The Kings Lens And Friends may have closed their doors at 7 Carroll Ave this past September, but founder Patrick Murphy has no signs of slowing down.
“The Show Must Go On” will take place Friday, October 28th, at The JPT with the premiere of “Friends Are Forever”, a short film and documentary by Alex Lawson and Shawn Cai.
The film follows and tells the story of fourth-generation local Patrick Murphy and the story of The Kings Lens And Friends. From just a dream and camera to becoming a thriving space and a community for the arts.
Doors open at 5 PM with live performances by Providence powerhouses and Folk Fest alumni NovaOne And Ravi Shavi. Tickets are $20 and available at JanePickens.com with a portion of proceeds benefiting the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Community Center.
There will also be “The Show Must Have An After Party” taking place at Parlor on Broadway at 9 PM with music by Dj Ladi Dre And Lightfoot.
What’sUpNewp’s Tyler Bernadyn sat down with Patrick Murphy last week to discuss the upcoming show.
Tyler: Hey Pat, so tell me how this documentary came to be and how this idea came to fruition.
Pat: I met Alex Lawson surfing one day at Ruggles, and we became friends from that. Before he heard that the shop was going to be shutting its doors, we had talked about doing a mini-documentary to highlight the space, so the timing ended up working out perfectly.
Tyler: What can we expect to see this Friday?
Pat: I think that it’s a really cool in-depth look at the local art community and the people that make it what it is. My shop didn’t create this; instead, it was a steward to showcase the local artists and the art that graced the walls over the years. It’s about spreading the word about the incredible amount of talent that we have here in Rhode Island and on Aquidneck Island especially.
Tyler: Looking back on an incredible run at the gallery, how would you categorize the different art forms and artists that you were able to host?
Pat: The best part of the gallery was the friendships that I made curating these Friday night events and openings. There was always a strong and supportive energy, regardless of who was the featured artist at the time. I saw a renaissance in different mediums, all super creative and enthusiastic about their craft. It was amazing to see these non-traditional approaches to art in Newport. More often than not, art in Newport is an oil painting of a sailboat or the bridge – The Kings Lens and Friends was more vibrant and eclectic in that it introduced so many different perspectives to a typically ‘stuffy’ art scene.
Tyler: It seems like you’ve made peace with closing the doors and exploring new opportunities. What can you tell me about what happens next?
Pat: It was the perfect time for me to grow outside of the gallery walls. I’ve spent more time there than anywhere else, and it truly has been like home for me. But now is a great time to grow – both personally and professionally – and I am finally able to step away from the responsibilities of the shop to focus on the fundamentals of my photography. I’ve had more time to focus on commercial photography and video, including brand photography and even some more personal moments in portraiture. It’s been nice to slowly shift away from the retail side of the business that has encompassed my life for the last seven years.
Tyler: What do you want to do next?
Pat: Whatever I want to do. I’m trying to figure that out right now and determine where the next chapter takes me. I want to write more, which is something that not many people know I am very passionate about. I’ve also been able to branch out and do some consulting with a young surf brand. For the first time in a long time, I’ve been able to focus more on myself personally and my passions than the store. I have a trip planned to Ecuador in February and will get back to Portugal at some point.
Tyler: I am sure there are still some bittersweet feelings about closing up shop.
Pat: It’s bittersweet but also felt like divine timing.
Tyler: Without a shop location, can we still purchase your art?
Pat: Absolutely. Printing my work Is something I will do forever. My site is constantly updated with the work available. thekingslens.com. I’m also taking on new photography work through the fall, near and far. Looking forward to seeing what opportunities may arise. So If you need any photo work, please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tyler: What would you like to see people take away from TKL&F as the brick-and-mortar location now becomes a memory?
Patrick: I hope someone is inspired to chase their dreams like I did, and realize you can create your own lane. I hope people will remember the connections they made there, on the couch, over a modelo or two. I hope the artists who were a part of TKLAF, will always find support from the people that discovered them there. I also want people to know that the doors may be closed, but The Show Must Go On, and if nothing else, Friends Are Forever.