Revival of Kaplan Art Gallery kicks off with new exhibit

Photo Courtesy of Bloomfield College
Above is ‘Firebird,’ artwork by collage artist and book illustrator Bryan Collier.

BLOOMFIELD, NJ — Bloomfield College announced the revival of art exhibitions at its Scott A. Kaplan Art Gallery located on the second floor of the college’s library at 80-86 Oakland Ave. in Bloomfield.

Following a brief period of dormancy, the revived gallery will kick off with a reception for the solo exhibition of renowned collage and illustration artist Bryan Collier on Friday, Oct. 7, from 6 to 8 p.m. All exhibitions are free and open to the public. Those interested in attending the reception must RSVP by Friday, Sept. 30, to [email protected]

Born in Pocomoke, Md., Collier’s interest in art started early, inspired by “The Snow Day,” by Ezra Jack Keats, and “Harold and the Purple Crayon,” by Crockett Johnson. He began to develop a unique style of painting that incorporated both watercolors and collage. His art has been displayed in the Capitol in Washington, D.C., and he was awarded a scholarship to Pratt Institute in New York City, where he graduated with honors with a Bachelor of Fine Arts.

“Collage is more than just an art style. Collage is all about bringing different elements together. Once you form a sensibility about connection, how different elements relate to each other, you deepen your understanding of yourself and others,” said Collier, who today spends his time working on book illustrations, creating fine art pieces, and talking with teachers, librarians and students about books and art.

The newly appointed director of the Kaplan Art Gallery, Wanda Croudy, is an experienced art curator who has served as an adjunct instructor at Bloomfield College since 2008. She is a board member of Art in the Atrium, and a member and former chairperson of the Montclair Art Museum’s African American cultural committee. Croudy is also the host of the “It Begins With Passion” live events on Instagram, which feature tours of galleries and studios led by artists and designers. She also served as the coordinator for the Visual Art Center of New Jersey’s annual juried art exhibition and she was the publicist for the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va.

“I am thrilled to relaunch the Kaplan art space and be able to create inviting and changing exhibits that will bring new and former visitors to the gallery to view the art of diverse artists as well as the artwork of our college’s talented students,” Croudy said. “Meeting the artists following each exhibit opening will be a hallmark of the gallery events we have planned.”

“The Kaplan Gallery is a great venue for showcasing the work of our outstanding students and for bringing professional artists to the college community. We are delighted to offer a robust schedule of culturally relevant and timely programming in the gallery and welcome all friends of the college to join us,” said Michael A. Palladino, vice president for academic affairs and dean of faculty.