The next fabulous YES exhibition is around the corner. Please join us on Friday May 9th from 5:30 - 8:30 p.m. to celebrate "Birdbrained/Harebrained," a group show of artists inspired by all things Birds and Rabbits. 10% of proceeds from the exhibition will benefit the Audubon Society's Environmental Education Center in Bristol, RI. Also, on Saturday May 17th at 2:00 p.m. we'll have an Audubon Naturalist with us in the gallery backyard. They'll bring a LIVE OWL with them and talk about the society's work. In tandem will be a silent auction of Cole Gerst's screen print "Owl." 100% of proceeds from auction will go to the Audubon Society. For more information about the exhibition, please contact YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com or call (401) 245-7174.
I feel so blessed to have Kana Ito's paintings here as YES is the only gallery in the states to have Kana's work! She lives in Tokyo, where she's had many solo shows and won several awards for her work. Her sense of color is thrilling, and her subject matter is playful, yet thoughtful. Kana's artist statement is one of my favorites, reminding me of my other favorite Japanese artist. Here's an excerpt: "I paint from my unconscious, but the forms and mood come from things I have seen. I put characters like animals in my paintings. Maybe they are me. I paint many characters, and they are just who they are – not more and not less. They don't shout, “I'm here!” But certainly they are there. I put peace into my paintings. It is an everyday peace, the kind that comes from eating a good meal, seeing a beautiful view, hearing a good story, meeting a kind person. My paintings have all of me. The color and form are me. Painting is as natural to me as breathing or eating. And when people see my paintings, I hope they feel happiness." For more information about Kana Ito's work conact YES Gallery + Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 245-7174.
Native Rhode Islander Tom McAleer is one of the most prolific and disciplined artists I know. He manages to be a full time artist while still retaining a 9 to 5 job. Tom makes two paintings a day. That's right, TWO A DAY - one on the way to work, one on the way home. (Nothing like visiting an artist's studio and being able to choose from among 700 paintings!) Tom's fluid and spontaneous plein air paintings capture the spirit and movement of his subject matter, be it an old building or a windy day in the botanical gardens. Working outdoors gives him the change to "refocus on the daily rhythm of life and how it relates to the rhythm of nature." Tom is also influenced by the raw, creative passion of outsider artists at the Top Drawer Art Center, a local organization he helped found two years ago. For more information about Tom McAleer's work please contact YES Gallery + Studio at yesgalleryandstudio@gmail. or (401) 245-7174
Several years ago Lisa Nolan taught herself some basic electrical skills and starting making these found object lamps for friends and family as gifts. They were such a hit that she found herself filling orders from extended family members and friends of friends. Eventually stores and galleries approached her and she began to sell the work on Block Island (where she lives with her family in the shadow of an historic lighthouse.) Her philosophy is simple, "I try to produce pieces that will make the viewer smile at an unexpected use for an everyday object; an old brass doorknob for a lamp finial, a spigot handle to switch the lamp on or an antique hub cap with chandelier crystals as a shade." Lisa's background as an artist started with a BFA degree from Colby College, and a subsequent stint in the education department of the Cloisters Museum in New York City. For more information about Lisa Nolan's work contact YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com or (401) 245-7174.
I met Michael Perrone years ago on Block Island and have totally enjoyed seeing his work evolve over the years. Let me say up front, photos do not do his work justice. It is such a visual treat. He's taken the definition of painting and pushed its boundaries. Michael starts with a piece of aluminum then starts to create planes of space by taping off edges, scraping off pieces of paint, cutting up old paintings and integrating them into the new work, recycling the paint covered tape into the work, and even scraping out the bottom of his paint cans and gluing the dried, curled bits back onto the painting.
