20 September 2012

The Muse: Curator

Tonight was Gallery Night in Providence, as it is every third thursday of the month, and while Providence is a great, artsy city any night of the week, Gallery Night is special, and as far as I know a unique activity to our city. Across the city more than 25 art galleries, shops, schools, and the Rhode Island School of Design Museum and the historic John Brown House are all open to the public for free from 5-9, and you can even take a tour of several of them by bus, bike, or foot. There are free parking areas provided as well as maps and information at every location. Its a fantastic free activity that is always fun and entertaining, and you could easily make it into a date night or even an educational trip for kids. I've done Gallery Night for years, though I usually take the summer off because its so hot and a lot of the galleries close down. So I bundled up, because the nights are going down into the low 50's and high 40's, and it felt like it was really fall, no matter what the calendar says. While I have never been a real curator (though I'd love to work at a museum) I sometimes feel like a curator when it comes to my wardrobe, after all putting together a good outfit is a lot like curating an exhibit, its all about balance, placement, and juxtaposition.

 Blazer: vintage, Pendleton,  thrifted via Goodwill
Blouse: Worthington via J. C. Penny
Jeans: Elle via Kohl's
Shoes: Leifsdottir via Anthropologie
Brooch: vintage via Pastimes Consign.
Gold ring: vintage, my grandfather's 1949 class ring
Green ring: thrifted via Twice the Diva
Purse: vintage, via RI Antiques Mall

 My first stop was the Krause Gallery at the Moses Brown School, which is a private Quaker school on Lloyd Avenue, this is a bit afield from the rest of the galleries I went to which are all within walking distance of each other. Its a small gallery but I've never been to an exhibit here that isn't fascinating. Tonight's exhibit, Disparate Voices, feature two very different artists Walter Kopec and Bonnie Schultz Platzer. He creates multimedia artistic puns, she very traditional woven tapestries. An added bonus were the student made banners lining the entrance where they defined what peace meant to them.

The Providence Art Club is located in one of the most recognizable block of buildings in Providence, right next to the Fleur de Lis Club on Steeple Street across from the first Baptist Church in America. It has a much more traditional feel than the contemporary Krause Gallery. It featured work from three artists Istvan Brinza, a Hungarian born, Providence based artist who paints beautiful, luminous, Dutch Old Master-like still life and portraits. Joan DeRugeris who paints large abstract landscapes that reminded me very much of the world of Westeros that George R.R. Martin created in his SOng of Fire and Ice. The icy blue ones especially reminded me of the scenes set at the "Wall". There was also a small collection of ink prints based on classical musical pieces by Walter Feldman.

DeRugeris' work is on the left, Brinza's is on the right

Feldman's works

The Dodge gallery is a part of the Providence Art Club but located in a separate space next door, as you can see by the photos I had it all to myself

THe David Winton Bell Gallery is located on the first floor of the List building that houses the fine arts departments. Like the Krause it houses contemporary art.

The lobbyheld work by Therese Ganz, entited Don't Get Out Much, including the full wall mural over the glass entrance.

This full room installation by Jin Shan entitled My Dad is Li Gang! actually moves, and is representative of modern history in China including their space program and the workers in bicycle factories whose handprints cover the walls.

I didn't take any photos of the RISD museum mainly because it was so crowded, that and photo snapping with priceless works of art is often frowned upon. I did stop here for a bathroom break however and took some photos because the RISD museum bathroom is my favorite on the planet, I am always tempted to peel off long strips of the wall paper and spirit them off in my purse. I've also always really wanted to "accidentally" wander into the men's room just to see if its as fabulous.

The Rhode Island State House seen from Prospect Park

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