“Artsy” is often a term used to describe Montclair, NJ – and for good reason. It’s well known for its unique art scene, but what is lesser known is that Montclair’s has a hidden gem tucked away through a passageway – Gold/scopophilia. The contemporary art gallery, opened in 2018 by Jen Wroblewski, rotates its exhibitions every few months featuring the best and brightest of the contemporary art scene. Read on to learn more about this portal into the contemporary art world.
About the Owner
Jen Wroblewski is a Montclair resident, having lived in town since 2009 with her husband and children. She grew up in California, then moved to Summit, NJ, and, after college, traveled around before settling in Brooklyn.
Jen’s career in contemporary art required a lot of travel and she struggled to balance family and work life, fueling her desire to open her own gallery – and Montclair felt like the right place to do it. On why she and her family landed in Montclair, “Even when I was a kid in Summit, Montclair had a reputation as a cool, progressive town where interesting things were happening. Montclair has always had a little mystique.”
(Photo Credit: Dave Diomedi)
The gallery used to be home to a yarn store but, when the yarn store owner retired, the space became available. Jen says, “I knew from living here that there were plenty of people interested in contemporary art. Now, I get to leverage all of my interest and expertise and joy and enthusiasm for contemporary art, and still often be five minutes from home, accessible to my kids, and able to offer something pretty rare and special to my friends and neighbors.”
What You’ll Find
Gold/scopophilia focuses on exposing our community to contemporary art in different mediums. It displays “art objects,” as Jen puts it, “I work with painters, sculptors, weavers, and textile artists, but what they have in common is a very clear command of their materials. Their hand is evident in every object they make.”
In addition, Jen says that the gallery works with artists who are poised to break through in terms of price point and exposure. Her years of expertise in the contemporary art market give her the unique ability to identify artists who will become more known over time. With the help of our welcoming, art-loving community, the gallery has found success in exposing these artists.
One of the artists whose method of creating is extraordinary is Brooklyn-based Leah Tacha who builds ceramic sculptures, creates digital collages and drawings, which she uses as decals, and fires them onto the glazed ceramics. Leah will fire one sculpture over and over again, combining glazes and decals for a one-of-a-kind piece. Her methods utilize both ancient and modern processes of creating art which is exciting and fresh.
The gallery also supports the work of local artists. Jen works with Montclair sculptor Sandra Chamberlin whose medium is wood. Sandra has a wood library in her studio with woods in a vast range of natural colors and densities. Jen also works with West Orange-based artists Lauren Portada and Sarah Brenneman, who have both shown in the gallery. Jen says, “My mission is to connect our community to the larger conversation in contemporary art.”
It’s artists like Leah, Sandra, Lauren, and Sarah, and many others finding great exposure in Gold/scopophilia’s space, that separates this gallery from others in the area.
When to Go
Gold/scopophilia’s current exhibition is titled, “Quilts from the Information Age Part I” and it is running from February 25 through April 15. Shows rotate every few months and usually connect to the time of year. For example, in January the pieces all had to do with nighttime since night starts much earlier at that time of year. The next exhibition in spring will include pieces featuring flowers to welcome the season.
All art in the gallery is for sale. Jen says there are typically initial conversations leading to a sale but that the work is also available for direct purchase on the gallery’s website. After a show, if there is unsold work, it is kept in storage for 6 months so there is still time to circle back before the work goes to another dealer.
The gallery hosts receptions in its beautiful courtyard and it’s open to the public Thursday through Saturday, and open by appointment on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Sunday. Gold/scopophilia also offers public programming with the shows so people can learn more.