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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 •


6Kris Lewis, Au­rora, oil on board, 12 x 12"

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