Watercolors by Patricia Almonte, At The BankRI Pitman St. Gallery

The BankRI Pitman Street Gallery Presents

“The Italian Landscape: Watercolors by Patricia Almonte.”

March 1 through April 5, 2017.

The branch is located at 137 Pitman Street in Providence.

Hours are Monday through Thursday 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. For more information, contact www.bankri.com .

Patricia Almonte exhibits watercolors from arecent trip to Italy at the BankRI Pitman Street branch March 1 through April 5, 2017.
MEET THE ARTIST – PATRICIA ALMONTE

If a house can communicate the personality of its owner, artist and graphic designer Patricia Almonte’s home in the Hoxsie neighborhood of Warwick does just that.  Big comfy couches line the living room, an art studio is located right off the kitchen and the entrance way ceiling is painted sky blue and accented with puffy white clouds.   This is a safe house, comforting and warm, a haven from the craziness of the world.

Almonte’s college age son and his friends wander in and out. Her daughter Chloe is never far, a severely disabled young adult who spends her time coloring images she downloads from the Internet.  Almonte has managed a balancing act of heroic proportions working as a graphic designer, taking care of her children and painting.

“When my daughter was young, it was so difficult to get through the day,” Almonte says. “I couldn’t do anything.  But I always kept up my painting, it was my release.”

When Almonte was a young girl, her mother, a kindergarten teacher, encouraged her to be creative and let her draw directly on the walls of their porch.  Almonte continued on the creative path at Rhode Island College, where she majored in studio arts and minored in art history. After graduation, she went on to work as a graphic artist at Apex and Brooks Drugs, and later as a freelancer.  Today, she works in social services.

“The last two or three years,” Almonte explains, “I really started to focus on marketing my art.” She attended seminars at the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts that focused on marketing and copyright issues.  She began to exhibit regularly.  Successful shows followed at the News Café n Pawtucket, the South County Center for the Arts, the Warwick Public Library and Java Madness in Narragansett.

Last October, Almonte brushed up on her Italian and took a trip alone to Italy.  She stayed at a convent in Rome and an airbnb in Florence.  The trip was inspirational, both for Almonte the artist and the person.

The watercolors exhibited here at the BankRI Galleries are soothing, peaceful meditations on the Italian landscape.  There are no people in Almonte’s watercolors.  She has created landscapes free of the drama that often accompanies human beings and their actions.  “There’s a little bit of Alice Through the Looking Glass,” Almonte says. “I want people to step into the watercolors as if they were stepping into their own little world.”

Patricia Almonte in her studio
The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.

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“Public Domains”, A Group Show At The Chazan Gallery

The Chazan Gallery at Wheeler is pleased to present Public Domains, a group exhibition of works by Sammy Chong, Elizabeth Ferrill, Robert Morgan and Brian Shure, from February 16 to March 08, 2017.  An opening reception will be held on February 16, from 5:00-7:00 pm. The public is invited.

 

Work by Sammy Chong at Gallery Night Providence member gallery The Chazan GallerySammy Chong’s work explores the social, physical, and spiritual phenomena of disengagement in public spaces. We pass through subway cars, train stations, shopping malls, and street corners every day, but are we connecting with one another, and with the inner-self, during these transitions? Common spaces make objective the different forms of solitude that are linked to the ever-expanding human density within modern urban centers. Forced to inhabit them with others, the visible distance between people can be a reflection of an intangible, yet deeper personal disjunction.

Plexiglass is found in many of public spaces in the form of windows, wall separations, advertising panels, shop displays, and signs. Chong uses plexiglass to metaphorically represent the reality that it creates by stressing what it signifies. While it is employed to organize and divide spaces, its transparency connotes the invisible barriers which isolate individuals from one another and from the self. By using layers of oils and acrylics on plexiglass sheets to create seemingly banal scenes, Chong encourages viewers to reflect on the multiple levels of meaning often overlooked as we navigate an increasingly complex modern world.

