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Art Night’s 3rd Presentation Packs Cultural and Historical Punch By: Mark Bettencourt

If you thought Art Nights had a lot to offer in the past you’ll once again be amazed at the sheer volume of creative minds on display throughout Bristol and Warren, RI. On July 28th, starting at 5:30pm, 12 sites promising cultural diversity and artistry will open their doors for the public. Some sites offer their own historical significance as the backdrop to a lovely weeknight. Other more contemporary sites will display the cultural significance both Bristol and Warren have on artists who find inspiration from these quaint harbor towns.
To start your guided tour, you’ll be able to pick up the trolley at 5:30pm in the parking lot of Bank Five on 590 Metacom Ave. in Bristol. But be sure to check out the fine work of photographer Ed King displayed inside Bank Five. Ed’s camera lens develops breathtaking seascape and landscape prints. You’ll see the world more vividly as you gaze into the dream version of the surroundings Ed captures.
Blithewold Mansion is hosting its own intriguing display on its’ hallowed grounds.
The 33-acre estate with views of Narragansett Bay is its own historic exhibit on most days but this evening the elegant work of Stephen Procter will be highlighted throughout Blithewold’s spectacular gardens. His massive clay pots and vessels add presence and structure that keep watch over the delicate horticulture you’ll tour while the Community String Project sets the mood from the Rose Garden.  But don’t let the beauty of the outdoors keep you from enjoying Blithewold’s Summer House as Just Dance! inspires you with their performances.
You could spend the whole evening entertained at the Van Wickle’s former residence. But you’ll be missing out on far too many talented artists with their own impressive displays around Bristol and Warren.
The Bristol Art Museum is featuring an exhibit of contemporary women artists with a wide range of ideas and experience translated through various disciplines of art. Gender certainly doesn’t play a role in the significance, execution and delivery of these beautiful, reflective works. You’ll also get a chance to see the latest from museum regulars Joanne Murrman, Mary Ellen Dwyer and Janice Antinucci.
The Mint Gallery on 433 Hope St. is featuring artist Michael Rich who finds inspiration in Eastern philosophy and art as he paints a different side to nature using bright, unique colors in his own abstract way.
Re/Max River’s Edge on 47 Bradford St. is housing editorial cartoonist and artist Jim Bush. Jim has spent years skewering local political issues in Rhode Island for the Providence Journal with his ironic sense of wit. Now Jim continues experimenting with his cartoon sensibilities as he adapts them to more traditional fine art approaches to life as he sees it.
The Sea Star on 39 State St. will take you on a fantastical seafaring adventure rivaling the underwater dwellings of Merfolk who scavenge crystal clear waters for inspirational treasures. On Thursday the Sea Star will be featuring artist Sally Belmont surrounded by the nautical musings of other local artists that adorn this wondrous shop.
Grasmere on 6 Franklin St. is opening its eclectic doors for all to make themselves at home. You’ll be hard-pressed to walk out of this unique home living store without paying for a little piece of art to enrich your living space.  Grasmere is a perfect setting to showcase artists Sally Baker and Patricia Davis-Ganik as well as jewelry maker Torin Richards.
If that sounds like a full slate of visionary exhibition to behold remember, that’s just what Bristol has to offer! Just a few short miles away, Warren is showing off its own cultural renaissance at the following locations.
The Imago Gallery on 36 Market St. has nine guest artists and designers from around the country displayed throughout its’ comforting walls. The various works have been curated by Sara Ossana of The O and G Studio where Sara and her partner Jonathan are proving that contemporary design can be traditional as well.
Top Drawer at the Brass on 16 Cutler St. has another group of talented young minds providing a lively new perspective including Justin Beaulieu, Alex Godin, DJ Jebutu, Buddy McHale, and David Robidoux. You’ll be thoroughly entertained by the diversity of ideas, methods and inspiration The Brass has to offer.
30 Cutler Street will dare you to enter its’ labyrinth of designers, artists and sculptors without getting lost in the ingenuity engineered by the dozens of beautiful minds who call this refurbished mill home. Their creative exploits decorate the building’s old brick walls, leaving you clues and landmarks to remember your way through its’ twists and turns of originality.
Made In Warren on 476 Main St. is holding a reception from 6:00pm – 8:00pm where patrons can gain perspective, as well as inspiration from meeting featured artists Megan Douglas, Mary Hunt, Kathy Weber, and Matthew Finger. Made In Warren prides itself on housing a diverse display of paintings, illustrations, jewelry, crafts, textiles and much more. Good luck leaving without a new piece of art to wear, hang or place in your home.
Last but far from least is the rare opportunity to view the well preserved Egyptian-themed frescos adorning the Lodge Room of the historic Masonic Lodge on 39 Baker St. Built in the 18th century, the lodge is one of the oldest Masonic Temples in North America to be in continuous use. There will be a guided tour of the Lodge and murals at 6:00pm.  Don’t miss out on a chance to feel centuries of history surround you amidst beautiful artwork.
12 sites harboring paintings, illustrations, pottery, ceramics, sculpture, home design, jewelry, music, dance and a partridge in a pear tree. Do you think you can see everything Art Night has to offer? Give it a try this Thursday the 28th starting at 5:30pm. We hope to see you there!
Mark Bettencourt is a writer and producer based in Rhode Island who likes to tell stories through arts and entertainment. You can read more of his musings at The Court of MVB
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