The Block Island Times

New works by Kate Bird

Aug. 16-26 at Spring Street Gallery
Aug 15, 2014

New works by Kate Bird will be on exhibit at the Spring Street Gallery from Aug. 16 to 26, with a reception scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 16 from 5 to 7 p.m. Bird’s theme this year is “Shells.” Portraits of oysters, clams, horseshoe crabs and mussel shells dominate the show.

“I found them to be particularly cooperative models, not moving much or even breaking for lunch. In fact, some gorgeous model mussel shells came right off the table at Kimberly’s new restaurant,” said Bird. She is attracted to their subtle palettes and shapes. By eliminating any real backgrounds, the “portraits” focus totally on the shells and mimic studio portraits of people. There is a minimalism to the work, simply allowing the shape and color to create the composition. This is a departure from her work last season, where she created complicated backgrounds depicting dense thickets of blackberries, deep buckets of clams and vast piles of rocks in the surf.

The clam and mussel “portraits” have dramatic splashes of deep purples and blues in contrast to various neutrals found in the shells. The images of oysters seem to resonate most with Gallery patrons this summer. Perhaps it’s the recent popularity of oysters that draw people to them. The reception will feature music by popular local, singer/songwriter Glenda Luck. Refreshments and appetizers will be served, which just might include bivalves on the half shell!

Bird is Secretary of the Spring Street Gallery, the island’s only cooperative non-profit gallery consisting of island artists. She is also a resident artist at the Umbrella Center for the Arts in Concord, Mass. This is an exciting new season for the Gallery, which underwent a complete interior renovation this past winter. The new layout and flow is particularly conducive to show receptions. Additionally, the state of Rhode Island has eliminated the sales tax on all original art works. The Gallery is located directly across the street from the Manisses Hotel on Spring Street. For more information, please visit

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