StudioMontclair President RitaMarie Cimini stands in the Vault, 491 Bloomfield Ave., where art for “Greetings from Montclair” is displayed.

Friday, Dec. 15, 6:30-9 p.m.
Gallery 491, 491 Bloomfield Ave.
Music by Dr. Dan
Postcards on display now
Red dots available in advance, purchase the day of


In an art gallery, a red dot means the artwork is sold.

Studio Montclair Inc. is selling red dots for people to claim small original paintings that are part of the show “Greetings from Montclair.”

The one-day fundraiser, with all of the postcard-sized, 4-by-6-inch art donated by the artists, will raise money for movable walls in SMI’s new space at 127 Bloomfield Ave. The dots cost $35 for one, $60 for two and $75 for three.

While you can buy dots in advance and get a 10 percent discount, you can’t claim your postcard until Friday, so buyers need to attend the event, said RitaMarie Cimini, SMI’s president.

Cimini and board member Gina Murray hung the show on Saturday. Lines held postcards on clips in the space called “The Vault,” 491 Bloomfield Ave., next to Crazy Mocha.

The art isn’t meant to be mailed, although some artists did have fun with the space on the other side.

Another wrinkle is that people don’t know whose art they are buying, Cimini explained.

Postcared-sized art for sale in “Greetings from Montclair.” COURTESY STUDIO MONTCLAIR INC.

Looking at the work is a bit like looking at a teeny tiny art show.

Some of the postcards are abstract. Some are hyper-real. Some are sharp-edged illustrations of landscape. Some are pastel, nostalgic depictions of people.

There is a cupcake.  There are seascapes. There are postcards that aren’t.

Because artists don’t typically make work in that format, SMI put out the call a few months back. The response was powerful. This past weekend, new postcards were still coming in.

Some can be viewed at SMI’s website.

“We’ve received over 300 donations, in little works of art,” Murray said. Some artists


donated more than one piece, but even so, the rate of participation was very high, Cimini said.

The nonprofit member organization has almost 400 members, from all over the world.

There will also be live music on Friday night, provided by Dr. Dan & Lightning Ray. Dan Duca Jr., who works as a chemistry teacher in West Orange High School, will play and sing classic rock, accompanying himself on guitar, and with the Flamenco, gypsy backing of his partner.

Refreshments will be donated by Halstead Realty.

This show is really a party, Cimini said, both for the artists who donated and for people stopping in.


“I’m an adopted member,” Duca said with a laugh. He also hosts an open mic night on Wednesdays at Trend on Bloomfield Avenue.

SMI’s space opened on Sunday, Dec. 3. Murray said it was exciting to have a dedicated space, which will allow the showing of  “nudes and political work.” In Academy Square such works couldn’t be shown, because the building has offices in it. The new space will also be able to show sculpture.

Art and music together “doesn’t really exist in this area,” Duca said. People go to the city to experience the combination. And it’s a combination that matters. “I’ve been a musician all my life,” the science teacher said. If he were asked to choose between science or art and music, Duca said, “Art and music wins seven days a week.

“It defines people in the culture.”

“Greetings from Montclair” features miniature art, in many styles.
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