 

Public spaces are pauses in our daily continuum. The frenetic pace of our modern lives prevents us from actually experiencing these hiatuses—even more so when we are absorbed by one of many technological gadgets. And yet we occupy them embracing the pleasure of anonymity, the comfort of being aloof, the safety in numbers and in the fact that omnipresent cameras observe us for the common good. Instead of emphasizing unhelpful feelings of alienation and loss, hence, Chong attempts to bring forward an awareness of the meditative nature of being both immersed in and removed from the activity around us.

 

Sammy Chong is a first-generation Ecuadorian from Guayaquil. He comes from a large artistic family of Chinese descent.  In his early adulthood, Sammy began a career in Graphic Design, working in an international advertising firm.  However, after a near-fatal car accident, he became more aware of, and sensitive to, larger transcendental issues.

Sammy then studied philosophy and theology at Universidad Javeriana, in Bogota, and earned a Master’s Degree from Boston College.  Throughout his studies, Sammy developed as a self-taught artist, eventually developing a portfolio based on the labyrinth, and other mythological and spiritual themes.  After teaching for three years at the university level in Ecuador, Sammy completed the MFA program at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.

His current professional activities include a position in the Fine Arts Department (Studio Arts) at Boston College.  Sammy’s studio practice builds on the concept of individual identity in contemporary urban life.

 

Work by Elizabeth Ferrill at Gallery Night Providence member gallery The Chazan GalleryThe vast solitude of the American landscape is the subject matter of Elizabeth Ferrill’s work, particularly places that seem cold but emotionally charged, dehumanizing yet full of personal experience.   This includes empty public places that remain tensely suspended within a quiet moment between what has occurred in the past and what will occur in the future.

Ferrill uses the pochoir technique to create her work.  Pochoir is a printmaking/painting method traditionally used to hand color images in books.  This stencil medium that employs cutout shapes and gouache creates solid, often overlapping forms that converge into hard-edged compositions. Each overlay of shape and color responds to the simplified and functional architectural properties of border crossings, bus stops, motels and sidewalks. The stencil functions as a layer of mediation that implements a control system to her mark-making process. The use of the stencil resonates deeply within the content of her work, flickering between the beauty found in pattern and a kind of disorienting hypnotic realism.

 

The subjects in the work are all familiar yet under-examined peripheries of the American vista.  The pieces exist as simplifications of the complex and paradoxical atmosphere of the public world. Ferrill explores public spaces with a sincere quest for beauty while at the same time acknowledging their tension, functionality, and ability to inherently make a statement about or behavior as human beings.

 

A native of Seattle, WA, Elizabeth Ferrill received her BFA from Cornish College of the Arts in Seattle, and her MFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence.  Elizabeth has had solo and two-person exhibitions nationally and internationally including at Planthouse, NY; Harvey Meadows Gallery, Aspen, CO; COOP Gallery, Nashville, TN; Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, Omaha, NE; Backspace, Peoria, IL; Artspace, Reno, NV, Virginia Tech Armory Gallery, Blacksburg, VA and 5x6x9 Gallery, Berlin, Germany.  She was an artist in residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, NE.  Public collections include the Brown University Library and the Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design.

 

Work by Robert Morgan at Gallery Night Providence member gallery The Chazan GalleryRobert Morgan’s latest work is a series of large, densely hued paintings which are cut out and glued together to create various visual planes.  The paintings are composed of a number of layers of watercolors mounted on other watercolors.  The resulting enlarged images and moody atmospheres are an attempt to create an eerie, disquieting transcendence, drawing the viewer into an inner world of emotional and sensual conflict.

In this body of work, viewers are encouraged to participate in the paintings as an ‘absent presence’.  The large scale and sensuality of the medium invite entrance into each situation.  Objects or people inhabit ambiguous spaces, reminiscent of stage settings where numerous symbolic levels are presented to the audience using backdrops.  The viewer may experience an emotional potpourri, depending on the individual’s base associations with the symbols.

 

People and objects in modern society are often found out of context or alienated from predictable settings – life is complicated and so are the conflicting emotions we experience.  Morgan’s paintings are about these clashes and the necessity to produce one´s own metaphysical symbols, one´s own myths, one’s own spirituality.  Yet the hope and peace in the paintings seem to lie beyond the barriers, abysses or ambiguity, hence the discord.  The contrasts — hard and soft, dark and light, warm and cold, peaceful and threatening — are juxtaposed against each other, giving resonance to an outwardly simple painting.

