Installed: Meet Montclair’s muralists
BY JAIMIE JULIA WINTERS
PHOTOS KATE ALBRIGHT
The works of Chady Abousleiman of North Brunswick, Holly Rader of Clifton, Amol Saraf of Johns Creek, Ga., and Jhonattan Arango of Palm Springs, Fla. are now gracing the buildings of downtown Montclair.
Jhonattan Arango’s work at 50 Church St. incorporates the irises at the Presby Memorial Iris Gardens and the work of William Couper, a sculptor and a founding member of the Montclair Art Museum, into his mural on Church Street.
Holly Rader of Clifton used the antique store and Montclair Book Center as part of her inspiration at 219 Glenridge Ave., which compliments her subject matter that is typically of vintage glamour.
Amol Saraf’s mural at 420 Bloomfield Ave. is a burst of color and shapes. “Public places are an inspiration in itself to work around as the sites are exposed to a great number of diverse population every day. For each new project I enjoy a great challenge to my creativity for creating a unique pieces of art that are inspirational and meaningful so that visitors would enjoy the positive spirit, vital message depicted visually and the beauty of the mural,” he said.
Artist Chady Abousleiman’s mural at 180 Bloomfield Ave. replicates a postage stamp with a Montclair postmark, and contains a heart and the New Jersey state bird. He said he enjoyed many of the Montclair sunsets while he was painting so high up.
The ArtsConnect project was led by the BID’s Visual Improvements Committee. Funded in part by a $25,000 transformation grant from the New Jersey Main Street program, the murals will be a first step in infusing the downtown district with visual art, the BID states, with hopes of continuing the program in 2020.