Interiors, James Greenberg, art advisor 241 Lorraine Ave.
7 p.m.: Studio Montclair@KW, artist Yolanda Fundora. 237 Lorraine Ave.
7:30 p.m.: Wade Maxx, Jessica de Konnick, author and artist, with Montclair resident and emerging artist Carol Cohn. 618 Valley Road
8 p.m.: Arts Unbound Showcase, Celene Ryan, artist coach. 198 Bellevue Ave.
8:30 p.m.: Gold/scopophilia, Jen Wroblewski, gallery owner. 594 Valley Road
By GWEN OREL
Don’t know much about art, but know what you like?
That doesn’t mean you can’t have an art collection, says Margaret Mikkelsen, executive director of Arts Unbound.
Arts Unbound, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting visual arts made by people with disabilities and senior citizens, has joined with six Montclair fine art galleries to host the first ART TALK this Friday, Nov. 30.
The event presents talks at all of the galleries, separated by enough time to get from one to the other and peruse the art. The talks will be about 15 minutes long, with about half an hour in between. People will have time to talk to the speaker, and get to know the gallerist.
“For people new to collecting and buying, it’s a safe place to ask questions,” Mikkelsen said. “For some people buying art is scary and new. They don’t trust their own taste. They
think if they don’t know anything, they shouldn’t be buying, which is untrue.”
ART TALK, which includes work at Flat File, Ampersand Interiors, Studio Montclair, Wade Maxx, Gold/scopophilia, and the Arts Unbound Showcase, will present art at different price points, from $50 for a print, to more than $3,000 for an original work.
All of the galleries are in Upper Montclair, and at some, artists will be present. “Nobody will be snooty,” Mikkelsen said with a laugh.
For Arts Unbound, the event is a particularly good fit, as part of the organization’s mission is to present art in the context of the broad market, in front of patrons and collectors.
The organization has two retail spaces, one in Montclair and one in Orange.
“We’re not in the business of convincing people to buy work because they feel bad for the artist,” she said. “That doesn’t help the artist, or challenge stigmas around mental illness or disabilities.”
The talk at the Arts Unbound retail space will be from Celene Ryan, an artist coach, who will discuss artists working and selling art outside of the traditional art market, and about collecting “outsider” art.
Mikkelsen moved to Montclair about six years ago, and also performs in local community theater at Nutley Little Theatre and at the Grove Street Theatre at the Deron School. Her husband is an artist with a disability, she said.
She is excited to hear James Greenberg, an art advisor who will speak at Ampersand Interiors.
He is an art advisor works with clients making larger investments in the arts, or who want to know what to do with the collection they have. He might help negotiate larger purchases, or help customers diversify their collections, she said.
This inaugural ART TALK came together quickly: galleries began working on it in mid-October, Mikkelsen said. “We’re winging it, but if it goes well we hope to make it an annual event.”
Though the galleries are all different in terms of subject matter, content and price point, one thing they have in common is that all show the work of living artists.
When you hear about art selling for millions of dollars, that’s a small part of the market, Mikkelsen said. “Living artists are trying to make a living.” The support for living artists from living people: that’s something priceless.”