 

Born in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, Robert Morgan’s early interest in art was fueled by the rich traditions of the Berkshires / Hudson Valley region. Even though Bob lived in Buenos Aires, London, Boston, and San Francisco among others, he returned to the area of his youth, living in the Taconic Mountains of Petersburgh, NY, with his artist wife Pennie Brantley.

 

While Bob’s work sprang from the delicate, sensitive watercolors abundant in the 300 year history of the region, it has grown into huge sculpted pieces that invite a wide, participatory view.  Bob is a watercolor painter like no other. With dense  pigment, textured treatment of the surfaces and off-beat compositional schemes, he stretches the watercolor medium with respect to content, technique and scale, reversing the ‘precious’ attributes usually associated with the medium.

 

Bob has exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions in museums, universities and galleries on both US coasts.  He was also featured in a major retrospective at the Borges Cultural Center in Buenos Aires, Argentina, and was also honored with a prestigious MacDowell Colony Fellowship.

 

Work by Brian Shure at Gallery Night Providence member gallery The Chazan GalleryBrian Shure is a painter and printmaker interested in the representation of people in public spaces, the quiet, quotidian enjoyment of existence and fragile sense of safety and trust—too rare in our world—when we share proximity with strangers. The modeling of forms in illusionistic space and pictorial illusion itself fascinates him, and the way we form an instantaneous—if fleeting—emotional connection to the representation of a recognizable human form is compelling.  Only people themselves seem to him more magical, complex and filled with wonder than this possibility of providing an arena for a narrative in a simple, simultaneously available field.
Brian Shure received a BA from Antioch College. He worked as a professional lithographer for 15 years, has published and printed editions under the Smalltree Press imprint, and was a Master Printer and Coordinator of the China Woodblock Program at Crown Point Press from 1987 to 1994.  His etchings of Ise-Jingu were printed in 2000 when he was resident artist at Tokugenji Press in Nara, Japan.  In 2004 he completed a group of murals for the Pittsburgh Federal Courthouse. In the winter of 2013 he created a suite of prints while in Residence at David Krut Projects in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in the summer of 2015 he completed a print project at Rongbaozhai in Beijing. Brian was a member of the Printmaking Department Faculty at the Rhode Island School of Design from 1996 to 2016. He is now Workshop Production Manager at Gemini G.E.L. in Los Angeles.

The Chazan Gallery is a proud member of Gallery Night Providence.

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Work by Margaret Owen at BankRI Turks Head Gallery

The BankRI Galleries present:
BankRI Turks Head Gallery: “Inside Nature: Paintings by Margaret Owen,” February 2 through March 1, 2017 at the BankRI Turks Head branch in downtown Providence at One Turks Head Place.  Exhibit hours are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, contact www.bankri.com or call 401 574-1330.
Gallery Night Providence
MEET THE ARTIST – MARGARET OWEN

In a small sun-filled bungalow just north of Providence College, painter Margaret Own and her husband Michael, also a painter, live with their eleven-year old son. It’s a cheerful family home filled with strong bright colors, artwork of all shapes and sizes, and many, many legos.

Owen herself is a lot like her house, positive and unassuming, quiet and cheerful – a steady presence that drinks in the sun and happily lives her life collecting experiences along the way.  She grew up in a small college town in Virginia called Farmville.  “I wasn’t a kid who drew a lot,” says Owen. “I did a little bit of painting and a lot of wandering around and daydreaming.”

Her family moved to McLean, Virginia when she was eight and as she grew older, she began to visit museums and take in paintings by Mary Cassatt, Paul Cezanne, Edgar Degas and Henri Matisse.  She visited the Phillips Collection in Washington, DC.  “That’s where I met Bonnard and Rothko,” Owen explains, speaking of the French painter and colorist Pierre Bonnard and American painter Mark Rothko.

She attended the University of Georgia for her undergraduate degree and then went on to graduate school at the NY Academy of Art, which offers a traditional program in painting. “I loved getting to paint day after day from the figure,” Owen says, “and I got better at it.”  She met Michael at the academy.  They married, had their son and moved back to Rhode Island where Michael grew up.

