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

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Montclair Virtual Art Gallery: Janette MacKinlay

Montclarions are a creative bunch, and we like to display local talents like Janette MacKinlay.  She had been studying Japanese flower arranging for years, following the tenets of the Sogetsu School.  Somewhere along the way, she decided her sculptural works would look even better without flowers and fresh materials at all.

MacKinlay calls her work “organic assemblage,” because she uses dried materials that reflect nature and the universe.  When we saw some of her sculptures, they seemed nicely calming and needed to be shared with a wider audience.

So we asked MacKinlay to select pieces that communicated her experiences living here.  “I’ve picked out four pieces that reflect the mood of living in Montclair’s serene environment,” explained the artist.  “All of my work was created here in my Montclair studio and I believe being here has allowed me to capture the spiritual nature of much of my work.”

For The Love Of Pine

This first piece, above, is entitled For The Love Of Pine, because it’s not all pine (!) and yet represents what we  all see outside anyway.  It’s my favorite due the the simple and sparse elements, and fits that zen-thing well.

From My Garden

Next we have From My Garden, where you see something seasonal growing with the leaf.  I’m not exactly sure what the base element is supposed to reflect…maybe it’s the good earth?

Life In The Clouds; Oakland's New Day Dawning

Finally we have two works reflecting Montclair and Oakland, respectively.  The white vase sculpture is called Life In The Clouds, and that’s definitely true in our hills and dales.  Oakland’s New Day Dawning is the more colorful arrangement on the right.  I’m trying to decide if the sea-fan top reminds me of sunny days, filled with potential energy for the city.

Who is Janette MacKinlay? She’s a  Bay Area local through and through.  After graduating years ago from California College of the Arts, MacKinlay embraced the local art scene as an artist and gallery manager.  Then for a change of pace creatively, the Westerner packed up and headed to the Big Apple where she lived across the street from the World Trade Center on 9-11.  There but for the grace of god, she’s fine…and has returned home.

Do You Realize How Lucky You Are?

Last night, guitar virtuoso Michael Gulezian performed at a house concert in Montclair.   As the performance began, Michael looked out at the hills and declared, “Do you realize how lucky you are?”

He waxed poetic about the eucalyptus, pines, redwoods…plus the fresh breezes and fogs.  Then he blurted that his Nashville home base is an (expletive deleted) by comparison.  We all kinda replied “yeah, we know.”

Guitarist Michael Gulezian

Why did Michael Gulezian show up here?  Well, you just have to chalk this up to kismet.  Montclarion Andy Kleiber discovered the guitarist via Pandora Radio, noticed he played a few house concerts, and asked him as a lark.  Sure enough, Gulezian decided to pay a house call while touring the Bay Area!

Though he’s not exactly obscure, we didn’t know much about Gulezian before.  He takes acoustic guitar playing to another dimension, and his creations envelope you.  Listen to his MP3 radio station, and select Michael Hedges Goes To Heaven (#10) as an example of transcendent music.

You should also see this virtuoso in action, as he literally plays the whole guitar.  While the audio isn’t stellar, watch him perform the removed, ethereal Whale In The Sky.  Or check out his most popular video (nearing 20k views), which is the straight-ahead, cheerful Little Meggie.

In person, Gulezian seems amazingly humble and pure.  He thought about making money and even earned an MBA, but chucked it away in favor of music-making.  Now he creates music that’s to his own liking, and it shows in the joy on his face while playing.  We were lucky to meet him.

More info:  Michael Gulezian is performing all over the Bay Area, and you can catch him in these places:  Santa Cruz (7/23) – Santa Clara (7/24) – Larkspur (7/25) – San Rafael, Darfur benefit (7/29).