Inspired by George Inness” comes to Montclair

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originally published: 08/29/2022

(MONTCLAIR, NJ) — “Life and Landscape: Inspired by George Inness,” a double exhibition on view September 9 through November 6 at Studio Montclair’s Leach Gallery, 641 Bloomfield Avenue and Montclair Museum of Art (MAM), 3 South Mountain Ave, both in Montclair, NJ. The two sites are a five-minute walk from each other. Inspired by George Inness: Life and Landscape is inspired by the upcoming exhibition of MAM’s acclaimed Inness collection.

The exhibit features the work of George Inness, members of Studio Montclair, MAM instructors and staff. According to curator Virginia Block, “We are extremely pleased to continue our collaboration with the Montclair Art Museum for our Community Partnership exhibition again this year. This year is particularly exciting as we will be exhibiting 64 works of art in our newly acquired gallery in the former Leach Building. The new space is comprised of 3,000 square feet of raw space with high ceilings. This allows us to exhibit very large-format works of art, which we could not do in the past. Another advantage of the Leach space is its proximity to the museum. Guests will be able to walk between the two spaces during the opening reception and throughout the duration of the double exposure, which is a huge attraction.

According to Ira Wagner, Executive Director of MAM, “MAM is thrilled to work with Studio Montclair to present this collaborative exhibition which opens with a major reinstallation of MAM’s world-renowned Inness Collection, described by Inness Principal Scholar and Little Falls resident, Dr. Adrienne Baxter Bell, as the “largest Inness collection in the world”. George Inness said: “Art is a subtle essence. It’s not a thing of surfaces, but a moving spirit…’ It was wonderful to see how the artists continue to push that special spirit that is part of Inness’s work in so many new directions. It is very clear that the legacy of George Inness is very much alive today and can inspire a wide range of interpretations. Visitors will have a unique opportunity to view Inness’s work with a selection of over 100 works in MAM’s Vance Wall educational arcades and SMI’s Leach Gallery which were inspired by a master – an artist inspired by beauty of Montclair.

Participating artists at the Leach Gallery: Peter Allen, Ry An, Evangelia Anagnostopoulou, Bob Barnett, Donna Bassin, Robyn Burns, Virginia Carroll, Dennis Connors, Pamela Deitrich, Elizabeth Demarco, David Derr, Dj Dougherty, Harriet Finck, Jocelyn Fine, Rosemary Fineberg, Tim Folzenlogen, Leslie Ford , Karen Fuchs, Bruce Garrity, Marsha Heller, Martine Kasmin, Aubrey J Kauffman, Michael Kloepfer, Mary Millan Klunk, Ann Kraus, Fran Legman, Anni Lorenzini, John Markowitz, Pamela Moore, Howard Nathenson, Ruth Bauer Neustadter, John Patterson, Arthur Paxton, William Pew, Eric Reid, Matt Roberts, Paula Schiller, Ela Shah, Pat Sinatra, Linda Steinhardt Majzner, Heather Stivison, Peter Tilgner, Sue Eldridge Ward, Paul Weingarten, Bill Westheimer, Lisa G Westheimer.

Participating artists at the Montclair Museum of Art: Peter Allen, Ry An, Evangelia Anagnostopoulou, Bob Barnett, Donna Bassin, Mariette Boerstoel, Lynne Breitfeller, Elizabeth Demarco, Harriet Finck, Tim Folzenlogen, Leslie Ford, Karen Fuchs, Karen Goldberg, Marsha Heller, Nancy Iovino, Steven Kushner, Fran Legman , Yvette Lucas, Paul Mindell, Pamela Moore, Howard Nathenson, Matt Roberts, Joanne Ross, Francisco Silva, Pat Sinatra, Heather Stivison, Noaa Stoler, Lisa G Westheimer.

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An opening reception will be held at both locations on Friday, September 9 from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The exhibition is the fifth collaboration in Studio Montclair’s Virginia S. Block Community Partnership Exhibition Program, founded on the concept that an interface between artist and community can lead to the flourishing of creativity.

About the jurors:

Virginia S. Block is originally from New Jersey. She holds a bachelor’s degree in art education and a master’s degree from William Paterson University. Ms. Block is one of five co-founders of Studio Montclair and served as its first president from 1997 to 2002. She also served as Studio Montclair’s gallery director from 2010 to 2018. Block’s work is included in hundreds of corporate and private collections across the United States. She has had a long and varied artistic career, including positions in teaching, packaging and logo design, and as an incentive marketing manager for an advertising agency. All the while, she continued to develop her career as an artist.

Ira Wagner, The Executive Director of the Montclair Art Museum has been a resident of Montclair for over 30 years. After working on Wall Street for over 25 years, Mr. Wagner began studying photography in 2008. Interested in urban history and design, he focused on cityscape photography. He earned his MFA from Hartford Art School in 2013 and taught photography at Monmouth University in New Jersey. His Houseraising project, photographs of flattened homes on the Jersey Shore after Hurricane Sandy, has been featured in The New Republic, National geographicand was published in a photobook by Daylight Books in 2018.


About Studio Montclair’s Virginia S. Block Community Partnership Exhibition Program: The SMI Community Partnership Expo program was created by co-founder and former president Virginia S. Block. The partnership aims to reach out to other nonprofits each year to create a collaborative exhibit designed to inspire our members, create new connections, and reach new audiences.


The Montclair Art Museum, with its Vance Wall Art Education Center, engages our diverse community through distinctive exhibits, educational programs, and collections of American and Native American art. Their mission is to inspire and engage people of all ages in their experience of art, including the rich cross-cultural and global connections throughout American history and the continued relevance of art in contemporary life.


Studio Montclair celebrates its 25th year as an inclusive national non-profit organization of exhibiting, professional and emerging artists and others interested in the visual arts. The mission of the organization is to promote culture, education, equality and tolerance through art. Studio Montclair is committed to diversity at all levels. Founded in 1997, the organization has over 500 members. Visit Studio Montclair’s flagship gallery (Studio Montclair Gallery), Leach Gallery, or virtual exhibition site view and buy contemporary art. Learn more about courses at SMI’s Art Academy here.

IMAGES: (TOP TO BOTTOM) DJ Dougherty, “Flatbrook Autumn,” oil on canvas; Pamela Moore, “Tree View Wedding”, photography and painting printed on glass; Fran Legman, “Slippery Stones”, Paper; Paul Weingarten, “Prairie Montclair”, oil on canvas; Bob Barnett, “The Gathering”, encaustic wax; ink on paper mounted on board; Aubrey J Kauffman, “Break of Dawn”, archival giclee print

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