Saturday, October 30, 2010

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 29th, 2010
CONTACT: Ryan O’Hara, 508.735.9007,
Islay Taylor, 401.789.1488,
Hera Gallery, 327 Main Street, Wakefield RI 02880-0336
Fall hours: Wednesday-Fri (1-5) Sat (10-4)

Hera Gallery
Is pleased to present:
November 14th – 16th BY APPOINTMENT
Opening Reception: Sunday, November 14th, from 6:00 – 8:00pm

Hera Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition featuring regional artists Julie Mollo, Jennifer Cawley, Katrina Eugenia,Yong Joo Kim, and Christine Kim. This show will illustrate unconventional looks that relate to the fashion world which do not conform to commercial standers but embraces a sculptural aesthetic.

The artists will be representing an array of different media covering textiles, photography, painting, and jewelry. New Yorker,Julie Mollo, creates garments inspired by shapes, the 1950’s, the city of New York, and anything that sparkles. Her clothes are youthful, quirky, and sculptural and have been seen on musician such as Katy Perry. Photographer Jennifer Cawley, re-represents images of women from how they derive originally in fashion magazines. By using an “anamorphic lens” she draws attention to the way that feminity is constructed.

Katrina Eugenia, is another photographer who also is a painter. Her paintings are an eclectic mix, as she has been bought and commissioned by the likes of Hip Hop moguls, plastic surgeons, and street poets, which encourages her to continue in the pursuit of art that people from all walks of life can enjoy. Introducing unconventional use of familiar artifacts into her jewelry making is Yong Joo Kim. Discovering a hidden beauty of mundane objects such as velcro, pins, nails, and cable ties she brings new ways of looking at these objects through reconfiguration in her jewelry. Christine Kim is a jeweler who feels that jewelry should be ornamentation celebrating the body. Her work captures and articulates the human form, and mainly focuses around the head because of its close proximity to the senses. Her jewelry is as dependent on the human form as possible. 

Image: Jennifer Cawley, Digital Photograph from the Ophelia Series.

These programs are presented with partial support from The Rhode Island State
Council on the Arts, Rhode Island State Council of the Humanities, Hera Educational
Foundation, and The Friends of Hera. Hera Gallery is free and open to the public and is
accessible to persons with disabilities. Parking is available.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Narragansett Times Features Hera's Current Show

In the October 21-22, 2010 weekend edition of The Narragansett Times, an article titled "Hera Gallery opens New Works show with a group exhibit" graced the Time Out section of the newspaper. You can read the whole article here.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Not So Silent Auction - A Great Success!

The Hera Gallery's Not-So-Silent Auction that took place last Saturday resulted in a great time. As I walked in the gallery was filled with tables of auctioned items such as original art, jewlery, and crafts, hosted private dinners, local gift certificates, and so much more. While being stationed at the door to welcome guests, I got to meet many of the members and visitors of Hera. It was nice being able to put faces to the names I have heard all about. Everyone was so nice, and as more people filed in, the gallery became alive with life. The live music by Saddle Up The Chicken set the relaxing, yet upbeat tone for the night. Guests mixed and mingled, enjoyed food, conversation, and bidding. It was an exciting and successful night. Unfortunately, I departed at 7 and missed the live auction that began at 7:15. I hope all who attended enjoyed themselves, and congrats to all the bidding winners!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

John Kotulas KICKSTARTER Project

Hera Gallery member, John Kotula, has put together a phenomenal art project that is using the philanthropy website Kickstarter to help John accrue funding for his project. Below is a description of his project, Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man, which will present 25 portraits and interviews of Artists. From John:

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

There is an art project I want to undertake called Portrait of the Artist as an Old Man. It is an exploration of aging and creativity, consisting of 25 portraits and written profiles of artists over 65.

In order to do this project the way I’d like to, I have to generate some funding. I have a couple of grant applications out, but I am also trying to raise $5,000 through Kickstarter allows artists to post projects and then people who want to support the project can make donations as small as one dollar. It is also a way of spreading word about the project and getting feedback. However, it is an all or nothing proposition. Having set my goal at $5,000, if I don’t reach it the project is cancelled and no money is collected. I have 30 days to do this.

10 X 10 X 10 X 10

I am sending this to you because I think of you as someone who has a large network of connections who might be interested in at least being aware of this project. Here are my requests to you and your friends:

· Visit my Kickstarter project,

Portrait of the Artist and an Old Man

· Read about what I want to do and give me feedback. Also watch the video and check out the updates section for examples of my portrait work,

· Make a pledge,

· Send this email on to ten friends and put in a good word for the project.

Background Information

Portraiture and self-portraiture have always been a major focus of my art making.

I love the challenge of creating an image that achieves a physical likeness, has psychological resonance, and is visually exciting. In my best portraits, the viewer knows what the person looks like, but also what he is like.

