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Repeat performance with Ethan and Eva

“With two small kids (5 years and 10 months) , I am always concerned about getting them to look natural in portraits.  I want a photograph that captures them as themselves and not something that looks engineered.  The studio is comfortable and we were not rushed ( yet we were not there for too long either, which is important when dealing with young kids).

You always seem to get that shot that captures who we are as a family (and it’s usually something unique) as well as bringing out the best in the kids, so when I look at their portraits I also see their personalities. This is why we keep coming back!”
Cynthia Kibble, MontclairStudio Family Portrait

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Semana Santa…Guatemala

Some years ago I was in Antigua, Guatemala at the end of March. I didn’t realize that I would be in the country for one of the most somber yet beautiful events I’ve ever seen: Holy Week.

The week before Easter, Semana Santa, is the most significant week for Catholics. In Guatemala, Semana Santa, takes on a level of piety far beyond anything I’ve seen in the States. The whole week is devoted to elaborate parades that reenact and commemorate Jesus’ final days on Earth. One doesn’t need to be a religious person to appreciate the intention and devotion that go into these emotional, dramatic spectacles. Hundreds of Catholics dress in costumes and act out the roles of Roman centurions, mourners, and early Christians while thousands of silent onlookers throw flowers and pray.

The crowd maintained a heavy silence, which amplified the sights and sounds of normal life. Like any grand parade, there were distracted children, mothers carrying babies and quiet adjustments of heavy robes. The sounds of a hundred shuffling feet bearing the image and weight of their savior took on an air of a whole faith observing its holiest days.

On the pavement were the alfombras, large colorful carpets meticulously arranged along the footpaths by members of local churches. The designs are made of dyed sawdust, sand and flowers, and are destroyed by the coordinated feet of the processionists within just 24 hours of being created.

Guatemala personal project

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Phil Art Delphia

As an artist, I love tracking down great art at museums, galleries and theatres. I’ll pursue art wherever I can. Being so close to New York is an advantage, obviously, but Montclair itself is in a great location for finding inspiration, and last weekend I was able to see three great artistic events. Two are ongoing, so check them out if you can!

Philadelphia is one of my favorite places to go for art, it is close, sophisticated, handsome and not as expensive as Gotham. Last weekend I was fortunate to see a dance performance at Bryn Mawr College and two shows at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.  At Bryn Mawr I saw the Tabitha Dance Performance, which were the senior projects of 3 dance majors. It was inventive, fun, and accessible.

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art (you know, where Rocky ran up the steps!) I saw two great shows. The first was the Treasures of the Alfred Stieglitz Center: Photographs from the Permanent Collection (open until April 7, 2013). Some of the earliest photographs were in this show and my favorites were Paris streetscapes from the 1860s, which were notable because of the amazing depth of field in these photographs.

The second show was Great and Mighty Things: Outsider Art from the Jill and Sheldon Bonovitz Collection, a wonderful exhibit highlighting art from unusual sources operating on the margins of mainstream artistic realms.

 

After all that art, it was time to eat.  I was able to eat at two great restaurants: Melograno: incredible food, stylish and very noisy. Farmicia: a wonderful Sunday brunch in ultra-hip Old City.

For Montclair’s own thriving arts scene, check out The New Spirit: American Art in the Armory Show, 1913 exhibit currently at the Montclair Art Museum until June 16, 2013. It contains highlights of the American artists, now obscure, who contributed to much of the art of the Armory Show a century ago, but earned less of the derision than the European artists who were showcased. The exhibit is free on the first Thursday of the month.  See you there?

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