With the holiday season upon us, the Warwick Museum of Art (WMOA) is set to unveil its all-new Holiday Art Sale Friday at 12:30 p.m.
The show will feature unique and finely crafted items perfect for gift giving, such as oil paintings, fine art photographs and prints, pyrographic [use of fire] illustration, mixed media works, jewelry and other works by more than 50 artists.
“Our focus is wall art and fine crafts,” Program Director Jessica Caldarone said in a press release. She joined the staff in September. “We contacted artists from all over New England and I’m happy to say we’ve got incredible pieces from artists in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut – all of them uniquely handmade and of excellent quality.”
Beth Rodewig of East Greenwich said that the scarves she creates are 100 percent silk. The designs on the scarves are all drawn by hand and then hand painted with a liquid dye especially made for silk.
“It’s a labor of love – they take about eight hours to produce,” she said Tuesday during a phone interview. “I work on probably five or seven at a time. They go through eight different stages.”
First, she acquires the silk before hand washing and ironing it. Then, it’s stretched and she draws the design on the scarves.
“My designs are very detailed, so drawing the designs is very time consuming,” said Rodewig. “I have to let it dry and then I go in and hand paint each area.”
From there, the scarves are individually wrapped in paper to dry. After it’s steamed, it’s dry-cleaned, which seals in the design. Prices for the scarves vary, starting at $40. Her most expensive and detailed scarves, which are often accompanied by fringe, go for $75.
“I love working with bright, bold colors,” she said.
Rodewig has been creating the scarves for 10 years. In 2005, her fringed scarf, “Six Scenes of Nature,” won second place at “Art on the Lawn,” an event held at the Newport Art Museum. More than 30 artists participated.
She said she was looking forward to the WMOA show. The event marks the first time her work will be featured there.
“I’m very excited,” said Rodewig. “I’m very happy to have been picked for the show and I think the Museum is a wonderful place.”
Another artist who’s excited for the show is Brad Caetano of Warwick. Caetano creates artwork with high-glossed latex enamel and unique canvasses, including old vinyl LP records.
“The record is the canvass,” he said Tuesday during a phone interview. “My biggest thing is canvass manipulation. It’s a lot of splatter and drips. I have as little control as possible. I try to let the paint, the atmosphere and the way I’m doing it determine what the painting will become.”
He often gets paint at hardware stores. The paint is typically used on homes.
“People return it because it’s the wrong color, and I buy if for $5,” said Caetano, who also plays drums in two local bands, including The Tower and The Fool and a Weezer cover band called The Blue Album. He often sells his art at gigs. “I basically let that determine what colors I’m going to be using.”
Record lovers need not fret, as he only uses records that are scratched and unplayable. At times, he gets them for free or pays as little as 50 cents per record.
Caetano names his pieces after the album title or a song. His art was recently showcased at the Museum, so this will be his second show there. He’s been creating art for more than a year.
For Rachel Badeau, also of Warwick, she’s been making scrimshaw-style items, such as brooches, wall plaques and Christmas ornaments made of resin for 18 years. To clarify, scrimshaw is typically the engraving of ivory or whalebone.
“Contemporary artists usually work on softer ivories or some sort of resin,” said Badeau, who has been a self-employed artist for more than 30 years. Before taking up the art of scrimshaw, she crafted limited edition metal plate etchings. “My pieces have the look of scrimshaw, but they are cast in a man-made resin.”
Often, the pieces feature nature scenes and animals.
Other artists include but are not limited to East Greenwich jeweler Andrea Grimaldi; Providence artist Livia St. Florian; and Maya Tavares of Bristol, who makes hand-woven scarves.
“I’d like to see some of the other work that’s going to be in the show,” said Badeau. “I’m interested to see what other people do.”
Newly appointed Board President Deb Mercer said buying locally is one of the main points of the show.
“When someone buys a holiday gift here, they’re helping local artists and our arts organization,” she said, noting that the Warwick Department of Tourism, Culture, and Development helped the museum this year when they learned art sales come from residents from Providence to Narragansett. “We’re only three miles from the Warwick malls, so it’s easy to shop for finely crafted, one-of-a-kind gifts here.”
A new feature to the holiday sale will be a free holiday gift registry. “Hint, Hint” forms can be found at the WMOA on small clipboards, on which guests list one to three items they want. Museum staff members collect the lists and email their choices to a person designated on the form within a few days.
Credit and debit card purchases will be accepted for the first time this year to help make shopping easy and convenient. The terminals arrive this week and should be up and running by Friday or Saturday. Just in case there’s a delay, Mercer said shoppers should bring backup cash or checks for the first weekend of the sale.
Events associated with the season will be featured, including Girls Night Out on Dec. 6 and Guys Night on Dec. 20, both from 6 to 8 p.m. Ladies will be served complimentary desserts and have the opportunity to sip on wine at $3 per glass while shopping. Men will snack on pizza and wieners, and also be offered beer for $3 per mug.
The sale and events will take place through the upcoming three weeks at the WMOA, which is located at 3259 Post Road.
Shopping hours are Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:30 to 8:30 p.m., and Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays from 12:30 to 4:30 p.m. There is plenty of free parking behind City Hall.
“Like” the WMOA on Facebook to view sneak peeks of items in the sale, or call 737-0010 for more information.