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As Pablo Picasso wisely said, "The purpose of art is washing the daily dust of life off our souls."

Why is Montclair the hottest town in N.J.? "A Little Night Art XII"

At left, Lynne Toye showed her wonderful oil paintings at Elements Therapeutic Massage; at right, artist Donna Grande offered her works inside the lush store selling OSKA goods, which included these very cool leather patch gloves designed for digital life.
Diane Lilli

Every town wants some love. Throughout New Jersey, however, Montclair shines when it comes to art and food, which truly are interchangeable in this gifted municipality.

Last night, once again, local artists joined forces with businesses to welcome visitors to Montclair, as "A Little Night Art XII" offered up-close-and-personal views of art; local businesses and Montclair in a pedestrian friendly event. The BID, under the leadership of Luther Flurry, brought this event to life once again with gusto.

27 spots, including churches, galleries, clothing stores, a vintage shop,

Elements therapeutic massage, Montclair Art Museum and others wowed visitors as they gleefully wandered around Montclair enjoying the cool fall weather and ambiance of an arts friendly and food-centric town.

On Glen Ridge Avenue, a wonderful scene popped up as Jersey City musicians (see video in JTP Video Box) performed to a dancing, happy crowd; artists showed their paintings and photos in french cafes (Petit Parisian) and amazing clothing stores and Elements Therapeutic Massage.

There was champagne or wine in many of the stops, but the most powerful work of art present last night was the atmosphere of a Friday night crowd, enjoying the full moon and the incredible local art shown off in style in numerous spots - free of charge.

Artist Lynne Toye was showing her oil paintings inside Elements Therapeutic Massage, usually a very quiet spot but for one night transformed into an action-packed art gallery.

Toye said she came to art a bit later in life, after working in banking, studying engineering and then going to study art. Her work, hanging in the front lobby of the soft-lit space, was stunning. There was a true sense of space in this work, which seemed to echo nature with its open spaces as well as the more layered landscapes one might find in a setting by the sea or the mountains, filled with soft autumnal colors and rich, long strokes.

Toye sells her work, and said she appreciated the Art Walk, which she believes is wonderful for the community.

On the streets, art browsers agreed.

One woman, perusing some very affordable photographs taken in Paris with a focus on reflections, said she would be purchasing some of the artist's work. The artist, Lisa Redburn, sat nearby enjoying a french salad, smiling.

Inside, the cafe was packed, with many art lovers noshing on macaroons.

As Pablo Picasso wisely said, "The purpose of art is washing the daily dust of life off our souls."

Last night, Montclair shone, as it was certainly not dusty!


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