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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

Artist provides close-up of natural world in URI exhibit, Nov. 17-Dec. 18

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KINGSTON, RI – November 10, 2010 – ‘A Brush with Nature’ invites viewers to take a closer look at the world around us in an art exhibit opening Sunday, Nov. 14 at the University of Rhode Island’s University Libraries Gallery in Kingston. The University Libraries Gallery is located on the main floor of the Robert L. Carothers Library & Learning Commons, 15 Lippitt Road, Kingston.

Oils and watercolors by artist Frances Topping, along with her sketchbooks, reflect the drama and diversity of the natural world, whether it be botanicals, landscapes, birds or fungi. The artist’s passion for rendering these subjects leads to a variety of styles, from realistic to subjects more loosely rendered.

Topping focuses on a wide range of intriguing natural subjects, including the intricacies of the prey-catching mechanisms of carnivorous plants, pollination methods of lady slipper orchids, the sheen on a petal, or the attitude of a bird. She comments that looking closely at the natural world opens up vistas of wonders not normally observed in the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Two receptions are planned to which the public is invited, the first following the opening on Sunday from 2-4 p.m., and the second on Wednesday, Nov. 17 from 4-6 p.m. The show will run until Dec. 18.

Topping, primarily a watercolorist, also uses graphite, pen and ink, oil, and acrylic media. She holds a bachelor of science degree in geography with botany and zoology, a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic design with illustration and photography, and a certificate in natural science illustration from Rhode Island School of Design.

She is a member of the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators, the American Society of Botanical Artists, and the National Association for Interpretation. She has been commissioned to create murals and interpretive brochures for several organizations, including The Nature Conservancy, Cleveland Museum of Natural History, Cleveland Metroparks, Ohio Audubon, Cleveland Botanical Garden and South Kingstown’s Tri-Pond Park Nature Center.

University Libraries Gallery hours are: Sunday, 1-11:30 p.m.; Monday-Thursday, 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.; Friday, 8 a.m.- 8 p.m.; and Saturday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. For further information call 401.874.2672.