BankRI Pitman Street Gallery: “Jessica Nalbandian: Prints” February 6 through March 5, 2014.The branch is located at 137 Pitman Street in Providence. Hours are Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday noon to 4 p.m. For more information, contact http://www.bankri.com or call 401-456-5015, ext 1330.
MEET THE ARTIST – JESSICA NALBANDIAN
A recent graduate from the University of Rhode Island, twenty-three year old Jessica Nalbandian likes to try new things. She experiments with linocut prints, painting, drawing and jewelry. She works as an assistant teacher and at a doggie day care in North Kingstown.
“I really don’t know what I want to do when I grow up,” Nalbandian says with a teasing smile. “I kind of want to do everything.” Meanwhile she tries to organize her life so she has time to make art, not an easy feat when you work more than 50 hours a week. Nalbandian has to steal time at the end of a day or on a rare day off to sit down with a pencil and paper.
Her current passion is printmaking. She took a class at URI in printmaking and loved it. “It’s so different from drawing,” Nalbandian explains. “You start with carving. You really have to think about it and plan it out more.”
The black-and-white contrast that the linocuts afforded her were a pleasant surprise. She also liked the fact that she could tell a story with the prints. Slowly she began adding color.
The prints have a strong narrative – a woman talking on a phone that happens to be a banana, a dog with star sunglasses, a skeleton putting on lipstick or a wooden manikin drawing a live model. The compositions are simple, but effective.
Nalbandian has exhibited her work at several galleries in Rhode Island and at the Skyleen Mustang steam punk clothing store in East Greenwich. She sells her jewelry on Etsy. Her proudest moment in the art world came at the URI HempFest, a music festival with live bands, speakers and vendors. Someone came to her booth and recognized her work from one of her gallery shows. “It was,” she says, “an awesome moment for me.”
The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.