“Works” the stunning art of Gretchen Prater

Lets go back in time and have some fun. Pretend you are 5 years old. No really, I’ll wait. Are you 5 yet? Perfect, now let’s play a game called I Spy. I’ll start. “I spy with my little eye…a beautiful autumn birch tree, a Tuscan pathway, Vermont cows, a harbor view and a ballet recital.” Can you find any of those items? Of course not silly!

In order for that to happen, you would’ve had to attend, “Works” by Gretchen Prater at The Gallery at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties on Thursday, December 8th, 2016. It was a fantastic turnout with her artwork selling within the first thirty minutes.

While most five year olds were playing hide-and-seek, tag and jumping rope, Gretchen Prater honed in on her passion early. “I think I’ve been painting since I was five. And so you know, it just was an outlet for me. It was a safe place for me to go in my life. I just love to paint. I love to draw – you know the way children do. And I just stuck with it,” she expressed.

And stuck with it she did, as she is now a landscape and portrait artist. Gretchen received her BFA from Stephens College after years spent studying oil paintings, watercolor and pastels with art masters Charles Reid, Wolf Khan and Timothy Clark. As an on-location artist, Gretchen’s collection allowed us to tour Maine, Connecticut, New Jersey, Florida, Nantucket, Wyoming, Montana, France, and Italy.

When you look at Gretchen’s collection, you’ll notice something. Time slows down. Not only does it slow down but you start to reflect. You find yourself admiring the simplicity and beauty of nature. You’ll gain an understanding of the layers in the atmosphere that are tiny particles of matter. Her landscape paintings are so mesmerizing, it will make you want to put an Out of Office autoresponder email message up, in the hopes that you can jump into the pictures for  a much needed vacation.

While asked about her inspiration, Gretchen mentioned her four children and nine grandchildren, “Anytime I see them, they just inspire me. I mean I’ve got a painting that I’m working on right now of one of my grandchildren, and I’m sure I’ll finish before Christmas. It just – they capture the spirit of childhood. The looking of the world from a different point of view. From all innocence and love.”

Situated between her two favorite paintings in the collection, she chose her daughter and grandkids.

Most of her portrait painting are of her relatives, but Gretchen is fully aware of her role in society today. “As an artist, you know right now with the things that are going on – especially you know in the East and what’s happening with the migrants. And there’s another little passion that I have… one of the things that I’m going to be doing is, hopefully starting a class for these children that are foster children to come once a month to the art museum of Montclair and give them an art class, so that they can feel better about themselves. So you know that would be something that I can give back.”

And while many of us gave up after the stick figure phase of drawing, Gretchen is living proof that dreams come true by taking her own advice. “Don’t give up. My passion is art. I think just to um not to give up. To try and find faith and hope in what [you’re] doing and to continue to move on. I know it’s not so easy but its – don’t give up and keep trying.”

You can find more of Gretchen Prater’s artwork at the Montclair Art Museum and EuroArt in Montclair, Silvermine Art School in Connecticut, Chase Bank in Manhattan, and the Rose Center in Morristown, Tennessee. And if you happened to miss this opening, no worries! Gretchen has another showing on January 11, 2017.

[L-R] Jane Konzelmann, Lynne Oliver, Gretchen Prater - Artist, Paula Maliandi, Michele Chiles-Hickman
[L-R] Jane Konzelmann, Lynne Oliver, Gretchen Prater – Artist, Paula Maliandi, Michele Chiles-Hickman

Written by
Ashley Wall
for Team Ellenbogen

Feel free to visit our website,www.rethinkrealestatenj.com, for more information on real estate.
To connect on social media, you can like us on Facebook, tweet us @teamellenbogen, visit our Google+ page, view our videos on YouTube or follow us on our Pinterest page: ReThinkRealEstateNJ.com Team Ellenbogen.

7 Ways To Prep Your Home For A Sale!

You know that feeling you get when you rent the $60,000 a night luxury villa located on Richard Branson’s private Necker Island? No? Well, neither do we!

The point is that the buyer should feel like your home has great energy and a very welcoming vibe. So regardless if you live on a tropical island (maybe one day) or in busy suburbia, your home should create the perfect relaxed atmosphere. In order to do this, you will need to prepare. 

