The World’s Smallest Art Gallery* is pleased to present the work of Melyssa Lentini through December 15, 2014.
Melyssa Lentini studied art at CCRI and UMass Dartmouth but then she took a fifteen-year hiatus from artwork. She has recently begun to work again and is turning out vibrant, eye-catching paintings and collages that seem equally influenced by Mexican Folk Art and 60’s psychedelia. Suppose Peter Max and Frieda Kahlo had a love child who grew up to be an artist, she might do work that looks a lot like Melyssa Lentini’s. Actually, Melyssa relates that when she decided to start painting again, one of the first things she did was a replica of Peter Max’s The Different Drummer. She also names Frieda Kahlo as a major inspiration noting that she identifies with her struggles with health and relationships.
Latin American religious iconography is dominant in the group of paintings displayed in The World’s Smallest Art Gallery. Although she is not very religious herself, Melyssa says she is struck by the faith that people put in religious objects. She often collages rosary beads and other small found objects into her work to add another layer of reference and engagement.
Melyssa works at the Johnston Library, where, among other duties, she teaches a program to third through sixth graders called Art Smart. She presents an art history lesson and then students create a picture based on a particular artist or style. She also works with special needs high schoolers.
* The World’s Smallest Art Gallery is:
· A kiosk on the South County Bike Path (http://southcountybikepath.org). It is located in Peace Dale where the bike path crosses Route 108. The kiosk is a beautifully designed and built structure that has two display cases. Each measures 42” X 41” x 1”. The cases are weatherproof and have sturdy locks.
· A joint project of Hera Gallery (http://heragallery.org) and Peace Dale Neighborhood Revitalization, Inc. (http://www.peacedale.net).
· A place to show your artwork. Hera Gallery will be managing the kiosk as a place for artists to display their work. You may have a six-week, one-person show in the kiosk on a first come, first serve basis. Work is not juried, but must be “family friendly.” Artists are asked to choose work that does not depict nudity, sexuality or violence. Neither Hera Gallery nor PDNRI will insure the work. Artists display work at their own risk.
· A way of having your work seen by a lot of people. The bike path has very heavy traffic, especially during the Spring, Summer and early Fall. Many bikers, runners and walkers pass by every hour. There will not be sales from the Kiosk, but your display can include your contact information. Hera Gallery will publicize The World’s Smallest Gallery on its website, blog, and Constant Contact mailings. A Facebook page will be developed.
· A way to beautify the community. The stretch of the bike path where the kiosk is located contains other artwork including murals, sculpture, mosaics, and landscape architecture. The World’s Smallest Art Gallery will add to the beautification of this area.
John Kotula is the coordinator of this project for Hera Gallery. If you are interested in showing your artwork on the bike path contact John at firstname.lastname@example.org to get more details and to schedule a show.