His landscapes are inspired by sights he sees while driving and he's particularly interested in the juxtaposition of manmade and natural objects. Michael says he's attempting "to create images which evoke the dissonance of the contemporary American landscape," and aiming "to displace conventional notions of the sublime, and instead, revel in the beauty of the man-made world." Michael has had several solo shows in New York City, received awards for his work, and been featured in publications such as 'The New Yorker, O at Home and Elle Decor. He is also on faculty at the University of Iowa. For more information about Michael Perrone's work contact YES Gallery + Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 245-7174.
I love Amanda Prowse's layered and collaged drawings, some of which reference the organs of the body, others of which utilize recycled materials and explore repetitive pattern and shape. "Placenta," the top piece pictured here, is red ink drawn on tracing paper and layered over clumps of red thread. Amanda utilizes her background in textiles (including felt making and tapestry weaving) and printmaking to explore themes of birth, mortality and metamorphosis. She relates the lines of her markmaking with lines of thread and is interested in "condensing form to its simplest point." Amanda has exhibited in many galleries around London, her hometown. She was born in the year of the Tiger, and likes really good music. For more information about Amanda's artwork please contact YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com or call (401) 245-7174.
I was fortunate to meet Wendy a few years ago through an old high school friend (her husband Jason) and have always admired her jewelry. Wendy's latest line of work features petite sterling silver pendants with names or initials. I asked Wendy if she could do an exclusive necklace for YES and here it is. I think it's fabulous! There are two versions, one in all caps, the other in lower case letters. They're available on either dog- tag style ball chain or regular linked chain. For more information about Wendy Papagan's jewelry or the 'YES' necklace please contact YES Gallery + Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org or call (401) 245-7174.
There were nibbles, wine, men with scarves, and deep discussion about the difficulty of working with iron. Must have been a gallery opening! YES Gallery + Studio celebrated its inaugural opening reception on Friday April 11 with over 75 happy attendees. Response to the unique artwork was overwhelmingly positive and resulted in a good handful of sales. Cheers to the artists from near and far who attended the event. (One of them even said it was the best opening reception they'd ever been to. Sweet!) Thanks to everyone who helped make the night so special, particularly my friend Jen, who had her hands full as bartender, and Mark and Emily, who spent a better part of the night washing wine glasses. Many thanks to Opici Import Company for their generous donation of delicious Orvieto Classico and Cesari wine. For more photos of the event click on the Flickr link to the right.
What might look like an abstract painting is actually a textile piece. Sarah Symes' gorgeous artwork instantly attracted me for its color, boldness and meticulous craft. What I love about it, as well, is the way it forces you to move your body. The large size (this particular piece being 33"x44") causes you to step back and take in the whole work, while the intricacy of the fabric and stitching draws you in close. Sarah lays down swatches of fabric the way a painter would take a palette knife and smear a hunk of paint on canvas. Where the painter would vary their brushstroke with peaks and valleys, Sarah varies her fabric, from the repetitive ridges of corduroy to the smooth shininess of silk. In some pieces she uses zigzag and haphazard stitching the way someone would create lines and marks with a pencil. Sarah lives in Los Angeles and is "fascinated by the elemental beauty of California's west coast, finding inspiration in the ever-changing beach landscape." She was recently profiled in Quilting Arts Magazine and won the Best of Show prize at the Los Angeles Art Association last year. For more information about Sarah Symes work please contact YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com or call (401) 245-7174.
People like to joke with Jim Henderson that he's got a split personality, one that creates unique, formal bronze sculpture inspired by palm trees and ceremonial feather standards of Hawaii, and the other that collects and photographs abandoned doll heads and turns the images into ethereal, glowing shadowboxes. Jim doesn't seem to mind the joke, and, in fact, moves effortlessly through a variety of sculptural media and processes, (the common denominator of which, by the way, is sandblasting.) Jim's bronze work starts with a single piece of wood cut into, and out of, with a variety of saws to bring out the texture and grain intrinsic to the wood. The shadowboxes come from a different place. Jim says, “Nearly twenty years ago, I began picking up dolls found on the streets of Brockton. They had been lying there for some time, broken, run over, rained on, covered with dirt and grime. I was both confused and saddened by their battered condition and abandonment. Years later, I began to use the dolls in my work, creating for them protective granite and steel shelters. I was touched by their innocent beauty despite their past neglect.” For more information about Jim Henderson's work please contact YES Gallery + Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org or (401) 245-7174.