As part of our listing service, Team Ellenbogen of Essex, Passaic and Union Counties in New Jersey, pays for (that’s right! Our clients don’t foot the bill, we do!!) a professional stager to come into your home and provide you with ideas. Our stager will help you with color choices and furniture placement, not as an interior decorator but a professional stager who knows what a buyer is looking for and wants. Her team will also bring in extra pieces to make your home stand out from the rest. 

On the day of the professional photography shoot, her team will come in to oversee and prepare your home so that all the best features are highlighted.

To get your home prepared for the grand unveiling, here are 7 helpful tips to prep so you can assist in the staging process. 

1. Declutter – Garage sales, Craigslist and eBay oh my! Unless you’re auditioning for an episode of Hoarders, get rid of stuff. 

That 1980s Golden Girls track suit – please donate it. I promise it will not come back in style. Have any old dictionaries, encyclopedias or yellow phone books? Sell them, donate them, or properly recycle them.

2. Pepé Le Pee-eeeeew (Odors) – Unless your Pepé Le Pew please don’t chase homeowners away. GET RID OF ALL ODORS! 

This will make or break your home sale. Since scent is the strongest thing tied to memory, potential buyers will always remember the scent of your home. Invest in a cleaning company or do the job yourself. But please remember – a pleasant scent will boost the value of your home.

3. Wash Your Windows – Its a bird, its a plane… no really its a bird that just smashed into your window, because of how clean it is. Make sure your windows are squeaky clean! 

Having clean windows will brighten up your house by bringing in sunlight in. This will create a light airy feeling… oh and keep the vampires away. Unless you’re part of the Twilight cast because for some reason they sparkle in the sunlight. 

7 Ways To Prep Your Home For A Sale!

4. Abracadabra (Illusions) – Ok the title is a bit silly, but selling a home sometimes can mean creating an illusion. 

Now, you never want to deceive buyers, but there are tricks to making your home look even better. If you have a smaller home with low ceilings, adding mirrors, keeping the wall a light color and making use of hidden storage can work wonders.

5. Pressure Wash The Exterior – Aaaaachoo! Did you know that pressure washing your home removes allergens? Mold, dirt, mildew and algae are terrible for allergies and some could be life threatening. 

Also, pressure washing keeps the itsy bitsy spider and his friends from reeking havoc. And the best part, it adds to that Curb Appeal you hear everyone talk about when trying to sell your home.

6. Make Repairs – It’s important to fix the broken items in your home. It’s important to fix the broken items in your home. It’s important to fix the broken items in your home. 

Nope, that wasn’t a typo, I really did repeat those three sentences. Pretty annoying right? Well when you don’t fix things, the buyer becomes turned off. Now go on, get that squeaky floor fixed, paint the walls and have that rotted tree stump removed. It will be worth it in the end.


7. Define Each Space – Was that the bedroom, laundry room, or gym?  When it comes to your home, please do not have your buyers guessing. 

Each room in the house should have a clear and defined space so the buyers see exactly what they check out the pictures of your house online.

Written By
Ashley Wall
For Team Ellenbogen

Feel free to visit our website,www.rethinkrealestatenj.com, for more information on real estate.
To connect on social media, you can like us on Facebook, tweet us @teamellenbogen, visit our Google+ page, view our videos on YouTube or follow us on our Pinterest page: ReThinkRealEstateNJ.com Team Ellenbogen.

8 Awesome Tips For Selling Your Home!

5-things-no-one-tells-you-about-selling-your-home3 Tips To For Selling Your Home Fast

Ladies and gentlemen its showtime! If you’re reading this, it’s safe to say you or someone you know wants to sell their home. Congratulations!

Now stop watching HGTV – yes I know Chip and Joanna Gaines are the greatest tv couple since Lucy and Ricky, but you’ve got work to do.

Here are 8 awesome tips (in addition to the 5 listed above) to make the selling process run smoothly.

1. First Impressions – By the time you finish reading this first tip, a potential buyer will have already made up their mind whether they want to purchase your house or not.

