Monday, August 12, 2019


Meet Hera Gallery artist member and director, Tzu-Ju Chen.

"I am the happiest when I pick up an object, see the beauty embedded within, and envision the potential it has to become something more. I am haunted by the potential of these collected objects and they compel me to make work."

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

Growing up in Taiwan, R.O.C., I remembered fabric scraps and beach combing.
My parents were tailors. My father specialized in the formfitting traditional Chinese garment called “qipao” while my mother made contemporary everyday outfits. Working with our hands runs in the family. Raised in a southern coastal village, my childhood memories are comprised of going to school, playing with fabric scraps under my parents’ sewing table, and beach combing. It was much later in life I realize the significance of these childhood experiences and their impact on me as a person and as an artist.
After emigrating to the U.S. at the age of fourteen, one constant remains - I am the happiest when I pick up an object, see the beauty embedded within, and envision the potential it has to become something more. I am haunted by the potential of these collected objects and they compel me to make work.
I was fortunate to be accepted into Rhode Island School of Design. I took my first jewelry class with Sondra Sherman during my freshman year and found my calling at the jeweler’s bench. While at RISD I attended the European Honors Program in Rome. There, I fell in love with architecture in antiquity and have been drawing inspiration from it ever since. After graduating from RISD, I designed fashion jewelry for four years before attending Cranbrook Academy of Art for a Master of Fine Art degree in Metalsmithing. 
What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

My most recent work is a series titled “When dreams travel…”, five brooches combining elements of travel mementos and architectural inspiration. Drawn to architecture in antiquity, I extrapolated Byzantine, Venetian, and Roman architectural elements like columns and arches, reconstructed them in my own way, and fused them to corals, pearls, and other found objects. I create my own imaginary world of oceanic ruins and architecture in antiquity, as a means of finding my place in the world. 

My pieces are complete objects on their own but are enhanced when they are worn—each piece has a public side for the viewer and a private side for the wearer. This aspect of intimacy enhances the preciousness of body adornment and is important to me as a maker.  

What influences your work? Why?
“Nostalgia” and “reconciliation” are two major undertones of my work. I gravitate towards ancient techniques and live in the modern world. I am in flux between tradition, cultural identity and its relevance in my current surroundings. 

Why are you a member of Hera?
It is an honor to be a member of Hera. To be amongst some of the hardest working, open-minded, and inclusive artists has provided me with awesome exchanges and tremendous support during this transitional time of my life.

To see more of Tzu-Ju's work visit her website:

Monday, August 5, 2019


Meet Erin Myles, one of the artists in the Material Roots exhibition, Erin's work in the show are examples from her Wanderluxe wall hanging collection.

Artist Erin Myles graduated with a BFA in visual design focusing on small metals from UMASS Dartmouth in 2003. 
She then entered the costume jewelry industry designing collections for private label brands for over 10 years.  She left  industry in 2015 to create her own collection and open a small pop-up shop, Asterluxe, on the West End of Providence. At the current moment her time is split between her wall hanging collection, Wanderluxe, interior design and remodeling for clients, hosting her Airbnb in Providence and her shared studio and workshop space, Brave Daughters.  She strives to make room for all of her passions in life and resists the fear of trying something new.  She lives in Providence with partner Tobin and fresh, little chihuahua, Rosa. Erin currently enjoys working on too many things at once, Yin yoga for help slowing down and a good Gin + Tonic.

About the collection: 

Wanderluxe is a collection of objects for modern sanctuary and human form. Artist Erin Myles is informed by her background in costume jewelry design and interior design, and explorations of Reiki and Kundalini yoga.  A love of object and adornment coupled with an awareness of space and energy combine to create transcendent objects for your home and body.  Each piece is intended to shift the energy of a room through symmetry, pattern, and shape, allowing for an unobstructed opening to beauty and intention. Upcycled, deadstock, and locally sourced materials are used as much as possible for sustainability, lending the work a big mood and a tiny footprint.

You can follow Erin and her work on instagram @wandeluxejewelry

Monday, July 29, 2019


Meet Seanna Poirier, a jewelry artist, ceramicist and one of the artists exhibiting in our current exhibition, Material Roots.

