City Lifestyle

Want to start a publication?

Learn More

Featured Article

Home Is Where the Art Is

Todd Lambrix and Terri McNamara Teach, Inspire and Build a Community of Art on Their Weekly Show “The Large Glass”

Every Tuesday night, Todd Lambrix and fiancé Terri McNamara grab some glasses of wine and head into their basement recording studio in their Hunterdon County home to talk about their favorite subjects: art and the talents who create it. 

The couple, who delighted in going to bars and sipping wine while speaking to likeminded people about art, decided in September 2020 to share their knowledge to a wider audience through “The Large Glass,” an online talk show that introduces a new artist or art-related theme and in the process, demystifies the artworld to those new to it. 

Art is the couple’s language of love—and one that they freely teach others to use. Lambrix studied painting as an undergraduate, earned a master’s degree in sculpture from the Rhode Island School of Design and has taught art on the college level for two decades. McNamara is a nurse, artist, musician and writer. Together, with their blended family of three children, ages 6, 12 and 14, they live surrounded by art that they create and collect and want to share their worldview that anyone can create, collect and understand art. 

“As a teacher, I have an ability to explain things well,” Lambrix says. “So, when people say they don’t understand art—making it, looking at it or talking about it—I feel like it’s my job to say, ‘Wait a minute. Why are you afraid to talk about something that is at the center of our lives? We live in such a visual culture with our phones, but when it comes to talking about something that is not a meme or last night’s TV show, we stumble. So, I talk about art in a way that is accessible. I ask: What is your immediate reaction to the art? Sure, it might be a bit funny or naïve at first, but it’s all right because you’re getting in touch with that visual information. You’re starting to ride that bike.

“The world of art has been kept at an arm’s length, and I think the industry intentionally does that to hold the mystique,” he continues. “We’ve seem to have lost a bit of the connection as to what it means to create.”

A person does not need to have formal training or gallery representation to be an artist, they assert. McNamara, who does not have Lambrix’s academic training, devotes time each week to her mixed-media pieces, which incorporate textiles, threads, objects and vintage items. “My art is about the ideas and themes of domesticity versus expected roles, and how women are portrayed in society in regard to their expectations versus their individuality. It’s playful with a lot of double entendre,” she says. 

Unlike his past, large-scale work, Lambrix’s current pieces are two-dimensional—drawing, painting and collage—and small enough to fit in his home studio. “I focus on the ways in which things that may not go together actually do go together,” he says. 

In addition to highlighting up-and-coming talents, the show also delves into art history and puts contemporary artists into the context of the masters. The name is an homage to “The Large Glass,” by Marcel  Duchamp, who pioneered conceptual art in the 20th century. Very few people know that Duchamp met his wife, Alexina—“Teeny”—who was formerly married to Pierre Matisse, son of French master Henri Matisse, at her farmhouse in Tewksbury. Such stories are indicative of the gems the couple imparts to listeners. “Duchamp is one of my favorite artists,” Lambrix says. “I think about him when I do my work now.”

People don’t realize the value of art from a collection, investment or emotional standpoint or simply for adding expression to the home, Lambrix notes. “When you go to a retail store and buy a poster, you’ve essentially cut off an opportunity to own something genuinely unique, whether that piece costs $5 or $5,000. Why buy something mass-produced when you can surround yourself with art that speaks to you?” he says. “Teaching kids about art is critical. It kills me to hear how art is being truncated in schools.”

“The Large Glass” presents an opportunity for an accessible art education, which can be used immediately. The show presents artists, some who are New York–based, that people can get in on the ground level of collecting. “There are a number of Central New Jersey artists we are watching right now. At the top of our list is  Christina McKinnon, Terri Fraser, Laura Trisiano, Val Sivilli and Yael Eisner,” says Lambrix. “It’s really exciting when you start collecting pieces by artists like these, making them a part of your home and then seeing that artist’s career—and your collection—take off.”

Tune into “The Large Glass” on Tuesday nights at 8 p.m. at thelargeglass.org.

  • Todd Lambrix and Terri McNamara in their home recording studio
  • "Rock Climbing in Maine" by Terri Fraser
  • "Showgirl" by Terri McNamara
  • “Mystical Dwelling” by Christina McKinnon
  • "Interior" by Todd Lambrix
  • "Mono" by Todd Lambrix
  • "Dry Storage" by Todd Lambrix