Donna Bruton, Interior #3, c. 1997, Mixed media: acrylic, paper on panel, Gift of the Dr. Joseph A. and Mrs. Helene Chazan Collection, 2011.003.004.

The Newport Art Museum today announced details of two new exhibitions on view through April 25, 2021.

“Abstract Ideas” features an array of modern and contemporary American artists from the Museum’s permanent collection exploring ideas and emotions through abstraction.  Eliciting feelings and sensations, abstract art prioritizes emotional experiences over tangible realities. With this exhibition, viewers are encouraged to let their eyes and minds wander and delight in the colors, shapes, and gestures of these evocative works. Featured artists include: James Baker, Donna Bruton, Ruth Dealy, Mary Dondero, Jemison Faust, Ralph Gibson, Corita Kent, Alan Metnick, Joseph Norman, Mahler B. Ryder, Aaron Siskind, and Hugh Townley among others.

“Light and Presence: Richard Benson’s ‘The Touro Synagogue,'” curated by Megan Horn, features Benson’s 1988 black and white portfolio of images that go beyond simply documenting architecture and allow viewers to experience the intimacy of the site. Designed by architect Peter Harrison and completed in 1763, the Touro Synagogue is the oldest synagogue in the United States. The synagogue has survived the British occupation of Newport during the American Revolution and major shifts in Newport’s economic history, and early on its congregation participated in advocating for religious freedoms in the United States’ Bill of Rights. Benson’s photographs of this Newport landmark make the presence of the past felt.

“Abstract Ideas” and “Light and Presence: Richard Benson’s ‘The Touro Synagogue'” join two other exhibitions now on view; “Digital Breath: Video and Sound Art in the Age of Global Connectivity” and “Donna Ferrato: Selections from ‘Living with the Enemy.’” Newport Art Museum Introduces “Abstract Ideas” and “Light and Presence: Richard Benson’s ‘The Touro Synagogue'”isit for more information.

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 -

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 and 401-662-1653.