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.
Born in Rhode Island I have been creating and working with my hands since childhood. Whether it be drawing, ceramics, painting, or jewelry design I was always making. The tedious nature of art was always very meditative to me and allowed my mind to rest and just create. I majored in metals smithing and jewelry design while also continuing my love for ceramics at Rhode Island College and graduated with a BFA in 2016. Since then I have been working in the jewelry field with fellow artists and creating my own work on my free time at my home studio in Coventry, RI. 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?
To see the beauty in not only the work but of all things in nature, even the creepy crawlies.  Along with striking their curiosity on how the object was made. 
What influences your work? Why?
I am constantly influenced by the natural world and tend to focus around my obsessions with insects and gemstones. The actual process in which I work also gives way to the approach I take. Getting lost in the making and seeing where it takes me is one of the more enjoyable ways to create and can produce ideas that would have not been reached otherwise. 

Why are you exhibiting at Hera?
To be a part of the local artist community. These communities are great for reaching likeminded individuals and making contacts that are valuable for a growing artist. 


Monday, July 22, 2019


Meet Sarah Swift! Sarah is our former director and artist member of Hera Gallery. She is also the curator of our upcoming exhibition, Material Roots.

Curating Material Roots

Material Roots is a group show, of women artists from New England, aimed to create consideration and dialogue over the functionality of design and its intersection with conceptually charged fine art. It intrigued me that often these two creative fields seemed so categorically separated. Fashion, jewelry, and even our home furnishings can send powerful messages that can challenge perceptions and create discourse, while still maintaining a great understanding for formal aesthetics. I have spent my life taking note of my phenomenally talented peers, and when the opportunity came along to curate a show for Hera, I realized this was my chance to highlight some of the women around me who have pushed the boundaries of their own creative practices. 
These featured artists are fierce, supportive, intelligent, and incredibly insightful women that have taken traditional artisan crafting techniques and created powerfully charged contemporary work. 

Finally, I love the interaction with the body that the exhibited pieces establish. A personally curated item of clothing or jewelry can be the most accessible way for many to explore identity, self, and even social and cultural understanding.

Artist Story

I was born and raised in rural Exeter, Rhode Island and was interested in art from a very young age. I was an only child, and had two working parents, so creativity and playing outdoors became my everyday pastimes. In school, I took every single available art class offered, sometimes convincing teachers to let me retake classes as “private study” to get in more “art hours”. “Artist” was my only answer when I was ever asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. In 2010 I moved to Brooklyn, New York and obtained a BFA in Painting at Pratt Institute of Art and Design. Art became a tool of meditative exploration and self expression. It allowed me temporary relief from the inevitable difficulties of young-adult life, and offered a way to reconnect with the world that I often felt “out of place” in. I exhibited throughout Brooklyn and Manhattan for several years before moving back to Rhode Island, and taking a job as the Gallery Director at Hera Gallery. My work has recently shifted from painting and printmaking to fiber arts and work using recycled materials. I realized quickly that the tactile quality of manipulating materials with my hands brought me pure joy. Currently I work as a freelance textile artist in Providence, and have been recently focusing on new ventures like curation and art / travel writing. 

The Art Experience

I hope to bring my viewers mindful consideration about their individual places within the ever-changing cycles of life; Our everyday interactions that ripple through our community, our families, and our environment. I have always been fascinated by the interconnectedness of our planet, and hope to provide some insight and perhaps mental relief that we humans, plants and animals are all in this cycle together, all made of the same basic atomic “stuff” and all searching to find our place within it. 

My Influence

I grew up as close to nature as one can get; raised by two passionately curious Marine Biologists. The natural world became a constant visual and tactile stimulation for me as many days were spent playing outdoors, inside research labs, or pouring through my parents huge illustrated books on bioluminescence, coastal ponds, and local plant life. I also had the privilege of experiencing travel at a very early age; going to cities in Europe to see ancient ruins and art museums, and to Mexico to see weaving and ceramics.  Art and creativity came fairly naturally to me, and with this organic visual imagery and inherent experimentation I grew up with, my studio practice was almost inevitable. 


