Five years ago, a unique Rhode Island arts project launched through collaboration between Joseph Chazan, M.D. and Umberto Crenca, Artistic Director of AS220. "NetWorks" was created to document, celebrate, and foster the richly creative and diverse Rhode Island artistic community. Each year since its launch in 2008, the project has created an archive of video and photographic profiles that are enriched by museum and gallery exhibits, catalogues, and panel discussions.
This January, NetWorks 2012 debuts twelve new video portraits of exceptional Rhode Island artists. Each portrait in the NetWorks project introduces the viewer to an artist’s work, process, and sources of inspiration, in fewer than ten minutes.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS is pleased to present the two-part NetWorks 2012 as part of its ongoing series, Rhode Island Stories. Part one of NetWorks 2012 airs on Saturday, January 5 at 7 p.m. The one-hour program profiles* Kate Blacklock, Brian Chippendale, Wendy Edwards, Richard Fishman, Lucas Foglia, and Corey Grayhorse.
Part two of NetWorks 2012 airs on Saturday, January 12 at 7 p.m., and profiles* Bunny Harvey, Tayo Heuser, Eugene Lee, Meg Little, Jane Masters, and John Udvardy.
Networks 2012 is produced by Richard Goulis. Executive producer for the NetWorks project is Joseph A. Chazan, M.D.
*The 2012 Artists
Kate Blacklock is an artist who has worked in various mediums including sculptural ceramics, photography and painting. She received her undergraduate degree from the University of California at Santa Cruz and her MFA in Ceramics from RISD. Her interest in the arts, specifically ceramics, began when she was a young girl when she witnessed her mother’s work with the Natural History Museum in New York City. Kate has used her work to portray themes and messages that hold personal importance to her. For example, some of her works have explored feminist notions of sexual objectification and containment. Currently, Kate is teaching in the Industrial Design Department at RISD; a position she has held since 2002.
Brian Chippendale is a musician/artist who has been based in Providence, Rhode Island since 1991. Brian studied printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and his work in printmaking includes making posters for bands and shows. As a musician, Brian is well known as the drummer/vocalist for the band Lightning Bolt with fellow RISD graduate Brian Gibson. He was a founding member of Fort Thunder, an abandoned, pre-Civil War textile factory known as a workspace for local, avant-garde artists. In addition, Brian engages in a wide variety of the arts including playing in a solo project called Black Pus, drawing comics, sculpture, painting, printmaking and collage. In his own words, Brian has “always been fascinated by paper and what you can create with paper” and he has always tried to tell a story with his art.
Wendy Edwards is a painter whose work has been exhibited throughout the United States, particularly in New York and Boston. More recently, her work was exhibited in Paris, France, and Dubai, United Arab Emirates, and was included in the "Couples Discourse" exhibition at the Palmer Museum, Pennsylvania State University. Wendy received her BFA from the University of the Arts in Philadelphia and her MA from the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque, both in painting. According to Wendy, the core of her work (what excites her most) is color and patterning. She initially found her creative spark while visiting her grandmother in New York City; the lively and vibrant atmosphere served as a radical change from her experience growing up on a farm in Virginia. Currently, she is the Chair and a professor of Visual Art at Brown University where she teaches primarily painting courses.
Richard Fishman is a Professor of Art as well as the Director of the Creative Arts Council at Brown University. He received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design and his MFA from Tulane University. According to him, his work is primarily informed by two things: 1) an investigation of the connection of living things in the natural world and 2) exploring the fundamental questions surrounding human existence. In the past few years he has focused on a combination between old world techniques using stone and glass as well as new technologies involving computer aided imaging and 3-dimensional rapid prototyping. He has also spearheaded innovative research into creativity and the mind through his teaching, including projects such as the Creative Mind Initiative, the Granoff Center for the Creative Arts, and the course Hybrid Art.
Lucas Foglia was raised on a small family farm in New York and is currently based in San Francisco, CA. A graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Art, Lucas exhibits and publishes his photographs internationally. His artistic career began when he was a high school student and his mother gave him his first camera. Over the years, Lucas has come to use photography as a means of exploring the diversity within various communities. In addition, he enjoys capturing the relationships between the inhabitants of said communities. According to him, what he loves most about his work is having the opportunity to discover new places and people through the artistic medium of photography. His photographs have been published in Aperture Magazine, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and British Journal of Photography among others.
