(MONTCLAIR, NJ) -- In honor of Black History Month, Studio Montclair, Inc. presents “Rhythm & Blues,” their first exhibition of the new year. Celebrating the intersection between music and art in its many permutations, the exhibit examines the visual artist’s perceptions of the rhythm and blues musical traditions. Included are paintings, drawings, mixed media, electronic, and digital art. The exhibition runs from February 2 – March 10, 2023.
According to curator Onnie Strother, “the music known as rhythm and blues combines many different genres and traditions, including Jazz, Gospel, Spirituals, Hip Hop, and the Blues. R&B rests on a fusion of styles that express the many facets of the Black experience. This exhibit uses the R&B tradition as a springboard for artists to create artworks that invoke the energy, spirituality, and coolness of the Black experience, keeping in mind that, as Duke Ellington says, ‘It won’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
Participating Artists: Arri, Carlos Arteaga, Roxanne Baechler, Bob Barnett, Onaje Benjamin, Marcia Miele Branca, Cathleen McCoy Bristol, Judith Carlin, Jill Cliffer Baratta, Dennis Connors, Robin Cross Keller, David Derr, Anne Dushanko Dobek, Stephen B. Ellis, Antoinette Ellis-Williams, Steven Epstein, Maria Estrela, James G. Ferrara, Tracy Finn, Anthony Gartmond, Andrea Geller, Bart Gorin, Curtis Grayson III, Geri Hahn, Jeanne Heifetz, Helen Hosking, Pamela Jenkins, William Jones, Veronica Kairos, M. Malcolm King, Dave Magyar, Patricia Malarcher, Victoria Marin, Barbara Martin, Beverly McCutcheon, Chuck Miley, Warren Murray, Mansa K. Mussa, Suliman Onque, Yvonne Onque, Maria Ortiz-Haynes, Steven Patrick, Fausto Sevila, Margo Stahl, Linda Steinhardt Majzner, Miriam Stern, Oni Strother, Rachel Westerwelle, Adrienne Wheeler, Juno Zago.
This exhibit is curated by The Artists and Curators Group, an independent curatorial organization with a mission to promote emerging and established minority artists through exhibitions, education, and professional opportunities. It is comprised of the following artists, educators, and curators:
Onnie Strother is an artist, educator, lecturer, and curator with degrees in Fine Arts and Educational Administration and Supervision. Born in Newark, NJ, his artwork is often inspired by issues of race and power. Onnie’s artwork has been shown in multiple exhibitions and galleries and can currently be seen online. He is the founder of the JC White Creative Aging Project, an arts enrichment program for seniors in Newark Public Housing.
Nette Forné Thomas is a graduate of Montclair State University who holds BA and MAT degrees with Certification in Administration and Supervision. Employed by the Newark Board of Education as an art educator and administrator for thirty-six years, she is currently president of Pen and Brush Inc. New York, NY. She is also a recipient of the Geraldine R. Dodge visual artist/educator fellowship and was included in the Rutgers University’s 400th anniversary perpetual virtual archival website of the Mary H. Dana Women Artist Series.
Warren S. Murray is an artist, collector, entrepreneur and art transporter with 35 years in McDonald’s Corporation Youth Marketing Division.
Bisa Washington is a Newark, NJ-based artist whose work is in both national and international collections. Bisa’s work hovers at the crossroads between the synthetic and the organic. Her mixed-media works combine historical, political and religious traditions of the African diaspora to form what she calls “sculptural statements, visual narratives and shrines for contemporary rituals.” Her work is inspired by and dedicated to ancestral spirits and modern African- American cultural icons transforming ordinary objects into objects of power.
There will be an opening reception on Thursday, February 2, 2023.
Studio Montclair Gallery is located at 127 Bloomfield Avenue in Montclair, New Jersey. They gallery is celebrating 25 years as an inclusive, nationwide 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 every level.
Founded in 1997, the organization includes over 500 members. Visit Studio Montclair’s flagship gallery (Studio Montclair Gallery), Leach Gallery, or virtual exhibit website to view and purchase contemporary art. Find out more about classes at SMI’s Art Academy at www.studiomontclair.org/education.
(IMAGES from top to bottom) Bart Gorin, Maria Ortiz-Haynes, Barbara Martin, and Antoinette Ellis-Williams