Anywhere from 0.1 of a second to 7 seconds is the average time it takes to create a first impression. Make sure your home is a good one!

2. Neutral Color Palette – Spain, Sweden and Switzerland are all neutral countries. Your home should be one too!

Make sure you swap out bold and bright colors for a neutral palette. This will help buyers envision themselves living in the space. Think hues of grays, tans, creams and whites.

3. Embrace The Season – Pumpkin spice and everything nice! Fall is the perfect time to sell your home, especially if you can’t wait to leave (get it?).

With multiple holidays in the fall you can take advantage by decorating your home to give it that cozy feel. Place some pumpkins on the steps, add some festive plants and hang a wreath.

4. Pick an Agent – You should interview at a minimum 3 agents (yes 3). Look on Zillow.com for homes that have recently sold in your neighborhood and see what agent listed them. Click on Find an Agent and see who shows up on the list when you search for your town, not the 3 listed on the very top of the page horizontally. They paid to be there!  Look at the vertical list below for agents to interview.

Listen carefully to what the agents have to say on exactly how they are going to MARKET your home. Price is not the only aspect of a listing and if the emphasis to their presentation is price alone, then they’ve lost the point. Marketing is key in real estate right now, and the price should not be used to get you the buyer activity you need. Their marketing should drive the buyers to you.

Team Ellenbogen, located in Essex, Passaic, and Union counties in NJ, has a Technology Driven Visual Marketing Campaign they use to attract buyer activity to your listing. They believe in Re-Thinking Real Estate by presenting listings in a way to attract the buyer and then pricing it in that ‘sweet spot’ to get the buyers in the door.  Check them out if you are in their area.

5. The Price Is Right – “Comeeeeee on downnnnnnnn you’re the next contestant on The Price Is Right!”

This is the hardest part. Listen to what your agent recommends. Remember, they know the market and have access to statistics directly from the MLS that you are not privy to when you look at your home value on Zillow or Trulia.  Remember: Zillow and Trulia data is only as good as what is given to them by agreement with brokers and agents. If a brokerage doesn’t participate in the syndication, their data is not there, but it is on the MLSs, which only agents can access.

It is important to price accordingly. Selling your home is extremely emotional, but you have to detach yourself (as best as you can) and focus on what’s next. So do your research, consult an agent, be realistic, and get ready for the new chapter in your life.

6. Understand your buyer – College students looking for a crash pad? A family of four looking for outdoor space? A single bachelor who wants to throw parties? Young professionals who are going to become roommates?

Remember with the help of the internet all buyers are extremely knowledgeable. By understanding your buyer, you’ll be prepared for specific features they are looking for.

7. Hire A Home Inspector – In the words of Nike “Just Do It”.

Unless you’re a billionaire (hey Zuckerberg) buying a home is the biggest purchase a home owner will make. You should do everything in your power to make sure your home is close to perfect. You’d be surprised at what they may or may not find. This will make a huge difference when pricing your home and during negotiations. 

8. Stage Your Home – If you want the most value for your dollar, stage your home!

Professional stagers will help turn your cluttered space into a photo ready home. It really does make a difference. Remember buyers are able to view your home before they even step foot in it. Staging your home will present a certain lifestyle that buyers are looking for.

As part of our listing service, Team Ellenbogen of Essex, Passaic and Union Counties in New Jersey, pays for a professional stager to come into your home and provide you with ideas. (that’s right! Our clients don’t foot the bill, we do!!) Our stager will help you with color choices and furniture placement, not as an interior decorator but a professional stager who knows what a buyer is looking for and wants. Her team will also bring in extra pieces to make your home stand out from the rest.

On the day of the professional photography shoot, her team will come in to oversee and prepare your home so that all the best features are highlighted.

Happy Selling!

Written By
Ashley Wall
For Team Ellenbogen

Feel free to visit our website,www.rethinkrealestatenj.com, for more information on real estate.
To connect on social media, you can like us on Facebook, tweet us @teamellenbogen, visit our Google+ page, view our videos on YouTube or follow us on our Pinterest page: ReThinkRealEstateNJ.com Team Ellenbogen.


