October 24, 2014
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Local artists offer new works
Krzysztof Mathews, "Another Fine Mess," virtual art

The Art League of Rhode Island (ALRI) is hosting an exhibit that includes several artists from the West Bay area. The exhibit, called New Year-New Works, is on display at the Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College until Jan. 24 and features the recent works of Cranston and Warwick artists who are elected members of the ALRI.

Lorraine Bromley, Saberah Malik and Krzysztof Mathews, all of Warwick, and Susan Fossati of Cranston will be among the artists represented.

Saberah Malik has been featured in the Beacon before when she had an exhibit in Providence. We were taken by the way she re-imagined everyday things and put them in a context that almost chided us for not noticing their intrinsic beauty.

Soft drink bottles and other very ordinary objects were rendered into gossamer cloth, making a familiar shape like a bottle seem frail and ephemeral and light enough to float away on a breeze. By noticing the shape of the bottle, or any other usually solid object, she called attention to the beauty that can be found in utilitarian objects. You find yourself wondering if we make bottles that way because they are beautiful or find them beautiful because they are useful. So, if the object of art is to change the way people see things, Saberah Malik has achieved her objective and her work is well worth the consideration.

Fresh off an exhibit of his sculpture at The Preservation Framer in North Attleboro, Warwick artist Krzysztof Mathews presents more of his digital homage to technology and his prognostications of the good or the evil that the future holds for us. Although it will be a digital print on display at the Bannister, it has a real life counterpart.

“I usually take found objects and make a sculpture of them and when I like what I have, I do a digital rendering of it,” said Mathews, “so every time you see a print of mine, you should know it is of a real object in the real world.”

Loraine Bromley describes herself as an enthusiastic artist, designer and photographer. On her website, she explains her approach to art:

“I believe that the practice of ‘ART’ is a total experience, involving body, mind and spirit. In this sense, the practice of painting, drawing and observing only enhances one’s personal growth. With or without words, my passion for drawing and design create harmony. My work comes from not only looking, but experiencing the world around me, and then translating these visual and emotional perceptions. With every creation, there is a new discovery, a new challenge, a new solution. Every time I approach the blank white paper, I take a unique journey always unlike the last, and never like the next. It is what keeps me coming back to the passions of creating another.”

She is currently working on a series of landscapes inspired by the hills, flora and extraordinary fauna of Costa Rica. The following is an excerpt from her “art journal” during her stay in that country:

“I am entranced by the beauty of nature here in Costa Rica. It has changed the way I now look at all landscapes. I find myself weaving one image into another now; the wings of a butterfly become the texture in a mountain. I am allowing myself the freedom to deconstruct and then reconstruct.”

By way of biography, Bromley also offers this from her website:

“My memory of being an artist, started as a little girl and I was compelled to create. As an adult, historic Wickford is my constant source of inspiration with its picket fences, nature, the water’s edge and quaint streets. Traveling is yet another calling and I always paint along the way.”

Like Mathews, Susan Fossati is an artist who is unafraid of the digital revolution and actually uses digital images to create her art but, for her, the model is intensely human:

“In my expressive, figurative works, predominately in oil, pastel and watercolor, I seek to look beyond the obvious materialized form into our common human drama of intangible states. Pastels and watercolors lend themselves well to creating on site locations. In addition to my state of mind and being, uncontrolled energies: people, symbolism, sound, temperature and chance occurrences make their contributions by influencing composition, color, vigor or sensitivity of applied marks, as well as the direction of each work. I often find a message during the process or after completion. Rather than actual observed depictions, the focus of long-term paintings is on reflections, beliefs and desires. Symbols and images are mainly a composite of memory and sub-conscious states. I am continually intrigued by the unfolding inspiration in our environment and focus on the challenge of capturing its spirit.”

She took the words right out of our mouths.

Judith Tolnick Champa, the editor-in-chief of Art New England, curates the show. Champa was director of the Fine Arts Center Galleries at the University of Rhode Island for 17 years and curator and associate director for curatorial affairs at Brown University’s David Winton Bell Gallery.

In conjunction with the exhibit, ALRI will present a panel discussion of the curator’s role in art featuring Champa, artist Kenn Speiser, Yellow Peril Gallery’s Van Souvannasane, and other prominent members of the New England arts community. The panel discussion will take place on Jan. 24 at Bannister Gallery.

The reception for the exhibit is Thursday, Jan. 17 from 5 to 8 p.m. at the gallery.

The exhibit, reception and panel discussion are free and open to the public. The programs are funded in part by Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA).


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