Sometimes It Starts with a Traffic Accident

Montclair resident Lori Field always wanted to be an artist. As an only child, she says: “Art was my only companion.” After attending the State University of New York at Purchase, she moved to New York City and began to work as a textile designer. It was the lure of creating illustrations that led her to leave the job and become a free-lance illustrator. In a dramatic moment in 1996 when she was involved in a traffic accident she had an epiphany. She says there was a moment in the middle of it happening when she thought: “Please don’t let me die an illustrator.”

Her Fine Art career began the very next day when she began to make collages. Enthusiastically, she began to show in galleries around New Jersey, which after the birth of her children had become her home. In 2001, she experienced one of those events about which many artists dream. Thinking she might curate an exhibit of other artists herself, she reached out to gallery owner Henry Boxer in London about the possibility of including one of his artists. In that conversation, he asked if she was an artist. Finding out that she was, he requested to see her work, and subsequently began to represent her internationally which led to her being widely exhibited in numerous prestigious galleries bumping her career into high gear.

Now, a little over 20 years later, Kathy Imlay has brought Field back home to Montclair with a significant solo exhibit at the Montclair Art Museum. In Shadow of My Former Self, 2022, a 15x21 pencil drawing on recycled ledger paper, we see in the first piece she completed after the passing of her husband Marty, a cardinal, often seen as messengers from beyond speaking to Field, the woman in white.

Several of the pieces in the show are Field’s interpretation of Tarot cards. The Hierophant is one. In this 10.25 by 7.75 collage made in 2021, we again see Field, this time the female figure with the tiger head in a card which often stands for tradition and convention, and can also represent marriage.


The Seven of Eyes, 2021, 52x37, is a mixed media woven Jacquard tapestry and it’s one of three tapestries in the exhibit. It represents the infant soothsayer with wisdom and insight. The tapestry is embellished with vintage embroideries, sequins, and hand painting. Field’s work is thought provoking in its way, and beautifully crafted. Make plans to view this striking body of work in an exhibit at the Montclair Art Museum starting September 10 and running until January 1, 2023. Please check the museum’s website for hours and admissions. Likewise you can view much more of her work at her website.


Lori Field

Art of Essex