Figure It Out


Featuring Craig Becker, Angelo DeSista, Brian J Hoffman,Eric Hovermale, Elizabeth Lind, Carol Scavotto, Michael Walden, Annie Wildey

February - March 2021


OPENING EVENT Saturday, February 13h from 5:00-7:00 PM

Snow Date: Saturday, February 20th same time







Figure It Out

In February and March, Coastal Contemporary Gallery is featuring eight artists who use the figure in their artwork uniquely and for very different reasons.  Though all of us are sentient beings, comprised of the same biological materials, we constantly drive to figure out our placement and purpose within the collective consciousness and a complex world that consistently points out and constructs differences socially, emotionally, economically, racially, genetically, religiously, politically….


Throughout millennia human beings have looked to the figure to build mythologies, find metaphor and express their perceptions of what realities exist internally and externally.  Our bodies act as machines carrying ancient energies through life’s journeys until the next.   We are each other’s surrealistic muses eternally.  There is great versatility of the subject, it is a beauty and a beast, both fragile and strong.  With an endless array of possibilities to convey, an artist becomes the lens and stenographer of personal and global narratives, constructing and deconstructing the anatomical form and its emotional profundities. The most simplistic gesture or abstraction of the human form is as important throughout art history as those precisely detailed accounts.


Working with and including the figure in art can be a deeply intimate experience or an act of observation from a more objective perspective.  A nude may represent vulnerability, strength and sensuality, or simply be an anatomical study.   Portraiture often seeks to display the essence of a personality and psychological underbelly, stamping a fixed point in time.  A figure carved, molded, chiseled or built up with found object and mixed media takes up space and as we sense its physical presence, we project our own scale and dimensionality around it. Drawing from pop culture artists can assertively hit us in the gut with humor or satire, stating truths that may be covered inside media frenzy, politics and general mistruths that are designed to control society. 


Wildey renders the back side of a partially clothed model and through her studies of the figure, seeks to express her views of what occurs to the female as she ages and begins to fade as an object in society. For all she has given to the world, the feminine vessel and spirit deserves to be fully seen, respected and revered.  Becker explores and reveals our subconscious and the darker corners of the individual and collective that might otherwise prefer to be left alone in darkness. Walden challenges his audience to take a profound journey through the exploration of his painterly surfaces. Narrative tensions of the male figure within interior spaces are somewhat haunting and expressively cryptic. Hovermale’s visual language is poetic in nature, a memory or feeling lingers in the motion or stillness of his models that are photographed and printed on translucent papers.  Scavotto pulls from many points in her personal life, reflecting upon moments where she felt uncomfortably exposed and vulnerable.  Her gestural embroidery celebrates the confident sensuality of the body and the joyful intimacy shared between two people. Hoffman takes a direct and often macabre cynical approach to his presentation of the form.  He gathers familiar societal phrases, words, global events and cartoon icons and channels all of these into entangled graphic, collage-like digital prints that are infused with heft and humor.  Lind confronts realities while also infusing mythologies.  With each work she draws upon a specific idea or emotion to present her reflective state of being and a joyful state of existence.  Her sculptural process requires deep physical commitment and strength from her own body.  DeSista is driven by a practice of building and tearing at the form in two and three-dimensional creations until he arrives at a place of resolve.  As the owner of a salon, he spends a considerable portion of his life providing his clients with positive physical transformations that inevitably lift their spirits.  It is only fitting that the figure is his focus of inspiration. 


Michael Walden

An early trip to Europe targeted Walden’s interest in art. Two years of foundational art at Framingham State University led him to the study of painting in Florence Italy. His natural ability to teach directed him towards earning an MFA specializing in Art Education from Boston University. This degree culminated with a rewarding appointment as artist/ teacher at an inner city arts magnet school where he was able to practice his craft. In 2014 Walden was awarded an MFA in two-dimensional design at Massachusetts College of Art and Design. In 2017, Michael completed his first solo exhibition in New York City at the Leslie Lohman Museum. In 2018, he was awarded an Artist Residency at the Vermont Studio Center, and in 2019 at the Cuttyhunk Island Artist Residency. He has been named a two-time recipient of the Returning Residency Program at the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, MA (2016-17) and was a returning artist within the Resident Artist Series at the Gallery Ehva, Provincetown, MA (2011-13). His works have been viewed at the Bakker Gallery, The Sprinkler Factory, Art Stand, Arnheim Gallery and Gallery at FOUR, all in the Greater Boston Area, and is currently represented by the Prince Street Gallery in New York City and has had recent works included at the Andrew Edlin Gallery in New York. He also has a current showing at The Mini Modern, a tiny gallery space on Instagram.

Annie Wildey

Annie Wildey is a British painter and printmaker.  She lived in New York City for many years and had a long career with the British Consulate, she now resides in Westerly Rhode Island.  In 2006 Annie decided to pursue art full time and enrolled in an MFA program at the The New York Academy of Art. She received her degree in 2008 and was awarded their prestigious one-year post-graduate fellowship. The following two years were spent as artist-in-residence in Orient, on the east end of Long island before moving to Mystic Ct in 2012.  While Annie’s primary practice is painting she is also an accomplished printmaker and has assisted master printmaker Dan Welden at workshops throughout the Northeast including Haystack School of Crafts, Provincetown Art Center, Montserrat College of Art, and The Omega Institute.

