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  • Work by David DeMelim at BankRI

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    On October 13, 2016 • By

    BankRI Galleries, Gallery Night Providence

    BankRI Galleries present:

     “A Day in Havana: Photographs by David DeMelim,”

    October 6 through November 2, 2016 at the BankRI Turks Head branch in downtown Providence at One Turks Head Place.

    There will be a Gallery Night reception on October 20 from 5 to 8:30 pm with live music by guitarist Mark Armstrong and light refreshments.

    BankRI Galleries, Gallery Night Providence
    MEET THE ARTIST – DAVID DEMELIM
    If you look closely you can see the camera, nestled quietly in the angle of his left arm.  It’s almost always there ready for the moment, a constant presence in the life of photographer David DeMelim.

    He came by his interest in photography naturally – his dad is a printmaker and his family enjoyed traveling and taking pictures. One day, the teenage DeMelim wandered into a junk shop that happened to have a box of cameras for sale.  The cameras intrigued him and so, with his own money, he bought the assortment of cameras.

    “The purchase of that collection, a large box of twenty or thirty cameras, opened up a whole variety of possibilities,” DeMelim recalls. “I learned that like a painters array of brushes, each camera has specific characteristics that effect how you shoot and the type of image you can capture.”

    DeMelim’s photographs don’t look like other photographs.  They exist on the fringes of photography, somewhere between printmaking and painting.  Saturated color fields, high contrast abstracted shapes and lack of detail mark his work. “Born a hundred years or so earlier,” DeMelim says, “I have no doubt I would have been a painter.”

    While familiar with the earliest iterations of photoshop, for DeMelim most of the magic happens at capture.  Unlike others who take a photograph with a standard digital camera and adjust the images in their computer, DeMelim shoots his images with a camera containing modified software designed especially for him.

    At one time DeMelim worked in the print industry.  The digital explosion was just beginning and he was lucky enough to be able to work with software designers to create software that helped him realize a very specific photographic vision.

    Digital cameras today treat every bit of information equally, every single pictoral detail perfectly delineated.  That’s not how the human eye sees.  When we look at a scene, we immediately distinguish what we personally think is important.  That is what DeMelim does.

    “Like items are grouped together and treated as one for the purpose of analysis,” DeMelim explains. “In this way contrast is adjusted to clarify the image, removing unnecessary information and providing clarity and focus to what I feel are the important picture elements.”

    The photographs exhibited here at the BankRI Turks Head Gallery are a mixture of DeMelim’s high contrast work and other more traditional photographs taken on a recent trip to Cuba.  In Cuba,  DeMelim simply recorded his experiences.  The resulting photographs display both the grandeur and the decay of this beautiful country.  The rich colors, unexpected architecture and sumptuous compositions practically sing out.

    “I wanted to show the rich diversity [of Cuba],” DeMelim explains,  “not just the old cars.  It was such a fascinating place, full of contradictions and unexpected juxtapositions. With so much to see and discover it was hard to focus on any one thing for very long, a true case of visual overload … rich colors, textures and patterns with everything in motion, even the buildings.”

    The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.

    Exhibit hours are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, contact www.bankri.com or call 401 574-1330.

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  • Ann-Marie Gillett at BankRI Gallery

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    On September 13, 2016 • By

    Ann-Marie Gillett exhibits drawings made of tape at the BankRI Turks Head Gallery September 1 through October 5, 2016. There will be a Gallery Night reception September 15 from 5 to 8:30 pm.

    BankRI Turks Head Gallery

    “Transformations in Tape by Ann-Marie Gillett,”

    September 1 through October 5, 2016 at the BankRI Turks Head branch in Downtown Providence at One Turks Head Place.

    There will be a Gallery Night reception on September 15 from 5 to 8:30 pm with live music by guitarist Mark Armstrong and light refreshments.

    Ann-Marie Gillett exhibits drawings made of tape at the BankRI Turks Head Gallery September 1 through October 5, 2016. There will be a Gallery Night reception September 15 from 5 to 8:30 pm.Ann-Marie Gillett exhibits drawings made of tape at the BankRI Turks Head Gallery September 1 through October 5, 2016. There will be a Gallery Night reception September 15 from 5 to 8:30 pm.

     

     

     

     

     

     

    MEET THE ARTIST – ANN-MARIE GILLETT

    It wasn’t a very promising beginning.  The young girl sat quietly in art class as a stern woman held up a picture. The children were asked to duplicate the image and the child who came closest was deemed “the best.”  That was the extent of the early childhood art education of Ann-Marie Gillett.

    Gillett was not content with copying other people’s artwork. “Even as a young kid,” Gillett says “I “felt compelled to make things with my hands.”  She grew up with a love of making things and a love of teaching.

    After graduating from Rhode Island College with a degree in art education, Gillett taught for three years in the Attleboro public schools.  She took a break to raise a family and went on to teach at Wheeler School.  After a thirty-year career at Wheeler, Gillett retired last year eager to devote all her considerable energy to making art.

    Gillett, a Rhode Island native, now lives in Seekonk, Massachusetts in a rural corner of suburbia. Birds build nests in the doorways, deer and wild turkey wander through the yard and all manner of creatures are neighborhood friends.  Nature practically spills onto the threshold.

