DeBlois Gallery's 35th Anniversary Members' Show features artwork in a variety of mediums by the 14 members who comprise the DeBlois Gallery cooperative of working artists. This Annual Members' Show celebrates the fact that for 35 years we have exhibited the work of our members, hosted shows of established and emerging regional artists, and nurtured young community artists through annual High School Shows.
Always exploring and experimenting, our members are eager to show off why maintaining our contemporary edge has made us Newport County’s longest running cooperative gallery, with the youngest heart!
My process can be simpified to a question of " ...and then what?".
A thirst for knowledge and love of flowing energy. I carve in wood my experiences in harvesting the lumber. Generally large storm downed trees.
Split and cut using handtools and a chainsaw. An understanding of the material is learned and each piece of lumber cut to showcase the best possible use of the grain and figure.
Working from the very beginning allows experimentation and to learn more about the material.
Applying this knowledge with a concept brings the piece to life.
These are some of my images for the member show -
I am photographing different parts of books and then consolidating them into one composite image -
as you cannot read and see several pages of a book at one time -
I am making this possible in a two d image -
I have several categories but am showing only art books for this show -
I have worked with holocaust books and will continue with other groupings.
Izabella Gordon Casselman has always been a mark maker; from the time she drew in the dirt with a stick at the age of 6 to now at the age of ??????? Along the way she became a storyteller using all types of materials which made her more or less a mixed media artist.
She believes that the end product the images she produces, allows her to try to understand the world she inhabits both conscious and unconscious. Her myriad of thoughts lead her to believe that people are all unique and one can only try to understand the human condition.
The hard part of storytelling is the realization that there can be many, many endings and sometimes no endings.
Prang, Ticonderoga, Crayola were my materials the first several years, with paper, cardboard and no instruction or rules (exception: no tracing). A box of 110 Crayons held so much promise. Behold the Gold! (which rarely delivered what it promised). As a child I was scribbling storylines from songs, radio programs or my head; at a later time I expected I would illustrate books. The advertising world, however, seemed to pay the rent after college and “creativity under pressure” was the challenge.
Narratives still find a way into my art work. Subject matter is varied and eclectic, often reflecting special studies or 45 years of world travel. Colonial history, Black Madonnas, Neolithic and sacred sites have been past themes. Women’s history, locally and globally, has also been a frequent subject. I remain passionate about the architectural and historical heritage of Newport and in 1995 founded a group to commemorate the historical figure Anne Hutchinson with a memorial in Portsmouth, Rhode Island. At times, color or line can be its own pleasure and struggle.
This artist also seeks humor where I can find it. Exhibitions featuring family dynamics: Likes Living at Home - show on High School life and satirical themes; Some Left Laughing – on humor; Monkey Work - featuring corporate monkeys; and cartoonery - Elvis Valentine Collection. Multi-media work Vox Feminae: Visions of the Divine Feminine; Baby, It’s Cold Outside: Antarctica Icebergs; and Wild Things: color and beauty in the world were influenced by travel.
I am not sure artists like me ever stop learning, gathering, unlearning, learning... but the pleasure and frustration of the early years with Prang, Ticonderoga, and Crayola have become a touchstone.
Recently I have gone back to painting the landscapes around me. I walk every day and always take my iPhone for a camera, a small notebook and a Sharpie. I make notes and sketches as I go. I walk fast at first, and then I stand around to look at the fields and woods, composing paintings in my mind, or jotting down marks, lines and notes about how to mix specific colors etc. From these sketches and from memory I paint directly and loosely onto a canvas, expressing my responses to any given place - not aiming to represent it literally or in great detail - but in quick gestures and layers of paint. I collage and add people, birds, cows etc. to my paintings to represent in a silhouette or simple shape their presence moving through a particular field or view.
Thanks to the Aquidneck Land Trust many of these fields and beautiful views will be protected forever.
Fran Alford Leyenberger is originally a native of Newport, RI. She attended The College of William and Mary and has been working in clay for over 45 years. “I have been experimenting with Raku pottery for over 30 years and continue to discover new techniques and options with every ﬁring. I’m working on pieces capturing some of the famous buildings and scenes of Newport and one of a kind porcelain cremation urns.
"Since returning to RI, after the death of my architect husband 4 years ago, I have felt a connection to the incredible architecture of Newport. Growing up on Aquidneck Island, I drove by these buildings on a daily basis, taking them for granted, year after year. With the 50th Anniversary of the Newport Pell Bridge as my ﬁrst inspiration, I’m continuing to try to capture as many of the outstanding examples of architecture Newport has to offer. The series is all made of hand pressed, naturally shaped slabs, juxtaposing the precision designs with the random slab shapes, and made in my Newport, RI studio."
