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RALPH BUCCI, FSC: Artist's Statement

My work includes four evolving themes: dolmen forms (from pre-historic stone formation inspiration), messenger forms (angel references), closed forms (vessel-like references), and small-scaled mountain-scapes.

The work is "formal." The dolmen, closed forms/vessels, and -scapes, themes represented here, intermingle the art-elements of shape/form, texture, and color so as to invite the viewer to examine the pieces from near and far, considering them as miniaturized monuments, and examining the interaction of art elements and principals.

The net effect is a sense of ambiguity where shape and texture - both actual and color - touches a sense of humanity's collective unconscious. The work's physical presence reflects the sturdiness of stone and the color and texture of both the natural or man-made worlds, andwondering about their scale - are they monumental?

The dolmen-inspired forms possess a duality of welcome and inhibition; they invite the viewer to pass through the entryway, but simultaneously inhibit the viewer's passage because the entry space is too narrow. Similarly, the closed forms have the viewer wonder about the interior of the vessel or what the intention of the wing-shape is. Can anything be placed "inside?" Again, there is an invitation to discover an interior, while the closure or wing-shapes inhibit the viewer from even a visual entry into the form. Lastly, here, one wonders about the -scapes, textured withclay additions and colored variously. Are they monumental or miniaturized?

In addition to the works' ambiguity, is its sensuality: the gentle curves of the silhouette and even the actual and visual texture that combine on the surface, with painted surfaces or the coloreffects of smoke-fired painted surfaces and the mystery of the carbon flashes.

The work invites wonder: about mystery and meaning and about the meaning of scale, material, color, and how it touches our spirits and unconscious souls.

VALERIE DEBRULE: Artist's Statement

I have written before about how I feel I was born with a crayon in my hand. I don’t remember needing validation or encouragement; it just was. My mother was a frustrated painter as a child (no wasting the butcher paper in that British household). So she provided all the materials- papers, cardboard, crayons, fat pencils I would ever need and then left me alone. (no rules except no tracing).I even felt like copying something I looked at was “cheating,” so, like most kids (I suppose) I worked from my head or stories and songs on the radio.

Later, my children always had a “drawing corner” when we travelled, especially grabbing that wonderful Hotel stationary. It was all for fun.

Art was “comfort” food.

Going to prehistoric caves in France and Spain and seeing the drawing, incising, “air” brushing, the allusion of movement, etc. I had many questions. Is the ability to produce art work innate? Were these people “magic people” in their tribe or could everyone paint? If creating is innate why did some people lose the ability? Nobody in those caves answered me. It remains a “mystery in the Dark.”

Mystery is what our show “Spark in the Dark: igniting creativity” is about. The inspiration of using the imagination with the photographs of people dead for many years and inventing a digital world with old and new. Creating beauty out of clay and fire, almost a “channeling” of prehistoric dolmen shapes for the hands in the clay.  My impulse was “what inspires me to grab an ancient mystery and investigate it through art?” This show, I believe, is an approach I often use: I research a subject of the ancient world, I visit it physically, if possible, speculate about human spirituality and then “I paint it”. Here’s hoping it will stir up interest.


JUDITH KINZEL: Artist's Statement

When I was a child I would stare at the ceiling and imagine the room flipped – ceiling becoming floor, floor ceiling - and mentally walk through the altered house creating strange adventures.

As an artist I am drawn to exploring the fluidity between realities and the subsequent impact on people and relationships. “What if....” drives my story-telling: the belief that “what is” could easily be something different.

I have a double closet full of photographs of strangers: tintypes, cabinet cards, Kodachrome slides; snap shots, formal portraits, Polaroids. Some as old as the 1860’s, some as “new” as the 1970’s. They’ve come from yard sales, flea markets, consignment stores and eBay. A few were found inside old books where they had been used as bookmarks. Some were found after a long search, some showed up as unexpected treasure, some were gifts from friends and family who know of my obsession.

And I am obsessed. Every photo holds the potential for a story, for an adventure in history, fantasy, comedy or drama. For me, there is nothing as satisfying as a good story. In my digital work, I combine these vintage photographs with my own to create peculiar, curious and mysterious visual stories.

My current work is focussed on children as they encounter unexpected events or find themselves in strange environments. Ursula LeGuin wrote, “How does a child arrange a vast world that is always turning out new stuff?  She does the best she can, and doesn’t bother with what she can’t until she has to.” Without expectation of predictable outcomes, the worlds depicted in these prints hold the potential for magic- sometimes playful and exhilarating, sometimes strange and disturbing.

I work primarily in Affinity Photo, a photo-editing software that allows me to cut and paste electronically and merge pieces from very different sources while balancing color, tone and perspective. The program has some built in special effects but I use those sparingly and develop composites using “real” elements to create a sense of otherworldliness.


March - December Gallery Hours: Wednesday - Sunday, 1 - 5 pm
134 Aquidneck Avenue
Middletown, RI 02842

401.847.9977