Trunk or Treat: A Halloween Delight

Fun at Trunk or Treat

Probably one of the most creative and enjoyable Halloween experiences Bloomfield residents are able to attend with their families, the Trunk or Treat event, was held on Saturday, October 29. Hosted by the Bloomfield Center Alliance Inc. in the Farrand St. parking lot from 12 pm to 3 pm, it involved prizes for the best-decorated vehicle and plenty of Trick or Treating.

The thirtrunk honoring the Day of the Deadd place prize was awarded to the owner of the trunCreatures of the Forestk representing and honoring Dios de la Muerte, “The Day of the Dead”, a Mexican holiday that is celebrated on November 1. The second place prize went to the owner of the trunk that exhibited talking creatures from an autumn themed forest. Many of the children enjoyed this trunk immensely, gathering around and listening to the somewhat creepy, but amazingly Bloomfield Center Alliance Trunkfriendly, creatures that did not fail to engage those who put themselves in their presence. Quite a sight! The owner of the trunk that took home the bacon that day represented Bloomfield Township, the beauty of the season of autumn, and what it has to offer. The Bloomfield Center Alliance Inc. and the spectators of this incredibly fun event were impressed and inspired by the messages that trunk displayed so wonderfully.

Although costumes were not mandatory, many people, both children and adults, were dressed in some of the scariest and most adorable costumes. The children had lots of fun as they enjoyed edible goodies from Jack’s Super Foodtown and went from trunk to trunk, trick or treating a bit earlier than they were probably accustomed to doing.

Boo!- Utiful Costumes All Around

Kids at Trunk or Treatfirefighter costumeFamily at Trunk or Treat







Events such as this Trunk or Treat event are great reminders of how important the aspects of fun and joy are to Bloomfield. Along with efficient medical attention, delectable restaurant menu options, and trendy clothing stores, Bloomfield never fails to deliver a good time for its grateful citizens.


Written by

Marsha Monel

For Team Ellenbogen

Like us on Facebook, tweet us @teamellenbogen, visit our Google+ page, or follow us on Pinterest

Family Fall & Fitness Event

Family Fall & Fitness Event

During this time of year words that begin with the letter F have a certain charisma about them; as they simply find their way falling into the forefront. In addition, these words are not always bad!

Starting off, the first charismatic F word stands for Fundraising. This past Saturday, October 29, 2016, The Gallery at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties hosted a Family Fall & Fun Event. This fundraiser benefits The Sunshine Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to children with cancer. Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey proudly adopted this network-wide charity in 1991 and raised $132,000 in 2014, with a $150,000 goal for 2016.

The second F word stands for Friends. Move over parents, this fundraiser was all about kids helping kids! Donning bright yellow customized tee shirts with The Sunshine Kids logo, friends from local schools volunteered to work different stations. Youthful energy filled the room as younger kids were about to station hop. The stations included coloring, beanbag toss, tattoos, face paint, and candy corn guessing.


Speaking of candy corn, this leads me to the third and fourth F words, Food and Film. Is there anything better than a room filled with the buttery aroma of freshly popped popcorn? Of course there is. It’s called having a black and white Film playing on the TV in the background. The Monsters and Madmen DVD really brought out the Halloween spirit, as everyone loves a classic movie.


The only thing that may have topped this would have been a flash mob dancing to Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Maybe next year!


Holly Owner of AthleticGenius The fifth and sixth F words stand for Family and Fitness. AthleticGenius graciously hosted two spin classes for adults and children. After all the sweets and treats consumed, this was a great way to burn off those extra calories. Cell phones and video games were exchanged for turning torques, spinning legs, and racing hearts. Holly, the vibrant owner and founder of AthleticGenius, led the class with the appropriately themed Halloween songs, starting with Harry Potter’s Double Trouble.

The final F words stand for Foundation and Future. Montclair continues to excel as a thriving neighborhood because the residents have always cared about the future. If you happen to read the people section of baristanet.com, you’ll notice residents raised in Montclair always find themselves coming back. That’s how special this town really is. It’s a fantastic community to raise a family, gain a sense of culture, and take pride in creative endeavors. Now, I’m not a fortuneteller but it’s safe to say Montclair’s Future is in good hands.