Today she paints whenever she gets a chance, a few hours at night when her son goes to bed and in the morning when he is at school.  Her studio is down one flight of stairs in the large, open and surprisingly sunny basement.  Hundreds of colorful paintings, watercolors and drawings line the walls. Large complex florals marry intricate patterns with bold vividly colored blossoms.  Fluid atmospheric landscapes keep company with light-filled still lifes.

Owen keeps a blog where she posts not only her thoughts, but every painting, watercolor or drawing she is working on, sometimes a different painting each day. Her paintings could be small 6’x6” sketches or a large 30’x36” painting, but they keep her going moving in the right direction.  “It’s been very helpful,” Owen says about the blog, permanentmagenta.com. “I’ve made so many more paintings because of it.”

Her good friend Canadian painter Elizabeth Hutchinson has also been an important influence in Owen’s creative endeavors.  In 2012 they began traveling abroad together, first to Morocco to teach a workshop and paint.  Later they visited Paris, France to paint and see paintings.  All told, they made four trips to Morocco and two to France, a major achievement for anyone, never mind a mom juggling family with teaching and studio time.

“At that time,” Owen says, “we were both seeking to push our art making outside the walls of the studio, to incorporate it into busy days when it seemed as though there was not time to paint.”  The spontaneity of watercolor sketching outdoors inside nature drew them and they decided to create a blog, moveable paintbox, to share this small daily practice with each other, their students and other artists.

Owen constantly quotes painters and writers on making art.  Small pieces of paper with handwritten passages are taped to the walls and windows of her studio.  She still hears the voice of Wade Schuman, who she worked with at the Academy saying, “That thing you want to paint, but think you can’t? Paint that.”   Or, quoting Hutchinson, “Leave room for the viewer,”

The landscapes she is exhibiting at the BankRI Galleries strive to do just that.  Owen’s painting style is characterized by a complex syncopation of color and marks. Whether Owen is painting the markets of Marrakesh, or the streets of Paris or the pocket gardens in Providence, she brings to her work a vital exuberance that both excites and satisfies. In these paintings, she “looks for a feeling of openness, of light and color … and to create a certain feeling of aliveness and the abundant insistent, persistence of nature.”
Amidst the color and the movement, she has added a new element – dappled light filtering in to let the canvas breathe.  You can almost hear the sigh.

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Margaret Owen in her studio.

The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.

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Gallery Night Tour Schedule For November 17, 2016

5:30 History Tour with Celebrity Barbara Barnes  (Judi Dill Guide)

Barbara Barnes, Gallery Night Providence, Celebrity Guide

URI Feinstein Providence Campus Gallery 

RISD Museum

Anthony Tomaselli

Bannister Gallery (RI College)

Cate Chason

5:50 Celebrity Contemporary Tour with Charlie Hall (Cathren Housley Guide)

Charlie Hall, Gallery Night Providence

ArtProv Gallery

BankRI Turks Head Gallery

David Winton Bell Gallery

ISB Gallery (RISD)

6:10 Artisan Tour (Kate Champa Guide)

J Schatz

Gather: Glass Blowing Studio and Gallery

The Handicraft Club

Three Wheel Studio

Gallery Belleau

6:30 Celebrity Contemporary Tour with Carrie Decker (John Housley and Ted DiLucia Guides)

Carrie Decker, Motif Magazine, Gallery Night Providence

Chazan Gallery at Wheeler

Dryden Gallery

Providence College Galleries (Reilly)

Half Full

Silvershell Gallery at Rosmarin

         

7:00 Celebrity Shopping Tour with Alyssa Cavallo (Anthony DiPalma Guide)

Motif Magazine, Alyssa Cavallo, Gallery Night Providence

Sprout RI

Gallery/Studio Z LLC

Inner Space Outsider Art Gallery & Shop

Copacetic

The Peaceable Kingdom

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Meet Celebrity Guide Barbara Barnes

Join us on the next Gallery Night Providence, November 17, 2016, for a special history tour with Celebrity Guide Barbara Barnes.

