Justin Chen and Sienna Fusaro of Westerly High School.
For the past 30 years the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly has given artists in Rhode Island and Connecticut an opportunity to showcase their works of art to the South County arts community. Since 1992, just as the founding artists had planned, the gallery exhibits a new show each month, and art lovers gather to enjoy the show and each other, at First Friday Opening Receptions.
Melissa Verdier, Mason’s Island, Oil
Next month, ACGOW presents its August show, “30 Years of Art & Community,” featuring artists Melissa Verdier & Rick Petrocelli. Special guests, “Art it Forward” scholarship winners Justin Chen and Sienna Fusaro, will exhibit their work in the UNITED In Art Community Room. All are invited to meet the artists at the opening reception on Aug. 5, 5-8pm.
Featured artist Melissa Verdier states that she “was fortunate to enjoy art at a very young age while observing her father working in oils. He was a writer by trade, but artist at heart.” After graduating from Briarcliff College, and receiving a master’s at Western Connecticut in Danbury, her fine art training continued with classes at SUNY in Purchase, N.Y., doing studio work and independent studies in watercolor, printmaking, and pastel. She later taught art in Ossining, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut.
Verdier’s oil paintings have mainly featured landscapes, waterscapes, and places where she traveled or lived. Her use of analogous colors, (three colors close to each other on the color wheel), creates a calming and painterly effect. Some of the beautiful coastlines and points of interest in Connecticut and Rhode Island have been included in the August exhibit.
Rick Petrocelli, Guatemalan Girl (US Border 2021), Oil
Featured artist Rick Petrocelli paints figurative, landscape, still life and portraits in oils. He explains that he paints in oils combining old master techniques with lessons from impressionist and expressionist uses of color and varied paint handling.
Petrocelli, a member of the Portrait Society of America, will be exhibiting several oil paintings in a series titled “New Saints.” The paintings in the series are dedicated to immigrants past and present, who bring vibrant, life affirming energy, talent and hope to our community.
Serena Bates, an ACGOW founder and current member, was pleased to award the first Corrine Hansen Taylor “Art it Forward” Scholarships to Justin Chen and Sienna Fusaro of Westerly High School. Both students will be pursuing an education connected to the arts and are looking forward to thriving arts careers in the future.
As a kickoff to the 2023 “Art it Forward” campaign, tickets will be sold for a fundraising Pancake Breakfast hosted by local Masonic Franklin Lodge #20. The full breakfast will be $10 at their Reception Hall at 20 Elm St., Westerly from 10 a.m. to noon on Sept. 18. For more information contact Serena Bates at [email protected]
ACGOW invites its patrons from 6 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 6 for the 5th Annual Art Heist at the historic Westerly Armory on 41 Railroad Ave. Tickets are $175, for sale at the Gallery, and include admission for two and the opportunity to ‘heist’ a work of art. The event will feature live music, hors d’oeuvres, fresh oysters, desserts, wine and beer. Tickets for the event that do not include the opportunity to acquire art will be priced at $30 per person.
For more information call (401) 596-2221 during regular business hours or visit ACGOW’s Facebook site or Instagram @westerlyarts.
In the Galleries is a regular feature. To submit email [email protected]