The Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly (ACGOW), celebrates its 30th anniversaryTh year as a successful cooperative gallery, it recognizes and appreciates the beauty of both its supportive community and magnificent natural environment. Artists can find inspiration all year long in the breathtaking Rhode Island and Connecticut coastlines.
This is the perfect time to enjoy the quiet magic of winter and art lovers are invited to visit the Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly and discover what artists love about the season in Februarys show, Environment – Between Sea & Sky. Friday, February 4, is the First Friday Opening Reception.Th from 5-8pm. All are invited to stop at the Westerly Train Station and meet the artists, as well as see the exhibit.
February’s show will showcase the work of Janet Maher (new artist member) and John Craig (new artist member). As they display their favorite pieces, the art of the 40+ juried Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly artists will also be on show.
John Craig, ACGOW’s February featured artist, started painting later in his life. Craig describes how he found painting after a long career in finance, which was highly structured and controlled. For exploring the emotion and range of abstract art, he uses acrylic, oil on canvas, panel, and canvas as his tools.
Craig’s themes include dystopian dreamscapes, classic abstract expressionism, and colorful still lifes. His approach is improvisational and completely lacking in subtlety, he says. You don’t need deep thought. It is simple, unfiltered, and sometimes startling. He draws inspiration from Pollock Kline, Twombly, Basquiat and the Impressionist masters. He prefers to describe his own style as “whatever works.” Craig has participated in group shows in New Jersey and Connecticut, and was the 2021 resident artist at Stonington Vineyards.
Janet Mahers, featured artist, was concerned about the environment and decided to work with materials that aren’t inherently valuable or beautiful. She stated that she creates either spontaneously or through several steps, sometimes including collage. I strive to create a cohesive result that pleases my own eyes and is interesting to others. She believes that her organic abstract images of Nature that are organic and abstract can be viewed on a micro or macro scale. Mahers method is very deliberate. She explains that creating art as a layered building process requires slowing and paying attention to many details simultaneously, which can also serve as a form meditation.
Maher began a mixed-media series, Prayers for the Earth. It was completed just over a year ago when she moved to Rhode Island. This series includes handmade paper, Photoshop work and colored pencils. She explained, “Continuing to create art in this time so intense human and environmental suffering is a prayer toward a better tomorrow while I continue my lifelong habit of living and working simply in the moment.
Environment – Between Sea & Sky features a vibrant variety of work by the juried artists of ACGOW. Art lovers can view tranquil seascapes, peaceful landscapes in winter, handcrafted artisan wooden table, photographs of New England during the calm season, and multicolored necklaces, earrings, and bracelets. This fine art collection includes oils, watercolors and acrylics as well as cold wax & olive oil, cold wax & encaustic, multimedia and photographs.
Friday, February 4,Th is National Wear Red Day. FebruaryIs American Heart MonTh and all are encouraged to wear red on Friday, February 4th in order to raise awareness in hopes of helping eradicate heart disease and stroke in millions of women all over the nation. Patrons and artists are encouraged wear red. Each person who attends First Friday Opening will be able to choose one of a variety of red items made by members to match the Wear Red theme.
A Visual Presentation of Artists Process
In February, several artists will create visual storyboards of their creative process. These special displays will be illustrated with photos and written descriptions to give gallery visitors a better understanding about the creative process of these artists.
Monthly Art Classes at Artists Cooperative Gallery of WesterlyIn 2022, the ACGOW Education Committee will offer ten adult art classes. The classes will take place at the gallery and will be open to both members and the public. The cost is $80 for members and $110 for nonmembers.
Save The Date – Sketch & Alla Prima Painting Class in February
The Gallery’s inaugural Painting Workshop will take place February 8th.Th and 15Th from 10am-1pm. Contact artist Christine Reilly for more information/to register at firstname.lastname@example.org or 401 212- 6797.
Save The Date – Slow Stitching Class in March
The March Slow Stitching Class is March 7Th and 8Th from 10am-1pm. Contact artist Patricia Cheyne for more information/to register at email@example.com.
The Gallery continues to be mindful of its responsibility to care for its members as well as the community it serves. It is taking all precautions to ensure that this happens. ACGOW follows RI COVID guidelines regarding cleaning, provision and use of hand sanitizer, facial masks, physical separation between guests and overall capacity within the gallery.
The Gallery Shop is located in the West Wing. It features artist creations and small works of affordable art. The shop offers prints, cards and miniature paintings, as well as mobiles, coasters and pottery. Bookmarks are also available.
All are welcome at the Gallery at Westerly Train Station at 14 Railroad Avenue. Visitors are encouraged to visit the Gallery on First Fridays to see new art and to meet the artists. If you have any questions, or if you wish to visit the Gallery please call 401-596-2221. www.westerlyarts.com or the ACGOW Facebook page for information about ACGOW shows and artists. Follow ACGOW @acgow2018 on Instagram
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