Bannister to showcase sculpture of local artist Mike Hansel, Dec. 9-31

Mike Hansel, whose exhibition at Bannister Gallery, “Sculpture In All Its Parts,” runs from Dec. 9-31, actually began displaying his artwork at RIC last summer. That’s when the installation of his sculpture “Intestinal Fortitude” established RIC’s new Sculpture Tour, an outdoor gallery of works displayed around the campus on a rotating basis.

An opening reception for the exhibition will be held in Bannister Gallery on Thursday, Dec. 9, from 5-8 p.m.

Mike Hansel's 'Intestinal Fortitude,' located on the RIC campus.
Hansel uses sculpture to point people away from what they take for granted towards an oddly humorous world composed of vaguely familiar elements. The works he creates are reinvented associations made between careful observations and the half-forgotten elements of memory.

His machine-like forms and materials merge with organic spirals and curves, resulting in shapes that are both vaguely familiar and tantalizingly unidentifiable.

Hansel's sculptures mix natural and mechanical elements in unusual ways, suggesting, as the artist says, “… that nature and industry aren’t really opposites, but more like complementary terms.”

Hansel heads the art department at St. George’s School and teaches art at Salve Regina University, both in Newport. His large-scale steel sculptures have been exhibited in Connecticut, Illinois, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Virginia.

“Intestinal Fortitude” won the Best of Show award at the 2005 Port Warwick Art and Sculpture Festival in Newport News, Va.

For more information about Hansel, visit his website at

This exhibition is curated by William Martin, chair of RIC’s Art Department.

Gallery hours during exhibits are Tuesday through Friday, noon to 8 p.m. Exhibits and events are free and open to the public. Accessible to persons with disabilities. For information on event dates and exhibit opening receptions, check the website at or call (401) 456-9765.