Written By
Ashley Wall
For Team Ellenbogen

Feel free to visit our website, www.rethinkrealestatenj.com, for more information on real estate.
To connect on social media, you can like us on Facebook, tweet us @teamellenbogen, visit our Google+ page, view our videos on YouTube or follow us on our Pinterest page: ReThinkRealEstateNJ.com Team Ellenbogen.


“Passing Magic: A Journey Through Color and Shapes”

Presenting Jessica Sporns “Passing Magic: A Journey Through Color and Shapes”

“Oh, oh, oh, it’s magic, you know,” especially if you attended Jessica Sporn’s “Passing Magic: A Journey Through Color and Shapes show.” at The Gallery at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties on Thursday, October 6, 2016.

From the moment you walked into The Gallery and signed the guest book, you were delightfully greeted with vibrant customized business cards sporting the designs in Jessica’s latest collection.  As you strolled through to take a closer look, you couldn’t help but be immersed in the bold color theme.  All created within this past year, Jessica’s pieces are infused with warm and cool hues.

“I would say it’s a mixture of yoga and color, and just trying to go inward and find inspiration but also embrace the outward too,” Jessica explained.  As the colors unapologetically blended into each other creating a beautiful contrast, the shapes did not.  Reminiscent of yoga, the lines bend and form together to create a shape, while still maintaining enough space to know their boundaries.

Jessica Sporn
Jessica Sporn

Pictured next to her favorite piece, Jessica recites a quote from Picasso – that says, “‘Genius has to find you working,’ so I think that’s really important to like – I just get up every day.  This is what I do. And I paint and I doodle and I draw.”

A former attorney in a Wall Street law firm, Jessica decided to pursue her passion for art while on maternity leave and hasn’t looked back since.  With a gleeful expression she says, “…it [her art] was very two-dimensional, sort of flat, farm figures and things – children’s art oriented.  And as time went on, I just stared experimenting in more media and basically took classes and studied YouTube videos and so I like to think it’s gotten a little more sophisticated and abstract; in playing with the abstract too.”

Jessica’s designs are so moving that it caught the eye of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s family members.  “The day after the shootings in Orlando and after that beautiful Tony Award speech, I had done a water color that was a heart with like mosaics all around it, in all different colors.  And I had posted a quote from his speech in the middle of the heart,” Jessica recounted.  Lin-Manuel’s sister and brother in-law recognized this creative painting.  After some slight tweaking and a brief collaboration with graphic designers, she was able to get her #loveislove t-shirt out.  To date, it has helped raise over $50,000 for the Broadway Cares Equity/Fights Aids Orlando organization.

Passing Magic: A Journey Through Color and Shapes
Passing Magic: A Journey Through Color and Shapes

Having a lucrative career as an artist is never an easy feat.  The art scene in Montclair is unique.  It has the charm of a vibrant Southern city mixed in with the abundance of a Northern city’s resources, ideal for any artist to flourish.  Jessica’s artistic sensibilities were able to thrive in this atmosphere, especially since she is a lifelong resident.  “My biggest advice [for aspiring artists] is to just be open and say yes.  So when an opportunity presents itself, just go for it.”

Montclair residents have many opportunities to explore varied art venues.  It has its own art museum, the Montclair Art Museum, affectionately known as MAM, along with several small galleries.  Montclair also hosts two movie theaters, one that highlights independent films and documentaries.  The first annual Film Festival was hosted in 2012, which provides a platform for filmmakers from not only New Jersey, but from throughout the US and the world.  Such notable actors as Sally Field and Richard Gere were past participants.  There is live theatre as well, including the Montclair Operetta Company, the Wellmont Theatre, which offers many musical shows, Montclair State University’s Kasser Theater, Life Hall and the Studio Playhouse.  The township also hosts an Annual Jazz Festival. As you can see, if you enjoy the arts, then Montclair is a perfect place for you to live!

