Wednesday, February 17, 2010

The Rhode Island Sea Grant: Visual Arts, 2010

The Visual Arts Program of Sea Grant Rhode Island was established in 1988 to encourage New England professional visual artists to address the issue of the environment of the ocean and its coastal communities. Grants are intended to assist individual and collaborating artists whose works are related to themes of the marine environment. Curatorial proposals will be considered. The grants, up to $3,000, are awarded annually.

Applicants must submit:
  • A maximum of 10 digital images of recent work
  • Digital entries should be saved in RGB (not CMYK) color Image Mode, in JPEG file format, and be readable by Macintosh platforms.
  • They recommend an image size- in Pixel Dimensions- of approximately 1024 Pixels on the longest side (in width or height).
  • If possible save the file name of each image as 'artists initials_image number_brief title.jpg': (ex: VLM_1_crustacean.jpg, VLM_2_giantsquid.jpg, etc.).
  • Do not send PowerPoint presentations or automated slide presentations.
  • Send the images on one CD (no work on DVD)
  • Include a list of your images, identify each work with: your name, title, date, medium, dimensions, and file name of image.
  • Digital format is preferred- 35mm slides may be accepted (one format per entry, do not combine 35mm slides and digital entries.)
Previous recipients of Sea Grant awards are not eligible for five 
years. Individuals enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students are not eligible. Proposals will be review by a panel of RI professionals in the visual arts. Awards winners will be notified by September, 2010. A written report of the results of creative activities supported by Sea Grant, including appropriate documentation, is required at the conclusion of the project.

Visual Arts/Sea Grant
Department of Art & Art History
Fine Arts Center
University of Rhode Island
105 Upper College Road
Kingston, RI 02881-0820

Young Artists and Their Mentors, Part 2 of 3

At The Meeting Room Gallery, At Bagelz Of Wakefield
90 Pershing Ave

March 5th - May 5th, 2010
Opening: Friday, March 5th, 6:00 - 8:00pm

Hera Gallery is please to present Young Artists and Their Mentors, Part 2, an exhibition highlighting the role of mentoring in the development of young artists.
Young Artists and Their Mentors, Part 2 will be on display at the Meeting Room Gallery, at Bagelz of Wakefield. This show, which is the second installation of three parts, features the work of John Kotula, Christian Pidru, Graham Wheeler, Zoey Stites, A. E. McGuire, Mike Collington, Barbara Pagh, Mary Kudlak, Allen Hazard, Joshua Carter, Rebecca Volynsky, Ava Ginsburg, Charlene Carpenzano, and Sarya Wallace.

In arts education there has been a resurgence of the notion that the classroom is not the only place to learn creative skills. More and more there is now an emphasis on personal connections between students and mentors as a way for the young person to grow and develop. This trend is described as "real world learning", "community based training," and/or "learning through internships." Additionally, many young artists whose training is mainly based in schools rather than in their communities form student-mentor relationships that deeply influence their development as artists.

In looking at young artists and their mentors, the emphasis is typically on what the young person gains from the relationship. However, anyone who has ever served as a mentor will tell you it is both parties that learn and grow from the experience. Young Artists and Their Mentors celebrates the dynamic relationship that develops between a student and a teacher.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Hello from Hera Gallery's new Intern!

Hello friends of Hera Gallery!
My name is Becky Peabody, and I'm a 22 year old art student from the University of Rhode Island. I'm going to be Hera's Intern for the Spring of 2010 and I just wanted to introduce myself to all of you. I'll be working in the office as well as making appearances at openings in the coming months.
I am Wakefield born and raised and have had my own artwork shown in several shows at Hera Gallery while I was in High School at South Kingstown High. Now attending URI my printmaking professor, Barabara Pagh, is a long time member of Hera Gallery. I'm very excited to now be a part of the Gallery that has helped me get a leg up in the art world.
I will be graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Studio art in May and have several pending applications for Graduate Masters programs in Art Education. Soon enough I will be fulfilling my dream of teaching art to high school students and inspiring creativity in the minds of those who need it most.
If you're interested, or bored, and would like to take a peek at my own artwork, it can be viewed here: Rebecca Peabody 
I'll also be one of fifty artists participating in Hera Gallery's Paint by Numbers 
Spring Fundraiser, modifying a lovely paint by number that I've chosen. Come check it out April 17th. More details on this event will be coming to you shortly.
Until then, I hope to see you all on March 5th at Bagelz in Wakefield for the opening of Young Artists & Their Mentors II (from 6-8pm)!



