On Tuesday, July 31, The Spring Street Gallery will present the work of Newport-based artist Mary Alice Huggins.
Of her work, Huggins said:
“Growing up on BIock Island contributed to my development as an artist. The island, with its natural beauty and individualistic way of life, fostered the creative spirit.
“When I set out to make something, I don’t have a vision of where I’ll land. Just letting things happen as I go without preconceived ideas or restrictions makes the experience of making art fun.
“I’ve had many related careers in the arts, mostly in New York City. I’ve been a decorative arts restorer, an author of non-fiction, an advisor for collectors, a jewelry maker, a gilder of antique frames and a ceramic artist. References to my past occupations appear in the things I’ve made over the last two years in my studio in Newport. The work is narrative, abstract and joyful. Lately I’ve been experimenting with traditional, handmade Korean Hanji paper, made from the bark of the mulberry tree. The process I use is called Joomchi, a 500-year old technique that uses water and agitation to fuse together thin layers of this durable colored paper.
“I’m always on the look-out for discarded materials that can be transformed. I made a series of collages using book covers from old volumes purchased at library sales. Paper-mache carton packaging is another favorite that I combine with wicker, cloth, and wood. Colors range from subdued whites, while others erupt in jolting neon oranges and pinks. I have a heavy bucket of glass shards procured at a furnace run by a group of glass blowing artists in North Kingstown that I traded for a case of Belgium beer.”
Huggins’ show runs through Monday, Aug. 6. The opening reception is Tuesday, July 31 from 5 to 7 p.m.