May 8 - 31, 2020

Cynthia Guild, Anthony John Bonner, Suzanne Volmer

Opening Event: Virtual May 16th 5:00 PM

Virtual Tour Lauching and Exclusive Access to Gallery Opening 5:00-7:00 PM
















Exhibition Statement

‘Passing Through’ is centered around the elements of architecture and vessel while considering the human component within and around these structures.  To contain is to hold.  The container is a receptacle or enclosure, that acts as a restraint for emotions or physical force, to transport or store intangible data and matter or substance.  They can be flexible or rigid.  Thin like paper or constructed of thick impenetrable steel, they are made to last or disintegrate with time, formed with purpose or decorative intention. 


We as humans, have unrecognized powers to transcend this material world in ways yet unknown.   Our ancient energies take residence within bodies temporarily, inside of a societal system of beliefs, government, creativity, medicine, business, engineering and passion.   Time holds us in and becomes a gold-plated carrier that allows us to weave webs of relationships and community. As a result, endless layered histories are crafted.  


We persevere - rinse and repeat.  Our drive pushes us onward relentlessly towards an undetermined location and reason.  Nothing is permanent.


Humanity is struggling through a pandemic, ‘checked’ in a way that no living human on earth currently, has ever known.  However, we are strongly bonded through a collective consciousness and a leveling of importance(s)…. There is faith, hope and gratefulness among the fear and monumental uncertainties.  We keep ‘social distance’ while connecting through clogged pathways of the internet.  One must find ways to be still and safe while also adapting, evolving and bravely pivoting daily.


Suzanne Volmer’s porcelain vessels have a deep, formidable ancient quality to them.  Their delicate, feminine nature are reminiscent of mesh wrapping unraveled from a mummy - sans carcass.  Empty space remains, but the spirit lingers, holding its strong presence.  Also reminiscent of wasp’s nests, their dominant, cavernous forms rest comfortably on pedestals as if pulled from the structures they were originally built upon. 



Anthony John Bonner masterfully paints cityscape speckled or filled to the brim with human, and rural scenes, devoid of them.  As social distance takes hold, a sense of anxiety and love form as we observe groups of people gathering together.  Perhaps, this evokes a longing and a sadness for the way things were, but cannot be again, into the foreseeable future.  We see now, the simple things that were taken for granted.  To be entrenched in such a mysterious predicament, our best line of defense, is to remain as present as possible. 


Cynthia Guild employs oil paint and constructs architectural plans, inspired by the lines, light, shadow and shapes of freighter ships.  Massive vessels carving pathways in the waterways, they push along slowly and surely, with limited human on board, carrying the load.  To and from points A to B, these impressively intimidating and silent transporters move across the seas in solitude and provide humans with busy purpose upon pickup and delivery of their cargo.


In many instances, we are passing each other on streets and in stores, with only our eyes revealed.  Honoring personal space, there is a new organization of ‘how to conduct ourselves’ in process.  The animals and earth breath a sigh of relief in our absences and do their own pushing and passing through without us. 



Cynthia Guild
John Bonner

Cynthia Guild 

Cynthia Guild uses large ships – freighters, tankers, and even fishing vessels, as power packed subject matter. The work is bold, colorful  and full of gestural directness. Of the work the artist says: “The bulky ships in these paintings travel through thick atmosphere and unknown seas, - personifying  the eternal struggle of individual will against forces beyond their control. “   Guild also paints images of traffic seen from surveillance cameras – “The traffic paintings show the forces of life at work, and how we are all swept up and carried along in this flow”. The artist also makes colorful monotypes, drypoints and drawings.


Cynthia Guild received her MFA in Printmaking from UMass Amherst in 1989, and moved to  Stonington, CT four  years ago for its proximity to the ocean, and to New York City.  Her work has been shown extensively throughout the Northeast and New York, as well as in Cuba and Puerto Rico.  Cynthia is presently represented by galleries on Cape Cod, Block Island and Newport, RI. In 1999 her work was featured in the Dreamworks film In Dreams starring Annete Bening and Robert Downey Jr., directed by Neil Jordan.





Suzanne Volmer

John Bonner Born in England, I was educated at Saint Martin’s School of Art in London. I came to America do my graduate work, and stayed. Since then I have made a living a creative director, designer and artist in television, video, animation, interactive media, and fine art.

Gallery Installation Imagery


Suzanne Volmer graduated with Honors from Pratt Institute, Brooklyn, NY and immediately afterward began her career as a professional fine artist. Her sculptures, related drawings and installations are shown nationally and internationally in galleries and museums.  Her work is represented in both private and public collections.


Among Suzanne’s freelance professional experience she was a preparator at Leo Castelli Gallery and assistant to a number of artists including Mary Frank. She has taught at Rhode Island School of Design and been a Guest Artist at Massachusetts College of Art, Boston.  Suzanne is a member of the International Art Critics Association and regularly contributes features and reviews to “Artscope” Magazine, “Sculpture” Magazine of the ISC, and previously wrote features and reviews for “Arts” Magazine, NY.  Suzanne’s studio is located in Lincoln, Rhode Island.


My porcelain and steel sculptures are process-oriented and in a manner of speaking each is a record of its “happening.”  It is an integral premise of them to reflect an engagement of continuous activity from beginning through all forming stages including firing.  My creative method is unusual, because by using heat based technology I cultivate movement of form by careful calculation of molecular changes that affect materials.


In my Vessel Series multiple unique formulations of porcelain are used in a single form to finesse clay’s contraction and expansion during the firing

process to create the vessels that now exist.


The experimentalism of my creative process is meant to exploit physical possibilities that push the limits of materials while maintaining a considered dialogue referring to form, surface, weight and movement. In working with porcelain, steel and fabric I like that there can be a visual transposing of qualities between these mediums.


Feminist perspectives inform my aesthetic, conveying in my work a sense of sensuality as much as technical expertise.  My sculptures combine minimalist perspectives with complex emotional content.  They are simultaneously serene and turbulent, autobiographical, and explore ideas about broader cultural experience and history.




Coastal Contemporary Gallery
491 Thames Street, Newport RI 02840  401.612.6121

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