Awesome Original Wallpaper At 186 Carpenter

Head over to 186 Carpenter Street Friday for the opening of “Flocked, Blocked & Stenciled” an exhibition of locally-made, original designs. (Exhibit up through September.)

I kept changing my mind about which picture to feature here; they are unbelievably vivid and compelling images. However, getting a proper photograph of certain pieces was nearly impossible. Some of the the surfaces proved quite changeable from different angles. My apologies to the artists. Seen here is ‘Copperheads of Cottondale’ a one-color silk-screen print on vellum by Sarah Jean Rovenko.

The genesis of this exhibit can be traced to the day novelist Taylor M. Polites sized up the dining room in his Armory District home and thought a bold wallpaper would be just the thing to hold up the 11-foot ceilings. He soon fell in with the notorious AS220 printshop gang and their 15-foot print table, and not only did he learn how to create his own wallpaper, but about two dozen artists got swept up in the wallpaper enthusiasm and the idea for a show came together.

It must be said that Mr. Polites was anxious to share credit with the many worthy people and organizations involved in the show. One artist, Beth Brandon, was there today helping with final details. The muted colors of her ‘Ergot on Rye/St. Anthony’s Fire’ derive from natural thermochromatic pigments which will respond to the warmth of a person’s breath. I know this is art, but I was still curious, could a person commission a roomful of wallpaper? Brandon said, by all means, speak to the artist. It’s not going to be the least expensive way to cover a wall, but how cool would it be.

Originally from Alabama, Polites, who currently teaches at RISD, has since lived in both New York City and Provincetown, and thinks the art scene here in Providence is something special, noting that the artists often work together, creating exciting communal projects, as opposed to tending to their own careers.

Polites is seen below. On the far right is his own untitled, deep blue panel with a silvery botanical motif. He designed the pattern directly from the leaves of the ash trees outside his dining room window. (The seemingly solid black panel at the corner is ‘Hercules’ by Jason Tranchida, black-on-black flocking using a rubber tire tread. It is awesome and impossible to photograph.)

Other wallpaper-related events are coming up this month — a salon at the Athenaeum, a meet-the-artists in conjunction with Design Week RI — see the details at 186 Carpenter. And go to the Facebook event page for more images, including ‘Whirlwind’ in production.

Opening reception, 7pm to 9pm, Friday, September 9, 186 Carpenter Street, (directions)

taylor polites





Seen below is the exquisite Whirlwind, a five-color silk-screen print by Priscilla Carrion.






Below is a three-color silk-screen by Xander Marro

artist xander marro

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