Most Rhode Islanders are aware that our state's budget situation is grave, and that deficits are projected for the current and upcoming fiscal years. Because state agency budgets might not be known prior to the beginning of fiscal year 2011, the State Arts Council has elected to move forward with the grant programs that are of greatest value to arts organizations, individual artists and schools, preserving the integrity of the grant application and review process, as well as existing funding programs.

The Governor has recommended eliminating state funding for grants in the arts in the coming year. While federal funds are available for grants, if this recommendation is approved by the General Assembly our ability to fund projects or organizations will be seriously impacted, with current programs experiencing 60% reductions or more in available resources. It is important that all applicants or potential applicants be aware of this potential cut in public support for the arts.

While we will do our best to keep the arts community informed of our budget situation, the latest news and action alerts will be available from Rhode Island Citizens for the Arts, our statewide arts advocacy agency. Click here to sign up for their email alerts.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Young Artists and their Mentors Article

We are very pleased to have John Kotulas show, Young Artists and their Mentors, reviewed by Doug Norris in this weeks South County Independent. This exhibition is currently on display through the end of the month at Bagelz of Wakefield, located at 90 Pershing Ave.

You can read the article below of visit the Independent website for more information and images.

The art of mentoring on display in Hera exhibition
By Doug Norris/Features Editor

WAKEFIELD - On a recent Thursday afternoon in the
Meeting Room Gallery at Bagel
z of Wakefield, David Chatowsky of Warwick squeezes between tables of women playing bridge and points to a painting in the back corner. It's a Nicaraguan village scene. A woman and a donkey, with a little dog nipping at their heels, amble toward a mountain in the distance, d
istinguished by a simple white cross on its summit.

"There are so many people out there who just need a chance to make art," said Chatowsky, coordinator of the Angel Art Program, which teaches art to Nicaraguan children and helps them and other Nicaraguan artists sell their paintings. "We went way up into the mountains. Some of the people who live here have to travel for two hours by horse just to get from the village to their house. And they literally live in hovels. You go into a hole in the dirt to get to the house. There's no electricity. They have to get water from the river. They grow corn six months out of the year, but for the other six months they just try to hold on. So we get there and say we're going to do this art program and it's unbelievable to watch the response. Most of them have never seen a canvas before. This might be their first and only chance to have art in their lives. Their eyes light up. In the process of making art, they learn from us but we learn from them too. We learn that part of fulfilling our role as artists is to help others. We're not just making art and teaching. We're creating hope."

The painting, "Day of the Cross," by Christian Alaniz, is part of an innovative exhibition presented by Hera Gallery's "On The Road" initiative. Titled "Young Artists and Their Mentors," the show is designed to highlight the role of mentoring in the development of young artists. Divided into three separate installations, each on display for two months, the exhibitions will run through July.

"The idea of mentoring has been getting more attention lately, not only in the arts education field," said John Kotula of Peace Dale, coordinator of the exhibition. "But we wanted to focus on that relationship in the arts. More and more people are realizing that the classroom is not the only place where students learn creative skills. I just thought about the relationship between a young person trying to develop skills as an artist and people within the community that could help and thought it would be an interesting theme for a show."

Kotula said that several agencies in Rhode Island provide mentoring and internship opportunities for young artists to work with professionals, including New Urban Arts, AS220, The Met Schools in Providence, The East Bay Met School in Newport, Riverzedge and Providence City Arts. Many of those agencies will be represented in the Bagelz show.

"What this exhibition shows, I think, is that it's not how old you are, it's what you have to say in your art," Kotula said. "I think there's a level of energy and experimentation and, at the risk of being corny, passion that you don't see in a lot of shows. It's sort of irony-free. The work is clearly about the people that want to make the object that's on the wall."

