2018-07-19 / Upcoming Events

Summer art show opening Tuesday at rec center

Typically used to prevent wayward basketballs, the gymnasium walls at the recreation center have undergone their annual transformation.

For the 44th consecutive summer, the Conanicut Island Art Association is hosting its annual members’ show, an exhibit whittled from a contingency of nearly 200 artists. Visitors will be greeted by more than 300 pieces of art in the former USO hut, from ceramic vases to photographed faces. The opening reception is from 6-8 p.m. Tuesday.

According to Elaine Porter, president of the association since 2014, the show features an eclectic roster of Narragansett Bay artists, including potter Jillian Barber. A native Englishwoman and Narragansett Avenue resident, she studied clay at the Rhode Island School of Design under Norm Schulman, a North Carolina Living Treasure whose work graces the Smithsonian. Her creations have been highly touted at the summer shows, including first place last year, first place in 2010, the president’s award in 2015, and back-to-back bronze awards in 2012 and ’13.

Other accomplished artists who will be exhibited include Josie Wright, Rick Meli, Shirley Bell and Paul Murray, a globe-trotting photographer who has captured photos from the streets of Havana to the black sand beaches of Iceland.

Deciding the winner this year will be Connecticut resident Del- Bourree Bach, an “enormously talented artist,” according to Porter. He is a contemporary realist painter whose work is displayed at the U.S. Embassy in New York City. Bach won the U.S. Coast Guard’s George Gray Award for artistic excellence and was named best acrylic artist in 2016 by the National Oil and Acrylic Painters’ Society.

While Bach will choose the winner, visitors to the opening reception will decide which artist will receive the coveted people’s choice award. There also will be refreshments and live music from Mary King, an award-winning harpist who specializes in Celtic music.

Following the reception, the exhibition continues from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily through July 29. Admission is free, although credits cards will be accepted for shoppers who see something they like. Rhode Island law excludes sales tax from all original works of art.

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