Montclair, NJ (November 2018) – “In Defiance of Winter” presents work by three local artists, Madalina Blanton, Gigi Garcia, and Jade Alycia Webber, whose colorful aesthetics focus on the use of recycled and repurposed materials, nature, environmental positivity, and the transformational way mixed-media materials can elevate into fine-art objects.
Romanian-born artist and Reiki practitioner Madalina Blanton explores nature’s healing modalities through mandalas born from a practice of contemplation, nature, walks, meditation, and yoga. Her small-edition prints and unique artworks feature elements of photography, watercolor, and collage, all having received a bath of Reiki and sound vibrations prior to display. Unlike traditional, symmetrical mandalas, Blanton’s interpretation incorporates her own nature photography and watercolor, emphasizing the larger, less-considered aspects of the natural world within more complex compositions.
Collage artist and illustrator Gigi Garcia meticulously composes collages from hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of pieces of cut magazine paper. With careful consideration of color and texture, her tightly-rendered animals and naturescapes evoke a sense of tenderness and whimsy, all while manipulating recycled materials for a painterly result.
Montclair native Jade Alycia Webber pulls from her expertise in fashion design to create sustainable couture hats and handbags from natural, upcycled materials. Her covetable masterpieces incorporate fragments from nature, fusing her expression of Parisian street style with handmade etiquette to create wearable accessories that double as artwork.
Through interpreting and employing materials from the natural world, each of the local, female artists featured in “In Defiance of Winter” come together to create a visual respite from the cold, offering viewers an intimate conversation with both our environment and the creative minds that utilize it.
About the Artists
Madalina Stefan Blanton is a Romanian-born visual artist. She studied drawing, etching and painting in Bucharest, Romania, Paris and later in New York, while pursuing healing traditions that brought her closer to nature and increased her desire to combine artistic expression with healing. She holds a BFA in Graphic Design from Parsons School of Design in New York. Blanton started drawing healing mandalas over a decade ago. All of her images carry healing vibrations, have received Reiki and sound baths that are meant to enhance the energy of the spaces where they reside. She has shown her mandalas at Jivamukti Yoga Center in New York and Omega Institute for Holistic Studies in Rhinebeck, NY has hosted her work for the 2018 season.
Gigi Garcia was born in Houston, Texas and raised in New Jersey. She has a BFA in Illustration from the School of Visual Arts in NYC. Garcia actively participates in local art shows as well as handmade craft markets throughout New Jersey.
Jade Alycia Webber is a couture fashion designer, professional makeup artist, and fashion and beauty blogger born and raised in Montclair, NJ. Webber holds degrees in Liberal Arts from Mount Ida College and Fashion Studies from Montclair State University. She studied at the flagship location of Bobbi Brown Cosmetics in Montclair, and worked with local architecture firm, Smith Maran Interiors before starting her fashion company Jade Alycia Inc. in 2016. Webber also runs The Glamourous Touch, a freelance makeup service, and writes for her fashion and beauty blog, The Unjaded Journal.
About the Incubator Program
Studio Montclair’s Incubator Program, directed by Kathryn Waggener McGuire and Lisa Diamond Rosenthal, seeks to mentor new and emerging artists and provide them with a space for what is often their first solo or small group show exhibit. Lauren Waldrum was guest mentor to Blanton, Garcia, and Webber, helping with installation, concept, and marketing advice.
About Studio Montclair
Studio Montclair Inc. is a non-profit organization of exhibiting professional and emerging artists and others interested in the visual arts. In the past year, it has exhibited more than 280 works of art and has encouraged and interacted with close to 1,000 artists.
Listing Information for the Exhibition:
Directors: Kathryn Waggener McGuire and Lisa Diamond Rosenthal
Artists: Madalina Blanton, Gigi Garcia, and Jade Alycia Webber
Exhibition Dates: December 6, 2018–February 7, 2019
Gallery: Academy Square Galleries, 33 Plymouth Street, Montclair, NJ 07042
Gallery Hours: Monday to Friday 7am-7pm
Opening Reception: Thursday, December 6, 6-8pm
Media Contact: Kathryn Waggener McGuire (757.810.4890) or
Lisa Diamond Rosenthal (973.476.5616), firstname.lastname@example.org