Mary Kocol, The Photographer's Garden on August 2nd, 2011, 2011, From the series "Ice Gardens," Archival inkjet print, 35 1/2 x 24 1/4 inches, Courtesy of the artist and Gallery NAGA, Boston.

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The Newport Art Museum is pleased to present a new exhibition this spring entitled Avant Gardens featuring the work of contemporary artists who examine themes related to the garden and cultivated nature. Avant Gardens will be on view April 27 through September 8 in the Ilgenfritz, Griswold Corridor and Wright galleries of the historic John N.A Griswold House on the campus of the Newport Art Museum, located at 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, RI. The show, along with two others, will be celebrated at an Opening Reception on Friday, April 26 from 5 – 7 pm. Museum members are welcomed free, non-members are asked for a $10 suggested donation. Cash bar and light refreshments will be available. More details about the exhibition and opening reception are available at or by calling (401) 848-8200. 

Taking diverse approaches to the garden, the featured artists explore several themes. While some of the artists begin with the garden as a point of creative departure to explore the aesthetic and decorative qualities of plants (flowers, herbs, and vegetables), others focus on the environmental issues related to the garden and gardening. Still there are other artists who emphasize the social dimensions of gardening by focusing on the literal and symbolic roles of gardens in cultures and communities. Collectively, the artists of “Avant Gardens” build upon and reinvigorate the long-standing tradition in art of investigating beauty, nature, and society through depictions of the garden. Participating artists include Roberley Bell, Caleb Cole, Bob Dilworth, Thea Dodds, Steven J. Duede, Lucas Foglia, Beth Galston, Joo Lee Kang, Mary Kocol, and Randal Thurston.

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 in its historic Newport setting. Visitors can expect treasures from its permanent collection featuring American art from the late 19th century to the present, as well as programmed exhibitions of contemporary art. Dedicated Museum docents are available to offer guided tours of the campus and educate visitors on the architecture, artwork and history of the Museum. Artist Talks, film screenings, lectures and musical performances are scheduled throughout the year.

The Museum operates on a three-building campus, the main building being National Historic landmark, the John N.A. Griswold House. It was designed by architect Richard Morris Hunt, completed in 1864 and remains the premier example of American “Stick-Style” architecture. Richard Morris Hunt went on to design Marble House, The Breakers, Ochre Court, Belcourt Castle, and other landmarks in Newport and New York, including the base for the Statue of Liberty. Adjacent to the Griswold House is the Cushing Building, built in 1919, featuring two rotating galleries as well as the Cushing Memorial Gallery dedicated to the artist Howard Gardiner Cushing. Completing the three-building campus is the Art Museum’s art school, the Coleman Center for Creative Studies, which offers year-round art classes, camps and workshops, incorporates the Museum’s collection into its curriculum and focuses on art fundamentals as well as design, digital studies and continuing education for artists of all ages and interests. The Newport Art Museum is fully accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

The Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm, Thursdays April – December until 7 pm, Sunday from noon to 5 pm, and from 10 am to 8 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, and more can be found at Phone: (401) 848-8200.