Last Friday night I attended the Newport Art Museum‘s opening reception event for several new exhibitions including Claudia Flynn’s Solemnities. Claudia was a long time Hera member with her husband Troy West. They took membership leave right as I took over at the gallery, but it’s great to be able to see them and their work at other spaces. In fact there was a contingency of former and current Hera members at the gallery to see her exhibition.
Located in the Wright Gallery, Solemnities presents a selection of Claudia’s work that really gives the viewer an idea of her very distinct aesthetic. Claudia takes inspiration from her world travels, reflecting on the human journey. She transforms objects into work that can range from tribalistic and ritualistic to that turn of the 20th century contraption.
Moving forward through the museum to the Ilgenfritz Gallery, Palate to Plate: Prints and Recipes From Members of The Boston Printmakers presented a huge collection of the members of this group. With such a vast array of prints it took a second stroll on my part to pick some highlights. Karen Adrienne and Dirk Hagner’s work both stuck out at me the most. Adrienne has a dynamic use of line and color while Hagner’s use of circular papers as a medium struck me as a unique alternative process.
On display in the Cushing Gallery was NetWorks 2013-2014. The NetWorks Project is an ongoing film and photo project that documents the work and process of Rhode Island Artists. Two pieces really drew me in while viewing this exhibition. Alan Metnick’s series of stained glass sculptures titled The Tunnels seemed out of a old film or photograph in how the light reflected through. Allison Pashke’s mixed media piece Pinfield: Tiny Ips with Green, 2014 manipulated both shadow and reflection with intricately placed pins. While there was plenty of amazing art to be seen, it was INCREDIBLY LOUD in one of the rooms with echoes galore. It was nice to duck back outside especially on one of the last great nights of the season.
We had planned on making it a double whammy night, but lost track of time and it was too late to make the reception in New Bedford. It was disappointing to miss it, but staying gave my gallery trip buddy, Mara Trachtenberg, and myself a chance to really see the whole museum.