Lynne Oliver- Realtor & Curator, Jane Konzelmann-Office Manager
Lynne Oliver-Realtor & Curator, Jane Konzelmann-Office Manager

Jessica Sporn’s “Passing Magic: A Journey Through Color and Shapes” exhibition is on display from October 1st – November 30th at The Gallery at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties. The Show will also be featured in The Montclair Art Walk on Oct 21st, so stop by our Gallery On The Art Walk!

Written by
Ashley W
for Team Ellenbogen

To connect on social media, you can like us on Facebook, tweet us at @teamellenbogen, or visit our Google+ page, view our videos on YouTube, or follow us on our Pinterest page.

Dwight Carter, Famous Photographer, Speaks at Art Exhibit

Dwight Carter at BHHSNJ Gallery

On Thursday, September 15, Art Talk: 50 Years of Photography by Dwight Carter, a photographic art exhibit and Q&A session, took place at the real estate brokerage office of Berkshire Hathaway Home Services in Montclair, NJ.  A well-known portrait photographer, Dwight has taken photos of such famous people as Phylicia Rashad, Oprah Winfrey, Tea Leoni, Jackie Joyner-Kersee, Whoopi Goldberg and, to much of his delight, Maya Angelou.

Maya Angelou at BHHS NJ Properties Art Gallery


“I was nervous. She had always been someone that I admired. When I asked her [during the photo shoot], ‘Is there anything I can do to make you more comfortable, Maya?'”, Dwight recalled with an amused smile on his face, “she said, ‘You can start by calling me Dr. Angelou.'”

Although intrigued and somewhat awed by Angelou’s personality, he did not treat her differently than he treated other celebrities or those who were not famous.  “I treat all my clients the same.”  He felt that each photo shoot was as important as the other, no matter who he was shooting. That fact is what makes him a great photographer: his ability to see something special in every person and moment that he captures with his camera.Andy's Beauty I, 1964 by Dwight Carter at BHHS NJ Properties Art Gallery

Surrounded by some of his most noteworthy portraits such as Giza Firebird and Andy’s Beauty I, 1964 which were hanging in the Art Gallery of the real estate office, Dwight sat down to discuss his experiences and thoughts regarding his career joined by his longtime friend, Sheryl Tucker, a magazine executive and editor of famous publications such as Time and Essence. A number of eager fans and supporters of this highly successful artist came out to listen and join in on the conversation that took place between these two friends.

Giza Firebird at BHHS NJ Properties Art Gallery

The audience quickly recognized the humorous and lighthearted side of Carter as they listened to his response to the question, “How did you get into photography?” Carter jokingly replied that the girls in his high school found him attractive due to the camera that hung around his neck. Besides that one comment and his statement that he sometimes forgets his own wife’s name because of how difficult it can be for him to remember names, Carter did not seem to make any more attempts to joke. Carter has always taken pride in, and been serious about, his work as a photographer. He said to Tucker as he was reminiscing on past photo shoots, “I’m not there to be the client’s friend; I’m there to work.”

Andy's Beauty I, 1964 by Dwight Carter at BHHS NJ Properties Art GalleryCarter firmly expressed that although he is not interested in gaining a friendship with his clients, he does whatever it takes to get the shots that he wants, and those shots are more often than not photos of happy and smiling people. He tries his best to make the clients feel comfortable in their own skin so that they eventually become willing enough to work with, and not against, him during the shoot, thereby yielding a good shot. After expressing concern that they are being photographed, he has said to many of his clients, “I’m on your side.”

Sheryl Tucker, friend of Dwight Carter, speaks at BHHS NJ Properties Art GallerySheryl Tucker explained that her job usually centered on helping writers and shaping magazines. She expressed how happy and lucky she feels to have the career that she has now, a career that allows her to help create and revise stories that change people’s lives. She gushed about how the most rewarding part of her job is seeing the impact her work has on people.  Both Dwight Carter and Sheryl Tucker have the special ability to affect others with their artistic and creative abilities.

The Outstanding Photo Gallery of Dwight Carter

Dwight Carter's Portaits at BHHS NJ Properties Art Gallery Montclair

The exhibition along with the discussion of Dwight’s artwork certainly had the audience glued to their seats. The admiration and fascination of the attendees towards Dwight’s photographs and personality was palatable. The audience members were undoubtedly grateful for the opportunity to attend such an exceptional presentation. This unique occasion provided by Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices New Jersey Properties is just another example of how this real estate office has become an integral part of the community and the flourishing Montclair art scene.  Living in such a vibrant Township, Montclair residents have many varied activities to choose from to broaden their lives and interests.

