In what has been a particularly difficult year, this week brought a positive development. This past month, I submitted my found object assemblage sculpture “Magistrate” to the South County Art Association’s annual Members show. This exhibition is one in which the work is eligible for prizes in various media, as awarded by an outside juror. This year, the juror for the show is Nancy Gaucher Thomas, who is well known as a highly esteemed artist and arts organizer.
Visiting the gallery, I was very honored to see that I had been awarded the Jim Visconti Award for best sculpture for my work. This award is particularly significant to me, as Jim was a friend and mentor to me back when I was a young high school art student.
There is a wonderful video available in which Ms. Gaucher Thomas talks about the show and the awards that she presented. You can see it here:
While this year, the COVID-19 situation means that the event will not be an in-person experience, it will still be held online!
My contribution this year for the Art Heist will be my found object assemblage character Klarp, together with a special display case.
In years past, My characters have found happy homes at this wonderful event, so if you might be interested in having Klarp for yourself, this is a great opportunity to register to be part of the Art Heist!
The past few months have been quite the challenge, on account of the whole COVID-19 crisis. It made the rest of the spring semester particularly difficult, and has been a period of having to make some significant adjustments.
One thing that has been changed is the entire arts community. Shows and events have been cancelled, rearranged, or retooled in theme. The majority of shows now have a primarily online presence, even when there is physical work in the gallery.
When lockdown went into effect, the South County Art Association put out a call to the membership to share an image of their work as part of the show ” Giving Art a Voice”, with the following description:
Art is a reflection of our society. As our world changes, so does the way we express it.
We asked our community how their art can communicate, inspire, and soothe during these unprecedented times. This is what they shared.
The piece that I put in was my sculpture “The High Priest”
As I wrote: “What I appreciate most about found object assemblage is the role of chance, and the power of unexpected juxtapositions and relationships. I let the pieces tell me what they want to become. Ultimately my sculptural “work” is a process of infinitely recombinant play.”
Indeed, I find that sculpting is one of the activities that I find more relaxing at this time. I’m indeed fortunate that I have the space and resources to pursue my work in this way>
On that note, the Art League Rhode Island asked their members to submit images of work created during this time as part of their show “The Trailing Quarter”.
This Past Wednesday, I traveled to the Vets in Providence for the opening reception of Art League Rhode Island‘s ‘One Zero One’ exhibition. This was a juried show based on the idea of the ambivalent relationship of the digital world to the analog world.
I had two of my pieces accepted by juror David DeMelim.
The first piece is my found object assemblage “Harbinger”
And the second piece in this show is my large format Vector Illustration “Hard Reboot”
This week, I was pleased to receive an award of Honorable Mention, for my found-object assemblage sculpture “Harbinger” in the South County Art Association’s Annual Members Show. Juried by artist Uli Brahmst, this exhibition is up through August 10th of 2019 https://www.southcountyart.org/
This past month, I was invited to attend a special interview session of “Art Matters”, a program hosted by a local public access channels. The host of Art Matters is Wayne Quackenbush, a good friend who is the proprietor of Annex Comics in Newport, and the president of the Portsmouth Art Guild. As Wayne was also putting my artwork on display in his shop windows, he asked if I might like to speak on his show about my work and process. I was quite honored to participate, and rather enjoyed the experience!
The other morning, I received an alarming note that the Mayor of Warwick is considering the prospect of evicting the Warwick Center for the Arts from their longtime home in order to convert the historic Kentish Armory Building into a municipal office, as according to this article in the Warwick Beacon. Suffice it to say, I do not believe that this is a well considered plan.
The WCOA has long been a vital center of arts and culture . Yesterday, I wrote this letter to Mayor Solomon. I am hoping that my input, along with may others , may help him to find an alternative plan that preserves the WCOA in their historic home.
My name is Krzysztof Mathews. I am a resident of Warwick, and I am writing to
you out of concern for the proposed plans to evict the Warwick Center for the
Arts from their home at the historic Kentish Armory building.
The Warwick Center for the Arts plays a vital role for the arts here in Rhode
Island. Situated between Wickford and Providence, it provides an excellent
space and serves a wide cross section of the arts community. For the youngest
emerging artists, the WCOA has consistently offered a robust selection of
classes. This is the foundation that can help young people to begin a lifelong
appreciation of the arts and their own developing skills and enjoyment of the
practice of art. The main gallery is a beautiful space that has been lovingly
developed over years of hard work and careful remodeling to create an
accessible exhibition venue that has hosted a truly wide and diverse series of
shows in every media, and in a substantial range of subjects and themes. Over many
years, arts groups such as the SENE Film festival, the Art League Rhode Island,
19 on Paper, the University of Rhode Island Department of Art and Art History,
and RISCA have all shared their art, workshops, and events in this space.
And let us also not forget that the WCOA has been a place that offers a
location for music and live performance including a local comedy improv group.
To find an arts venue that offers all of these benefits to the public is an
increasingly rare thing!
I fear that if the WCOA is forced to evict their space, they may well find
themselves without a location that allows them to provide the public and the
arts community with these opportunities and services, and that would be a
158 Sand Pond Road
Warwick Rhode Island
This past year, I was visited by a good friend who I knew from my days back as a RISD undergraduate. Verna Valencia is a skilled and dedicated painter and collage artist who regularly travels to visit and report on artists, museums and galleries. I was incredibly honored that she chose to visit my studio and create an in depth profile of my art and working process. This article is now live on her web site!
A good but packed holiday season finally comes to an end. With it, here are a few developments I was busy with during November and December, as the semester came to a close..
Juror for the Warwick Center for the Arts
I was honored to serve as the juror for the show “Brave New World” a showcase of digital art on display at the Warwick Center for the Arts. I was quite impressed by the variety and quality of the work submitted!
As juror, I had one of my artworks on display as well- my digital print “Supercharge”
Awarded Honorable Mention at the Winter’s Eve juried show
One of the annual events that artists in the area have come to look forward to is the annual “Winter’s Eve” show hosted by the Friends of the East Greenwich Library. This year, I was pleasantly surprised to earn the award of Honorable Mention for my digital print “Finally Found it!”
So all in all, a very good season. I now look forward to the various exhibitions taking place in the coming year!