Announcing “Quartet: Harmony and Dissonance” at Gallery4

Solo exhibitions can unearth the unbound essence of an artist –their process, foundation, nourishment, and growth– with intensity and valor. While this earnest presentation of art is often liberating, a selective group exhibition can likewise illuminate new waves of understanding. So is the case with a new foursome exhibition at Gallery4 on Main Rd. in Tiverton Four Corners where Turkish slippers, fine jewelry, and wall-sized canvases flourish together side-by-side. Here four prominent south coast-area women have been chosen to exhibit their work in a showing titled, “Quartet: Harmony and Dissonance,” which will run through August 12th, exposing not only the depth of each female artist, but the “harmony and dissonance” between them.

The works of Jane Tuckerman, Gayle Wells Mandle, Susan Strauss, and Sarah Benham adorn eager white walls filling the gallery with familiar excitement and a new sense of importance. The four women who live as neighbors along the south coast have now come together in a poignant display of their experiences apart, in separate corners of the world.

“It’s a clever name,” says Sarah Benham reflecting on the title amidst a backdrop of opening-night attendees and her bold, figurative oil paintings. Showing are both early and late works by Benham who likens her process to a lucid puzzle, “it’s about finding a solution” she says. Inspired by the simple pleasures of life, Benham has spiraled through style and medium during her honored career as an artist, always considering the wise words of a friend: “to always be astonished by what you do. And I am astonished” she says. There are many ways to be astonished by Benham’s paintings. First it’s the figures that grab you, then the density and depth of the scene. They are faceless jolts of color and mood awakening the senses and mesmerizing in their perfection.

The exhibit, orchestrated by gallery owners Bob Smith, Elaine Hill, and Alix Cambell struck a chord of enthusiasm in the community with over 150 people gathering last Sunday for the opening reception. The works handpicked and juxtaposed in the four-room gallery gave enough space for each artist to breathe while infusing one another with vibrancy and contrast.

Tucked away in one nook of the gallery last Sunday was Susan Strauss whose landscapes and floral masterpieces float effortlessly on the walls as if growing there on their own. A master of decorative arts, Strauss is a fresh face in the gallery, yet her plein air paintings are exuberantly lived in. Their immediate transparency morphs into luminous and muddled movement the longer you let them in, drawing forth intellect, grace, and wonder. Strauss describes a satisfying fluidity to her path of “pushing back and painting over, pushing back and painting over,” and eventually pulling forward her work into a new dimension. That is when she knows her work is complete.

Neighboring Strauss was artist Gayle Wells Mandle present at the opening with husband Roger Mandle, former president of the Rhode Island School of Design. The couple spent time in Qatar, inspiring Gayle’s striking selection of collaged fragments from this land of wealth and discord, elegantly blended with color, texture, and cultural artifacts in a rousing display of gender clash and blunt symbolism. Fascinating is how she recreates a history of travel, human rights, and cultural tribulation while still speculating on the future of this oil-saturated part of our world. Gayle’s work is piercing as she pieces together parts of humanity we might choose to ignore, extracting for the viewer something imperative to consider.

Lastly, former chairman of photography at Harvard University, Jane Tuckerman, took the right wing of the gallery with chilling mixed-media photographs of her lifelong study in the mystical world of death rituals. Since 1984 she’s been returning to Benares, India, the last existing site of cremation ceremonies and one of the world’s most sacred spiritual hubs. Here she began capturing religious rituals, rights of passage, and celebrations with vigor through film and photograph. With an anthropological twist, her layered photographs peer with sharp eyes into a world frightfully unknown. Astounding is the way she shapes darkness into something primitive and eloquent. Her work puts forth a magnetic pull of emotion into the descending layers of each photograph.

Even still, Tuckerman emphasizes, with deep understanding, connections within humanity; “We’re all so displaced and haunted by memories—memories become our own special ghosts.” Growing up in rural Westport spawned an obsession with the energy and history of a land; “Westport has this extraordinary connection to this history, Indians, colonists, pre-historic people…It’s about connection to the land, something our culture is loosing,” says Tuckerman. “There’s something very primal about art. Artists connect with each other and with a greater world. I’m appreciative and in awe of Gallery4 for their foresight and sensitivity to this exhibit and the world of art.” she says.

A fondness for the quest, the solution, and the layers of aesthetic, social, and spiritual life give harmony to these four women. But the beauty is in the dissonance.