Sheryl Tucker at BHHS NJ Properties Art Gallery






Written By
Marsha Monel
for Team Ellenbogen

Like us on Facebook, tweet us @teamellenbogen, visit our Google+ page, or follow us on Pinterest

TRANScendence Exhibition Opens at BHHS Gallery

MONTCLAIR – A new art exhibition, TRANScendence, opened at the Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices office and gallery on Thursday, June 2, as part of the office’s unique feature of doubling as an art gallery, displaying transworks by many local and outside artists. The functional gallery will display the works of five artists, curated by Roger C. Tucker III, through August 31.

The office, located at 695 Bloomfield Avenue, a block down from the Montclair Art Museum, hangs within its walls art by five separate artists of entirely distinctive styles. From colorful sculptures to afro-inspired art, and black and white photos to 3d collages, there are many different visuals for the guests to indulge themselves in.

The exhibition, formally titled, TRANScendence: An Exhbition of Emerging, Contemporary Art by African American and Other Underrepresented Artists, is as much a display of the artists themselves as it is the art. The artists being displayed are Dwight Carter, Dominant Dansby, Donald Hilliard Jr., Stefanie Nagorka and Margaret Rose Vendryes. Their styles, influences, muses and works are disparate in appearance and the emotions they arouse, but are all contemporary in nature.trans2

The exhibition is being curated by Roger C. Tucker III, of Tucker Contemporary Art. Tucker has an unbounded admiration for art, working as an artist, an art dealer, advisor, fine arts photographer, educator, collector and advocate for African American, emerging and young artists. Opening night, I was given the opportunity to briefly sit down to talk with the curator about his life through art and the current exhibition, TRANScendence.

Tucker’s main goal is to make art inclusive. For centuries, he explained to me, art was an exclusive profession. The artist was in an exclusive class and the final work they produced was for an exclusive class of people – mainly the royal and the wealthy. He believes that art should be more inclusive, and not be limited by degree, style or background. Fine art, he said, is “capturing the soul of the artist.” It is not about who created what for whom and sold it for how much, it is about capturing an artist’s psyche in a specific moment in time, expressed by what manifests on the canvas before the artist. trans3

When I suggested to the curator that his idea to teach art and showcase underrepresented artists was his way of an outreaching to the art community, he didn’t disagree entirely, but instead offered some his insightful counter. What I saw as reaching out, he saw as reaching in. Tucker is reaching inward to the many underrepresented and emerging artists who are trying to bravely make a name for themselves in the art community. Again, as he said, it’s about making art inclusive. One example and product of this inclusivity was through featured artist Dominant Dansby.

Dansby started as an illustrator with a background in fine art before experimenting with his works. Eventually, the young artist and former student of Tucker realized that he had a penchant for creating amazing 3d collages. Some of his captivating collages now hang throughout the gallery, catching the eye of every guest.trans4 trans5Many on opening night stood admiring the work for minutes at a time. For Dansby, transcendence is based on change and constant development.

Change and constantly develop – what Tucker is trying to do to the art community. Change it by making art more inclusive and reaching inward to the underrepresented artist while developing the art world by showcasing these underrepresented artists.

Inside the gallery on opening night, scores of people traveled from one piece to the next, observing the art before them, trying to interpret themselves why each piece was significant. The event drew local artists and residents to Bloomfield Avenue, even drawing the attention of passerby on the sidewalk, some of them stepping inside to enjoy the artistry.

The Berkshire Hathaway Home Service office has hosted numerous art exhibitions in the past, connecting local artists to the community. These efforts by the office have helped to contribute to the already vibrant art community in Montclair. The suburb is a haven for the artful and home to several art galleries and museums. The office promotes and enriches the art community and Montclair, bringing all types of people to where the city meets the suburb.

The exhibition is open now at the Gallery at Berkshire Hathaway Homeservices New Jersey Properties, 695 Bloomfield Ave., Montclair, Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. TRANScendence will be displayed until Wednesday, August 31.

