I am a Sixty year old self-taught artist who has lived in Rhode Island my entire life. I have been creating art since childhood, working in every available craft while growing up. I studied mechanical drawing and architecture at Toll Gate High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. I also took ceramic, weaving and painting classes during this time.
In 1998 I began to focus on my painting when I purchased a beach house in Riverside, RI near the old Crescent Amusement Park. That started a ten year rehab project to restore the house to a 1950's to 1960's retro look. I decorated the house with furniture and collectibles from the same era. I created amusement park themed pieces of art for every room. My house looks like a fun house gift shop, crossed with Ripley's “Believe it or not” museum and a Christmas light display.
The house is also my art studio and I spend all of my free time there with my constant companions LuLu and Lenny. They are spotted mini Dachshunds who have larger than life personalities and insist on being my very involved art assistants. The dogs are not helpful of course, and spend most of their time covered in different colors of paint while chewing on my painting supplies but are a big part of my life.
When I am painting I use all of these influences and my varied life experiences and let them run amok in my very active imagination then combine them with my love of color and my sense of humor to create my art.
In 2008 I began showing my art in galleries in the New England area and have been accepted into many juried shows during the last 6 years. I have won second place in the Plymouth Guild “A Different Vision Show” in 2010 and also in the Imago” On and Off The Wall” show in 2011. I also won the first place Foundation Award in the Pawtucket Arts Collaborative show in 2012.
In 2010 when asked by DCYF for ideas to bring local art to the youth in the care of the State I created and became the Director and Curator of The New Hope Art Gallery at the Thomas C. Slater Training School located in the Youth Development Center in Cranston RI. The mission of the gallery was to provide inspiring 2D and 3D artwork of all styles from local artists on a rotating basis to residents of the Training School, their families, staff, providers and guests. In 2015 we moved our gallery to the Michael Traficante Enrichment Center located at 1070 Cranston Street in Cranston, RI and became a non profit gallery with a mission “To bring art to all people and all people to art”. Our talented and hard working volunteer staff continue to have shows every 4 months with over 400 pieces of art in every style and media from over 100 local, national, senior, special needs and student artists. We are celebrating our 8th Anniversary with our Summer Show that opens on Tuesday July 31st 2018 from 4pm to 7:30pm. Please come join us to help celebrate.
Visit Ricky’s website at: www.RickyGagnon.com.