Quartet: Harmony and Dissonance is open for viewing Monday-Saturday 10-5 and Sunday 12-5 at 3848 Main Rd, Tiverton, RI. For more information about this exhibit visit www.gallery4tiverton.com

K Lovell a New Town Favorite

Surrounded by paint and inspired by nature, Kathrine Lovell has created a unique space to honor the two in her bright and open gallery in Tiverton Four Corners. Here you will find clean and contemporary works, a bold fusion of the graceful natural world and sharp geometric slices of color. 

Kathrine moved her studio to Four Corners from Barrington last year after becoming enchanted with the “amazingly supportive” artistic community along the south coast– or FarmCoast— region. Her rustic studio overlooking Tiverton farmland is also a perk. Katherine quickly became an active participant in this arts community, taking her place as a member of the T4C Merchants Association and bountiful group of South Coast Artists. She organized a new showing of art at the Tiverton Four Corners Grower’s Markets so that visitors can preview of the work of one SCAs while filling bags with local veggies. 

But mostly since she’s been here she’s been painting. Captivated by the subjective way we  see, her work is an energized interpretation nature. “We don’t see nature by itself anymore,” she says, referring to the many filters humans extend onto the natural world; whether it’s experience, technology, buildings, or cityscapes the geometric patterns represent this human influence. Even so, Kathrine’s generously sized acrylic and watercolor works portray a fruitful world in the midst of our meddling. Kathrine graduated from RISD with a BFA in painting and a rich resume of teaching art to all ages. She hopes to share this passion with the Four Corners community and beyond.

We are looking forward to some wonderful nature-inspired works this fall with Kathrine’s bird series, Birds of a Feather, beginning September 8th through the 22nd. This exhibit will include a smattering of local artists and their renditions of “Birds of a Feather.” A portion of all proceeds will benefit the Tiverton Land Trust. If you have a painting or collection you’d like to exhibit contact Kathrine at www.kathrinelovell.com.

Art is sprouting up in Tiverton like our summer gardens and we couldn’t be more pleased. 

A Fresh Face for Summer in Four Corners

Tiverton Four Corners is proud to announce a handful of new shops and events to the neighborhood this summer, along with the usual store and event favorites you wont want to miss. Recently welcomed to the village, Perfectly Twisted Yarn and Studio by the Sea are both settled in at 3879 Main Rd next to the Provender. Just up the road, artist Katherine Lovell will enjoy her first summer in Four Corners at her studio in the Mill Pond Shops (south of the light). This Saturday June 9th  is the first growers market of the season! Expect to see your favorite quality vendors, musical performances, childrens activities, demonstrations, and more all summer long.

After you browse the market, head across the street to the new shops. Peter Tirpaeck is the owner of Studio by the Sea. Having moved his jeweler’s shop from Little Compton to Tiverton Four Corners, he hopes to create a more vivid and lively space for doing business. Partners Kate, Karen, and Maureen are excited to be a part of the T4C community at their new shop, Perfectly Twisted Yarn. They will be open daily 12-5 carrying yarn and knitting accessories and featuring lessons plus plenty of light-filled space to sit and knit. Katherine Lovell has been in Four Corners since January but looks forward to a busy summer in the studio where she’ll offer children’s art classes and lovely works of nature-inspired art.

Stay tuned for in-depth introductions to all three wonderful new small businesses!


This summer in Four Corners will also feature concerts, films, studio tours, demonstrations, and workshops. Enriching and picturesque Four Corners has a lot to offer this summer. Come “discover Rhode Island style” in Four Corners and let us know what you think!


Open for business…with a smile and a song.

Celebrating 30 years of business this summer, The Provender in Four Corners will be hosting a variety of celebratory special events to honor their 30th birthday. The sandwich and sweet shop has a soaring reputation in New England (recently voted Editor’s Choice, Best Of New England in Yankee Magazine) for their giant homemade sandwiches, and even bigger cookies. And while they get their fair share of traffic, this summer owner Jeffie Borden has decided to shake things up.

Starting this month the gals at the Provender will bring back old favorites to the chalkboard list of well-stuffed sandwiches. Limited time varieties like the “Jaws”– a a Texacali tuna salad with a cilantro-cumin mayo and just enough cayenne for a little “bite”– and the French Quarter–a Cajun chicken salad sandwich with caramelized onions, red peppers and light vinaigrette–will make fast and fancy two-week appearances in the café. And if the Jaws doesn’t send you running straight here for lunch, the regular list of sandwiches will.

Other promotional events this summer will include a framed-poster auction to benefit the Rhode Island Food Bank, and ongoing best-employee contests. The victorian-style gourmet food shop recently launched their first-ever website equipped with a full menu and a rotating selection of online cookie ordering so you can send chocolate espresso or oatmeal ginger cookies to those far and away friends.

