Newport Art Museum to welcome new summer exhibitions at opening reception

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The historic John N.A.Griswold House is a National Historic Landmark and home to the Newport Art Museum since 1916.

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The Newport Art Museum will welcome four new exhibitions to its galleries this summer, including Joan Hall’s Sea of Heartbreak, Rania Matar’s A Girl and Her Room, Cristi Rinklin’s Paramnesiac and Shara Hughes’ Sun Salutations. An Opening Reception for all four shows will be held during the Museum’s late night programming, Art After Dark, on Thursday, June 14, from 5 – 9 pm. Museum members are welcomed free, non-members are asked for a $10 suggested donation. Cash bar and light refreshments will be available. The Newport Art Museum is located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. Visit newportartmuseum.org or call 401-848-8200 for details.


Joan Hall
Sea of Heartbreak
May 19 – July 29, 2018

A veteran sailor, Joan Hall understands the crisis of ocean pollution. Her stunning large-scale works of art and installations combine found or cast paper marine debris into handmade paper and explore the effects of plastic on the sea. As the artist notes, plastic has changed the marine ecosystem; ten percent of the world’s plastic winds up in the ocean, does not biodegrade, and floats indefinitely around the globe. Birds and marine wildlife also ingest this plastic. For “Sea of Heartbreak,” Hall focuses on the increase in algae bloom and invasive algae and dying coral reefs worldwide, the result of increasing ocean temperatures. Plastic pollution has contributed in part to this devastating ecological shift. Through the creation of complex layered arrangements of paper and objects in rich colors, Hall creates sculptures that are both alluring and yet cautionary as they remind us of the peril we will be in should we choose to ignore pollution.

Joan Hall works in mixed media, and large-scale installations, with an emphasis on the materials of paper, glass, and metal. Hall received her BFA at the Columbus College of Art and Design in Ohio and her MFA at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She studied papermaking with Garner Tullis at the Institute of Experimental Printmaking in San Francisco. She is known for her innovative approaches to material and process. Hall’s work has been exhibited nationally and internationally at the Brooklyn Museum of Art (NY), Leopold-Hoesch Museum (Germany), Newport Art Museum, St. Louis Art Museum (MO), Museum of Nebraska Art (Kearney), Silkeborg Art Center (Denmark), The Blue Star Contemporary Art Center (San Antonio, TX), George Mason University (Fairfax, VA), Joslyn Art Museum (Omaha, NE), Hillwood Art Museum (Brookville, NY), Walton Arts Center (Fayetteville, AR), Budapest Museum of Fine Arts (Hungary), Nordjyllands Museum of Art (Aalborg, Denmark), Suwa Municipal Museum (Japan), Municipal Museum (Nanjing, China), Musée d’Art (Lyon, France), and the Rijswijk Museum and Apeldoorn Museum (both in The Netherlands). She has been the recipient of numerous grants and awards that include two MAAA-NEA individual artist grants and an exhibition grant from the Danish National Council. Her work has been published in national and international books and is in numerous public and private collections. Hall is the Emerita Kenneth E. Hudson of Art in the Fox School of Art and Design at Washington University in St. Louis and currently a visiting critic in the graduate printmaking program at the Rhode Island School of Design.


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Rania Matar
A Girl and Her Room
May 26 – August 5, 2018

For her acclaimed series, “A Girl and Her Room,” Rania Matar photographed teenage girls, in their bedrooms, from two seemingly disparate worlds: the United States and the Middle East. These two worlds are ones familiar to Matar, who was born in Lebanon and moved to the United States where she now lives and works. In these portraits, the bedrooms become an extension of the girls’ personalities. With each photograph, Matar offers an intimate glimpse into each girl’s life, perspective, and identity. In the words of the artist: “I became fascinated with the similar issues girls at that age face, regardless of culture, religion and background, as they learn to deal with all the pressures that arise as they become conscious and aware of the surrounding world wherever this may be.”

Born and raised in Lebanon, Rania Matar moved to the United States in 1984. Initially trained as an architect at the American University of Beirut and at Cornell University, she studied photography at the New England School of Photography and Maine Photographic Workshops. Matar began teaching photography in 2009 and offered summer photography workshops to teenage girls in Lebanon’s Palestinian refugee camps with the assistance of non-governmental organizations. She has won many awards, including a 2018 Guggenheim Fellowship for her ongoing series “SHE.” Matar has widely exhibited her photographs nationally and internationally. She currently has a large solo exhibition, entitled “In Her Image: Photographs By Rania Matar,” at the Amon Carter Museum of American Art in Fort Worth, TX. She has work in numerous permanent collections at museums around the country and has published three books. The series “A Girl and Her Room” became the subject of Matar’s second book, published with the same title by Umbrage Editions. Matar lives and works in Massachusetts, where she also teaches at Massachusetts College of Art in Boston.


Cristi Rinklin
Paramnesiac
June 15 – September 3, 2018

Cristi Rinklin’s mesmerizing paintings carry the viewer into new and spectacular territories. With their swelling shapes, billowing clouds of smoke, animated rivers, and blankets of fog in bright colors, Rinklin’s landscape paintings have one foot in the familiar real world and the other in a luxurious fantasy world. According to Rinklin, her work “… is made with awareness of the tradition of illusionism in the historical practice of Painting—its ability to create a simulated reality that psychically transports the viewer, and to function as a mirror that reflects the subconscious.”

