Unique New Season Opens At Jessie Edwards Studio — Really and Virtually

“20” x “20,” the opening exhibit of the 2020 season at the Jessie Edwards Studio, will feature works of art that are all “20” x “20” in a variety of media. The exhibit will be on display from June 27 to July 8. With Block Island in the early stages of reopening, the reception will be a virtual one. A Zoom link will be released on June 27 in the morning over social media, and links to the “20” x “20” interviews with the artists will be made public that day.


Each piece conforms to the square format and creates an intimacy which, like a window, allows the viewer to glimpse what the artist is seeing and thinking. For example, Whitney Knapp Bowditch’s use of repetitive brush strokes in her seascape blurs the line between sky and water, merging what is below with what is above. Form and subject are unified in the movement from blurred to focused and back again in the “20” x “20” format: it is tidal, yet contained.


Gustav Reed and Carrie Megan make dynamic use of their “20” X “20” space. In both Megan’s works in oil, sharp angles guide the viewer towards a specific point near the middle of the composition, which then unfolds, flower-like, to the works’ outer edges.

Marilyn Bogdanffy and Cynthia Guild use shadows to create patterns. The contrast between light and dark, whether it be cast by window frames in Bogdanffy’s still life or metal support beams in Guild’s oil makes us wonder: where are we?

Texture is emphasized in the layers of color stacked one upon the other in Jan Wampler’s watercolor/collage. James Duval’s long exposure highlights the smooth fabric-like texture of the water’s surface in contrast to the rougher surface of the stone. Texture is also an important element in Stephan Haley’s monotype and Berke Marye’s abstract hexaptych. The pressure Haley applied in the monoprint process emphasizes the weight in the landscape, making the image appear thick with green webs. Mayre’s “Albatross” is also surface-heavy and creates an implied web for each of the pieces to connect with each other.


In Angie Kang’s work, the stream occupies almost the entire width of board and sets the viewer afloat in time, space, and imagination. Two other works in the exhibit also use images of water to evoke different moods. Gerard Blouin and Heidi Palmer both have water as focal points. Blouin’s towering perspective and sharp edges emphasize the flow of water, while Palmer’s linear perspective evokes calm and stillness. Each tells a different story about Block Island.


Lines of power and power lines. Tom Martinelli and Kate Knapp use lines of color and texture to similar effect. Martinelli uses thick paint across the canvas to, paradoxically, suggest the airiness of sea foam on the waves as they roll across the sand. In Knapp’s piece, the orange and pink hues from the setting sun light up the power lines that stretch both toward the viewer and to the water. The horizontal lines meet the vertical lines of the horizon, unifying the elements of land and sea.

During regular business hours, the gallery will be open to a limited number of visitors and will continue to showcase art through on-line and virtual means. For more information, call the gallery at 401-466-5314 or visit the website at JessieEdwardsgallery.com.