And now for the best part: dessert. During the month of August all customers are invited to challenge the bakers at the Provender by picking any two ingredients from inside the store to use in a brand new cookie recipe. The winner of the best new cookie recipe will receive an impressive gourmet picnic lunch that will knock your socks off.

Specials will continue throughout the end of the year and holidays. Rumor is they’re planning a kids costume party in October, a pie giveaway in November, and a Christmas cookie giveaway in December. Happy Birthday Provender!


Love from T4C

Love is in the air at Four Corners and our shops are busy stocking special deals and darling gifts just for you! Our lovable local gifts come in all shapes and sizes. Here are some favorites!

Scroll down to read about more of this month’s specials…

More Great Deals!
Tiffany Peay is offering limited-time Valentine’s charms (pictured above) and free jewelry cleaner with any February purchase; Amy Lund Handweaver has made a stock full of soft and lovable scarves (all 14% off this month); Little Purls children’s shop is offering a ONE-DAY special on FEB 11TH–buy 2 items at 50% off and receive a free box of candy; Milk and Honey has new Laurent Vals Passionata dark chocolates, and Courtyards is offering free $10 gift card with any $30 purchase of their specialty gifts. Stop by and see for yourself what other great deals are happening on our block!

Spread the word, share the love, shop sweetly and locally! 

With love,


The Ever-changing Exhibit Warming up the Holiday Season…

29 years is a long time to do pretty much anything. But, as Kris Donovan gets ready to celebrate her 30th anniversary running a fine arts gallery , 29 years of wonderful art is giving back generous gifts of wisdom, confidence, and grace.

The Donovan Gallery used to be a quiet home, erected on one of the “four corners” with crackling fire places, creaking floorboards and a narrow, winding staircase. Now, art work warms the walls and brings good tidings this season with a Holiday Exhibit featuring the late David Aldrich of Providence, RI. Aldrich’s work has been showcased in the Providence Art Club, Rhode Island Watercolor Society, and the Gallery on the Commons in Little Compton. His work is described as “fresh,” always painted with “freedom and spontaneity,” offered up in beautiful brush strokes, rich colors, and liberal compositions. The popular paintings arrived earlier this month, and are selling fast.“We already sold 6,” said Kris Donovan, who has witnessed the transformative talent of dozens of artists since she opened the gallery in 1994.

Before the Donovan Gallery Kris had opened a smaller place just around the corner in 1982 called Thistle Gallery and Gifts. Now she is one of the many artists featured at the Donovan Gallery, which represents the work of over 42 artists. Most of the artists have been with Kris since the beginning, however, their work is always changing she says; “A lot of galleries just have shows, but we’re constantly changing. I keep the artists on their toes.”  Despite the gorgeous variety of affordable fine art, the Donovan Gallery harbors a quiet New England theme, with paintings bursting with orange and blue skies, flower gardens, fishing boats, baseball games, hay fields, and old colonial farm houses. A fitting placement for a gallery located in one of New England’s most beautiful nature spots.

The gallery offers hundreds of affordable pieces of art and remains humbly, tax-free, making fine art accessible to everyone.  A semi-recent victory in 4Corners was receiving tax-exempt status from the state, thanks to the “Donovan Bill.”  The bill was initiated by Kris Donovan, and influenced Rhode Island’s decision to recognize the unique arts district as deserving. Lucky for us all.

David Aldrich will be at the gallery through this month (while his paintings last). Stop by and see for yourself what’s so fantastic about this little New England masterpiece. 

To see a full list of contributing artists this season visit www.donovangallery.com.


Inside an Illustrator’s Mind

Open up an illustrators mind, and you find a flowering pictorial greenhouse. Anthony Russo, a self-described translator, is a professional illustrator and Tiverton resident who thinks in black and white, red, and simple shapes, not words. Honing a sophisticated vocabulary of pictures, Russo says he’s “a caveman in a high-tech world.” Yet, his so-called cave-man qualities of the mind are what has landed him an over 30-year career as an editorial illustrator for world-famous publications such as Rolling Stone, The Wall Street Journal, and The New Yorker. Popular book covers, magazine spreads, and news pages have all been marked with Anthony Russo’s steady hand at some point over the recent years.

