Newport This Week

‘Beauty and the Beast’

“Mr. Hare,” the 3D entry winner by Susan Kelley Scotti.

“Mr. Hare,” the 3D entry winner by Susan Kelley Scotti.

Animals, both friendly and fierce, real and imagined, have been populating the walls at Deblois Gallery. “Beauty and the Beast,” a community-wide, non-juried art exhibit that ex­plores humanity’s fascination with living and dreamt up crea­tures, runs through March 27.

The exhibit came after some deliberation and the idea trans­formed into basing the gallery’s annual opening show in the animal kingdom.

“We had a couple of members who were interested in doing a month where we would explore animals in art,” said member Lisa May, who works in cast paper sculpting. “And we thought that we would expand the idea into a show where we invited the local artists to join us.”

The gallery kicks off every season with a themed, open event, where the public can show off mul­tiple creations for an entrance fee. Last year’s theme was “Breaking Out,” where over 40 artists contrib­uted hopeful reflections of a world returning to normalcy after the COVID-19 pandemic.

There are no limits when it comes to media for “Beauty and the Beast.” Attendees can expect to see paintings in all formats, drawings mixed and digital media, collages, photography, sculpture and more. Similarly, there are no restrictions on sub­ject matter. Works include ani­mals from across the globe, from the seemingly ordinary, such as a granddaughter’s cat, to the fan­tastic, such as a gargoyle.

“It was so interesting to hear the artists … ask if a particular piece could fit into the show,” said May.

One local man will exhibit “sec­ond chance paintings” as part of the show, in which he works over discarded pieces and creates something new.

“There’s all sorts of things going on,” said May. “Leave it to the artists to create and recreate. I’m excited. These shows are always a lot of fun.”

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