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Art Night In August Reshapes and Renews Familiar Places By: Mark Bettencourt

The beauty of local art galleries, designer shops and boutique exhibitioners is their ability to adapt and change as the months role by. There’s always something new and exciting displayed on an Art Night in Bristol and Warren, even if you’ve been to the friendly confines of venues featured in the past. This Thursday you’ll be sure to witness the summer’s best example of just how many talented and diverse local artists there are to value along the shores of these two historic towns.

Art Night would like to give a special thanks to Thursday night’s sponsor Water Rower located right in Warren, RI. As seen on fitness shows like NBC’s The Biggest Loser, Water Rower manufactures realistic rowing machines bringing a rowboat and open water comfortably into your living room.  Their efficient and aesthetically pleasing rowers rely on water resistance technology giving you a more natural and grueling workout.

But before you decide to flex your core until it hurts, let’s flex our imaginations through Bristol and Warren’s artist row.  First up, some usual suspects in Bristol have new offerings for one and all.

The Mint Gallery on 433 Hope St. welcomes you to explore its diverse collection of splendor amidst the warmth and charm of Bristol’s downtown storefronts. Local artists are quickly finding a home in one of the newest venues Art Night has to offer.

Also keeping a keen eye for local talent is the Re/Max River’s Edge office on 47 Bradford Street where Kendra Ferreira is showing that colored pencils aren’t just an afterthought on a back to school list trip to Target. Who needs fancy paint supplies when an artistic mind can execute with the bare essentials?

Finally in Bristol, “The Mermaid Store”, aka The Sea Star on 39 State Street is proud to offer photographer Ed Gifford’s breathtaking portraits seascapes and life on yachts. If you’re one of many who can’t afford a ride on these lavish, man-made, seafaring vessels this is the next best thing. Or you can start saving for your own. Every penny counts, right?

After you’ve passed through the exemplary in Bristol make your way a few miles down route 114 so Warren can show you something extraordinary.

If you’re looking for a trolley ride through Warren make sure you get to 30 Cutler St. at 5:30pm to pick it up. But don’t forget the endless twists and turns the mill on 30 Cutler St has to offer. Its network of hallways winds around some of the best artistic minds Warren has to offer including Madison Trauth who’s interactive art show will be sure to delight in the main gallery.

Guests will be surprised to walk into a nautical garden of wonder on 64 Water St. There at 5:45pm multi media artist Martha Antaya will be showing off some of her interpretive works while Don Betts showcases his expertise in building small boats, an art in of itself.

The Masonic Temple on 464 Main St. is offering a guided tour of its hallowed walls at 6:15pm. Partially built from beams of a British ship that was sunk in Newport Harbor this temple is the oldest building in New England that’s still used as a lodge.  Don’t miss this great opportunity to walk through history.

The Imago Gallery on 36 Market St. is opening its doors once again for Art Night enthusiasts to see the work of nine guest artists curated by local designer Sara Ossana of The O and G Studio.

Top Drawer At The Brass on 16 Cutler St has some special new artists on display including Dominic Cabral, Felicia Tavares, Emily Sherwood, Myles Payton and Paul Martland. Their choices of color and expressionism will keep you thinking while Sasquatch of the Sickabillys sets the backdrop with some great live music.

Right next to The Brass is the East Bay Chamber of Commerce where fiber artist Allison Wilbur’s work will leave you warm and fuzzy on the inside and outside. Allison makes quilts. But these aren’t your typical throw blankets you break out for a New England winter. Allison uses fabric as her paintbrush, creating beautiful portraits influenced by the different cultures she experienced in her worldly travels. Her work will make even experienced watercolor artists blush.

Novices and veterans alike won’t want to miss the quality of craftsmanship that’s Made In Warren. This wondrous shop is opening its doors again on 476 Main St. for a gala reception from 6:00 – 8:00pm. Five featured artists will be displaying their best works of ceramics, woodcrafts, pottery, textiles and mixed media highlighted by in person demonstrations of various techniques.

All the rage in downtown Warren is the boutique store DISH located on 155 Water St. Ladies you will not want to miss designer extraordinaire Georgia Cronin and her necklaces that are sure to add style to your wardrobe. Georgia will also be showing off a more traditional artistic side with a display of her watercolor prints.  DISH will have refreshments available for any interested in their funky Summer and Fall offerings.

Following the fashion trend on 119 Water St is The Dapper Flapper with original hat and handbag designs by Geraldine Purcell. Who knew you could walk out of Art Night with a brand new set of accessories to highlight that fall wardrobe your dreading to unpack?

And last but certainly not least make sure you finish your Art Night by cruising down the road to 81 Water St. Donna Neville Framing is making an appearance with their new gallery space. The store proudly opens their doors to showcase beautiful works of oils, watercolors, photography and other treasures by the likes of John Hause, Susan Patterson, Warren Specht and Amanda M Zingg.

With your continued support, local artists will always have the means to explore their artistic desires while showcasing what their patrons couldn’t think of next. Join us starting at 5:30pm this Thursday for another 3-hour tour of the East Bay’s finest.

See you there!

Mark Bettencourt is a freelance writer and producer based in Rhode Island who likes to tell stories through arts and entertainment. You can find more of his works at The Court of MVB .

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