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When Music = Art

By Matt Ross / November 11, 2019

In the summer of 1982, I was certain that I saw one of the great concerts of all time. The Talking Heads played at the legendary Forest Hills Tennis Stadium and I had a summer job working security for the concert. I was 21 years old and a music fanatic with one semester of college…

The Pink Art Project

By Matt Ross / October 28, 2019

One of the things I am most proud of at One River School is our Pink Art Project. Each October our teen students make an original work of art that honors women who have dealt with breast cancer. It is a time when we get to teach art through the lens of life and as…

What is Your Hobby?

By Matt Ross / October 14, 2019

Every week I share some “Monday Thoughts” to try to add context around what we do at One River but to also pique your interest in the importance of investing time in things that are not considered “work”. The term “hobby” is defined as an activity done regularly in one’s leisure time for pleasure and…

Arts Education for Everyone

By Matt Ross / October 7, 2019

A few weeks ago, I read a report that said that New Jersey was the first state in the country to provide some type of art education for all students. Having raised a family in northeast, NJ after growing up “one river east of here” in NYC, I found myself proud of my adopted state,…

October is the Time to Get Busy

By Matt Ross / September 30, 2019

October is upon us and it is the time of the year when I believe we really start to put our heads down to make things happen and focus on our goals. If you are at all like me, your to do list is crazy long and filled with potential frustration. And, in a world…

Ric and Roll

By Matt Ross / September 16, 2019

Special things are undeniable. Whether it is visual art or music, the best work jumps out at you and sticks with you. That’s how I felt about The Cars when I heard their music for the first time. So sad to hear of Ric Ocasek’s passing and I want to share some Monday Thoughts about…

Learning Life From Artists

By Matt Ross / September 9, 2019

When I set out to learn all I could about contemporary art, I decided that I needed to get to know as many working artists as possible and study not just the work that they made, but also take a closer look into how they approached their lives. I was interested in developing connoisseurship for…

Letting Go

By Matt Ross / August 26, 2019

As we move from summer into fall, there are so many things that we all are dealing with today. The world is complicated and noisy…quite often when I talk with people these days, they are overwhelmed and fearful. My natural orientation is to guide people to look through another lens and focus on what they…

My Eyes Are Fixed on Creative Expression

By Matt Ross / August 12, 2019

I often walk through our schools and get stopped in my tracks by an artwork on the wall or in a studio that demonstrates profound skill and creative expression. Last week it happened during my visit to Millburn, NJ. The image that you see above is from our Teen Manga class and this artwork is…

Looking at Art

By Matt Ross / July 29, 2019

In a world where our senses are bombarded and overwhelmed to the point of submission, I have found that looking at art provides a profound meditative experience that more people need to experience. But, in a world of intense noise, on demand video, sound and social engagement, a painting has a hard time competing with…

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