The city of Montclair has always been known for its wide array of cultural experiences ranging from museums, studios, theaters, and so on. The accepting atmosphere, the continuing growth of the art community, and the contemporary setting makes it inviting for more creative types to involve themselves in that world. With this in mind, it makes perfect sense as to why Arts Unbound relocated their store, The Showcase, from Maplewood to Montclair.
Arts Unbound is a non-profit organization founded in 2000 which offers fine art instruction for people of all ages and abilities and, even more interestingly, functions as a gallery exhibiting the work of emerging artists who are either living with disabilities or mental illness, or are seniors entering the art market later in life. Arts Unbound is aiming to break that stigma by giving undiscovered artists the tools and resources to succeed in creatively and an opportunity to get the recognition they deserve while also competing in the retail market. The company emphasizes that art is for all, and one should not be “bound.”
Their online shop carries collections of t-shirts, bags, journals, cards, home decor, scarves, travel accessories and more that feature the very works of the emerging artists belonging to the program. In addition to all they offer, Arts Unbound serves as a great knowledge base for everything that encompasses their craft. I recently caught up with a couple of their staff, who gave me some insight on choosing the right art for your home.
Artwork helps define the personality of the homeowner and their respective space. It’s useful in tying certain pieces together and creating character in a home. When it comes to choosing art for your home, there are certain guidelines to make sure you select the right piece for a specific space. The knowledgeable experts at Arts Unbound are willing to work with you and help guide you in selecting the pieces you want. Robert Ramos, Gallery Director for Arts Unbound, talks the early stages in selecting the right piece for your home:
Purchasing and Placement
“Generally, we discuss where the piece will be used. Certain pieces like watercolors, need to be kept away from damp areas like bathrooms. Second, we would have a discussion about price. One of a kind paintings usually tend to be priced higher, but there are great values when you purchase prints by the same artist.”
Integrating into the Home
“There are no hard and fast rules for this. A salon wall (many pieces grouped together) benefits from an eclectic approach. Mixing paintings on canvas with pieces under glass can work well, as long as there is a balance across the span of the wall. I personally like to pick one area to hang family photos. A den, or family room is the best choice. A series of multiple images like botanicals, or engravings works best together. These are normally hung going up a staircase, or gallery style (hung side by side) going down a hallway, or as a grid in a dining room.”
What’s Next for Arts Unbound
Arts Unbound hosts what they call “Showcase Sunday” on the first Sunday of every month where they display one artist’s work throughout their Montclair space. Margaret Mikkelsen, Executive Director for Arts Unbound, comments “It’s a no pressure opportunity to meet exciting emerging artists.” Arts Unbound is looking forward to their upcoming No Boundaries Benefit. It’s a celebration supporting our coaching program for emerging artists hosted on May 4 in Maplewood. The event will feature a fine art auction, live music, and transformational art experiences. Tickets are available at www.artsunbound.org/no-boundaries.
For more information about Arts Unbound or to learn more about how you can curate the art in your living space, head to their website and see what they are all about! https://www.artsunbound.org/
(Main image by Avary Waldron)