For the past several years I have been exploring how a group of individual portraits can coalesce to form a portrait of a community.

In 2005, when I was a Peace Corps volunteer in Honduras, I started to do a series of portraits which, taken together, constituted a portrait of a community. I painted approximately twenty portraits of friends and neighbors.

When I returned to my home in southern Rhode Island in 2007, I was approached by the Alternative Food Co-op to contribute artwork to decorate their store on Main Street in Wakefield. I proposed doing a series of portraits of the community of the Co-op: customers and their children, employees, and board members. I executed approximately twenty portraits of people along with their favorite Co-op product.

In 2008, I successfully applied to Rhode Island State Council on the arts for funding for a project called “Ten Most Wanted.” The idea was to turn the FBI’s ten most wanted list on its head and instead of portraying people who were destructive to the community to create images of people who made the community a better place. In addition to painting the ten portraits, I also interviewed each subject about their community service and wrote a profile of them. This work was exhibited through Hera Gallery and was published in South County Living Magazine.

Now I wanted to undertake a series of portraits drawn from the community of older working artists, not a geographical community, but a community of shared experience. I see this undertaking as a way of exploring the relationship between aging and creativity.

Barbara Bagh at the Bristol Art Museum

If you happen to be in Bristol this fall, be sure swing into the Bristol Art Museum to see the exhibition, Travel+, which focuses on the Printmakers Network of Southern New England. Our member, Barbara Pagh is contributing to Travel+.

“Travel +”
October 30- November 20

The Printmakers Network of Southern New England PNSNE, Travel Book Project is a three-book accordion collection of original prints and poetry created by fifteen members and three award winning poets. “Travel+” began as a concept to join artists and poets to select a subject over a period of time with creative results fused into a book collection in an edition of 30.

The opening reception will be Sunday, October 31st, 2-4 pm. Other events will follow at the museum at 2 pm on Sunday, November 7, a “Poetry Reading” with three nationally published poets, Vivian Shipley, Kim Bradford and Sue Standing; Sunday, November 14, a Gallery Talk with Carol Strause FitzSimonds on “21st Century Technology in Printmaking-Solar Plate” and on Saturday, November 20, a Panel program on “Collaboration-PNSNE, the Travel Book Project”. The PNSNE was established in 1992 for printmakers to share common goals. The participating artists for the exhibit, “Travel +” are: Shirley Bernstein, Grace Bentley-Scheck, Joan Cole, Rhea Nowak, Melody Knight Leary, Barbara Pagh, Carmela Venti Rashen, Margot Rocklen, Jo Yarrington,Victoria Jutras Kniering and Yuemei Zhang.

**Museum Hours, Tuesday-Sunday, 1-4 PM

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The future of art?

Did anybody else catch this article on TODAY this morning? The show featured an 8 year old painter, Autumn De Forest, who has sold paintings for over 200,000! Her work is amazing, and I'm glad that I won't be going to college with her... she's bound to be a powerhouse once she gets older. Although, I guess she's a powerhouse now!

This uncannily talented painter is a phenom with texture and color, but refers to these characteristics in an 8-year-oldish way... while talking about 'mixing fast' and dumping watery paint on her canvases to achieve her paintings she reminded me of a little girl playing princess twirling and posing in front of the cameras.

The most impressive thing that struck me was that she takes weeks to work on her paintings, this dedication to time is unusual for someone so young. Below are some images of her work, otherwise be sure to click the link above to watch her interview with Matt Lauer!

Goodnight Moon

Autumn Colors

Barbie Marilyn

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

This I believe...

This I Believe - Rhode Island, is hosted by Frederic Reamer, and shares many stories from the people of Rhode Island.  This radio show is an opportunity for people to share their own beliefs and experiences. Over this past week the discussion of art and its strong connection in Rhode Island came into play. Ana Flores, who has passionate beliefs about how Rhode Islanders can enhance their connection with the art that surrounds them, reviews the galleries, sculptures, museums and educational venues in the Ocean State. For more, click here

Not So Silent Auction!

NPR's Interview with Judy Chicago

Judy Chicago's "Dinner Party"
On October 12, 2010, host Jacki Lyden interviews Judy Chicago about the release of her new book "Frida Kahlo: Face to Face," with art historian Frances Borzello. You may know Judy Chicago from her 1970's piece "Dinner Party" an important icon of feminist art. It is composed of a large triangular table with thirty-nine place settings on it. Each place setting represents an important woman from history.The plates are painted china in styles that are appropriate for each individual they represent. Another 999 women are also honored in "Dinner Party," however, their names are inscribed in gold on the white tile floor below the triangular table. All together Judy Chicago honors 1,038 women at this table.

