At the Atrium Gallery: 2019 State Latin American Art Exhibit

The 2019 State Latin American Art Exhibit will be display at the Atrium Gallery from August 19th through October 25th, 2019. This exhibit will celebrate Latin American women artists for the first time at the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill. The gallery will showcase the strength, encouragement, beauty and inspiration of Latin American women in the visual fine arts.

Works on display include: Carolina Arentsen’s collages featuring “Onna-Bugeisha” (female Japanese Samurai), Carolina Briones’ oil paintings depicting “Esperanza” (hope) and dreams, Tamara Diaz stylized acrylic paintings of women “El Consejo” and “Unhuman”, Ysanel’s vibrant “I Scream”, Maritza D’Aloisio’s and Patricia Gamez’ delicate flowers, Roxaneth Espinosa’s portrait of “Teisha”, Rebecca Flores’ series of self-portraits entitled “Unthinkable Road”. The gallery additionally features sculptural work from Liliana Fijman consisting of mixed media highlighting women’s feet and the stories they tell, along with Lydia Perez’ and Yidell Rivera’s carved cedarwood painted religious figures.

A Gallery Night reception will be held on Thursday, September 19th from 6:00-8:30pm, including poetry by Sussy Santana, dance performances by Lydia Perez, Colombian American Cultural Society Youth Dance Group and a performance by ECAS Theater during the event. The State-run gallery is located at One Capitol Hill, State’s main administration building on Smith Street in Providence, RI.

The Atrium Gallery was developed by RISCA to exhibit the work of Rhode Island artists in the State Capitol Complex. It hosts exhibits on a rotating basis, in partnership with community artists and art organizations from across the state. The contemporary gallery frequently showcases artwork from a variety of diverse groups including African, Asian, Latin America, and the Native American community among others.

Featured image by Rebecca Flores

New Exhibits at TF Green and Block Island Airports

RISCA RIAC Luke Randall Russian Night Flowers
Russian Night Flowers by Luke Randall

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts announced new art exhibitions on display at Rhode Island’s airports. At the GREEN SPACE Gallery at TF Green Airport, an exhibit entitled FORMAL CONSIDERATIONS, featuring works by Eveline Luppi, Luke Randall, and Stacey Messier, is on display through September 22, 2019. At the Block Island Airport Gallery, works by Jim Gwiazdzinski are on display through August 4, 2019.

Abacus Eveline Luppi
Abacus by Eveline Luppi

In the GREEN SPACE exhibit FORMAL CONSIDERATIONS, the viewer is invited to examine the various ways in which a visual work can underscore an artist’s relationship to aspects of art history. Works by Eveline Luppi reference the history of abstraction; art by Luke Randall pays homage to early american craft; artwork by Stacey Messier refreshes a long line of works that focus on geometry. In all the work, the artists indicate their appreciation for the creative arc of humanity.

At the Block Island Airport Gallery, Jim Gwiazdzinski is exhibiting pen and ink to create works from marine species that connect him to his IMG_3147fishing adventures on the waters off the coast of New England. His intimate connection to the waters of New England has led him to fishing aboard various commercial vessels, calling Shinnecock Inlet, Point Judith, and Stonington their home ports. Shark, tuna, sunfish, whales, various seabirds, as well as the occasional submarine provide his mainly naturalist subject matter.

Exhibitors for GREEN SPACE were chosen by panelists Saberah Malik, Jodie Goodnough and David Barnes, while exhibitors for the Block Island Airport Gallery were chosen by Lisa Robb, public school arts educator.

The GREEN SPACE Gallery and Block Island Airport Gallery are a partnership between the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, promoting outstanding work by artists living and working in Rhode Island. The galleries present art to an ever-changing audience of local, national and international travelers.

About RISCA:
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance, and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

About RIAC:
The Rhode Island Airport Corporation operates T.F. Green Airport and the five general aviation airports in Rhode Island. A long-time supporter of public art in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation has worked with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts on a number of public art commissions for T. F. Green and Block Island airports.

RI Cultural Anchor: Victoria Gao

VictoriaGao - Victoria GaoVictoria Gao is the Director of the Bannister Gallery and Exhibitions at Rhode Island College and a scholar of photography history. Born in Rhode Island, Victoria moved away for twenty-four years, but she’s glad to be home again. We asked her a few questions about her life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: Give us a brief overview of your day yesterday – what did you do in both your personal and professional life.
VG: The last two weeks were spent wrapping up our final exhibition of the 2018-2019 academic year – our Annual Graduating Art Students’ Exhibition – so I had a chance yesterday to finally look ahead to upcoming shows. I just sent out artist acceptance letters for a metalsmithing exhibition we are currently working on around the topic of gun violence that will be in Bannister in fall 2020. I was also actively promoting our current exhibition on social media, updating our gallery inventory, and – as a perk – decluttering my office! I spent the evening at a local Thai restaurant with some friends and curled up at home afterwards to the new Amy Poehler movie on Netflix.

RISCA: What do you love about the art community in Rhode Island?
VG: I love how close-knit everyone is and how supportive and welcoming the art community is to newcomers. I’ve only been back in Rhode Island for less than a year, but I already feel at home here. And I’m excited for future collaborations with different people and organizations from across the region.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?
VG: I was born in Rhode Island after my parents immigrated here in the 1980s for DSC_1869 - Victoria Gaograduate school. They were among the first wave of Chinese students to study abroad for graduate school after the decades of isolationist government policies. We moved away when I was very young, but I’ve always loved the proximity to the ocean and the temperate weather – especially having lived in upstate New York for a decade. So when opportunity allowed me to move back, I immediately jumped on board.

RISCA: What are you most excited about right now in your work as an arts administrator?
VG: I’m most excited about the shift into digital spaces and all the possibilities that are opened up when that happens. We have a digital media program in our Art Department that brings in really innovative contemporary artists working with 3-D printing and virtual reality, and one of my biggest goals for Bannister Gallery is to reach out to the younger generations who are constantly plugged in to make sure they’re aware of what we have to offer here. I’m also planning to digitize our permanent artwork collection and have that available to the public as well.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?
VG: I would love to see more collaboration between the different arts organizations throughout Rhode Island. I serve on the board of Gallery Night Providence, and part of our mission is to bring the art community in our city closer together and to make sure that we are accessible to a diverse public audience. I also hope that Rhode Islanders don’t feel inhibited by a twenty-minute drive to see art spaces in neighboring towns.

RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?
DSC_2199 - Victoria GaoVG: One of the biggest challenges that I first encountered when entering the art world was financial instability. Since then, I have been fortunate enough to find a permanent position doing what I love, but the lack of openness and the limited number of frank conversations about finances and systemic pressures within the field have been troubling. We recently exhibited a RISD alumni artist Kelli Rae Adams, whose work directly confronts the student debt crisis in this country, and I think having exhibitions that address this topic and artists who are willing to speak about their own personal experiences will prepare future artists for what to expect – and how to ask for more.

You can see what Victoria is up to at Rhode Island College’s Bannister Gallery by following it on Facebook or visiting the gallery’s website.