Join us at the
Featuring: Arlene Piacquadio & Kristie Foss
The muse summons our spirit and ignites our creative passion. It dwells in our imagination and is also a very real and vital element in our creative endeavors. Without the muse, what would the world look like?
The Artist’s Cooperative Gallery of Westerly celebrates this spark of inspiration with a new show,“The Muse Made Manifest – Inspiration Realized,”showcasing encaustic and mixed media work by featured artist Arlene Piacquadio and hand-crafted jewelry by featured artist Kristie Foss. All are invited to meet the artists at the show’s Opening Reception, Friday, April 7 from 5 – 8 PM.
After moving to Rhode Island from New York, featured artist Arlene Piacquadio attended the Rhode Island School of Design, where she became energized by encaustics and began working in this medium, discovering a new freedom of process. Encaustic painting, from a Greek word meaning “to heat or burn in” (enkaustikos), is an ancient process that uses heat to melt beeswax to which resin and colored pigments are added. Ms. Piacquadio’s encaustic work includes collage, found objects, and mixed media. Her current theme is Rhode Island’s natural flora and fauna.
Ms. Piacquadio attributes childhood exploration in the fields of her home in rural New York to helping her develop an understanding of the connections that inspire her work. The artist shares that it was “the shapes of objects and how they interacted with other shapes that was most curious to me and allowed me to experience this in an unusual way.” These natural relationships inspired a “lifelong curiosity about how all things are connected,” deepened later by experiences including teaching art and counseling. Ms. Piacquadio is influenced by the interdependence and connections of the media she uses, including beeswax, collage, and natural objects. “My inspirations have remained nature, people and the connections they create in myself.” Ms. Piacquadio studied art at Ohio University and Marymount College. Il Vento studio opened in 2014. She has served as President of ACGOW since 2014.
Intrigued by the shapes and designs of Moroccan-themed pendants she was working on, featured artist Kristie Foss was inspired to make earrings. In the middle of the creative process, says the artist, “I started playing with the shapes and found them metamorphosing into little flowers earrings.” She considers the finished products to be the physical manifestation of her original inspiration. For Ms. Foss, artistic media provide wonderful opportunities for creating, exploring, and for self-discovery. The artist loves working with polymer and is inspired by Rhode Island’s flora and fauna, leaves, and other natural artifacts. The polymer allows her to create both what is “visible” and what is “imagined.” On her process, the artist reflects, “I can create my own custom mixed colors to match anything I see outside, and then I have the joy of manipulating the clay to create a finished product.” Ms. Foss also credits the abundance of color in nature as an inspiration for her clay pieces. She adds inks or powders or other color agents to create additional layers of color, but designs within the clay are all created by the ways in which the clay is manipulated.
Ms. Foss loves to teach, and feels fortunate to work in mediums that allow her to share her love of these art forms with others. The artist teaches at Nature’s Art in Montville, CT, at Meiklem’s Kilnworks in Bozrah, CT, and at Thistlebeads in Niantic, CT.
Special Events in April:
April 12: ACGOW will host bestselling author and renowned quilter Marie Bostwick , (The Promise Girls) for a book reading, signing and quilt trunk show. See Events for more information.
April 21: Join The Westerly Arts Cafe and the Colonial Theater of Westerly, in celebrating Shakespeare's Birthday! Click here for more information.
April 23: In the Back Room Art Gallery – Opening Reception, 2-4pm. Students in Grades 4-8 from St. Michael’s School in Pawcatuck, CT. Art will be on display beginning April 7th.
Coming in May:
Join us in May for our 24th Annual Regional Show, juried by Julia Pavone. Local and regional artists are invited to submit art on Saturday, April 29th or Sunday, April 30th from 1-5pm. Click here for more information.
The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly is celebrating its 25th year. Special events throughout the year will celebrate this landmark anniversary, culminating with a special invitational show in September celebrating all the artists who have been part of ACGOW over the past quarter century.
With new shows and openings each month and special Westerly Arts Café events, there’s always something new to see, and experience.