Yesterday, we stopped in at the Employee Art Fair at the Montclair Art Museum. There were many interesting pieces of art in varied styles and mediums. I wish I had had more time to really check out some of the more specialized pieces, but two toddlers tend to keep a parent focussed on one thing: keeping them away from paintings and other artwork.
I loved John Atura’s nudes, especially the top one pictured. He said it was charcoal and pencil and wash (I assume for both the charcoal and pencil); you can see more of his drawings and paintings here: John Atura’s Artwork. He’s very attached to his work, and he was happy to discuss the pieces and prices. Sadly (for me), the piece pictured was one of his favorites, and has been shown at the faculty show as well; he didn’t seem keen on selling it. Atura teaches many classes at MAM, two are “Drawing Doubles” and a class called “Drawing into Painting” at the Yard School.
Another talented artist exhibiting was Julian Tejera, who does portraiture and fine art. He had several wonderful portraits in oil displayed. One especially impressive portrait was of his predecessor in some of the classes Tejera now teaches. Two of Tejera’s Yard School classes are “Representational Painting and Drawing” and “Beyond the Canvas: Exploring Oil Painting Surfaces Workshop.”
My daughter liked recognizing that his business card image was taken from the self-portrait he had displayed. She also found it amusing that one of the unfinished portraits was of the artist displaying his paintings next to Tejera, Earl Speid. Both men were painting behind their tables, so really it was a lesson in technique as well as a fair.
Earl Speid’s displayed work was a mixture of still life featuring fruit (my son’s favorite – I think he was hungry), landscapes, and portraits. I especially liked a painting of a hut because of its simplicity and peacefulness, but sadly it’s not on Speid’s website. He definitely had a wide variety of styles displayed, and his subject matter varied just as much. If you get a chance to check out his website, you’ll see that he did a mural for St. Joseph’s, as well. The classes Speid teaches at the Yard School are just as diverse: Easel Painting for ages 8-12 and 2D Animation for ages 9-12 are just two offerings.
A whimsical artist, who is also the Manager of Public Programs at the Montclair Art Museum, is Martha Kelshaw. My kids loved checking out her drawing of a (very long) airplane cross-section. They noticed lots of the details Kelshaw included, especially the man in the cargo section going through women’s bras. Kelshaw told me that she usually has hand-puppets displayed as well, and that she’s going to start working on pieces focussed on horses and equine subject matter. Her Andy Warhol piece called “Fifteen Minutes or More” was another favorite of my daughter’s.
There was a lot that I missed, so I’m glad that the Museum’s Employee Art Fair is a regular event. When the event comes around again, I’ll make sure to leave more time so I can handle the kids and the art at the same time.