    It’s nature that informs Gillett’s work, but it is her method of working that best defines her.

    Originally a fiber artist, she began working with the batiking process on gourds she grew in her garden.  Normally in batik, wax is used to create images and patterns.  The parts of the fabric that are waxed resist the dye; the parts that are left unwaxed absorb it.

    On the gourds, Gillett substituted tape for the wax.  When she removed the tape from the gourds, she didn’t throw it away. “I was pulling off all these red triangles from the gourds,” Gillett explains “and my leg would be covered with little pieces of tape.  The tape was still tacky and I thought, why can’t I put these pieces of tape on paper?”

    Today Gillett paints the tape different colors, cuts it into a multitude of shapes and lines and uses it to create her intricate and lyrical drawings.  She can cut a piece of tape as thin as a single hair.

    At the moment, Gillett is working on two different themes – gravity and nests.  The Gravity series is inspired by the life cycle of the garden. “Eventually vibrant plants wither, droop and drop to the ground,” Gillett explains.  “Aging is a force of gravity that pulls on us.”  These line drawings are abstracted images of what Gillett imagines gravity to look like.

    The Nest series features more realistic interpretations of birds’ nests.  Like the birds that build their nests twig by twig, Gillett uses hundreds of delicately cut pieces of tape to build hers.  The complexity of the nest is a contrast to the quiet, serene environment of the backdrop.

    “This has been the busiest year,” Gillett says reflectively.  “Now I can get up in the morning and make my own work.  That’s my job and that’s a privilege.”

    The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.

    Exhibit hours are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, contact www.bankri.com or call 401 574-1330.

    Gallery Night Providence

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  • John Fazzino at the BankRI Turks Head Gallery

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    On July 12, 2016 • By

    BankRI, Gallery Night Providence, John Fazzino

    The BankRI Galleries present:

     “Watercolors and Sculpture by John Fazzino,”

    July 7 through August 3, 2016

    at the BankRI Turks Head branch in downtown Providence at One Turks Head Place.

    BankRI, Gallery Night Providence, John Fazzino

    There will be a Gallery Night reception on July 21 from 5 to 8:30 pm with live music and light refreshments.  Exhibit hours are Monday through Wednesday 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Thursday and Friday 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.  For more information, contact www.bankri.com or call 401 574-1330.

    MEET THE ARTIST – JOHN FAZZINO

    For the first ten years of his professional life, Providence artist John Fazzino was a self-described “glorified paper-pusher floundering around in an insurance company.”  He had grown up in Portland, Connecticut, isolated from creative endeavors.

    Fazzino was in his mid 20s when he met an all around Renaissance artist named Mickey Sequenzia.  Sequenzia introduced him to a whole new creative world.  In the cooperative studio Wesleyan Potters in Middletown. CT, Fazzino learned how to hand build ceramic pieces and throw on the potter’s wheel.  

    “It was a life changing moment,” Fazzino says.  “I was so unhappy in the earlier part of my life and so unsure of what I was going to do.”   The only thing Fazzino was sure of was that he didn’t want to spend another ten years working for an insurance company.

    He moved to Rhode Island in 1983 with the hope of attending the Rhode Island School of Design.  Fazzino was thirty years old when he took his first class at RISD, twelve years older than most of the students in his classes.   

    “I learned so much from RISD,” Fazzino says. “I was taught how to see differently and how to think more deeply.” Because he was so much older than his fellow students, Fazzino was able to fully concentrate on his ceramic studies and he worked constantly, taking as many classes as he could in several different fields.  After graduation, he attended Swain School of Design (now the University if Massachusetts Dartmouth) in New Bedford and earned his MFA.

    Like his mentor Sequenzia, Fazzino is an all around Renaissance man.  He is a ceramist, watercolorist, teacher and gardener.  He teaches ceramics at the Steelyard in Providence and the Art Exchange in Cranston. In his home, he teaches yoga.  In the summer, he designs and cares for client gardens. If finances are tight, he rents one of his bedrooms out on airbnb.

    At the BankRI Turks Head Gallery in July, Fazzino will exhibit ceramics and watercolors.

    Fazzino takes an abstracted approach to the watercolor medium, loosely directing the paint to form spiral-like shapes that almost look like watery fireworks mid-explosion.  He credits RISD professor Victor Lara for encouraging experimentation and exploration in the then unfamiliar medium of watercolor.

    Fazzino’s ceramic pieces, like his watercolors, are experimental and very personal in nature.   When he was a student at Swain School of Design, Fazzino decided to combine his love of ceramics with his love of the garden. He hand builds unusually shaped structures that function in a garden setting even as they satisfy as sculptures.  Strong colors, unusual shapes and a very earthy feel characterize the ceramic sculptures.  They have a ruin-like quality, ancient and modern at the same time.  Birdbaths, fountains, fluted bowls, vases and benches are just some of the sculptural pieces Fazzino makes.

    Visit johnfazzino.com to view more of his work.
    The BankRI Galleries are curated by Paula Martiesian, a Providence-based artist and arts advocate.

    Gallery Night Providence

    #MyGalleryNight

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