cooperative gallery opens the April exhibition with “Art, movement and rhythm” | Way of life

WEST – Spring has officially arrived, and as the cold land of New England thaws, “new life is emerging and the activity around us is charged with renewed energy,” said artist Lois Lawrence, a member of the Publicity Committee of the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly in a statement. “It’s all part of the rhythm of life.

Gallery members will be sharing their art and rhythm over the busy month ahead, starting with their April exhibition, “Art, Movement and Rhythm.” The show, which kicks off with an opening reception on Friday, features the work of member artists Rosemary “Posy” Webber and Patricia Cheyne.

Webber, Lawrence said, is an award-winning artist whose work has appeared in national magazines and exhibited in galleries across the Northeast. A graduate of St. Lawrence University, she studied art at Parsons School of Design, Silvermine School of Art, New York Studio School and Lyme Academy of Fine Arts.

Webber, who works with oils and watercolors, was originally an illustrator, said Lawrence, who is greatly influenced by “seasonal changes in New England.”

Webber believes that “good painting requires careful observation and persistent practice”, while “good art also needs personality, harmony and a certain boldness”, Lawrence added.

“The bold and carefully planned brushstrokes in his alla prima (also known as wet-on-wet) paintings of floral and other subjects speak to this ethos,” Lawrence added.

Cheyne, Lawrence explained, “is an explorer of art forms and the gifts that practical art forms offer…to both the artist and the viewer”.

Cheyne said her art, too, is influenced by “the forests, shores and valleys of New England” where she grew up.

“She views much of her work as landscape,” Lawrence said, “but is drawn less to panning and more to immediate, close range.”

Recently, Cheyne has been working on a fiber art form known as “slow stitching,” which combines a meditative aspect to her work, Lawrence said.

Throughout her career, Cheyne has experimented with, created and taught printmaking, fiber art and papermaking workshops and has given workshops at the gallery, including one – “Artists’ Books” – planned for April 19 and 26. (Another class, “Mark Making and Collage,” will be offered by Christine Reilly on April 11-12.)

The gallery’s 50 or so members are celebrating “30 years of sharing art, crafts and creative processes,” Lawrence said, as well as “our shared freedom to come together in person.”

They are also preparing for the Regional Juried Show, which will take place in May, Lawrence added, when gallery members, artists and artisans from across New England will present works selected by juror Michael Rose, who is currently general manager of the prestigious Providence Artistic Club. Entrants will be charged a modest jury fee and selected works will be eligible for cash prizes totaling over $4,000 in a number of diverse categories.

A prospectus is available on the Museum’s website at www.westerlyarts.com.

—Nancy Burns-Fusaro

Christopher S. Washington