Featuring Barbara Owen, Kate Blacklock, Alicia Renadette
Painting, Collage, Photography, Sculpture, Installation
On Exhibit through November
Artist Reception: Saturday, November 16th from 5:00 - 9:00 PM
Featuring three female Rhode Island artists Barbara Owen, Alicia Renadette, Kate Blacklock, we present artworks that incorporate the flower in three-dimensional and two-dimensional format. We honor a balance between delicate beauty and the powerful strength of the natural world colliding with a more manufactured and hard-edged one; at times, a hint of comedic relief pokes through. The flower is loaded with symbolism and is often associated with female energy. Known as the bloom or blossom of a plant, flowers are the reproductive center of the overall organism. We adore colorful petals, take precaution with thorny stems and are in awe of vines and weeds that crawl about pushing through cracks, smothering other plants and reclaiming paved road. We gather flowers for ceremony, foster them as prize and present them to friends and family in bundled arrangements or singularly, for limitless purpose. They elicit emotion through texture, color and scent. They are intelligently hearty and stand to liven interior spaces and conjure insect and animal in lush gardens.
The lotus, a strikingly unique life, begins its breathtaking journey into large, full bloom by way of mud, muck, fish, insect and pushes forth with first sprout while submerged in water. In Buddhism, the bud of the lotus symbolizes potential, awakening and spiritual growth. We are globally stirring and recognizing our connectivity as the veils lift. Onion skin is peeling back and there is great momentum as women take a united stand, resilient and fortified.
Our three artists are observing and translating their experiences and relationships with flowers on very different levels. Barbara employs post-painterly abstraction and hard-edged techniques that are characterized by smooth surface planes and a fullness of color. She seeks to create an optical undulation or flutter by contrasting hue, value and tone. Her Bloom collages are derived from the decision to cut up drawings and templates used in previous preparation for paintings. The cutting has become a process of drawing and painting in lieu of the brush. Her discarded studies, are now repurposed material used to create new work.
Alicia draws imagery from ancient ritual, mythological creatures and childhood fiction. Her work blends surrealism, decorative arts and abstraction to convey a narrative. Her sculpture takes root in the form of make-shift alters, trophy and holiday display which have been overwrought by obsessive consumption. She is recalling neglected and overgrown gardens into psychedelic worlds of vine and funguses. Vast texture creeps and crawls from surfaces using unconventional materials such as party ephemera, novelty frills and nostalgic domestic products that we might never expect to be so beautiful. There is a playfulness, yet an uneasy bitterness within her quirky ability to reinvent the home-making mass produced product to portray ‘floral-scapes’.
Kate Blacklock’s studio directly faces a garden that she has carefully tended to for over fifteen years. She views this scenery as a continually changing painting that is within the control of her hand, while also uncontrollable due to natural forces and shifting season. She watches the alterations and nuances of this ever-changing world and produces her photographs based on these observations. Using a large flatbed scanner to scan live plant and digitally piece together her imagery, her final work is then printed onto aluminum as choreographed illusions of nocturnal worlds. Within each of these arranged sculptural compositions, Blacklock arrives at the asymmetrical, open essence of Chinese scholars’ rocks.
We wish to present a vibrant garden of wonder, delight and mystery within the walls of our gallery for November.
Barbara Owen is a painter, sculptor and installation artist. She received a dual bachelor’s degree in Sculpture and Poetry at Bennington College, Vermont and is currently pursuing her Masters of Fine Art at The School of Visual Art, New York (2020).
Her work has been featured at numerous venues, including The Arts Center, Troy, NY; Wheaton College, Norton, MA, Newport Art Museum, Newport, RI, Jamestown Art Center, Jamestown RI and UMass Dartmouth’s Art Gallery, New Bedford, MA. In 2016 two paintings were included in exhibitions with the Arts in Embassies (AIE) program, Paramaribo, Suriname and Ports Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
Owen has participated in artist residency programs nationwide, including the MASS MoCA/Assets for Artists in 2015. She was also a featured artist in the NetWorks 2015
Artist Video Portraits series.
Kate Blacklock is a Providence based artist who received her undergraduate degree from University of California at Santa Cruz and her MFA from The Rhode Island School of Design (RISD). She has taught at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Rhode Island College and for nine years co-chaired the Ceramics Department at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge, where she was Associate Professor. She has been teaching in the Industrial Design Department at RISD since 2002.
Blacklock’s studio practice has spanned over thirty years and during that time her work has moved from sculptural and functional ceramics to 3D printing, photography and painting. She has had solo exhibitions around the country including, New Orleans, New York City, Philadelphia, Providence and Ann Arbor. Her photographic imagery has been used in many large-scale commercial projects including hotels in Florida, New York City, San Diego, Puerto Rico and recently in the country of Bahrain. In 1996 she was an artist-in-residence at the Manufacture National de Sèvres, outside of Paris. Her works are in many private and public collections
Alicia Renadette is a multi-disciplinary artist whose work explores and exploits social and psychological contradictions. She works in a maximalist approach of media ranging from sculpture/installation to costume/performance and collage/drawing often reconstituting everyday objects within her process.
Her work has been exhibited nationally with shows at the Sculpture Center (NY); Southern Exposure (San Francisco); Brattleboro Museum and Art Center (VT) and at the Governor's Island Art Fair (NYC). Alicia holds an MFA in Sculpture from the San Francisco Art Institute and a BFA in Experimental Studio/ Sculpture from the Hartford Art School. She has been the recipient of grants from Mass MoCA, Vermont Studio Center and the local cultural councils of Holyoke and Lowell, MA. She currently has a studio in Providence, RI.