Annual small works show
As the holiday season approaches, RJD Gallery in Bridgehampton, New York, mounts its exhibition BIG ART small canvas, featuring small-scale pieces by its gallery artists and emerging talent. This year’s edition opens November 10 with paintings by Andrea Kowch, Mary Jane Ansell, Rick Garland, Kris Lewis, Phillip Thomas, Amanda Greive, Alain Vaes and Jantina Peperkamp on view.
“A strong demand continues for smaller artworks from those that appreciate fine art, but struggle with their dwindling wall space,” says Richard Demato, principal of the gallery. “These ‘little gems’ are diverse and make their own powerful statement within the confines of compact dimensions. Many art connoisseurs purchase several of the small works not only for themselves but also for holiday giving.”
Kowch will be represented in the show by two early and original book cover illustrations, as well as four additional interior illustrations, from her own collection.
“The Distance Between Shores and Opaque Traveler share the namesake of the books that they served as the cover art for. The early years of my art career included working as an illustrator; a time, during which, I had the pleasure of being asked by poet, Brian Michael Tracy, to illustrate two of his books of poetry,” says Kowch. “Tracy’s written work thus served as the subject matter from which I drew inspiration from to create the dreamlike visuals that his exquisite poems conjure. With both of our respective work dwelling in the realms of supernatural phenomena, nature, dreams, metaphors and the journey and longings of the soul, concepts of traveling through timeless space and embracing the ethereal were central in propelling my imagination to envision these scenes.”
The pieces “are works that I’ve always been proud of and held in my personal collection for many years,” Kowch explains. “Now available for purchase, each of these works has been beautifully framed, with deep matting, and will include an original copy of the book, signed by me, upon acquisition.”
Phillip’s portrait Sunday takes inspiration from “the life of Alexander Bedward, a 19th-century Jamaican preacher that started one of the most important religious and civil rights movements in Jamaica,” says the artist. “Bedwardism, the movement he founded, was the precursor for following movements such as Garveyism and subsequent movements such as Rastafarianism.”
Another portrait is Lewis’ Aurora, which displays his recurring theme of nature and is based on a Salteaus Indian story called “Dancing Spirits.” As Lewis explains, “[T]hey believed the northern lights were the dancing of human spirits. The Eskimos
from the lower Yukon River believed that the aurora was the dance of animal spirits. The dancing of deer, seals, salmon and beluga; animals indigenous to the landscape. The imagery from this story has always fascinated me. When I think of being surrounded by these wonders of nature it’s awe inspiring for me.”
Columba, by Ansell, shows a woman in white surrounded by the wings of doves. “Columba refers to the Latin name for dove and to a celestial constellation and birds, and doves in particular, are a recurring theme in my work,” the artist explains. “They’ve been depicted as symbolic messengers for hundreds of years, and to me they represent the voice of our subconscious, bringing wisdom and counsel when it’s most needed.”
In his painting The Suite, Garland paints the dilapidated interior of an elegant room adorned with a red furniture and ornate crown molding. “This was a beautiful piece to paint as it has a simple structure and composition, which makes it all the more powerful... there is a subtlety and quiet class to the place which was upmost in my mind when working on it,” he says. “The layer over layer of peeling patterned wallpapers and paint showing the continual surface changes that architecture goes through fascinated me; especially how they all neutralize each other and create one harmonious outcome.”
BIG ART small canvas hangs through December 15.
RJD Gallery 2385 Main Street • Bridgehampton, NY 11932 • (631) 725-1161 • www.rjdgallery.com
6Kris Lewis, Aurora, oil on board, 12 x 12"