the mesmerizing beauty of nature and love, Peter Dickison’s
inspirations range from architectural landscapes to the
enchantment of a forest. He captures in oil paintings the
timeless feeling of historic edifices, mystical forest gardens
inhabited by woodland creatures of all kinds and the simplicity
and romance of a single flower in his Petites Collection series.
Native of Rhode Island, Peter studied painting at the Swain School of Design in New Bedford, Massachusetts, graduating in 1982. He continued his study at the Yale University Summer School for Art, and the Parsons School of Design Graduate Program in Painting. Dickison was then studio assistant to the artist Nell Blaine (1922-1996), whose exuberant spirit for life and painting was a strong influence. As Assistant Teacher for Drawing with the Cleveland Institute of Art in Lacoste, France, he worked with drawing professor Leonard Stokes, taught landscape and figure drawing, and painted prolifically in the landscape of Provence. As writer Laurence Hazell once commented on Dickison’s work, "his central intuition is that human activity is framed by nature, but that human understanding fabricates the landscape."
Peter has exhibited at the Prince Street Gallery and the Painting Center in New York City, SUNY Purchase Art Gallery, the Newport Art Museum, Crowell’s Fine Art and Gallery X in New Bedford and DeBlois Gallery in Newport. He has taught painting, drawing and portraiture at the Newport Art Museum and currently teaches independently. He is based in Tiverton Four Corners, RI, where his work is represented at Tiffany Peay Jewelry and Healing Arts.
My earliest memories of shaping earth into art are of making small sculptures at a local clay bank on the edge of Brick Yard pond in Barrington where I grew up. I would take mud, manipulate it and then sling the small sculptures at my brothers. That got me hooked. I loved the flexibility and forgiveness of clay. For me ceramics and fire touch a primitive instinct in all of us. Through that common instinct, there is a basis for a sense of community and connection. The idea of containers holding a memory is something I am currently exploring. Today I have the great good fortune to be an owner and founder at Domus Luti, a pottery co-op in Pawtucket, RI and I am on the faculty at the Newport Art Museum as an art educator. Art and the connections it makes is so important to me.
We are a community of ceramicists. The artists are a varied group from Rhode Island and beyond; we are diverse in age, background, technique, and creative vision. Much of the work was created in the studios in the Coleman Center at the Newport Art Museum, where some have been working for many years. The glue that holds it together is friendship, love, support of experimentation, and Charlene Carpenzano, whose work is featured here. A 2016 Pell Award recipient, Charlene has been relentless in encouraging each person included in this show, teaching technique, and sharing her wisdom and joy for the creative process. Without Charlene, neither this show nor much of the work it includes would be here, and for that we are grateful.
Rebecca Rex, exhibitor
Click tabs to the left to view each artist's work in this exhibit!
Kerry Cudmore explores themes of
incongruity and contradiction - calling attention to the
seriousness and ridiculousness - between what we think and
feel versus what we’re willing to share with others. She is
informed by a lifetime of experience as “the vault.” Holding
confidentiality in her professional life as a coach, and in
her volunteer life with The Samaritans. When she discovered
ceramics, she found a medium with which to communicate these
themes of the un-communicated.
Note: 'Me Too' hands are an element of the artist's 'Me Too Chandelier' educational project.
Amy Goleb-Kimmel began her ceramics
adventure recently. She lives in Middletown, Rhode Island.
She makes pottery that is both functional and decorative. Aquidneck Island with its natural beauty influences most of her pieces either by design or decoration. Other sources of inspiration are her two young grandchildren and growing up in the 1960s.
She studies at the Newport Museum of Art.
A selection of sinuous
General dimensions of Max's dinos:
Large dinos are 5"H x 6"L x 1.5"W.
Medium dinos are 2"H x 3.5"L x 1"W.
Small dinos are 2"H x 5.5"L x .5"W.
I have been lucky enough to have stumbled back in to pottery after throwing a bit in an art class in Tiverton high school (far too many years ago). I started again just over a year ago with a beginners potter class at Newport Art Museum, and boy did I need that refresher! I am grateful each day I get to learn a new bit of technique or information from my fellow potters. I love the idea of functional pottery that can be beautiful.
With Charlene’s mentoring and the Newport Art Museum, I began my clay journey in 2005. Fifteen years later, the path my hands follow with clay is based on my experiences (travel, family history, interactions with people) and the admiration of women’s handcrafts (and their maker) in the last century. My work is fun, functional, and at times, spur of the moment!
Rebecca Rex is drawn to the process of using her hands to make pleasing objects for use in everyday life - or for contemplation. She derives the most satisfaction from shaping clay into simple and sometimes unexpected forms with an occasional edge.
Peggy Twist grew up in a small town
north of Boston Massachusetts on the small farm her father
built. The middle child of seven, and daughter of an artist
mother, she was raised in an environment rich with art, music,
color and nature.
She had a life-changing encounter with clay within a ceramics program during her high school years, and knew then that was meant to be her medium.
Not able to complete her formal art education in college, the majority of Peggy’s ceramics education has been self directed and developed through local art educations programs and workshops.
She thinks of herself as both a functional potter and ceramic artist. Not just crafting a functional form, but imagining and executing an idea with thoughtful consideration for its purpose and beauty.
In these perilous, uncertain, and terrifying times the only corner where I can experience a sliver of peace and well-being is in creating a small permanent piece of beauty.
Pam Wallace set about her creative
journey following a successful business career. While an
uncharacteristic creative path for an artist, Pam’s
professional experience afforded her the fortuity of an
inspiring global journey through culturally-rich cities such
as Tokyo, Munich, Dublin; as well as, U.S. cities, large and
small, from San Jose to Schenectady to New York City. A
remarkable cultural and creative chapter in her story.
In her final professional chapter as Chief Financial Officer, iHeart Radio, Pam stepped out to explore her creative interest by enrolling in a pottery class in western New Jersey. Enthused by the experience, her story resulted in a plot twist; she left business to pursue her creative passion. Since then, Pam has taken pottery classes in New York City, Santa Monica, and now at the Newport Art Museum. Under Charlene Carpenzano, her work has grown into exploring form, weight, texture, and color. These pieces represent her latest pursuit to capture the essence and beauty of a sunrise, the warmth and comfort of Fall, and the whimsy of one’s imagination.
I have been a potter for about
fifteen years, some years more, some years less.
I love drawing on nature for inspiration, particularly the beautiful ocean that surrounds us here on Aquidneck Island. I primarily create functional pottery, working with clay both on the wheel and hand building. It is rewarding to make pieces that can be used every day. I love the process - visualizing an idea, turning clay into mud, taking something unstructured and giving it a life for others to enjoy.
Click on the buttons to the left to view each artist's work.
This soaring piece, with its asymmetry and its layers, is alive with personality. It looks different from every angle. It seems to twitch and turn, looking over its shoulder then away again, it hunches over, it gazes into the distance. The golden, shining wood pulses with what Eastern religions call “prana” - the life force that hums through all sentient beings. The spirit of the tree has been liberated from death by the chisel (and the chain-saw, by golly!). It moves, it sways. Its shadow chases spiders across the walls. On quiet afternoons, when no one’s looking, it laughs softly to itself. - MP
The fluorescent pink colour of the
handwritten sign is uncannily matched to the lipstick of the
busker-beggar who dominates the frame of this street scene.
She (or he? - I find it hard to tell) is in mid-scream or
mid-rant or mid-yodel - it’s hard to tell! - may well be in
anguish, but her aura is good-humoured.
Her sign reads: HOMELESS ORPHAN SLIGHTLY DEPRESSED. Really?! Not depressed enough to be WHOLLY depressed? I love her. She/he is raucous and sassy, angry and funny, probably has flame-thrower breath, but so what! She’s on the streets and screaming. - MP
Sometimes a title tells the whole
story of a painting. Other times it’s a tease. For me, with
this imposing and complex piece, it’s a tease. There’s a
tree, and it certainly might be an apple tree, in which case
it might be the one associated with the Garden of Eden.
But in the foreground, on the left, is the figure of a woman, asleep, holding a number of apples to her breast. Maybe she’s Eve, holding on to the apples that she has plucked and refused to bite into. In which case, the Expulsion cannot proceed ... and we do not exist.
However: she’s clothed and lies on a bed. The decorative elements elsewhere in the painting suggest Ancient Greece. So maybe she’s not Eve after all but one of the three Goddesses? Hoarding golden apples from the contest that led to the Trojan War? But in the adjoining section, who is that Colossus in the sea, juggling with glittering spheres? And is that a Neolithic triskelion in the lower right hand corner? Or a symbol of the “triple Goddess Hecate”*? Many forces dwell together in this piece! Many questions and many answers. (*I had to look it up!) - MP
Life stirs in these woods. Restless and unseen, the movement is expressed in the white shadows between the dark forms of the trees. Yes, WHITE shadows: like after-images formed by staring at the dark trees, then looking away. Like a memory of snow. Like the absences that remain, when the blanket of winter lifts, revealing trees that have fallen and caves that have gone silent. Despite the lively evocation of light - the fresh green leaves in the foreground, the flash of pink, the rich blood of hidden berries - in the bleached depths, a trace of sadness. - MP
Beautiful Frieda, with her unibrow!
Leyenberger’s porcelain sconce makes the Mexican artist’s
radiance visible: a light bulb allows her to literally shine
from within, her skin glowing ivory-rose. Her face has
become so well-recognized that we do not need to see her
eyes and nose.
Yet we could also ask: has the real person, the warm, breathing presence and the physical pain she endured during her life, been replaced by this glowing symbol? Have her smouldering dark eyes, with their searching gaze, the mouth with the faint mustache and the intense expression - have these been obscured by our idolization of her? Leyenberger’s clever erasure forces us to seek out what is not there. To see beyond the mask. To find the light within. - MP
The reflections on the glass of a
busy café create layers of narrative - cars parked across
the street, two trees, a bicycle in motion and the windows
of buildings - function as a scrim through which we see the
patrons within. The glittering, steel-edged aura of a city
dominates our first impression.
But the composition of the shot, with its long counter defining the lower third of the frame, with the glowing orb centered above and the diners seated in a row? These elements, for me, evoke nothing less than a gender-reversed version of Da Vinci’s Last Supper! All but one of the seven people we see, are women.
Even the way that the individual characters lean this way and that, preoccupied with either their own or their neighbours’ affairs, reminds me of that painting. Of special note is the woman on the left of the image, looking to her left, as if she’s listening in on or merely contemplating her counter-top companions. None of them appear to have noticed her.
There’s so much drama in this shot. So many characters in motion, embalmed on (in?) paper. - MP
Here is a mirror which only reflects
smiling faces - because who will resist beaming at this
bouquet of delight? Bright and joyful, this mirror shows us
the natural bounty that frames our human lives.
So many associations crowd into my mind as I look at it: a memory of Narcissus admiring his own reflection, while in this mirror, our eyes will be drawn away from ourselves to the fruit and flowers on the boundary. I think of Time and the way that these offerings will never age or decompose, reminding us to be humble as we gaze at our own changing selves. I think of the doorway to that alternative world, in the mirror, where everything is reversed. Of Alice and her talking flowers. Of journeys made by light. - MP
The front of the White House, with
the dark vertical of its main door and the two upper windows
half-shuttered, forms a face. The face wears a horrified
expression, as it regards the thundering vortex or sink-hole
directly in front of it.
It’s an arresting image, regardless of the times we live in, or the political views we hold. A great mansion, clearly belonging to powerful, wealthy inhabitants, is nevertheless stricken by the sight of the abyss that awaits anyone who either leaves or approaches it. No one is safe. No escape is possible, and rescuers are doomed. The house is the main character here: there are no humans in sight. The stark, spare tones, with only a trace of grey-green colour, reflect the apocalyptic mood.
Two elements help to soften the message. The first is a bicycle, parked by the side of the building, on the left. It suggests not only a pleasing, non-polluting mode of transport but also a pair of spectacles! A touch of seriousness and intellect. The second is the vortex. Though it roars, it does not breathe fire. The doom it promises is cool and watery. It’s a drain, after all. It cleanses, it eases impurities, it restores balance. And it belongs to Nature. So. Its power will prevail. - MP
Before I saw the name, I thought:
sunlight ricocheting off the panes of a tall glass building.
Or maybe a tall narrow glass, filled with pastel
intoxications, the white lines radiating away like the
premonitions of breakage, as the glass leans sideways,
preparing to fall. Or the view from an airplane’s window,
looking down at the very moment that a speeding boat passes
out of view, beneath a bridge.
But the name transforms the painting. Now I hear it: the orderly column of cool, soft colours, snapped by a bullet of pure interference. The cheeky randomness of that smudge of gold in the upper left corner. The scent of brass; the snare of drums. - MP
As this is my work, I can’t pretend to interpret it! Instead I can share its origin story. I made two etchings before this one. They were called Carpet Man and Carpet Woman. They’re the same long shape, printed on similar-sized paper. Because I had a couple formed out of carpets, I felt the need to see what their children would look like. Hence: “rugs”. I’m very fond of Persian carpets. This series is a tribute to their intense and complex beauty. - MP
The blushing colour that defines the
piece belies the title, at first glance. Then we see the
cotton tops: an older man’s white hair, a younger woman
seated in the foreground, with her pale hair drawn up in a
tight knot at the top of her head. Buddha-like, Balinese or
Both figures are nude, both face away from the viewer. The man has his back to us, the woman presents her profile. Two white cats in the background also face away. But in the middle of the composition one cat faces forward. Brooding.
Despite the calm poses, the texture of the painting is tense. The rosy colour whispers of blood, the way it looks when a wound bleeds out onto white bathroom tiles, washed away by a hot shower, by steam and by secrets. Our gaze moves between the figures, searching for the thread of story, wondering who belongs to whom and about the averted eyes. The cat in the centre knows everything, of course. But he’s not telling. - MP
We can feel the wind in our faces, as we look at these three images; we can taste the salt spray on our mouths. The shapes within the frames are alive, moving and restless, the light changing, the mood changing. The frames are small but the spaces within them are infinite. We see shapes and faces, hear snatches of divine conversations, in the language of air. The name points us heavenward but is the trinity of this world or the next? Hidden in the clouds: almost a rainbow. - MP
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