Barbara Barnes, Gallery Night Providence, Celebrity Guide

Barbara Barnes was a tourism manager and walking tour guide for the Providence Preservation Society and Rhode Island Historical Society from 1990 – 2015. Among the tours she created were walking tours for Gallery Night and a seasonal walking tour called “Art and the City.” Barbara also worked nine years for Gallery Night as the manager of tour guides and transportation in the 1990’s.

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Meet Celebrity Guide Charlie Hall

We are very honored to have comedian, writer, social activist, artist, and RI institution Charlie Hall as one of our Celebrity Guides on our November 17, 2016 Gallery Night Providence.

Charlie Hall, Gallery Night Providence
Charlie, as he prefers to be called, is a versatile comedian, writer, showman, artist, and political activist. In 2012, Charlie was the first person inducted into the newly-established Rhode Island Comedy Hall of Fame. His induction was the culmination of over thirty years of laugh-making through a variety of avenues including stand-up, writing, theater, and art. He is a true Renaissance man, and some say, a Rhode Island icon.

Charlie started his stand-up comedy career in the early 1980s and quickly rose through the ranks to become a New England headliner. His clean, clever style lead to national TV appearances on Star Search, The Joan Rivers Show, Evening at the Improv, Caroline’s Comedy Hour, America’s Funniest People, The MTV Half-Hour Comedy Hour, and many more.

His cleaner style of stand-up humor also made him a favorite to open-up top acts like those of Jerry Seinfeld, Chicago, Natalie Cole, The Temptations, Sam Kinison, Frankie Valli, Reba McIntire, Charlie Daniels, Jon Stewart, and Englebert Humperdink. Actually, Charlie has opened-up for more headliners at the famed Warwick Musical Theater than any person, ever.

In 1992 Charlie created a bunch of song parodies, political musings, and localized skits that became the longest running show in the state’s history. It was appropriately named the “Ocean State Follies.” He followed that with a Bay State version called “Mass Hysteria” and co-created a local sketch show on NBC-10 called “Rhode Bytes.” For years Charlie also ran the “Rhode Island Comedy Festival,” as well as booking and managing several comedy venues, including Perwinkles, Rhode Island’s first comedy club.

In 1993, 1997, and 1998 Rhode Island Monthly Magazine voted “Ocean State Follies” as the state’s Best Comedy Show, and in 1994, 1995, and 1996 the magazine voted Charlie Rhode Island’s Best Comedian. He is truly our state’s Good Humor Man!

This multi-talented Rhode Island School of Design grad is also an award-winning political cartoonist and a TV news courtroom artist. On the more serious artistic side, he has completed numerous wall murals throughout New England. Charlie is also the publisher of two cartoon books on life and politics in Rhode Island called Hot Sketch and Hot Sketch 2.

Charlie grew up in the Elmhurst section of Providence and attended Classical High School where he played hockey. As an adult, he made the long trek to North Providence where he resided for many years in proximity to the Louisquisset Golf Club. Here his considerable talent as a golfer is often exhibited.

Charlie now operates the trendy paint party company called “Drink and Dabble,” where he teaches wanna-be-artists how to do a two-hour painting while they snack and sip cocktails at the area’s top restaurants. Bachelorhood has afforded Charlie ample time to spread his ample talents throughout both Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Now, if all of this was not enough, in 1995 Charlie penned the words for a song called “Rhode Island’s It’s For Me” (inspired by second cousin Buddy Cianci) that is now the official state song of Rhode Island.

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Meet Celebrity Guide Carrie Decker

Gallery Night Providence  is pleased to announce that Carrie Decker will be one of our “Celebrity Guides” on November 17, 2016.

Carrie Decker, Motif Magazine, Gallery Night Providence

Employed as an Analyst, Carrie holds 3 Art degrees; Museum Studies, Art History and Fine Art. With an enthusiastic passion for the arts, she began blogging about it and that’s how CrazyOverART.com was born! With this platform she shares her views and experiences about artists, galleries and museums. She is constantly traveling and exploring new and exciting art in and out of New England. Carrie is a freelance contributor to Motif magazine where she continues keeping us up-to-date on the latest trends and events around the Rhode Island art scene.  She is constantly involved with creative work and collects art from across the globe.

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