Annie has exhibited both nationally and internationally, venues include:  The National Museum of China, The Mall Galleries, London, The Heckscher Museum, and The University of Connecticut. Her work has also been included in special exhibitions curated by Eric Fishl, and in exhibitions alongside renowned international artists such as April Gornik and Tula Telfair.  Annie is represented by: Coastal Contemporary Gallery, Newport RI, Kathryn Markel Fine Arts, NY and Eisenhauer Gallery, MA.  

Angelo DeSista


Angelo DeSista is a self taught sculptor as well as a painter, exploring all aspects of the human form. His first serious attempt at making artwork was in 2015 when he enrolled in The Blue Door Art Studio. From that point to the present, his work has exhibited with the Wickford Art Associations, Pawtucket Arts Collaboration, Coastal Living Gallery and has had two solo shows.  Born and raised in Rhode Island, DeSista is the owner and operator of the Elizabeth Anthony Hair Salon, where he works daily on real human forms. He has found Instagram success with Fastenseatbelt68 with over twenty thousand organic followers. DeSista is currently represented exclusively by Coastal Contemporary Gallery in Newport, RI.

Eric Hovermale


Eric Hovermale lives and works in Newport, RI. Although he studied to be a painter, he has concentrated on photography for the past twenty years. The subject matter for his photography centers principally on the figure and on the portrait. Both his figure and portrait studies are primarily explorations of movement, form, and light.

Craig Becker


Craig Becker is a photo-based artist whose varied creative experiences - professional photographer, digital fine art printer and gallerist - are each marked by the exploration of the visually evocative. From his lakeside studio in rural Maine, he combines multiple images drawn from his own work and archival photographs. His process starts with a general theme, but the work is constantly transformed during an intuitive and spontaneous process. His award-winning work has been widely exhibited in museums and galleries across the US. Portfolios of his work have been featured in Musee' Magazine, F-Stop Magazine, BETA 19, Lenscratch, Edge of Humanity, among others and was one of Feature Shoot's Emerging Photographers for 2017.

Elizabeth Lind

Originally from Seattle, Elizabeth grew up in New York City where she studied and performed ballet.  Studies in studio art led to lost wax bronze casting and glassblowing in the South, and eventually the ownership of a bronze casting foundry. Relocating to Rhode Island, she earned her master’s degree from the Rhode Island School of Design while also managing an art gallery.  She has maintained a sculpture studio since finding her passion for carving while studying at RISD. Employing simple hand tools- a mallet and steel chisels, Elizabeth carves life-size alabaster, marble, and limestone figures of women and their environments- either real or imagined, as well as works inspired by the sea.  She travels to various locales in Italy, researching sites that are rich in ancient female artifacts, mythology, and history.

Brian J Hoffman

Brian J. Hoffman is a designer, illustrator, printmaker, and bass player in a punk rock band. Based in Boston, he is the father to two young boys who he helps find poetic meaning in everyday life — through classic rock, timeless films, and tacos. Hoffman’s art is slightly surreal yet familiar because he likes to “screw with the beauty of things.” He describes his work as digital printmaking and the style as Low brow. Printmaking has taught him that imperfections can make all the difference in a piece. “You can have scratches and splotches and plate mistakes. It’s the imperfections that give the finished piece its character.”

Carol Scavotto

Carol Scavotto is a visual and performing artist based in Rhode Island. Her decades-long artistic practice has included sculpture, painting, needlework, fine jewelry design, and performance pieces.  Her work is both highly autobiographical and deeply relatable.


Carol earned a BFA in sculpture from the University of Massachusetts Amherst in 1972 and also completed training in the early 1980’s at the Jewelry Institute of Rhode Island.  For several years her artistic energy was funnelled into building various art-related businesses, including founding The Springfield Arts Center in the mid 1970’s in Massachusetts, and Casanna Design in Rhode Island, which featured her own line of Jewelry.  Her drive to create space for showing her and others’ work included opening and running an Art Cafe, and establishing an art gallery housed within a high-end furniture store. 


The focus of Carol’s career shifted after a diagnosis and successful treatment of cancer in 2009. She became absorbed in creating work that was more introspective and socially relevant. She intensified her artistic practice and increased her presence in art galleries and art shows, establishing a recognizable voice in her work. 


Since 2010 Carol’s work has been exhibited yearly in group shows nationally and internationally. As a solo artist she has participated in several art fairs, including The Fountain Art Fair, Clio Art Fair and Superfine Art Fair (all in New YorkCity). She has also exhibited with galleries showing at The Affordable Art Fair (Amsterdam), CICA Museum (Korea), Asia Contemporary Art Fair (HongKong), and Art Busan (Busan, Korea). Carol’s work has been featured in numerous publications and press releases, including Clio Art Fair, Art511, Recap, an Art Uncovered interview, Boston Voyager, Superfine Art Fair 2018, Studio Magazine, Newport Mercury, Artfuse, and the Fall River Herald.


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Coastal Contemporary Gallery
491 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840  401.612.6121

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