Fran’s work can currently be seen at:
Show of Hands Gallery, Philadelphia, PA;
James A. Michener Museum Gift Shop, Doylestown, PA;
Yardley Jewelers and Touchstone Gallery, Yardley, PA;
DeBlois Gallery, Middletown, RI.
I make images using photography.
For me, photography is capturing the moment, which through the lens is a totally different perspective than just being there. It is a look, an angle or just a special mix of shapes and shades.
When I shoot I like to spend time where I am to absorb the spirit of it all and then it just happens.
I like doing “street photography” capturing the image of people in that special moment.
I regard my studio like a Three Ring Circus.
It may be my self diagnosed senior ADHD, but I need to be working on several projects at the same time. That actually helps, because most of them require drying time. There's usually multiple mirrors in development, a table being designed and a sculpture of some sort as well as producing my ever popular Christmas ornaments!
"Travel is broadening," the saying goes; the work I'm showing this year proves it.
Washed Ashore in Senegal focuses on a photo I took on a rag-littered beach in Senegal. Starting as donated clothing in America, unsold items are bundled and sent to West Africa. What doesn't sell on the street is tossed into the ocean, only to fetch up a few miles down the coast. Transferred to an old t-shirt, the image was applied to the canvas, bracketed by a suggestion of the Door of No Return (through which captives were loaded on slave ships), and topped with the bird image from the African Renaissance Monument in Dakar. Over the battered Obama backpack the white wings hover, ironically quoting "I Have a Dream" and "Yes We Can".
Monte Alban: Transfer of Power was inspired by one of the ancient steles at Monte Alban in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, a World Heritage site that was a thriving city of 30,000 two millenia ago.
Ultra Violet Femme goes to show what can happen when an assemblage sculptor picks up a needle, thread, and various objects with holes to poke the needle through - art to wear, if you dare!
I've been playing with musical themes, sometimes suggested by song titles, and sometimes an idea just pops up out of nowhere. It's all about unifying my interests in art and music.
After dabbling in photography (I had a dark room) and painting and drawing, I came to ceramic sculpture because my partner, Will Heacock, had become a fabulous potter. All the necessary components were right at hand—the clay, glazes and not one, but 5 kilns! I took classes for many years in Warren with Allison Newsome. Eventually Allison gave up teaching and I moved across the street into an old mill building in space I rented from Ellen Blomgren and share with Judi Israel.
I find I'm not particularly interested in looking at art that has nothing in it of the human body: face, arms, legs, feet. I seem to especially like feet. So, I make the body in parts , leaving the rest to the imagination.
The grace of the greyhound has also captured my imagination. In clay, anything is possible.
I have tried often to define what I do and find it hard. I am trained as a fine artist loving many media. I am definitely two d not three d. I love line and color. My subjects are varied and many artists throughout the history of art have inspired me. I love playful creative thinking. Although something of a people pleaser in person,I staunchly could care less what people think of my work. It is my true freedom. I think it is a wonderful way to communicate. If everyone in the world was an artist or a musician or a writer or had some creative outlet the world would be a better place.
People and Their Pets, pets being a loose term for animals with whom we interact, start in a figure drawing group and sometimes the animals come as I draw them,and sometimes after. I have drawn figures since college years with groups in Virginia, Michigan, Massachussetts, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut and North Carolina. Just as heartbeats of drummers synch something like that happens in the minds of artists who draw together over time. Each group I draw with seems to subtly affect how I draw.
But back to animals. Somehow my animals create a story or an interaction between the figures which I find compelling. There is an old trite adage that does often carry truth that people resemble their pets,the way spouses will often resemble each other. And sometimes it is as simple as that. I like looking for some other complicating factor as how animals seek their own goals despite us, the imp of a kitten, who insists being in a lap while a person tries to accomplish something. I recall years ago trying to frame a show for DeBlois while a new puppy insisted in being with me. Finally I put her in an over shoulder baby sling and framed, yes, framed my pieces for the show. She was quite happy.
Hope you enjoy the show!
I have been told I was born with a pencil in my hand. Memory reminds me that I have always had a passion for drawing. Making art has been my way of understanding and maintaining a connection and dialogue with the world.
My work has been committed to the figure, to classical and cultural heritage as well as the familiar and remembered landscapes of nature. My subject matter often reflects specialized studies and travel to foreign places.
This show is about some of my favorite places in Newport, Rhode Island. Using ink and watercolor, working directly from nature, I am inspired by this particular natural world with its rock strewn coast.
Each drawing is embedded in a silk damask scroll much like the Chinese artists have done for centuries to express their love of the natural world.