By: Andrew Konzelmann







Bloomfield Cruisers Inaugural Parade Thunders into Downtown

The first day of June had rolled around with the Bloomfield Cruisers in hot pursuit. As part of Cruise Nights 2016, the Bloomfield Cruisers will be parading their iconic, prized cars through Bloomfield every Wednesday through the end of August. The first one happened on the first of June.


The parade of cars starts near the corner of Bellevue Avenue and Broad Street and terminates in downtown Bloomfield at the Bloomfield Center, where the cars are then showcased posing in front of the tree-shaded storefronts that line the street. Automobiles of all eras made the crosstown journey, many of them the classic steel machines reminiscent of the 1950s and 60’s.


When I approached the starting location, I was stunned to see the beauty of the cars. At least 15 glistening, colorfully striking vehicles had filled the starting lot. Getting out of my car I heard the sound of all of them starting almost simultaneously. Loud engines, sonorous and pounding, filled the humid air and shook the guardrail I leaned on.  Then the cars began to file out, lined up fender to fender, one whitewall tire after the next. bc6

The chrome cruising, metallic muscle cars thundered down Broad Street, escorted by a police detail, to the honks of passing cars and joyful passerby, many of them astonished at the roaring engines and quantity of antique cars. The parade rolled down Broad St. turning the heads of everyone who saw the loud shining spectacle, most of them delighted in the nostalgia the cars beheld. It isn’t every day that people get a chance to witness a classic car, let alone 15 cruisers at once!

The parade ended at the Bloomfield Center. Located right in the heart of downtown Bloomfield, the cars began to back into the parking spots on a closed off section of Broad Street between Liberty Street and Bloomfield Avenue. This stretch is anchored by new Bloomfield College buildings and the greenly Bloomfield Center Park at the northern end, and the heart downtown Bloomfield at its southern end. This short but packed stretch of road contains dozens of restaurants, variety stores, clothing boutiques and banks. Lined with young, budding trees and iron streetlights, the antique cars added a winsome appearance to the already lively downtown scene.

People walked freely around Broad Street, roaming from car to car, observing the chrome details and pure craftsmanship that made each automobile unique. Taking in the metallic spectacle myself, I couldn’t help but feel jovial; it was an inviting atmosphere. The Bloomfield Cruisers have held a similar parade in years, but this year the Cruisers have bigger plans. This year, trophies for show winners will be awarded, courtesy of Lynnes Automotive Group. There is a DJ to play the hits, and there are food and drink tents, sponsored by the Bloomfield Cruisers, along with a kid’s corner section.  This year, they are looking to expand on their parade, incorporating more people and more cars into the show, which will bring more people to beautiful downtown Bloomfield.


Events like this are fueling Bloomfield’s renaissance. With the growth of Bloomfield College and new residential and mixed-use construction happening in the downtown area, Bloomfield is attracting a younger, professional demographic. And with the Bloomfield Cruisers car parade and other community events, more people are beginning to realize the charm of Bloomfield. The borough is connected to New York City via NJ Transit bus routes, and an NJ Transit train that serves the town, connecting riders to the Hoboken terminus and Penn Station in Manhattan via Secaucus. There is also a light-rail stop at the southern end of Bloomfield that takes riders directly to Newark Penn Station. The borough’s transit infrastructure and proximity to New York City makes for a flexible and quick commute. There are many reasons why people are choosing to relocate to Bloomfield; there’s something to offer everyone in this ever evolving town.

By Andrew Konzelmann

For Team Ellenbogen

Alan Ellenbogen – “Team Ellenbogen” Receives Prestigious NJAR Circle of Excellence Award


2015-BHHS Awards-Website BHHS

Alan Ellenbogen of Team Ellenbogen has received the prestigious NJAR Circle of Excellence Award for the 4th year in a row!  Moving up in rank in previous years, Alan received the Silver Level Award. To obtain the Silver Level, an agent must have $6.5 million in sales and have reported 20 units of sales at a minimum.

Team Ellenbogen wishes to thank all their clients, who have made this Award possible!