I first met Gene Gort at the Hartford Art School when I was a student there in the early 90's. Gene taught in the video department and was known for his experimental video and installation work which had provocative, often edgy, subject matter. What a surprise it was to reconnect with him recently and see his latest series of photographs, these elegant and simple compositions of flowers and natural objects. In his own words, Gene was "examining the simple elegance of natural objects unencumbered by cultural context or social/political discourse." Ever the experimenter, Gene uses a flatbed scanner to make this work. He says "The imaging device demands a different set of principles, techniques and orientation that allows me to see things from a very different vantage point and offers a freedom I don’t feel when using a traditional lens-based device like a camera. I often think of these images as “gifts” when the image appears on the screen once scanned. They offer themselves up as material to be inspected, revered and are breathtaking – refreshing and very surprising." I wholeheartedly agree! For more information about Gene Gort's work please contact YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com or call (401) 245-7174.
It's hard to take something that nature has crafted such as a bird bone, or even a finely rusted piece of metal, and make it into something better (and by better I mean the sum equals more than its parts.) Nicole McConville's work does that for me. She's got a knack for creating juxtapositions between objects that are at once visually stimulating and metaphorically poignant. In her own eloquent words, she is concerned with "revealing the sacred within the seemingly ordinary." Nicole hails from Asheville, North Carolina and has exhibited her work around the U.S., as well as in Germany and England. Her pieces have been featured in several art books including "The Altered Object" and "Crafting Personal Shrines." For more information about Nicole McConville's work please contact YES Gallery + Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here are a couple photos of the gallery. There's a few changes to be made, but you get the gyst. I'm so enjoying seeing everyones' work up on the wall inside this beautiful, quirky old building. Many thanks to everyone who helped make this happen, from the carpentry and painting to the inventory checklists. I couldn't have done it without a really supportive group of friends and family. And, of course, thanks to the artists who created this amazing body of work!
I could marvel all day at how Cynthia Guild captures light, but what I love most about her work is the way she takes banal subject matter and makes it beautiful. These oil paintings are actually inspired by surveillance video from the Connecticut Department of Transporation's webcam. In her own words Cynthia says, "I like the fact that these are real cars and trucks in real time on real roads with real people living their lives. These paintings represent the poetry of this night, or this life – each with its own individual existence, yet each a part of a larger design." Cynthia received both her BFA and MFA in Printmaking from UMASS Amherst. She exhibits extensively throughout the region and has also taught classes and workshops at numerous colleges including Bennington College, Rhode Island School of Design and Mount Holyoke. For more information about Cynthia Guild's work please contact YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com.
Jessica Gonacha's work makes me smile. Not only does she have a great sense of color, design and composition, but each one of her paintings seems to tell a story. I think of them as snapshots taken from the middle of a narrative. The specifics of the story are up to us. Jessica graduated with a BFA at Ithaca College in 2002 and has been exhibiting her work ever since. In addition to several shows last year her work was included in SOFA Chicago. For more information about Jessica Gonacha's work please email YES Gallery + Studio at firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm not sure what's going on, but octopuses are everywhere these days. This etching, "Charmed," by artist Rick Reese is one of my favorites. I can't tell if this guy is shapeshifting into an octopus or just truly enraptured by it. I love Rick's line quality and the little details like the waves in the octopus head. Rick lives in California and works as a freelance illustrator doing work for clients like Billabong, Royal Caribbean and The Surfrider Foundation. He also teaches at Cal State Long Beach. Rick's had many solo exhibits in California and in 2007 was invited to participate in The Venice Contemporary. For more information about Rick's work email YES Gallery + Studio at email@example.com.