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October Art Exhibit: The Color and Light Exhibit Published on: September 24, 2019

MPL presents an exciting photography exhibit by Ridgewood resident Peter Grad. The display will be on view in the Montclair Public Library Gallery during library hours from October 1 – October 30.

Peter Grad has been capturing images in parks and gardens for more than a dozen years. He returns to many of the same spots time and again. Whether the visits are years apart or only a few minutes apart, there is always a new cast of colors, shades, lighting and motion that, Peter says, guarantees he will never capture the same image twice.

“The Park is a tapestry, a chromatic continuum providing an infinite palette of both brilliant and subtle hues that will never be duplicated,” he says. “You always want an alluring subject, but equally important is the surrounding spatial “neighborhood” — the background components that will both frame and complement the subject. Time and patience — waiting for just the right moment when that balance of light, subject and background is achieved — are essential components of the recipe for an outstanding image.”

Many of Peter’s images were taken in parks and gardens throughout Bergen County, New Jersey, including Ridgewood, Glen Rock, Bergenfield, Tenafly and the Meadowlands. He also spends much time in Central Park and the New York Botanical Garden as well.

“People observe the colors of a day only at its beginnings and its ends,” the author Markus Zusak writes in his novel “The Book Thief.” “But a day merges through a multitude of shades and intonations with each passing moment. A single hour can consist of thousands of different colors… I make it a point to notice them.”

So does Peter. These photos reveal some of the moments he has noticed over the past dozen years.


Peter Grad began shooting photos after he purchased his first camera – a Polaroid Swinger – in 1966. He has many memorable images of his high school friends from that era, but sadly, the most important opportunity he had in those days – and perhaps ever since – was photographing the Beatles in concert at Shea Stadium. None of the six pictures he took came out!

But he has since made up for that failed venture, having learned the hard way that lighting is a critical component of a good photograph. In later years he photographed rock bands and politicians and assorted community personalities. But his greatest pleasure has been photographing nature — trees, flowers, landscapes — especially in the last three years following his retirement.

Peter Grad was a reporter and columnist at The Record for more than three decades. He wrote the first in-house computer columns for the paper at the dawn of the Internet era, writing as “The Computer Tutor” and “The PC Guy.” He became the paper’s Op-Ed Page editor in 1998, a position he held for 18 years until his retirement in 2016.

The Library welcomes inquiries from local artists and arts organizations regarding use of the exhibit space.  For further information, please contact the Montclair Public Library (973) 744-0500 ext. 2221.


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