I had known of Hera while growing up in Rhode Island, but was truly unaware of the immense community and history of the organization until I came back to Rhode Island after finishing my degree. After being reintroduced to the Gallery in 2017, I immediately knew I needed to be a part of it in some way. The support and empowerment felt between members was indisputable, and I was moved by their mission to provide Gallery opportunities to young or emerging artists and community members, while still maintaining a very high level of professional quality artwork. It was truly a gift to be chosen to be their Gallery Director for some time, and I am honored to continue now as an artist for the Gallery. 

To read more about Sarah and see more of her work, visit:
Follow her on instagram:

Monday, July 15, 2019


Meet Hera artist and President Uli Brahmst

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we now know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.” Albert Einstein

Artist Story
Makingwas always a way to explore the world in and around me. My mother was a bookbinder and my early childhood teacher an artist. Growing up we travelled a lot within Europe and discovering Miro, Matisse and Chagall profoundly shaped my understanding of art - a visual language full of imagination and color. The Geman Expressionists Paula Modersohn-Becker and Kaethe Kolwitz first assured me that the personal and domestic experience of a woman was a valid subject-matter. They did not glorify or beautify, they observed women and gave expression to their inner worlds and social predicaments. I studied art history in combination with psychology before I pursued my masters in art therapy. My education deepened my interest in the human experience as expressed in art. In the mid 90ies I moved for the next 12 years to NYC pursuing education in painting and mixed media at The Art Students League as well as at The School of Visual Art and subsequently started out as a professional artist in New York. The city allowed me endless access to what was made past and present and how installation and technology were reshaping all the visual arts including photography, film, design, fashion and crafts while crumbling the boundaries between them. 

I have kept my work personal with the understanding that the truly personal is a gateway to the universal. My main source of inspiration is that which gets under my skin. 

Take Away
I like to reach people in a space where they wonder and feel the complexity of their own human experience. Imagination can transport us from the immediate and mundane to a realm where we think more freely, operate more intuitively, and can envision ourselves and the world around us anew. Through a shift in our awareness we can make fresh choices with greater vision.

Hera I see as a local think tank dedicated to art and community. In contrast to the reality for women artists in the larger art world, at Hera the odds are not stacked against me. There is also no pressure to do and redo what sells, instead the focus is on experimentation and creative advancement. Artists at Hera are truly multigenerational which is not that common in today’s world but positively valuable to a healthy, striving creative community. I first visited Rhode Island from New York in 2007 and envisioned my daughter to grow up outside the city but was not quite resolved about living in a rural setting, when I stumbled upon Hera and thought: if that inspiring contemporary artist collaborative can exist in this environment, we can live here. This led to a life in which nature, art and feminist discourse have been intimately intertwined and continue to nourish both of us. 

You can see more of Uli's work at
and you can purchase Uli's work at the Hera online store:

Monday, July 8, 2019


Meet Hera Artist and new Vice President Chad Amos Self!

"Thoughts, ideas and memories are constantly floating around in my mind. The best way for me to organize them is through imagery. "

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I started making objects when I was very young. I was always fascinated with the freedom I experienced building something. I remember loading up my backpack with tools from the garage and going into the woods to build forts out of found scrap wood and debris. These early endeavors were meditative and important to me. They gave me a space to be creative with the limitless resources the forest and my imagination provided me.

I make art because I have to make art. Thoughts, ideas and memories are constantly floating around in my mind. The best way for me to organize them is through imagery. I make art because it helps me continue this inner dialogue happening in my mind. Materializing these thoughts into objects helps me put a timestamp on the conversation.

I received my BFA from the University of Rhode Island and I am currently working on my MFA from Goddard College.

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

My imagery is inspired by the activity of creation. I enjoy the footprint left in art by its creator. When I am working on a piece, I let the act of making art dictate where the piece goes. The colors and patterns I choose are not perfect representations, but rather abstract memories. When I make art, I don’t have an agenda or a singular message for the viewer. Rather, my work should be viewed formally as a conversation between the artist and the art.

What influences your work? Why?

My influences are varied and comically unaligned. Academically, I am influenced by 20th century minimal art. Stella, Flavin, and Judd, among many, many, others. Personally, am influenced by city construction, traffic cones and potholes.

