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A collection of historic and curious Newport artifacts displayed in both natural and virtual environments will be featured in a public exhibition at Salve Regina’s Dorrance Hamilton Gallery from Nov. 9-21.

The multi-media exhibition, “Encountering Wonders: A Virtual Cabinet of Curiosities from Newport Collections,” will open with a public reception from 5-7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the gallery, located in the Antone Academic Center on Lawrence Avenue.  The reception and exhibit are free and open to the public.

This exhibition offers the experience of visiting a cabinet of curiosity by transforming the gallery into a space of wonder and exploration. Specimens, natural wonders, books and other works offer visitors the opportunity to delve deeper into the tradition of collecting and its ties to Newport. A truly interactive exhibit, “Encountering Wonders” includes computers in the gallery that allow visitors to learn about and study in greater detail the curious objects gathered and their intriguing histories.

“Encountering Wonders” also celebrates the launch of a new virtual exhibition space at the university that offers a digital archive and catalogue essays about works curated in the Curious & Collected exhibition hosted at Hamilton Gallery last winter. While the Curious & Collected exhibition explored the tradition of cabinets of curiosities by presenting an array of images and objects, “Encountering Wonders” highlights new scholarship that provides a contextual understanding within which to understand these works.

The idea for the virtual exhibition space derived from research by Salve art and art history professors Anthony Mangieri and Ernest Jolicoeur, who co-taught a course on Curatorial Practices and the Gallery Experience, and who together shared a $5,000 Sister M. Therese Antone Academic Excellence Award for special projects to develop the Natural Wonders Collection and Library.

The work of Salve student curators, scholars and designers who took the Curatorial Practices course is featured on the website: NewportCuriosities.com. The website gathers and analyzes works from the collections of the Newport Historical Society, Salve Regina’s Noreen Stonor Drexel Cultural and Historic Preservation Program, as well works from the private collections of Nicholas and Shelley Schorsch and James Baker.

“A natural history collection allows students to study objects at first hand, to privilege experiential, visual learning,” Mangieri and Jolicoeur write. “Students learn about the world through visual study and inspection.”

The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 pm., and Saturdays and Sundays from noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here - https://whatsupnewp.com/2021/09/letter-from-the-publisher-some-personal-news/

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at ryan@whatsupnewp.com and 401-662-1653.