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Art Exhibit by RIC Student and Alumni at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery in Westerly

Paintings by (left) Courtney Neves ’13, (top) Emily Mae Boucher ’13, (bottom) Kameko Branchaud ’13 and (right) Emily Sorlien ’14.

Paintings by (left) Courtney Neves ’13, (top) Emily Mae Boucher ’13, (bottom) Kameko Branchaud ’13 and (right) Emily Sorlien ’14.

 

How do you take a flavor and turn it into a color? How many of the objects you “think” you see with the naked eye are actually illusions? And how does a chicken become an artist’s muse?

Answers to these questions and more are made visible at the Rhode Island College Student and Alumni Exhibit presented at the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly on 7 Canal St. in Westerly, R.I. The exhibit runs through March 2.

Emily Mae Boucher ’13 likens her painting technique to preparing a meal. Boucher takes flavors and translates them into colors. “Much like the flavors in a recipe, I methodize my colors to enhance one another,” she said. “I pay particular attention to the intensity and temperature relationships that develop between the individual strokes.” The result of Boucher’s ingredients are sumptuous still lifes – meals for the eyes – replete with “flavor, texture, balance and joy,” she said.

Muralist, metalsmith and art educator Kameko Branchaud ’13, of Chamorro and French Canadian descent, connects her art to her heritage. Her latest paintings reflect her fascination with the island of Guam’s mixed-breed dogs, particularly those who spend their lives tied to makeshift doghouses. She said, “The limited range of their chains allow them only a small area of ground on which they spend their entire lives. As all modern-day Chamorro [people] are of mixed blood, I find the mixed-breed dogs to be appropriate stand-ins for people.”

Senior Emily Sorlien ’14 uses the most widely consumed animal on the planet – the chicken – as the subject of her latest series of paintings. She said, "These still lifes are symbolic representations of the contradictory nature of human morality. Their bound, flayed and naked bodies serve to remind us of our own flesh. The connotations of shame, humiliation and bondage that accompany them play an important role in the work.”

Paintings by Courtney Neves ’13 coax the viewer into a world of illusion where two-dimensional geometric shapes appear three-dimensional. “I want the viewer to question the form and the space that surrounds the form,” she said. “By putting something flat next to something with dimension, I hope to make the viewer wonder how it all works.”

Additional works by RIC alumni on display at the Artists’ Collaborative Gallery are by muralist and art educator Tiffany Cabral ’13, sculptor Felicia Scott ’12, painter Justin Guertin ’11, jewelry designer Julian de la Garza ’13 and painter Natalia Falcone ’13.

Gallery hours are Wednesday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sunday 1-5 p.m. For more information, call (401) 596-2221 or visit http://www.westerlyarts.com/gallery/index.htm.

Rhode Island College’s Department of Art is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design. RIC is the only public college in the state with such an accreditation. RIC is currently in the process of completing construction on a new $17-million art center funded by a voter-approved bond and a $1 million investment from Alex and Ani, LLC.