The Block Island Times

Celebrated Artist Returns to Block Island

Jul 25, 2013

After a three-year hiatus, gifted multimedia artist Andrew Collins will captivate island art aficionados once more during a two-week solo exhibition at Déjà Vu Gallery.

Collins debuted on Block Island with painter Scott Moran — scheduled to show at Déjà Vu later in August — and the late art matriarch Mary Newhouse at Encore Gallery in 2006. Newhouse and Collins exhibited a number of times together in various island galleries up until her passing in 2010.

The artist, a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, has spent the last number of years traveling between the United States, Ireland and England making work and exhibiting. Currently, Collins is participating in a residency program at the National Sculpture Factory in Ireland.

His latest collection marries traditional oil techniques with unorthodox methods that utilize industrial materials, including tar. Collins says the collection was inspired by man’s relationship with his environment. He harnessed the energy of human interaction and, simultaneously, the private power of perception to craft abstract, emotionally charged pieces.

“This collection takes imagery that I have been developing almost since I began working with oils,” he says. “It’s rooted in landscape painting, however it has become hybridized, now relating more closely to ideas about contemporary art and an ideology surrounding micro- and macrocosms.”

Though each piece in the collection has its own sense of authority, Collins cites “Dip” and “Squares” as the most significant. “They represent an evolution, a step from one place to the next, while both being beautiful,” Collins says.

“Dip” was made nearly three years ago, yet Collins says there’s something about the piece that draws him in. “I want to look at it for long periods of time,” he says. “It holds my interest.”

“Squares” was completed more recently and represents the beginning of a new direction — one, Collins says, “where older techniques have harmonized with new ones to create something profound.”

The public is invited to celebrate Collins’s opening night with music and refreshments at Déjà Vu Gallery, located next door to Eli’s Restaurant on Chapel Street, on Saturday, July 27 from 5 – 7 p.m. The exhibition runs through August 9 during regular gallery hours, Sun. – Wed. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., Thurs. 2 – 9 p.m., Fri. 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. and 6 – 9 p.m., and Sat. 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Visit for more information.

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