Why are you a member of Hera?

Hera is, and always has been a safe space for me to continue exploring and practicing my art. Similar to my journey into the woods as a child to build forts, Hera has allowed me limitless freedom to further examine my own imagination.

To see more of Chad's work visit his website:

To Purchase Chad's work visit the Hera Gallery online store:

Monday, July 1, 2019

#Meet the Artist Monday
Meet Hera Artist, Molly Kaderka

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I think I’ve always been an artist but in high school I was lucky enough to have teachers who showed me that being an artist was a real possibility. I make art because I believe in the power of images to communicate and express the human experience. I received my BFA in painting and Art History from the Kansas City Art Institute and my MFA in painting from Rhode Island School of Design. 

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

Much of the content in my work is about what it means to be present. To be here and to exist. With that knowledge comes the knowledge that we will all die. To have knowledge of our own existence means we also have knowledge that we will cease to be.  Our time is temporary, and my work tries to embody that sense of impermanence. I want my viewers to feel this as well and think about their own place in the world.  

What influences your work? Why?
Astronomy and geology influence my work. I’ve been drawn to the innate human desire to pursue knowledge and understanding and by the processes people go through to find meaning in what they encounter in the natural world.

Why are you a member of Hera?
I wanted to join Hera because it has a great reputation for supporting women artists.  I’m proud to be a part of such a wonderful community of talented artists.

To see more of Molly's work, visit her website,

Monday, June 24, 2019

Meet Hera Artist MJ Yeager, one of the artist's whose work is part of our current exhibition, Something Between Us. MJ's work encompasses collage, painting, drawing and assemblage. 

"I make art because I am an artist. I have a vivid recollection at a very young age of a red crayon and a coloring book page from a catechism coloring book of Jesus...and me coloring very much out of the lines."

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.
I make art because I am an artist. I have a vivid recollection at a very young age of a red crayon and a coloring book page from a catechism coloring book of Jesus...and me coloring very much out of the lines. A little later on in my life I became amazed at the whole tactile experience of playing with ColorForms. I can almost smell the plastic. The shiny vinyl shapes placed ever so thoughtfully into their rightful spot on an equally shiny black surface was quite possible where and when my passion for graphic design originated. 

Years later as a junior in high school, art class was interrupted one day by a representative from the small private art school in Pittsburgh called The Ivy School of Professional Art. The faculty included all artists who were either successfully making fine art or working as commercial artists in the city of Pittsburgh. The representative was very well put together in tweed, a bow tie and was extremely articulate. This quality was highly underrepresented in the farmland suburbs of my youth. In that very moment I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. 

My career as a graphic designer/art director started in 1976 and wrapped up in 2010. I spent several years teaching art to elementary level children and I credit them for returning me to fine art. Thanks to that red crayon I continue to create way out of the lines.

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?
I don’t have an expectation of anyone having any experience when they view my work. I suppose it’s because I know that the kind of work I make is entirely my own can be somewhat provocative and at very least mildly curious. That knowledge is the only experience that I myself wish to have when I see the work. I can only guess that something of the viewing experience lingers for each viewer as well.

What influences your work? Why?
I have been practicing yoga for most of 24 years and teaching it for six. The studies in this work I’ve expanded my experience in and of the world in every possible way. In addition, all five of my senses are the deeply influential of the manifestation of my work. The eyes being the primary tool in how the "art" arrives in my mind/heart space, it is at that point in which a magical alchemy occurs. Art is already formulating in my brain and I generally see it as complete and wonderful.  

Why are you a member of Hera?
15 years ago my family and I stood across the street from what was the Chamber of Commerce. I saw two things of great interest one was a yoga wellness center, the other was very quaint and curious art gallery right next to it tucked back between two buildings. The first time I stepped into the space I knew something special was happening there. It was not your every day gallery. As I explored the history of the place and followed the exhibits for the years to come, it occurred to me one day. Why would I not want to become a member myself? I had amassed a significant body of work at that point, works which were deeply influenced by my graphic design background in the way of blended media. When I sat with the board members to discuss the possibility of membership I felt simultaneously welcomed and immediately inspired to make more work. 

