Explored and Envisioned

The Vets Gallery • Providence, RI • vmari.org • Through March 29, 2015

By: Alexander Castro

ALRI China Blue

China Blue, Photinus Muybridgeus, sound sculpture.

Eight local artists christen the Art League of Rhode Island’s creative new space and gallery in the Vets with a show called Explored and Envisioned, curated by Uli Brahmst with curatorial consultant Judith Tolnick Champa.

Opening night, Dance of the Fireflies was performed by the Providence Ballet Theatre, featuring China Blue’s Firefly 2.0, an electronic substitute for everyone’s favorite bioluminescent bug. Blue’s work, in the exhibit, Photinus Muybridgeus and her Firefly Cloud photographs, seem powered by a tension between warmth and coldness, mechanical and the emotive.

Tiffany Adams’ glazed-and-fired Coral series explores themes of replicating nature: the loofah-shaped, curvy sculptures are doppelgängers of the vibrant treasures found in ocean reefs. Jane Masters’ works, meanwhile, oscillate between hard and soft, decorative and industrial. She blends printmaking, installation, drawing and sculpture to make pieces like her Laser cut series: gorgeous, silvery objects that resemble afghan blankets made of metal.

Wendy Wahl salvages junked encyclopedias and dictionaries to make towering paper sculptures. Wahl employs dead books to make an intriguing point about “the connections between nature and culture, between the tree of life and the tree of knowledge.” Erik Carlson shows his project In Passing, a mesmerizing compilation of footage from Rhode Island’s public roads that feels like a dream you’ve forgotten, or maybe a severe case of déjà vu.

There’s a lot in Explored and Envisioned for photography aficionados. Cindy Horovitz Wilson takes luminous landscape and architectural photographs. Simultaneously cinematic and commercial, Wilson’s images sport engrossing colors and compositions. David DeMelim’s digital photos of Providence are the antithesis of Wilson’s, with colors saturated and contrasted into overdrive. His City Views series makes the best use of this technique, turning the Providence cityscape into a Frank Miller comic. Eric Hovermale likens his portraits and figure studies to poems: flesh tones are soft, nature and the body peacefully coexist, and cool and dark hues dominate.

The title Explored and Envisioned says all you need to know. This is the maiden voyage of the Vets gallery and a clear demonstration as to what can happen here.

©2018 Art New England, All Rights Reserved
Designed and Developed By: T. Montgomery