Knick Knack Caddy Lack….

By mark-slade June 4, 2011

Affordable Art Fair Returns to Montclair Art Museum with Bonus Cadillacs On Display

The Affordable Art Fair Returns on June 11 & June 12—Plus Unaffordable Vintage Cadillacs on the Lawn on June 11.
“I’m bringing in very recent, smaller works from my ‘Dresses and Jackets’ series,” said acclaimed artist Janet Taylor Pickett. “There’s an immediacy and intimacy to working on this smaller scale, it’s like doing visual riffs with color and collage.”
Pickett was talking about the works she will be showing and selling on Saturday, June 11 and Sunday, June 12  at the second annual “Collecting Art: An Affordable Art Fair” at the Montclair Art Museum (MAM). The fair will be open both days from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Pickett has had a long and deep affiliation with MAM, where she has exhibited her major works. “It’s my home,” said the Montclair-based artist, who is soon to be formerly of Montclair. Pickett is about to decamp for the West Coast. 
Last time out, “Collecting Art” attracted many hundreds of visitors to MAM and with such beloved artists as Pickett and Montclair’s Jennifer Levine showing. I think it’s safe to say that MAM will be the place to be come next weekend. 
Pickett’s “Dresses and Jackets” are metaphors for identity, feelings, spirituality. They are absolutely beautiful and wonderful. Levine’s enchanting murals grace outdoor space throughout town.
You can meet and chat with both these artists and 25 others. With Pickett’s and Levine’s pieces selling for between about $200 and $500 ($500 is the top price allowed), you can make one of their works part of your everyday life. Selling prices for works at the fair will start at $50.
Both artists look forward to greeting neighbors, friends and making new ones:
“I’m excited to see people and chitchat,” Pickett said. “It’s a convivial event,” Levine said. “I’m looking forward to talking with my fellow artists and all who come.”
And, that dear reader is the whole idea behind “Collecting Art.”
The event is the brainchild of Raechel Lutz and Ilana Stollman, both with the museum. The two women say they were inspired by the now oft-told story of the Vogels and their building of what was probably America’s  most remarkable collection of contemporary art on a shoestring budget.
“We wanted to show that art is accessible and is essentially engagement between the artist and the community,” said Lutz, the media coordinator at MAM. “Personally, I was thinking about my own attempts to start a modest collection of art on a small budget.”
“Buying art directly from the artist is much more than a material transaction,” Levine said. “It’s finding the perfect connection between art and art owner. It’s a little like adopting a pet from a shelter. When I meet someone who is buying my art, it’s as if I know the piece has found a good home.”
Different styles of art and medium will be represented and one will be right for you. “Visitors will be able to see and purchase works of photography, sculpture, painting, and encaustics,” Lutz said.
You can even tell Levine the segment of one of her Montclair murals you like, and she will arrange to have a giclee print made for you.
Here’s the complete list of participating artists: Adam Farrington, Alina Bliach, Ann Light, April Clark, Brandon Rechten, Chris Chauss, David Brown, Denice Bizot, Diane Whitebay, Gabriella Marino, Gerard Bizzaro, Janet Taylor Pickett, Jennifer Levine, Jo Bradney, Joe Henson, Leslie Adler, Margaret Ann Daviet, Michael Ferrari, Patrick DeFlora, Sharon McNeill, Hannah Rosenblum, Terry Boddie, Todd Saxton Carpenter, Lauren Ennist, Maryann Burton, Nancy Berhaut, & Trudy Solin.
All live in the area and have strong community roots. Some, such as Pickett and Orange-based photographer/mixed media artist Terry Boddie, have shown nationwide, but both strongly support community art: Boddie shows area artists in site specific installations on view 24/7 at his own Valley Arts District Oualie Gallery.
“The work that I’m bringing to the Affordable Art Fair will be original and limited pieces that are ideal for collectors both beginning and established collectors,”  Boddie said. “Many are small-scale versions and studies for larger pieces.”
Admission to the arts fair is free and there is a special half price admission to MAM’s current special exhibition “Warhol and Cars: American Icons.”
There’s one more bonus, too. On Saturday from noon to 4 p.m., in honor of MAM’s work, “Twelve Cadillacs” by Warhol, The North Jersey Cadillac Club is bringing in a Classic Cadillac Car Show with 12 El Dorado’s and Fleetwood’s, among other Caddy models from 1957 through 1964.
The MAM is open Wednesdays through Sundays. See www.montclairartmuseum.org or call (973) 746-5555. It is located at 3 South Mountain Ave., is handicapped accessible, and has adjacent parking. Regular nonmember admission is $12; $10 for seniors 65+ free for children under 12 and for all the first Friday of every month.