Justin Chen and Sienna Fusaro of Westerly High School.
For the past 30 years, the Westerly Artists’ Cooperative Gallery has offered Rhode Island and Connecticut artists the opportunity to showcase their artwork to the South County arts community. Since 1992, just as the founding artists had planned, the gallery has exhibited a new exhibition every month and art lovers gather to enjoy the show and each other at the opening receptions on the first Friday.
Melissa Verdier, The island of masons, Oil
Next month, ACGOW presents its August exhibition, “30 Years of Art & Community”, featuring artists Melissa Verdier and 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. Everyone is invited to meet the artists at the opening reception on August 5th, from 5pm to 8pm.
Featured artist Melissa Verdier says she “was lucky enough to appreciate art at an early age while watching her father work with oils. He was a writer by trade, but an artist at heart.” After graduating from Briarcliff College and pursuing a master’s degree from Western Connecticut in Danbury, her fine art education continued with classes at SUNY in Purchase, NY, doing studio work and independent studies in watercolor, etching and pastel. She later taught art in Ossining, New York and Greenwich, Connecticut.
Verdier’s oil paintings mainly depicted landscapes, water landscapes, and places where he traveled or lived. His use of analogous colors, (three colors close to each other on the color wheel), creates a calming and painterly effect. Some of Connecticut and Rhode Island’s beautiful coastlines and points of interest were included in the August exhibit.
Rick Petrocelli, Guatemalan Girl (US Border 2021), Petroleum
Featured artist Rick Petrocelli paints figuratives, landscapes, still lifes and oil portraits. He explains that he paints in oil combining ancient techniques of mastery with lessons from the Impressionist and Expressionist uses of color and a varied handling of painting.
Petrocelli, a member of the Portrait Society of America, will exhibit several oil paintings in a series entitled “New Saints”. The paintings in the series are dedicated to past and present immigrants, who bring vibrant and life-giving energy, talent and hope to our community.
Serena Bates, founder of ACGOW and current member, was delighted to award Corrine Hansen Taylor’s first “Art it Forward” scholarships to Justin Chen and Sienna Fusaro of Westerly High School. Both students will pursue an arts-related education and look forward to thriving artistic careers in the future.
As the start of the 2023 “Art it Forward” campaign, tickets will be sold for a fundraising Pancake Breakfast hosted by Masonic Franklin Lodge # 20. Full breakfast will be $ 10 at their Reception Hall at 20 Elm St., Westerly from 10am to 12pm on September 18th. For more information contact Serena Bates at [email protected]
ACGOW invites its customers from 6pm to 8pm on Saturday 6 August for the 5th annual art heist at the historic Westerly Armory on 41 Railroad Ave. Tickets cost $ 175, on sale at the Gallery and include the entrance for two people and the opportunity to ‘rob’ a work of art. The event will feature live music, appetizers, fresh oysters, desserts, wine and beer. Tickets to the event that do not include the opportunity to acquire artwork will be priced at $ 30 per person.
For more information, call (401) 596-2221 during normal business hours or visit the ACGOW Facebook site or Instagram @westerlyarts.
In the Galleries it is a regular feature. To email [email protected]