GoLocalProv | Inside the Art with Michael Rose
Wednesday, July 27, 2022
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Providence’s World’s Fair Gallery has rightly earned a reputation as an ideal space to view intimate and creative exhibits. The room’s current show, As Above, So Below, offers the wonderful variety and quality that viewers have come to expect. Accessible by appointment until August 26, 2022, at the Broadway space, the show highlights the magnificent and complementary work of three artists.
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The exhibition includes an attractive array of media. On the walls, bright and lively cyanotypes by Brett Day Windham are on display. Paired with these two-dimensional creations, visitors will find earthenware ceramics by Tammy Kim and glassware by Pierre Bowring of Bow GlassWorks. Kim’s ceramic brings an earthy element and Bowring’s glass is full of painterly finesse. All of these artists are accomplished and dedicated artisans.
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As Above, So Below opened with a reception on June 24 and for the remainder of its run, visitors can book their own private viewing with gallery owner Willa Van Nostrand. Art lovers can book their visit by emailing the gallery at [email protected], or by direct message the gallery on Instagram via @worldsfairgallery. This unique format offers viewers the ability to see a great show on their own terms and schedules. Van Nostrand is an accommodating and enthusiastic host and the show is worth seeing. Ample free street parking is one of the bonuses of the Broadway location at the World’s Fair.
Brett Day Windham’s cyanotypes show both expertise in a delicate medium as well as a sense of invention and fun. To create them, Windham uses chemicals to make the paper sensitive to light, then places the collected botanicals on the surface and exposes it to light. This results in rich bands of blue that leave white silhouettes of flowers and plants. Windham then returns to his images and enhances them with watercolors and pen. The work is reminiscent of that of Anna Atkins, a giant of early photography. Through his process, Windham adapted his cyanotypes to his own aesthetic.
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Describing his work and process, Windham says, “All my work begins with the act of collecting and then composing with color. When my son was a child, I wasn’t able to make large sculptures and collectible installations, so I switched to works on paper. Cyanotype is something I have always loved and it allowed me to explore the idea of objectless collections. I printed the first batch through the nursery window. Inspired by hand-tinted photographs, I started hand-painting my prints in vibrant colors to bring that Victorian process to today. There’s a joy that radiates from me when I’m working on it, and I hope it shows.
As is the tradition at the Universal Exhibition, the two-dimensional work is skillfully joined by three-dimensional pieces that combine form and function. For this show, Windham is accompanied by ceramist Tammy Kim and glassmaker Pierre Bowring.
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Kim grew up in California and Virginia, but calls Rhode Island her forever home. She earned a master’s degree in sculpture and combines her ceramic practice with her work as an astrologer and her position as education coordinator for Farmacy Herbs in Providence. Her multi-faceted background brings much to Kim’s ceramic work, simultaneously enhancing her art and her life. On Thursday, July 28 from 6-8 p.m., Kim will lead an astrology workshop alongside the exhibit, offering visitors the opportunity to engage. To register, guests can email [email protected]
Bowring is the artist behind Bow GlassWorks and is also featured throughout the space. First exposed to glassblowing as a student at Virginia Commonwealth University in 2004, Bowring quickly became interested in the art form and uses it to create elegant and useful objects for the home. His contributions to the exhibition are beautiful for their raw simplicity, minimalist sensibility and sensitive washed-out colors.
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Asked about the connections between her work and her co-exhibitors, cyanotype artist Windham is enthusiastic. She says: “For this exhibition, Willa and I talked about the idea of roots to flowers, encompassing earth, plant and sky. Tammy Kim’s worked earthenware is so grounded and grounded, and cultivation is an essential part of her practice as an herbalist. Pierre Bowring’s effortless glass vessels echo my use of watercolor and remain so full of air and light. There is a real bond between us. »
Bringing these three artists together results in another thoughtful exhibition at the World’s Fair Gallery. Exhibitors bring three unique perspectives to the table and offer works that are often affordable in addition to being beautiful.
As Above, So Below can be viewed at the World’s Fair Gallery through August 26, 2022. The World’s Fair is located at 268 Broadway in Providence and is accessible by appointment. To schedule your visit, send an e-mail [email protected].
Michael Rose is a multi-talented fine arts professional based in southern New England. Since 2014, he has been the gallery director of the historic Providence Art Club, one of the nation’s oldest arts organizations. In his current freelance work, he advises collectors and artists, provides appraisal services, teaches and carries out curatorial projects.