landscape
“Stacked” by Elaine Schenkel. COURTESY THE CREATIVITY CARAVAN

“Anatomy of a Neighborhood: The Poetics of Local Landscape,” an exhibition of photographs by Elaine Schenkel, opens at The Creativity Caravan, 28 South Fullerton Ave., on Saturday, Sept. 8, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Schenkel, described by The Creativity Caravan, as “a poet who happened to pick up a camera,” presents an exhibition of pictures of streets and parks of Montclair. The exhibition will be on display through Sept. 30.

The Creativity Caravan writes: “Ten years ago she bought her first point-and-shoot and started to carry it with her when she wandered through the streets and parks of the Montclair area. Wandering was something she did instinctively and it often emerged in bodies of poems she wrote, books she read and mused over, and images that lived inside of her, guiding her with the tonality of their feeling. The camera became her wandering companion and through it she was able to capture a collection of images she refers to as ‘Anatomy of  Neighborhood: The Poetics of Local Landscape.’ This body of work explores the question of how we relate to our local environment; what visual depictions are we drawn to, what is our attachment to place? What makes a neighborhood?

Elaine lived in Montclair for 16 years from 1996 – 2012 and spent countless days wandering through her neighborhoods, streets and alleyways. She was always enchanted with the common vibrant sights she encountered along her paths. Resting on the periphery of more typical representations, the images presented here are specific in location but universal in their ordinary extraordinariness. Elaine says, “When shooting these subjects, my entire being was infused with their immediacy and the sheer beauty of their sparse complexity. They present a familiarity and uniqueness, a knowing and mystification, a forceful gravitation which illuminates both seen and unseen worlds.”  

“Homage to Pine Street” by Nick Levitin also explores Montclair, opening at 73 See Gallery, 73 Pine St., on Sunday, Sept. 16. The two galleries will offer a “Neighborhood Photography Walk” led by Nick Levitin and Elaine Schenkel on Sunday Sept. 23. For more information call 201-259-9801 or email hello@thecreativitycaravan.com.