A new exhibit at the Bristol Art Museum features artwork inspired by text and the written word. ‘Word Transformed’ kicks off with a wine and cheese reception on Sunday, Feb. 27, from 2-5 p.m. According to curator Mary Dondero, a Warren based artist and graphic designer, the show “explores how language can be presented in different ways.”
The six featured artists utilize text and words in vastly different ways. Arlene McGonagle creates “basket sculptures” that contain text from her journals using fiber, copper and aluminum. Will Ashford takes pages from Ralph Waldo Emerson books and transforms them into images. Tyson Jacques enlarges peoples’ handwriting into abstract portrait paintings. Mercedes Mary Ruefle, a nationally recognized poet, uses correction tape to eliminate words from vintage books changing them into art objects in the process. Mercedes Nuñez integrates pages of text into her abstract paintings. Howard Windham uses words to “merge art, design and illustration” in his work.
The artists represent not only diversity in their work, but in geography as well. Windham is from Warren. McGonagle and Jacques reside in Providence. Nuñez and Ruefle are from Massachusetts and Vermont, respectively, while Ashford lives in California.
“My idea was to have East Bay representation, Greater Rhode Island representation, southern New England representation and then reach beyond those borders. I also wanted to include a young emerging artist,” said Dondero, referring in the latter to Jacques who recently received an MFA from RISD.
An informal artists talk will be held on March 13, which is also the day the exhibit closes. The public will have a chance to engage the artists in questions about their work and process.
“I’m really excited to see how the public receives the work,” said Dondero. “We’re trying to make it comfortable and inviting for people.”
The Bristol Art Museum is 47-years-old and is currently operated out of . This summer the barn on the property will be converted to a permanent home for the museum’s collection and ongoing exhibits. Current museum hours are Tuesday through Sunday 1-4 p.m. For more information visit their website here.