In the world of Corey Grayhorse, Japanese Street Culture collides with Haute Couture, and Hello Kitty courts Marie Antoinette. She takes these icons from their original context and transforms them into something new, contrasting the traditional with the contemporary. Ultimately, her goal is to transform fantasy into reality. Corey’s artistic endeavors are rooted in her grandmother who, as she describes, was “a fabulous person whose life was full of peace, love and color.” From there, Corey became involved in her high school’s photography program, which is where she really got acquainted with photography and the process of taking photographs. She also went on to study at Santa Monica College before making the move to Los Angeles. Experienced in a variety of fine art endeavors, including digital photography, art education, and gallery coordination, Corey Grayhorse possesses a unique eye for composition, lighting, set design, and photo manipulation.
Bunny Harvey spent the majority of her childhood in New York City, and it was this experience which initially sparked her interest in layers and the clash of different sensory elements. For the most part, her work explores the hidden, unseen elements of landscape. In her own words, she uses all of her senses to, “allow [her]self the luxury of getting lost in seeing, in thought and in the exploration of paint itself.” Her paintings are at once depictions of particular places and distillations of elements that cannot be seen, but which are essential to the experience of being there. Through her work, Bunny hopes that the paintings will stand on their own as reminders that it is a wonderful thing to "get lost" in a pond, a wooded place, a field, or in a work of art, and come away renewed, energized, thoughtful, confused, enlightened, angry or amused.
Tayo Heuser was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in various parts of Africa/Europe. She returned to the United States to study painting at the Rhode Island School of Design – where she received her BFA - and continued her education to obtain a Masters degree from Vermont College. She now lives and works in Providence, RI. Tayo began her career as a figurative artist, but eventually became much more intrigued by and focused on abstract art. What she likes most about abstraction is that it is without any sort of narrative and, therefore, viewers are able to prescribe their own meaning to each piece. Heuser's most recent sculpture and drawings were featured in her solo exhibition at Cade Tompkins Projects in 2011 in Providence. In 2009-2010 her sculptural drawings were featured at the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C. for a yearlong solo exhibition.
Eugene Lee has been the resident designer at Trinity Repertory Theatre Company in Providence, Rhode Island since 1967. In addition to his work at Trinity Rep, he is an adjunct professor at Brown University. He earned BFA degrees from the Art Institute of Chicago and Carnegie Mellon University, an MFA from Yale Drama School and three honorary Ph.Ds. Mr. Lee has won Tony Awards for his work on various stage shows such as Bernstein's Candide, Sondheim's Sweeney Todd, and Wicked. He has also received the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Set Design. Eugene is the production designer for NBC's Saturday Night Live and has done a great deal of work in theatre and film.
Meg Little discovered her love for art while attending a liberal arts college. According to her, she spent more of her time finishing art projects instead of doing the work for her classes. For over 15 years, Meg has used historical techniques and durable modern materials to create striking, abstract hooked rugs. Cultural artifacts from around the world and contemporary art by artists such as David Hockney and Jasper Johns have served as the primary inspiration for Little's designs. She says, "Living with functional art turns the everyday into a celebration." Meg utilizes a basic design vocabulary - stripe, spot, circle, cross, spiral - which mirrors the simplest hand gestures and has been used for decorative purposes since pre-historic times.
Jane Masters was born in England, but her parents operated a hotel in Barbados. So, throughout her childhood, she split her time between the lavish warmth of the Caribbean and the contrasting atmosphere in the boarding schools of Great Britain. Her childhood and, more specifically, her experience being surrounded by the vibrant colors in Barbados have had a substantial influence on her artistic work. Jane received a B.F.A. in ceramics from Kansas City Art Institute and her M.F.A. in Sculpture from San Jose State University. In her own words, "Drawing is the starting point for most of [her] practice.” Jane explores both traditional and experimental processes in drawing, such as silver point, charcoal, scratchboard, piercing, pricking and burning. Through these processes, she creates abstract compositions on a variety of substrates with a strong sense of dimension, movement and tactility.
John Udvardy is a sculptor who taught as a full-time professor at RISD for 35 years. His educational credits have also included teaching at the Cleveland Institute of Art, Yale University, Brown University and he served Artist-in-Residence at Dartmouth College. John began his career in high school after he won a scholarship to study at the Cleveland Institute of Art. Essentially, John’s art explores the relationship between nature and man-made forms. Most of his pieces begin as a drawing and, afterwards, he sets out to find material and artifacts that he can relate to his original sketches. He has an extensive exhibition record, exhibiting widely throughout the United States in many group and one-person shows.
WSBE Rhode Island PBS transmits over the air on digital 36.1; on RI cable, Cox 08 / 1008HD, Verizon FiOS 08 / 508HD, Full Channel 08; on MA cable, Comcast 819HD (check local Comcast listings for standard definition channels), Verizon FiOS 18 / 518HD; on DirecTV 36, Dish Network 7776. WSBE Learn transmits on digital 36.2; on Cox 808, Verizon 478, Full Channel 109, Comcast 294 or 312.