To make her evocative paintings, Rinklin mines and combines images from various sources: canonical landscape paintings from art history, Google images, collected photographs, virtual reality, and her own photographs made with the use of a drone. She creates a digital collage, which becomes the starting place for a separate large-scale painting. The world that she creates in each of these paintings, in the words of the artist, is  “an uninhabited, detached fragment that floats in an ambiguous, abstract space… The combination of tangible realism, abstraction, and ambiguity are intended to disrupt the viewer’s ability to ground or position himself in any particular time or space.” Part fantasy and part phantasmagoria, Rinklin’s paintings reinvigorate and reinvent the tradition of landscape painting.

Cristi Rinklin has had numerous national and international exhibitions at galleries and museums throughout New England, and in New York, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Madison, Baton Rouge, Seattle, Amsterdam, Florence, and Rome. Her paintings have been included in the 2010 and 2012 Northeast editions of New American Paintings.  She is also the recipient of grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council, Berkshire Taconic Artist’s Resource Trust, and Jerome Foundation Fellowship, and has been a Visiting Artist/Scholar at the American Academy in Rome.  She earned her B.F.A. from the Maryland Institute, College of Art and M.F.A. from University of Minnesota. A Professor at the College of the Holy Cross in Worcester, MA, Rinklin lives and works in Boston. She is represented by Steven Zevitas Gallery in Boston.


Shara Hughes
Sun Salutations
June 15 – September 3, 2018

The Newport Art Museum is pleased to present this exhibition of Shara Hughes’ paintings guest curated by art critic Dodie Kazanjian, in collaboration with ART&NEWPORT. Shara Hughes’ work was featured in the 2017 Whitney Biennial, where her vivid and fantastical landscape paintings catapulted her into the global art scene. Building on a visual vocabulary of the early modernist painters, Hughes creates landscapes that are altogether new in their depiction of pictorial space. A blend of abstraction and representation, Hughes’ encourage new ways of looking.

For “Sun Salutations,” Hughes has created three monumental paintings inspired by Newport’s Purgatory Chasm for the Newport Art Museum. According to the artist, “When I’ve spent time in Newport it has been very apparent how important water is to the shape of the landscape, as well as the shape of the community. It seems we’re always aligning ourselves towards the ocean. We face our homes out to it, we curve roads and trails around it, and our entire ecosystem depends on it. I wanted to make three prominent paintings that were shaped and linked by water, and to use primary colors. There’s something about pure, unmixed color that gives the work a sharpness – the sun is crisper, the reflections are sharper, and it made sense to me to incorporate that kind of visual language.”

Shara Hughes lives and works in Brooklyn, New York. She graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design and later attended the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. She has had solo exhibitions at The Metropolitan Opera’s Gallery Met, curated by Dodie Kazanjian (New York, NY), and The Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (Atlanta, GA), among others. Hughes currently has a mural on display on The Greenway, a public art park in Boston. Last summer as part of ART&NEWPORT, Hughes’ fanciful “Pleasure House” installation activated the 18th century octagonal folly in the garden of the Redwood Library & Athenaeum. She has work in the permanent collections of the Dallas Museum of Art (TX), Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York, NY), Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, D.C.), and the Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) among others. She is represented by Rachel Uffner Gallery in New York and Galerie Eva Presenhuber in Zurich.


About the Newport Art Museum
Founded in 1912, the Newport Art Museum is one of the oldest continuously operating and most highly regarded art museums and schools of its kind in the country. The Art Museum offers a provocative diversity of creative voices and experiences at its historic Newport setting. Visitors can expect to enjoy treasures of American art from the late 19th century to the present from the permanent collection, as well as rotating exhibitions of contemporary art and outdoor sculptures. Museum docents are available to offer guided tours of the campus and educate visitors on the Museum’s architecture, artwork and history. Artists’ talks, film screenings, lectures and performances are scheduled throughout the year.

The Museum operates from a three acre, three-building campus, the main building being a National Historic landmark, the John N.A. Griswold House. This former private house was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt and completed in 1864. The building remains the premier example of Modern Gothic, or American “Stick-Style” architecture. Richard Morris Hunt went on to design Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and other architectural landmarks in Newport and New York, including the base for the Statue of Liberty. Adjacent to the Griswold House is the Cushing Memorial Gallery, dedicated to the artist Howard Gardner Cushing and completed in 1919 by the firm Delano and Aldrich. In 1990, the Sarah Rives Lobby and Nathalie Bailey Morris Gallery were added, providing additional exhibition spaces. This climate-controlled building also houses the Museum’s growing permanent collection.

Completing the three-building campus is the Art Museum’s School, the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, which offers year-round art and design classes, summer youth camps and workshops for all ages and experience levels. Classes incorporate the Museum’s collection, current exhibitions and historic architecture into its curriculum.

The Newport Art Museum is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

Public hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays April – December until 7 pmSunday from noon to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 9 pm every second Thursday of the month for the Art After Dark programming. The Museum is closed to the public on Mondays. Museum membership levels and benefits, art school classes and registration, exhibition schedules, public programming, special events, and more can be found at www.newportartmuseum.org. Phone: (401) 848-8200.

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