The University Art Gallery has been collaborating with artists to bring a large and diverse array of artwork to Montclair State University for both the campus community and the public to enjoy. One of the most recent implementations is the bright red sculpture located on the lawn outside of Dickson Hall.
A new sculpture, titled the “Secret Totem,” was installed outside of Dickson Hall at the start of the Fall 2015 semester. A tall, human-like, hard-to-miss, red structure standing tall on campus has been met with a very warm welcome from both the students and staff.
The artist, Carol Brown Goldberg, was inspired by George Segal, whose 1992 piece “Street Crossing” established Montclair State’s outdoor Sculpture Garden. At the time, the garden consisted of six statues. Today, this sculpture collection has more than tripled in size with over 20 different statues displayed all around campus.
The six statues of Segal’s “Street Crossing” series depict human beings outside of College Hall on the College Avenue Promenade. These human figures are minimalistic in the sense that they are absent of color and certain details, giving them a ghostly appearance.
Goldberg’s “Secret Totem” was inspired by Segal’s work which she saw when she visited Montclair State three years ago and she is really excited to have her work displayed on campus.
According to Goldberg, “While in the process of creating [the sculpture], I realized I was creating an anthropomorphic being, a figure made of various, disparate parts [which run] in step with the diverse and multicultural campus. Montclair State is a place that accepts and integrates arts into its community and I was very excited to work on this project.”
The Montclair State University Art Gallery has been part of the University for decades, starting in 1962, when the School of Fine and Performing Arts, now known as College of the Arts, launched its first gallery. Now, over 50 years later, many changes have been made to the Montclair State art galleries, although the original art is still displayed in the lobby of Alexander Kasser Theater.
The University Art Gallery has implemented a vast amount of different projects all over campus and has gone through a lot of changes over the past 50 years. While the gallery started in 1962, it was formed as a nonprofit organization and has since developed different chapters.
Today, the organization consists of three different galleries: the University Art Gallery, Gallery One and MFA Art Gallery. Each gallery has its own specialization, but all are working towards the same goal and all three are responsible for the maintenance and growth of the Sculpture Garden.
The group’s established mission is “to propagate culture and art through interpretive contemporary art exhibitions and presentation of related events using its collection as well as local, statewide and international sources.” The different galleries that are part of this organization are each catered to a different type of person. The University Art Gallery is for all major exhibits, Gallery One is for Student Exhibitions and the MFA Art Gallery is, as the name states, for the MFA program’s students.
Together, the galleries show local, national and international artwork. Together, they are fostering a community of intellectual artistic resources and hope to gain an audience of students and professional artists as well as inspire discussion on modern and contemporary art.