Newport’s art community seems to be growing daily, and with galleries around every corner, there’s no shortage of visuals to soak in. We’ve rounded up a handful of galleries in the area that feature work from abstract paintings to landscape photography. Many of these galleries are open daily and offer at least some artwork you can actually afford. But if you prefer to travel light, many also have great online stores.
1. The Open Aperture Art Gallery
The Open Aperture Art Gallery, located on Touro Street at Washington Square, is just over a year old. But, despite its youth, the gallery already has an impressive collection of photographs on display. Their main focus (haha) is to present and sell limited-edition fine art and contemporary photography. At any time, the gallery features up to 20 or more artists from a variety of backgrounds.
2. The Kings Lens and Friends
Patrick Murphy, also known as The Kings Lens has gone from luring his fans in on Instagram to serenading them with his images printed on canvas. Patrick, who’s a Newport local (one who made it onto our list of favorite Instagrammers), is best known for his breathtaking landscape shots, an uncanny ability for water-bending, and capturing the sunset at the perfect moment. He is, quite possibly, the youngest person in Newport to open and run his own gallery, The Kings Lens and Friends (pictured at top), located at 435 Thames Street in Newport. For the moment, Patrick runs the gallery (mostly) himself, daily. He defines the space as a “revolving art gallery,” where each week a new local artist can rent a wall to feature his art alongside the owner’s pre-existing work. This is one artist whose love for sharing space with the community is more beautiful than any sunset.
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3. Blink Gallery
Blink Gallery is the place to find fine art photography and also offers a small collection of paintings from local artists. Voted Best Gallery by Newport Life Magazine from 2012 through 2015, the collection here includes carbon-fiber jewelry by Diana Hall (a favorite among the sailing community), unique ceramics, seascape prints and paintings, and photography by local artists such as owner Alexander Nesbitt. There are more than 300 photos on display, a large amount of them being photographs of Newport. Blink also offers prints on metal, a very cool way to print art. Visit Blink at 478 Thames Street in Newport.
4. Onne van der Wal Photography
An award-winning nautical photographer, Onne van der Wal owns a gallery at 1 Bannister’s Wharf in downtown Newport, where he sells his personal favorite pieces and limited edition prints. His gallery is just as impressive as his resume – the walls are covered with amazing photographs of sailboats and abstract oceanic scenes. With a considerable amount of traveling under his belt, Onne sells photographs taken from all around the world. No space for a full size print? No worries. You can pick up postcards, mini prints, notecards, and calendars that won’t break the bank. Pay a visit to his gallery to see why he’s considered one of the world’s most talented marine photographers.
5. Anchor Bend Glassworks
This glass artists’ collaborative joins together three childhood friends who share a common passion for glass and art. Anchor Bend Glassworks is representative of some serious innovation and creative manipulation – their best-selling piece is a sculpture of a wave like the one above. The guys at Anchor Bend will also take custom orders for your home or business. Just walk through their shop with your arms pinned by your side – items are fragile.
6. Spring Bull Gallery
Located at 55 Bellevue Avenue, Spring Bull Gallery has been open for more than two decades – which has given them ample time to curate a fascinating collection. Originally this cooperative belonged to six members and has since grown to encompass the work of 17 artists. On the first Saturday of each month, Spring Bull holds an opening reception for new exhibits, which include a wide variety of media, from Chinese brush painting to sculpture and everything in between.
7. DeBlois Gallery
Like Spring Bull, DeBlois Gallery is a cooperative with a long existence – it’s been around for more than 30 years to support and exhibit work by its members as well as emerging artists from southeastern New England. Typically, the gallery hosts a new exhibition each month. (Fyi, they’re currently accepting applications for future exhibitions.) DeBlois, which is located in Middletown at 134 Aquidneck Avenue, has opening receptions on the first Saturday of every month.
8. The Jamestown Arts Center
At The Jamestown Arts Center, the mission is to engage the community through art. Heavily education-focused, JAC is a dynamic and unique arts space – and one of the largest in southern Rhode Island – which allows it to host large format exhibitions and installations. From paintings to pottery, the Jamestown Art Center, located at 18 Valley Street in Jamestown, really has it all.
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