Top 8 of 2016: Art Highlights


2016 has been an excellent year for my continuing studio practice. A year full of new commissions, renewed focus, and new recognition and professional development have all added up to make 2016 one of my best and favorite years in my studio timeline. So here, without further ado, are what I considered to be the top 8 highlights of 2016.
~ Rachel

1) Studio Sabbatical (January – March 2016)

1516157_1745752925652454_1813122510_nCreating for myself  90-day period of time during which I rededicated myself to getting into the studio really helped to jumpstart the year of increased art-making. Coincidentally, I also received a commission during this time for a new generation of “Autumn Rain”, which helped to then become the foundation for a new body of paintings that will continue into 2017.
Read more…

2) Artist Residency (June-July 2016)

IMG_0912About six months after I had started my Studio Sabbatical in January, and several months after it ended in March, I found myself again in need of an immersive and concentrated experience of being freed to become absorbed in art-making, and to focus on creating in the new style of “Abstracted Rainy Moments” that I had set out to paint. From 7am-10pm (or later) each day I worked in the studio, painting and creating. Before my residency, my average rate of completing a painting was about one 16×20 painting per month — during this artist residency, I completed SIX 40″x30″ paintings in 10 days!
See the process of what was accomplished in this blog series…

3) Special Commission Big Surprise Reveal (June 2016)

IMG_9039One of my favorite moments from 2016 was when I was able to share the joy with friends Jim and Angi when Jim and I revealed to Angi that the painting that she’d been pining over all along was actually a surprise birthday present for HER!
Watch the reaction video!
Read about Jim’s experience commissioning the painting (guest blog post)

4) Received 2016 Founders Award by Art League Rhode Island (June 2016)


It was an honor and  joy to be recognized with the 2016 Founders Award for “exemplary service as a volunteer” in my role as project manager and webmaster for Art League Rhode Island. I have since proudly displayed my award right on my desk in my studio.
Read more…

5) Pop-up Poolside Paintings Preview Party (August 2016)

20160827_153158After completing the initial set of 10 paintings for the Abstracted Rainy Moments series, I was pleased to celebrate the first private viewing of the series with a small but festive gathering featuring art outdoors, a studio demonstration, artist talk, and delicious signature cocktails and hors d’oeuvres.
Read more about this event

6) Teaching Art Classes in 2016 for Kids & Adults (July-November 2016)

It was an absolute thrill again to have the opportunities to teach a few art classses in 2016, including a children’s art class a a summer camp, and an adult course entitled “Beyond Paint Splatters: Exploring Abstract Painting Methods.” I received great feedback from the students and look forward to scheduling art classes again into 2017.
See some of the art class projects from 2016…

7) Selected for Curatorial Mentorship Project (September-November)

img_2534I was thrilled when I received notice that my application was one of only 4 to be selected to participate in the Curatorial Mentorship Project with the Art League Rhode Island and funded in part by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA). Through several months of detailed learning under curators and artist mentors, I have gained a more thorough appreciation of what goes into curating exhibitions, including preparing an exhibition proposal to be submitted to the ALRI Vets Gallery. I hope to use what I’ve learned to consider other curation opportunities.
Read more…

8) Invited to be Artist Guest Speaker at the East Providence Arts Council

14504747_1790744517847832_769947667483590656_nMy last public speaking engagement was many years ago, so it was both exciting and challenging initially to be invited by the East Providence Arts Council to be the Artist Guest Speaker at the EPAC meeting in October. After preparing my talk and bringing a few pieces of art, I was relatively pleased with how it turned out, and I was very encouraged afterwards by other artists who came up and spoke with me after the talk.
Read about it and watch recap of live video…