I recently sat with one of the original founders and to explain to her how deeply grateful I feel having had the experience to blossom into the artist that I am this very day.

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

It is our Annual Friends of Hera Membership Drive!
Your financial support for the last 45 years helps us to continue bringing timely, engaging contemporary art and ideas to South Kingstown and the state of Rhode Island. Thank you.

May 17, 2019
Dear Friends of Hera,

In the spring we hold our annual membership drive for the Friends of Hera. Who are the Friends of Hera?you may ask. Hera Gallery has received financial support from our community for 45 years and this is an important part of our total income. We have loyal supporters who have donated to the Friends of Hera since our founding in 1974 and value that we provide our community with contemporary art in all media, provoke thoughts with timely themes such as our recent exhibition SHAME, provide opportunities for elementary school, high school, and college students, and engage the public with events such as the Creating Together series. Our recent exhibitions have been covered in The South County IndependentArt New England and Artscope. Karen Greco writing about South County galleries in SO Rhode Islandsuggests that: “For more provocative work head to Hera Gallery in Wakefield.”

In the past year we collaborated with the URI Honors Colloquium on Gender, Voices, Actionand exhibiting artist Becci Davis wrote: "Hera Gallery is an essential part of the culture of South County, Rhode Island. It is one of a few organizations in South County outside of academic settings that regularly feature diverse artists working with Contemporary content and media. Having a gallery in my own community where I know that I will always be able to see timely work and participate in relevant programming is incredibly valuable to me." 

We also collaborated with the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University and Dr. Katie Sharkey, Assistant Dean for Women in Medicine and Science wrote:Collaborating with the Hera Gallery on the Our Voices/Our Choices Art Show provided a great opportunity for the Office of Women in Medicine and Science at the Alpert Medical School of Brown University to bring a discussion of the medical humanities and wellness to our community… We would be delighted to join forces with Hera again in the future to explore the intersections of art and science.”-

Please remember that all our exhibitions and events are free and open to the public and we offer Friends of Hera a 10% discount on purchases of art.  We appreciate all donations and hope that you will consider joining or renewing your membership today.

Yours truly,
Barbara Pagh

You can make a donation through our website:

Saturday, June 15, 2019


Meet Roberta Richman, one of the founders of Hera Gallery, Roberta's landscape inspired imagery is now on View June 15-July 20, 2019 in our current Exhibition, Something Between Us. Opening reception is June 22, 6-8pm.

Tell us your artist story, some biographical info, when did you decide to be an artist? Why do you make art? Where did you study? Etc.

I was about 13 when I first discovered how much I loved painting and drawing when I started taking classes at the local Y. I majored in art at Brooklyn College and discovered etching, spent two years at Pratt Graphic Art Center using their workshop and got my MFA in printmaking at Indiana University. At Brooklyn I got to take classes with artists supplementing their work with teaching, notably Ad Rhinehardt, Jimmy Ernst, Philip Pearlstein.

What do you want people to walk away with after experiencing your work?

I don't think much about how others respond to my work. Making art satisfies some need I have to speak to myself more than to others. I can tell you more about what my art is not....It is not political or sentimental. I am not sending a message. For me making paintings is a visual experience of evolving color, of shape and a feeling of landscape, of the natural world but not of a particular place or time.

What influences your work? Why?

I am influenced by the world around me....the natural landscapes I find myself in when I travel but also by places I'm in frequently. I take photographs when I'm outdoors and use what I've seen even though the final work never resembles the original place. I'm also influenced by looking at the art of other people.....especially the abstract impressionists who came to fame in the 1950s and 60s. I especially love the paintings of Mark Rothko

Why are you a member of Hera?

At first, Hera was a great way to meet and collaborate with other artists and of course, to show my work without judgement of dealers or gallery owners. 
Later, when my work and career kept me from being in the studio as often as I had been, Hera allowed me to stay connected to my identity as an artist. Now, in retirement and back in the studio, although not as often as I had imagined I would be, being a Hera member gives me the opportunity to show at my own pace and the chance to meet and see the work of new younger artists who I would otherwise not get to know. Hera has been an important part of my life. I'm grateful for all its given me.