The first exhibition features work by six student-mentor partners, including Laura Katz and Roberto Bessin; Courtney McDonald and Dan McManus; Kat Desrosiers and Craig Crawford; Miguel Rosario, Anthony Villavicencio and Scott Lapham; Lily Quinn and Will Schaff; and Edwin Pozo, Alaniz and Chatowsky.

"My initial response to the idea was that it was amazing," Chatowsky said. "Just ingenious. I was very thankful for the opportunity to be part of the show. I loved the sincerity of it, and also the commitment to seeing the world through eyes of hope and goodness and purity."

McManus, who teaches art classes at the Newport Art Museum, pointed out work by one of his students, McDonald, whose documentary-style photos of musicians were paired with his "Las Vegas Shoplifter" series. He said that mentoring opens up the world for the teacher as well as the student, although sometimes it's hard to draw the boundaries.

"She's an interesting young person, but she's got the soul of a 30-year-old," McManus said. "She travels a little bit, playing music, and her work can be edgy. I want to encourage her to explore as an artist, but there's a line because, even though I'm an artist, I'm also a parent and a teacher. Part of my role is trying to figure out what the line is."

The dual aspect of this exhibition allowed McManus to break away from his traditional interests.

"I go to Death Valley every year," he said. "Normally I'm out photographing the desert landscape wilderness. For two weeks it's just sand dunes and ghost towns."

On one occasion, while McManus was staying in Las Vegas, he walked into one of "those buy three for $10 T-shirt shops" and saw hundreds of pictures, mostly Polaroids, "of people who didn't look too happy."

They were faces of people caught shoplifting in the store. Along with the mug shot, written on the pictures were the names of things the shoplifters took, like "Perfume" or "Pants."

"They are distant, but kind of intimate, like Courtney's pictures," he said. "They seemed to fit with the documentary style of her music series."

McManus said that he thinks his biggest strength as a mentor is empathy. At age 14, he went to a vocational school to be an electrician. In high school, he discovered art.

"And I discovered that I didn't want to be an electrician," McManus said. "It's a wonderful thing to be able to say I am an artist. I am part of the community. There's policemen, there's firemen, there's the guy that owns the bagel shop, and there's artists - and we're all part of the same community."

Kotula said that sense of community is part of what distinguishes the role of mentoring that is conveyed in this eclectic exhibition. Patron Charles Kelley of East Matunuck illustrates the point further. He bought "The Day of the Cross" for $500 and plans to donate it to the University of Rhode Island Catholic Center.

"I came down here one night to see my son-in-law [Zack Geaber] play the drums," he said. "We got here early to get a bite to eat. I didn't even know there was an art show going on. I saw the painting, and I had to have it. But I'm unemployed, and my wife said, 'You know, you don't have a job. You can't buy the painting.' I said to her, 'What if I can get the money?' I asked my sister if I could borrow the $500. She said sure. Didn't even ask what for. Said I would've done the same for her. After hearing about the painting, and the story of Dave's work in Nicaragua, it just struck me as something I had to do."

Part one of "Young Artists and Their Mentors" will be on display at Bagelz of Wakefield, 90 Pershing Ave., through March 3. For more information, visit

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Islay Taylor to show at Craftland

Hera Gallery Director, Islay Taylor, will be showing 11 new pieces at the upcoming exhibition Material Desires at the Craftland Gallery. Islay will be showing brightly colored neckpieces, made of beads, thread, and a reflective industrial material called Retroglo. These works examine the use color, composition, and reflectivity in adornment.

At the tail-end of winter, we all get a little stir crazy, waiting for the colors of spring to pop againFeaturing bright work for a dull season, this show will include Jenine Bressner, Lynne Harlow, Peter Lutz, Jennifer Maestre, Barbara Owen, and Islay Taylor. The Craftland Gallery will be filled with primary colors and patterns to thaw the mental freeze of winter. Colored pencils, fabric, glass, jewelry and paint will fill the gallery with eye-popping warmth and wonder.

Opening reception for Material Desires is Thursday, February 11th from 5-8pm.
2/11/10 – 3/13/10
Material Desires, Rebecca Siemering guest-curator

image at top: show card for Material Desires. Below: Luminous Necklaces, in progress.