Arts & Entertainment in West Orange

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Though she's been a professional artist for more than 25 years, April Tracey's career began with a momentous decision. After receiving her BFA from Queen's University, April was accepted to the MFA program at the Rhode Island School of Design. However, she instead decided to strike out on her own, launching an art gallery, supply store, and school. Now she offers her discerning eye to students through critique services. April pores over pieces in all mediums, offering compassionate criticism in person or via Skype, email, or messages hidden behind the work's frame.

580 Forest St. Unit 6
City Of Orange,
NJ
US

Tia Harris, a mother and a Montclair resident since 2008, couldn't have predicted that an activity she enjoyed as a relaxing hobby would later become her full-time career. She was laid off from her previous job in 2011 and found herself turning to beading as a stress-reducing creative outlet. Embracing her entrepreneurial spirit, Harris decided in 2012 to open TiaMarie Beading Studio, where she shares her passion with other jewelry enthusiasts. She told Barista Kids that "We are striving to create a sense of community and a fun place for creative ideas to come together."

To accomplish the studio?s goal, Harris handpicked her team of multitalented instructors, which includes a former interior designer, a certified fine-arts teacher and writer, and a graphic-design expert. In addition to teaching classes, the friendly crew regularly hosts birthday parties and girls' nights out, where ladies can learn the art of wire wrapping?one of the oldest known jewelry-making methods next to training cobras to coil around your wrist.

406 Bloomfield Ave
Montclair,
NJ
US

Since 1964, Guitar Center has paired musicians with guitars, keyboards, drums, Pro Audio gear, and necessary accessories, including DJ and recording equipment to capture newly made melodies. An iPad music-stand adaptor ($39.99) connects an iPad to a music stand, allowing musicians to access online programs and music apps on-stage, or to publicly dedicate a song to their online Scrabble partner. A clip-on tuner ($29.99) keeps notes pitch-perfect, and Guitar Center’s array of sheet music produces a wider variety of sounds than singing from a thesaurus, with options that include the C-surfing The Real Blues Book ($31.49). Stitch tighter harmonies by threading notes onto Slinky guitar strings ($3.79), or use the value of today's Groupon toward a larger purchase, such as the Epiphone Les Paul Special II guitar ($169–$179.99). Guitar Center rounds out its collection of gear with Pro Audio and DJ equipment, keyboards, and drums, allowing every band member or solo cymbal player to stock up on their chosen form of expression.

1 US Highway 46
Totowa,
NJ
US

Graduates of the Berklee College of Music. A rocker who's played Warped Tour and South by Southwest. A classical instrumentalist who once performed for the Royal Family. These impressive credentials only hint at the depth of experience found on So.i.Heard House of Music's staff. Here, the talented team of guitarists, drummers, jazz musicians, and recording professionals enthusiastically immerses young students in the world of music. This new knowledge comes in the form of instrument-playing techniques as well as high-quality production tips that students can use to record CDs of original compositions or especially dance-worthy heartbeats. So.i.Heard House of Music's membership system allows students to spend as much much time as they'd like in a home-like atmosphere in order to maximize their learning experience.

10 E Willow St
Millburn,
NJ
US

An acclaimed online shop, LittleGifts honors man’s best friend—and a few of his other pals too—with a slew of pet-themed gifts and accessories. Dog lovers can choose their favorite breed—from fluffy shih tzus to honorable great danes—to emblazon on their item of choice, be it something big, such as an umbrella or garden flag, or something discrete, such as a magnet or a baby’s forehead. Beyond canines, the shop carries merchandise modeled after more than 20 other animals including cats, turtles, and even turkeys. Pets can get in on the action themselves, thanks to sparkly charms for their collars and wag tags marked with titles, such as "boss," "flirt," and "best in show."

600 Meadowlands Pkwy
Secaucus,
NJ
US

At any given time, more than 200 pieces of unfinished ceramics can be found on the shelves at Brushes & Bisque. Though the pieces will soon find use as coffee mugs, dinner plates, and jewelry boxes, they still require a final glaze before they can hold treats or treasures. During classes for kids and adults, painters work with provided tools and materials to coat the pieces with an artistic touch.

In addition to pottery painting, Brushes & Bisque offers clay classes, also with provided tools and materials. Kids? clay classes cover the basics of coiling, pinching, and glazing, and adult pottery classes equip sculptors with a pottery wheel.

45 Broadway
Denville,
NJ
US