Ceramicist Charlene Carpenzano and photographer Dan McManus share the spotlight in the Newport Art Museum's annual "Faculty Focus" exhibition this winter. Carpenzano and McManus are popular, longtime faculty members at the Museum's art school, the Coleman Center for Creative Studies.
In "Faculty Focus," Raku vessels from Carpenzano's "Altered States" series demonstrate the versatility of this ancient Japanese firing technique. During a Raku firing, clay objects are first heated in a kiln then placed in a mass of combustible material, which quickly ignites. Smoke and fire react with the clay to create unique patterns and colors on the surface.
In an artist's statement, Carpenzano commented, "I feel that ceramics and fire touch a primitive instinct that brings about a sense of community... My work is pulled out of the ashes and fire to release a spirit. Through this process, I am exploring my relationship between time, places, people, cultures and rituals."
In "Faculty Focus," McManus will share atmospheric images from his "Opera House" series and other recent work. He has taken over 1000 photographs of the historic building, which first opened its doors in 1867. Over its history, the Opera House has presented burlesque revues, boxing exhibitions, traveling theater, vaudeville and musical performances. In 1929, the facility was converted into a classic movie palace. A three-screen theater followed in 1965. Newport Performing Arts Center LLC purchased the building in 2002 with the idea of restoring it to its former glory. The Opera House has been closed for renovations since 2010.
"When I walked into the Opera House, a place that's in need of repair, I really connected with it," McManus said. "I felt that there was something here for me, almost like entering into a mine and mining for gold." Images from the "Opera House" series were previously exhibited this past summer at the Sandywoods Gallery in Tiverton.
You can take a class with Charlene or Dan this winter. Click here to check our Coleman Center course listings online.