The BRT Art Gallery is an ongoing initiative to have the work of local visual artists combine with BRT's performing arts programming to enhance the audience's total experience and expose them to the many talented artists that live and work nearby. Exhibits generally change every 5 or 6 weeks between mid-September and May. Artwork is viewable two hours before scheduled theater events and is often for sale.
|Space Debris||Untitled #13||Portrait of Beatrice
as a middle-aged woman
Blackstone River Theatre's Art Gallery will host an exhibition and sale of The Abstract Art of Duke Robillard from February 18 through April 9 viewable two hours before and during scheduled theatre events, in the upper and lower lobby of the Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St., Cumberland, RI. The BRT Art Gallery is an ongoing initiative to have the work of local visual artists combine with BRT's performing arts programming to enhance the audience's total experience.
There will be an opening reception Saturday, Feb. 18, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The exhibit will conclude April 8 when the Duke Robillard Band featuring Sunny Crownover performs.
Duke Robillard is best known as an award-winning blues and jazz guitarist but he has long appreciated the visual arts as well. "As a child I was very interested in art but my intense attraction to music at an early age drew me to the guitar. My brother Gerald's gift as an artist led him to a life as painter as I followed my course traveling the world as a musician. During my decades of touring, especially in Europe, I was lucky to find myself in cities with museums housing many of the world's finest artworks and spent long visits to many of them on numerous occasions soaking up as much art as I possibly could," says Robillard.
In 2015 a rotator cuff injury put Robillard's musical career on hold for over a year and the inability to play guitar left him searching for a creative outlet. Over the years Duke had dabbled in painting and now, needing another artistic outlet, he dove back into photography and painting head first and found a new love for art in abstract expressionism. Says Robillard, "I now experience profound meaning in the abstract and surreal and feel a strong connection with my subconscious like never before. Over the last year or so I have produced nearly seventy paintings and can't find enough hours in the day to paint." He added, "I am thankful that an injury turned into such a satisfying new direction for me and I'm truly thankful I can produce both music and visual art now. I am looking forward to presenting my paintings at Blackstone River Theatre, a wonderful venue for all things music and art."