Earlier this year, I decided to participate in Studio Montclair’s Art Lotto exhibit. Each artist was randomly assigned another artist as their portrait subject, but they were not paired with each other. The experience invited connection and, to some degree, a collaboration, as artist pairs were invited to meet beforehand to share their own work, background, styles, and sensibilities.
Jennifer Levine, whose work is extremely different from my own, was my subject. While I tend to paint realistic urban scenes (lots of brick, cement, brown colors, etc.) she paints brightly colored stylized drawings, often including the written word. We scheduled a date and I went to her studio to shoot reference photos. She chose to wear a pink outfit that holds special meaning for her and I took a number of shots, eventually deciding to paint an image of her seated in front of two of her larger pieces featuring big faces. It gave me a chance to see what it felt like to paint in her style as well as my own, and to provide the viewer with an image of both Jennifer and her work.
I was unable to attend the opening of the exhibit as it coincided with the Paul Simon concert I attended (a stop on his Homeward Bound farewell tour) but I stopped by the Studio Montclair gallery soon after.
I enjoyed seeing the variety of styles, sizes and materials featured by the participating artists. There were photographs, drawings, a mosaic, embroidery, collages, oils, acrylics, pastels, gouache, and more. Some were traditional portraits, and some were more unusual and even abstract. I’m pretty sure there is something for any art lover, and equally sure you won’t be attracted to others, and that’s a good thing! The artists were playing, exploring and attempting different takes on a portrait. For example, my portrait, by artist Priscilla Mongeau, was painted on teak wood (I believe a cheese platter) using oil, acrylic and glitter.
I encourage you to stop by if you get a chance and find out which pieces appeal to you. There is a photo wall showing all the participating artists…part of the fun was seeing both the portrait of the artist and then the portrait that artist created. Exploring the subject and then what they in turn created bounces you around the space in a very enjoyable way. Stop by and let me know your reactions.
Exhibition Dates: September 15 – November 10, 2018
Studio Montclair Gallery
127 Bloomfield Avenue
Montclair, NJ 07042
HOURS: Wed-Fri 11-3, Sat 12-3, closed Sun through Tues
Phone: 862 500-1447