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Last updated: 3/7/06

What’s New:
Library Exhibit — March 6-30, 2006
Picturesque Rhode Island: In Print and Paint

March’s exhibit in the University of Rhode Island Library Gallery is titled Picturesque Rhode Island. It features the work of several local artists. The exhibit is free and open to the public during regular library hours.


“Ocean Road, Narragansett” by Paola Mangiacapra


Exhibitor Russell DeSimone writes,

Rhode Island has long been recognized for its natural beauty. Best known for its scenic shoreline due to the great asset of Narragansett Bay, Rhode Island is also blessed with a picturesque rolling countryside and quaint villages. This exhibition celebrates the many ways in which the picturesque of Rhode Island has been depicted through the past and present using artifacts from the 19th, 20th and early 21st centuries. Upon examination the viewer will come to understand why Rhode Island has been referred to as the “Eden of America.”

The exhibition’s artifacts are contained in four display cases. The first case, Picturesque Rhode Island, explores how the picturesque was used in book-form as well as in prints, certificates and sheet music of the 19th century. The display case Commercial Use of the Picturesque shows Rhode Island landscapes and cityscapes and how they were appropriated to promote events and sell products. Shown in this case are posters, advertising give-a- ways, Victorian trade cards and 19th century fabric labels.  Rhode Island has long been called America’s first vacationland, in the display case of the same name are many examples of souvenirs that tourist would purchase to remember their visit. Displayed in this case are souvenirs, from the inexpensive examples that a regular tourist might purchase to the more costly example of the 1878 excursion view box that few vacationers could afford. The display case titled Pretty as a Picture, shows examples of 20th century post cards from all four corners of Rhode Island, including Roger Williams Park, countryside windmills and lighthouses of Narragansett Bay.

The walls of the exhibition gallery display the works of local artists Carole Berren of Warwick, Brother Michael Dundin of Narragansett, and Paola Mangiacapra and Sheila O’Malley, both of South Kingstown. Their works depict how today artists interpret the picturesque of Rhode Island.


Carole Berren

Carole Berren, a URI alumna, has been painting and teaching drawing and watercolor to adults for over twenty years. She teaches private studio classes as well as offers classes, demonstrations and workshops through various art associations in Rhode Island, Massachusetts and Connecticut.

Carole’s work has been exhibited throughout New England and has traveled as far south as Florida and west to Colorado. Her work is also included in many private, public and corporate collections in the US, Europe, Africa, Australia and Japan.  Carole has won numerous awards and recognition for her work.  Her most recent is receipt of the Edgar Whitney Memorial Award at the 2004 American Watercolor Society’s juried international exhibition in New York City.  After being on display during the month of April her work traveled throughout the country.  Her work also appeared at the 2000 Rocky Mountain Watercolor Society’s national juried watermedia exhibit in Colorado.

Carole’s professional affiliations (elected artist member) include:  Mystic Art Association, Newport Art Association, North Shore Art Association (MA), Providence Art Club, Rhode Island Watercolor Society, South County Art Association and Wickford Art Association.


Russell DeSimone

Russell DeSimone is a native Rhode Islander and a life long student of Rhode Island history. Over the years he has collected books and ephemera relating to the state’s history. Some of his collection has previously been displayed in exhibitions which he curated at the University of Rhode Island Library including exhibits entitled A Survey of 19th Century Rhode Island Billheads;  Rhode Island Lotteries – Three Centuries of History, Voting and the Spirit of Democracy and Thomas Wilson Dorr.  He is the author of Broadsides of the Dorr Rebellion, The Dorr Rebellion Chronicled in Ballads and Poetry, A Survey of Nineteenth Century Rhode Island Billheads and recently wrote the introduction to History of Rhode Island Lotteries by John Russell Bartlett.

The current collection, now on exhibit in the Library Gallery, is entitled Picturesque Rhode Island. Rhode Island, the Ocean State, has been blessed with a wonderful natural asset – the Narragansett Bay. This bay has provided generations of Rhode Islanders and visitors alike with not only commercial and recreational opportunities but with untold beauty in its vistas of numerous islands and scenic shorelines. The Narragansett Bay, coupled with Rhode Island’s scenic country side, quaint villages and bustling cities are often taken for granted. This display is intended for visitors to stop for a moment and observe the myriad ways in which Rhode Island’s seascapes, landscapes and cityscapes have been depicted in print.


Brother Michael Dundin

Brother Michael Dundin received a B.A. in Latin and Greek literature and an M.F.A. in painting and sculpture from Catholic University, Washington, D.C.  He studied at the Art Students’ League of New York City, where he received full scholarships in 1969 and 1977. He also studied at the Woodstock School of Art where he has been Resident Artist since 1998.

As a member of a religious order of teaching men in the Roman Catholic tradition, Brother Michael has taught religion, Latin, art, ceramics, mechanical drawing as well as been a track and golf coach in various private schools in Rhode Island, New York and Kenya.

Brother Michael has had one-person shows in New York City, Stony Brook, NY, Newport, and Westerly.  He has won many awards, including “best in show” in New York, Massachusetts and Rhode Island.  His illustrations also appear in several books published by St. Mary’s Press and Sadlier & Co.


Paola Mangiacapra

Paola Mangiacapra holds BS and MS degrees and is a retired public school teacher. In 1993 she launched an on-going self-directed art education process which included studying books and the works of the “masters”, enrolling in classes and workshops, and participating in exhibitions juried for selection and for awards. She has studied with and been inspired by locally and nationally prominent artists including Tom Sgouros, Nancy Gaucher-Thomas, Tony Van Hasselt, Frank Webb, Arne Lindmark, Irwin Greenberg, and Domenic DeStefano.

Paola has shown her work throughout New England and New York. She has won many awards including 3rd place in the RI Watercolor Society “Interiors”, 2005, the Katherine A. Lovell Memorial Prize (Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Annual Exhibition, NY, 2002), and the William J. Roth Memorial Award (Northeast Watercolor Society, NY, 1998).

Paola’s professional affiliations include: Catharine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club, Rhode Island Watercolor Society, Northeast Watercolor Society (Signature Member), and the American Watercolor Society.


Sheila O’Malley

Sheila O’Malley received a BA in English from Albertus Magnus. Her foray into the world of painting was a result of a gift from her eldest daughter, Sheila Kathleen, of a set of watercolor paints 8 years ago. This led to studies at South County Art Association, Wickford Art Association, RISD, and Lyme Academy of Art.  Her ongoing love and fascination with the challenges of watercolor and the art of oil painting are the perfect vehicles for her commitment to capture through Alla Prima painting, RI landscapes, portraits and still lifes.

Sheila has shown her work throughout southern New England with an upcoming show scheduled in May at the Blackstone River Theatre in Cumberland. Her professional affiliations include South County Art Association, Wickford Art Association, and Newport Art Association.

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