Friday night in Montclair was a walk on the eclectic side.
Art Walk XI, A Little Night Art was a perfect blend of Montclair arts, wine, shopping and charity.
Crowds wandered throughout the township, visiting stores, Montclair Art Musuem, galleries, restaurants and even a popular local massage business, Elements Montclair.
But this year, the art of giving was mixed in with the 26 venues that opened their doors to an appreciative public.
At St.Luke's Episcopal Church, members of the congregation showed their own art works in a curated art exhibit. Also on hand were guests of Toni’s Kitchen, a non-profit feeding center. These guests have been taking art classes and also displayed their own works, creating a truly equal society of artists, art enthusiasts and friends.
Elements Montclair owner Joe Thorton said he was thrilled to offer a place for artists to shine.
"We know Montclair as very special, community-focused town," noted Thorton. "We believe businesses here should work to integrate into, and support, the broader community and give back when they can, and Elements always looks for ways to give back to Montclair."
Throton is not kidding - just take a look at all Elements Montclair supports: YMCA (sponsoring the 31st Annual Montclair Run, free chair massage on June 2 last week at the Wellness Night out at the Geyer Center); the Montclair Film Festival; the Adult School (most recently the "Speak easy, Play hard" fundraiser benefit gala); the Montclair Art Museum (the upcoming June 14 Wine Bar Event); and smaller local groups, like the Glen Ridge Field Hockey Team and the Friends of the Montclair Township Animal Shelter.
"We also participate in community events, like the recent Church Street Fair and the upcoming Art Walk on Friday night," said Thorton.
Artist Susan Marx, who said she has inherited “the soul of Monet” agreed.
“This is wonderful, and my works are shown here already,” she noted.
Marx offered a view of a lush, pastel view of none other than the local Presby Iris Gardens, located right in Montclair.
“I wanted to plant my bare feet in the same place where Monet worked, and see the same place, so I lived in Giverny and painted in his garden,” noted Marx.
Clearly, his influence is strong in this energetic artist’s work.
Yet Marx also somehow morphs the style of Monet - and impressionism - into a newer abstract impressionism, beckoning a viewer to want to jump right into the painting.
If you missed this wonderful event, you can attend the Fall Art Walk in October.
Updates to follow.