Meet Celebrity Guide Dawn Barrett

Gallery Night Providence Welcomes Dawn Barrett

We are very pleased to have Dawn Barrett as one of our “Celebrity guides” to start off our 2017 season of Gallery Night Providence.

Most recognize Dawn Barrett as the international designer, artist, and professor who was also the 11th president of the Massachusetts College of Art and Design.  Before which Dawn was Dean of the Architecture and Design Division at Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI, a role in which Barrett oversaw seven departments including undergraduate and graduate programs in Apparel Design, Architecture, Furniture Design, Graphic Design, Industrial Design, Interior Architecture and Landscape Architecture.

In addition to her administrative and faculty experience, Barrett contributes to the field of design through research and practice. She has an active design and consulting practice, with professional commissions and assignments which have included Duke University; Maryland Institute College of Arts; Imaging Research Center-UMBC, Studio Dumbar-The Hague, PTT Nederland, and the Royal Post in Denmark. Barrett’s curatorial work includes research and co-curation of a number of design exhibitions for such venues as the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam. Barrett is editor of the book Interface: an approach to design, by Gui Bonsiepe (1998, Maastricht), and co-editor of the anthology, Infinite Radius: Founding Rhode Island School of Design (2008, Providence). Her critical writing connects the disciplines of visual culture, history, design and architecture and has appeared in a number of journals including Parallax, Zed, Visible Language, Archis, and Aspect.

Gallery Night Providence



Posted in Celebrity Guides | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Please Help Save The Arts In Rhode Island


Gallery Night Providence Studio Visit

As you know, the current administration in Washington has been considering plans to either significantly cut or eliminate entirely the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.  Any such move would have a serious impact on arts funding in Rhode Island, keeping in mind that 30% of RISCA’s budget comes directly from the National Endowment for the Arts.

We’re organizing a series of cultural conversations with members of the Rhode Island Congressional delegation, and we need to make sure there is a strong turnout for each of these gatherings.  While we can count on Rhode Island’s delegation to support the arts – and the Arts Endowment – our elected leaders need to know we support them.  These gatherings are designed to learn firsthand what is happening in DC, and discuss what role we can play in supporting their efforts on our behalf.

Please share this post with your colleagues, friends, board members or anyone you can.  Encourage them to attend and participate in these discussions.  It’s particularly important for our senators and the congressman in your district to see you and hear from you.  Please take the time to participate in these important gatherings.

Click on the link to RSVP to attend one (or, hopefully, more than one) of these meetings.

Friday, March 10 at 10:30am with Senator Sheldon Whitehouse at the Rhode Island Philharmonic/Music School in East Providence <>

Monday, March 13 at 2:00pm with Congressman Jim Langevin at the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich <>

Friday, March 17 at 1:30pm with Senator Jack Reed at the RISD Museum of Art in Providence <>

Friday, March 31 at 11:30am with Congressman David Cicilline – still waiting to confirm location (email me at if you’re interested in attending this meeting, and I’ll make sure you know where it will be held).

Thank you, and again – SPREAD THE WORD!

Gallery Night Providence, RISCAGallery Night Providence

Posted in Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Watercolors and Pastels by Holly Wach at BankRI Gallery

BankRI Galleries Presents

“Taking Flight: Watercolors and Pastels by Holly Wach,”

March 1 through April 5, 2017

at the BankRI Turks Head branch in downtown Providence at One Turks Head Place.

 There will be a Gallery Night reception on March 16 from 5 to 8:30 pm with light refreshments and guitar music by Mark Armstrong.

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 or call 401 574-1330.

Holly Wach exhibits pastels and watercolors at the BankRI Turks Head Gallery March 1 through April 5, 2017. There will eb a Gallery Night reception on Thursday March 16 from 5 to 8:30 pm. Light refreshments will be served and Mark Armstrong will play guitar.


“The lions appeared in graduate school,” said Providence artist Holly Wach.

They stood proudly in charcoal drawings, lay languid in pastels and stared out at the viewer in paintings.  And almost always, the lions were paired with a quiet woman who radiated inner strength.

Like many young artists, Wach was a talented, hard-working art star in her own home town of Stuart, Florida.  But college levels the playing field.  Studying at the New York Academy of Fine Arts for her master’s degree, Wach found herself blindsided by the sheer talent around her. “I was completely unprepared by the level of artistry,” Wach says.  “I wanted to be challenged and pushed, but I didn’t know how to navigate that world.”

The museums and galleries of New York showed her artwork far beyond anything she had seen before. Graduate school challenged her skills and pushed her to her limits.
“I felt insecure, unprepared and like I was going to break” Wach explains. “Through that struggle the lions appeared giving me a powerful voice I hadn’t seen in my art before.”
The lions gave her the courage to try new things, to put herself in uncomfortable situations, and mostly, to make art the way she wanted.

After graduate school, Wach found herself juggling her art career with a mountain of student loans. “I panicked,” Wach says. I threw myself into work bartending and managing a multi-million dollar bar. I kept my art on life support taking classes at the Art Students League and New York Studio School.”

In a few years, she made enough money to pay off the loans and put some away for a move to the West Coast.  There she worked seriously painting, exhibiting, managing an arts education program for Oakland schools and reconnecting with nature.

In 2015 she moved to Rhode Island with her partner and their 5 year-old daughter to be nearer to family.  Wach likes Rhode Island, but finds the state’s economy “challenging.”   On the plus side, Rhode Island has proved to be a much more affordable than many of the previous cities she has lived.  On the negative side, traditional jobs are hard to come by.  Instead Wach has found the people and resources in Rhode Island perfect for helping her do something she has always wanted to do – create her very own art business.

Wach is a figurative artist working in charcoal, watercolor, pastel and oils. What Wach seeks to capture is not just a physical likeness, but an emotional one.  The series on women and lions has a sensual, emotive power that sidesteps reality in favor of illustrating a state of mind. The birds and butterflies are quieter, more contemplative, but they too stress a watchfulness beyond mere physicality.  In her artwork, Wach embraces the sensuality of all living things and the “paradox of vulnerability and strength.” <> <>

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

Gallery Night Providence


Posted in Bank RI | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 .

Patricia Almonte exhibits watercolors from arecent trip to Italy at the BankRI Pitman Street branch March 1 through April 5, 2017.

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.

Gallery Night Providence


Posted in Bank RI | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

“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.

Gallery Night Providence


Posted in Chazen Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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 or call 401 574-1330.
Gallery Night Providence

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, “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.

Gallery Night Providence

Margaret Owen in her studio.

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

Gallery Night Providence


Posted in Bank RI | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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


The Peaceable Kingdom

Gallery Night Providence


Posted in Special Events | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments