2014-04-17 / News

Painter on display at Island Heron studio


Painter Elizabeth Congdon, a co-founder of the Jamestown Arts Center, is on display at the Island Heron for the remainder of April. The exhibit is free and open to the public. 
Courtesy / Heidi Doyle Painter Elizabeth Congdon, a co-founder of the Jamestown Arts Center, is on display at the Island Heron for the remainder of April. The exhibit is free and open to the public. Courtesy / Heidi Doyle For the rest of the month, Jamestown artist Elizabeth Congdon will have her paintings displayed at the Island Heron yoga studio on Narragansett Avenue. People are welcome to check out the exhibit during regular business hours when there are no classes in session.

As a child growing up in New York City, Congdon fell in love with the Renaissance and Impressionist paintings at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

“Painting from nature is a passionate, vibrant endeavor,” says Congdon, who sees her work as a “diary told through pigment and brush.”

Starting on linen primed translucently to leave an earth tone, Congdon develops her images with a limited palette of colors. She paints from life to watch the nuances of the natural world, and uses these studies to work on a large scale or combine with still life. At 51 years old, Congdon has set her focus on conveying the experience of time passing.

“Watching, waiting and being present for series of moments,” says Congdon, “can imbue each canvas with a calm power.”

Congdon received a bachelor’s degree in art from UC Santa Cruz, spending her junior year at Smith College in Florence. After traveling in India and working in New York’s fashion industry, she attended the graduate painting program at Parsons School of Design, but left to become a Rhode Islander in 1989.

Congdon now divides her time between Jamestown and Nantucket. Although she is shown and collected nationally, she has had an annual solo show in Nantucket for 25 years. She is represented by Robert Foster Fine Art.

Congdon is a co-founder of the Jamestown Arts Center, and is currently producing a documentary film about the experiences of ballet students dancing in the Island Moving Company’s site-specific Nutcracker at Rosecliff Mansion. This summer the Newport Art Museum will hold a large-scale exhibition of Congdon’s work in the Ilgenfritz Gallery beginning on May 10.

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