Close up of "Dinner Party
The book created by Judy and her collaborator Frances Borzello is told is told in the context of how female painters have been treated, not so much focusing on the life of Frida Kahlo. The two also divided Kahlo's work into nine themes in the book. Some of the themes include, images of her friends and family, images of herself, her exploration of her Mexican identity, images of Diego Rivera and more. During the interview, Judy stated "We also wanted to do something slightly different from what's been done with Kahlo, which is, one, to look her overall body of art. You know, I looked at a lot of the books that have been written about Frida Kahlo and I have to say I found a lot of the writing aggravating because there were writers who would talk about particular paintings of hers that were done in their opinion in reaction to particular actions of Diego Rivera. And, of course, you know, there's a tendency to look at women artists in relationship to their biographies and their relationship with men. And one of the things I say in the book is that if you read a book about Jackson Pollock in which the writer talked about his paintings being created in response to what happened in his marriage to Lee Krasner - I mean, that is totally makes them reactive rather than active." And so Judy then goes on to describe the different themes throughout the book, one of them being Kahlo posing with her animals such as "Self-Portrait with Monkey, 1940," which is the painting shown here. She tells us that Kahlo's work hasn't been looked at holistically like a lot of other women artists, and then the book goes into the other factors of why Kahlo's work was treated the way it was.  Judy Chicago finishes the interview with a quote "There has to be more room for us as artists. We have to be able to be seen in our fullness in terms of our own artistic agency, and we're a long way from that." Which was a strong note to end on. So look out for "Frida Kahlo: Face to Face," by Judy Chicago with Frances Borzello.

Friday, October 8, 2010

Setting up for the new show!

Over the past two days the Hera Gallery has begun and completed the process of hanging the new works for the next show, featuring Hera Gallery Associate Members. At first it seemed overwhelming with the amount of work that was in the gallery. With six artists being shown, many with different mediums, it was difficult to begin visualizing what would go where. The art was moved around, tested in different spots and laid out to see how the pieces would make sense on the walls. It was fun and interesting to see how organizing the art one way or another could really create quite a different feel on the empty wall.
Painting the stands!

So while the walls were white, bare and ready to get done up with work - I was learning how to hang the art at eye level. Not exactly the best with math, measuring sixty inches up on the wall, while subtracting half of the total of the frame size, and taking into account the wire hanger, was just a bit of a mind boggle for a few minutes. However, once a rhythm and groove began with measuring, marking and hanging - the pieces just seem to go up quickly and the room was coming alive. After day one, more than half of the show was up.
A work in progress!

Day two was a bit calmer. Once I got to the gallery, all of the pieces were up. The next tedious task was typing up labels for each work and a price list for the work. Although it was time consuming, it needed to be done. I left Hera after day two feeling confident that the opening reception for the show this Saturday, October 9th, from 6-8pm would be something that everyone will enjoy. I highly suggest attending and enjoy the hard work that has gone into creating this show!

Friday, October 1, 2010

Chromophila Reviewed!

Hey everybody, it's Islay... I just went online and discovered that the exhibit that I curated in Providence, Chromophilia, has been reviewed in one of our local papers, The Providence Phoenix. The article, by Greg Cook, highlights some of the work in the exhibition and touches upon the aesthetic of the show. Personally, I'm always so glad to have contemporary art jewelry written about, because it hardly ever happens and I appreciate that critics are willing to learn about this emerging field and present it to a larger audience. I've posted Greg's review below, or you can read it here.

Review: '10 Most Endangered Properties,' plus 'Chromophilia'
The title of the "Chromophilia" exhibit at Craftland (235 Westminster Street, Providence, through October 10) focuses our attention on the bright colors of contemporary studio jewelry, which follows the 1980s revival — a la American Apparel — throughout fashion. But the bigger trend that curators Devienna Anggraini and Islay Taylor identify is a Post-Modern, catholic use of a wide variety of non-precious materials.

Mike & Maaike, a San Francisco studio led by Mike Simonian and Maaike Evers, fashion flat leather necklaces and broaches based on pixilated photos of famous jewelry (Daisy Fellowe's "Tutti Frutti" necklace, Imelda Marcos's ruby necklace, the Hope Diamond) found via Google image searches. Mariana Acosta Contreras of Providence strings folded leather into scarf-like necklaces resembling strands of flowers or shelf mushrooms. They often have a neutral main color (gray, white) with bright hues (reds, greens) flaring from inside folds.

Islay Taylor of Providence crochets webs of thread to hold cascading strands of orange and red beads. San Francisco's Emiko Oye turns Legos into bright, blocky, fun bracelets. One cheekily puns on Mondrian's blocky early 20th-century abstractions. RISD-trained Jimin Park's broaches look as if she's fashioned bits of metal and fluorescent plastic junk she picked up off the street into Post-Modern tribal talismans. Oye and Park's work highlights a distinguishing characteristic of this jewelry: a spirit of play.