Montclair Virtual Art Gallery: Meet Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

Sometimes, Today in Montclair is overwhelmed by the talented people hiding in clear view.  One of them, Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber, creates colorful and quite beautiful works of art.  She hasn’t shared them much, so we asked her for examples to display through our virtual gallery.

While Marisa’s quick to cite impressionists like Monet and Matisse as influences, she also explores styles and images that move beyond those early masters.  She explained that Balinese art and her emotions while painting are big factors in her creations.

From Impressionist To Abstract

Let’s begin with three paintings that demonstrate Marisa’s range.  The first one is very much like a traditional impressionist painting, complete with lightly colored flowers.  Next you see more vibrant colored-koi in their pond.  And the full-on abstract is called “Face,” so it must be there, somewhere.

Garden - Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

Koi - Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

Face - Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

From Red Rocks To Villages

Marisa’s subjects reflect different places and perspectives, rather than 100 versions of the same bridge!  The first painting below depicts red rocks in a more blocky abstract.  We then visit the tropics and some flowering hibiscus.  Our gallery tour ends at a rural community, in all its thatched-roof glory.

Rock - Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

Hibiscus - Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

Community - Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

Who is Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber?

We caught up with Marisa and asked her some questions about her work and life in Montclair – as just one of us.  Here’s a bit of what we learned.

The Artist And Her Muses:

Q. How long does it take to paint a large canvas?
Usually I finish my painting in one sitting.  Once I have all the materials together, I can sit one to three hours.  But if it is a large painting, it [can take] three days.

Mostly I painted the painting in my mind, so I know what I wanted to do.  But often it transforms to something else as I painted.  The color often changes as well.  I thought I would like some tone but, as I painted, I can’t really paint with that color, not at that time.

So, maybe the best way to explain myself:  it is whatever emotion played in me at the time I painted.

Q. When you think of your favorite artists, who springs to mind?
Monet and Matisse are some of my favorite artists.  They use a lot of color and amaze me with their creations.  Something similar to what I do, but yet I can not paint like them.  I also like many Balinese artists.  When I went to see paintings in their galleries, I was amazed and admired what they had done.

Q. What happens when you run out of wall space for your art?
I already ran out of my wall spaces for my art. As you see, I placed them everywhere too at home. So, I store them at home and lately I lent them to some friends.

Lately I had taken a few of my paintings to a painting lab to be digitalized in a CD.  I would like to start a portfolio as few friends suggested.  I have done three paintings to donate to school, for their annual crab feed [and] auction to raise money.

Q. Where are you from?
I was born in Jakarta, west Java, Indonesia.  I graduated in 1988 from San Diego State University.

The Artist As Montclair Neighbor:

Q. How long have you lived in Montclair?
I moved to Montclair with [husband] Andy and my son Keane in December 1996.  Later in 1999, my son Nicholas was born.

Q. Why do like and dislike most about Montclair?
Likes: I love and enjoy living in Montclair.  I love the weather, as it is mentioned in your page….cool night, a good sleeping weather and warm days.  Just perfect weather.  I enjoy the terrain and vegetation.  I even enjoy the occasional fog, it is very special.

I enjoy the people in Montclair.  I enjoy the village and small community.  I enjoy the possibility to be able to walk down to the village.  I enjoy coffee shops, stores, good tequila, restaurants, Pelago, Malt shop, the grocery stores, drug stores.  I like Montclair Park as well.  I like the art fair, wine festivals, farmers market.

Dislikes: What I dislike about Montclair is [lack of] a good public high school for my kids.  I dislike that Montclair restaurants and stores close early in the evening.  I also dislike or wish there was more maintenance in our community for our roads, drainage, etc.  I wish there were smaller buses going up hill, since most buses going uphill rarely have riders.

Q. If you could change one thing in Montclair or Oakland, what would that be?
I would like to have a stronger community involvement.  I [would] like to have a community center, a meeting place or art place for the kids like I used to have.  A place to get together other than a park, a theater.  A center where young adults like to get together as a community, and adults alike – a community center, by the community for the community.

Q. What else would like folks to know about you?
I would like to continue painting and hopefully someday will have a “perfect cottage” behind our house, in the woods. The cottage will have an oversized veranda surrounded by ponds for the kids to paint and explore their imaginations.

Maybe that quest is something Marisa’s painting today, who knows?  If you would like to reach the artist, then please email her at:

5 thoughts on “Montclair Virtual Art Gallery: Meet Marisa Muliadi-Kleiber

  1. Ms. Muliadi-Kleiber is an extremely talented artist. I love her use of colors and the style she uses in her paintings. I like the subject matter and how varied are the experiences one feels with her work. If her walls are full, I could hang some of those beautiful paintings on my walls.

  2. I am glad for the opportunity to see Ms Muliadi-Kleiber’s paintings. Might this website host, or link to a regular Montclair Virtual Gallery where we could sample the work of the many artists living among us? Any interested Montclair artist might be invited to post, say, 10 images and a brief statement. What do you think? Georgia Bassen, Merriewood Drive

    1. Georgia,

      That’s a great idea! Let me set up a more “permanent” virtual gallery here.

      Back soon,


  3. Debby Richman is a very talented, dedicated writer. We are very lucky to have her in our community. Her generosity of posting me is much appreciated.

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