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BRT Art Gallery

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 5-6 weeks between September and May. Artwork is viewable two hours before scheduled theater events and is often for sale.

Current Exhibit

Project: SPLAT! by Bruce Kaplan

Blackstone River Theatre's Art Gallery will host an exhibition of acrylic paintings called Project: SPLAT! by Bruce Kaplan through May 31, 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 art reception opening on Saturday, April 26, from 5:30-7:30 p.m.

What is Project: SPLAT!? At it's most basic, it's paintings on wood panels created by hitting paint with a hammer. Kaplan explains, "Creating these splats and splatters is only half the fun; the other half comes from exploring the worlds revealed in the aftermath of these acrylic explosions." But, he explains, it's not what he himself sees in the paintings. The main idea is to see what the viewer sees in the splatters. To that end, he will have blank cards next to each painting so viewers can write down what they see in his colorful paintings.

Bruce Kaplan is a Providence-based contemporary abstract photographer and painter. His photographs and paintings seek to capture the aesthetic beauty in entropic processes, be they natural or manmade. He has participated in more than 20 group shows and two solo shows throughout the United States and his work has been published in several national magazines and countless online publications.

Artist Statement

Welcome to Project: SPLAT!, a series of meditations on destruction and creation. On the sweet ballet between order and entropy. On the split second airborne ecstasy of swirling shadow dances. On capturing the frozen instant.

In other words: I hit paint with a hammer1.

Why? On some level, Project: SPLAT! is a sweet indulgence in raw chaos amidst the sudden transformation of potential energy into kinetic energy. On another level, it's my reminder that it's possible to escape life's obligations from time to time and discover new possibilities with a sense of childhood wonder. Either way, I count myself lucky: not too many artists get to have a reason to wear earplugs when filling their canvases.

Here's the deal, though: creating these splats and splatters is only half the fun2 - the other half comes from exploring the worlds revealed in the aftermath of these acrylic explosions:

Cosmic butterflies, caterwauling wood nymphs, interstellar transitions, wizards and dragons, planetary eruptions, floral fantasies and many, many other insopnian3 daydreams dance on the walls of these two floors.

But enough about what I see in Project: SPLAT! In viewing these images, you are creating its meaning, massaging the message from the medium, imposing order on chaos4. In a nutshell, then, I'd love to know:

What do YOU see in these paintings?

So, next to each image on these two floors, you'll see a card labeled (appropriately enough) "What Do YOU See in this SPLAT!?" Please take a moment to leave behind an answer or two5. In so doing, your interpretations become part of the art.

Thank you.

Bruce Alan Kaplan

1 And, from time to time, a mallet.
2 Well, depending on the day, up to 63%. But no higher. Except maybe for the painting with the unicorn playing poker with what appears to be a squadron of turn-of-the-century Tickle Me Elmo dolls.
3 A word that I just made up meaning "inciting a sense of rediscovered childhood wonder that you thought you'd once boxed up and left in storage somewhere outside of Wichita after all that crazy business with the bail bondsman went down."
4 Or, quite possibly, vice versa.
5 The more, the merrier.

Art Gallery Info

Art Gallery information: Contact Russell Gusetti

Blackstone River Theatre currently books visual artists for 5 or 6-week shows in the BRT upper and lower theatre lobbies from September through May (usually 18-34 pieces depending on size). We are now reviewing artwork for the Fall 2014 season and beyond; showings are usually arranged 4-8 months in advance. Artists must first contact Russell Gusetti to express interest and then will be asked to show a portfolio or e-mail current samples of work to be considered. All BRT exhibits are now coordinated and hung by Pat and George Sargent. Artwork or visual artists with a connection to the Blackstone River Valley or musical themes are preferred but not necessary. We are currently only displaying two-dimensional work as a rule.

Artwork CAN be sold by the artist with no commission fee taken by BRT. Our sole goal is to have the work of local visual artists combine with our performing arts programming to enhance our audience's total experience. The artist is SOLELY responsible for drop-off/pick-up of work, matting, framing, and taking down their show and for all costs and insurances associated with hanging their artwork in an exhibit space.

BRT will send out a press release with representative image 14 days before your show hangs so please email a biography/artist's statement/show info and a high-res image (200-300 dpi jpeg please at 5 x 7 inches) in a timely manner.