Last Wednesday, Russo spoke to members of the FarmCoast community at The Meeting House in Four Corners about his career and life’s work of translating experiences. “It’s about communication with images…and how basic that is to our nature,” Russo says. Alternating between narrative and conceptual drawings, portrait and design assignments, Russo’s work is to fetch images out of the well of his mind and translate them into vivid and emotional descriptions–often to correspond with writing he has never read.”It’s my job to set up the emotion,” says Russo, and the words are someone else’s job. After receiving an assignment, Russo has days and sometimes just hours to sketch a drawing, but the results never disappoint. The artistic process is still slightly mysterious to him, but involves a large visual vocabulary and dedicated effort; “sometimes you have to be deliberate to be spontaneous,” he says.

His drawings have a strong and balanced perspective often composed in black and white shapes and sharp figurative lines. The drawings appear frequently throughout monthly and even weekly publications, and serve their purpose of attention-grabbing well.  Even the most basic illustrations capture the essence of human emotion with honesty and integrity.”I like to strip things down to the essentials,” says Russo, “I like to get to the heart of the issue.”

Anthony Russo’s background is in fine arts, and was inspired at an early age by German Expressionists. His first job was a drawing for The Real Paper for $35, and he’s gone on to win national illustration awards. He has also taught at both RISD and Parsons in New York. Russo has developed a masterful connection to imagery and continues to build on his unique vision of the world through his valuable work, available for viewing at a newspaper near you.

To see Russo’s full portfolio visit www.russoart.com. Some works are also on display at The Cottage in Four Corners.

There’s Still Time to Win!

Despite the stunning weather, The Holidays have  tip-toed into Four Corners early this year to make a lasting impression of their own. Over twenty participating village shops are offering an extraordinary opportunity through November 20th. By simply visiting the village shops you’re able to enter this year’s prize raffle showcasing the unique elegance and quality of T4C store products. When you learn about the prizes, you won’t want to pass this up!

Here’s what you do: 

1. Visit any Four Corners Shop.
2. Get a raffle card.
3. Get your raffle card punched (7times) in participating stores.
4. Bring your Raffle card to Sakonnet Farm, pick your prize, and cross your fingers! 

For a list of participating shops visit www.tivertonfourcorners.com.


Seconds Please!

Very hopefully, you had a chance to stop by Roseberry-Winn‘s “Seconds Sale” in Four Corners this weekend; the colorful fall sale was perfectly satisfying in many ways. First, the “seconds” were pretty near flawless, no haphazard mug handles or misshapen blunders you might expect from the leftovers. Second, everything in the sale was half-price. RW holds this annual sale every year most likely in response to its tremendous popularity.

The retail shop features candlesticks, cachepots, latte mugs, magnets, clocks, soup bowls….and everything in between. Each piece’s shape is bold and sturdy, while the designs are simple and symmetrical. And oh, the colors! Deep fall greens, bright sunny yellows, candy coated blues, and cheerful purples create a wonderful display of envy-some products, something to match everyone’s personal longing. For those of you who find thrill in the names of colors, you will love the deliciously named kinds: butter, mint, dove, linen, salmon…

Another trademark of the pottery is its functionality.What’s a beautiful cup or serving platter is also a completely useful piece of dish ware. The latte mugs are big enough to wrap your hands around, the serving bowls are designed to hold lots of your favorite food, and the teapots pour without spilling. It’s simple beauty with no unnecessary quirks. Even with miles and miles of searching, you won’t find anything quite like their stuff. People talk about Roseberry-Winn.

Michael Roseberry and Bruce Winn make Roseberry-Winn, and there colorful creations make beautiful home accessories, not to mention award-winning press. Self-described “geometric-meets botanical” pottery pieces have made appearances in the New York Times, InStyle Magazine, Yankee Magazine, Bon Appetite, and House and Garden, among other local publications. They’ve also make frequent appearances in the local community to benefit non-profit organizations, such as the Audubon Society.

The couple is proud and confident in their work, having moved from the big city of New York to the smaller back roads of Rhode Island’s coast. Michael has a rounded artistic background –before ceramics in pursuit of publishing and French– while Bruce, as the story is told, has always wanted to be a potter. Since he was a little boy awe-struck by the process, Bruce dove in with steady hands. Their partnership creates balance in the business, and their devotion has sustained them. They are the kind, the ones drawn like a magnet to a craft, that make a statement in the art world.

Every piece from Roseberry-Winn is signed and dated, a hallmark from the hand, and the heart.

From Oceans Away

Of all the events that took place at at Four Corners this summer, this one was probably the most glamorous. Lustrous pearls arrived at Tiffany Peay from Austrailia and beyond, in the hands of Pamela Fox, a “gemologist” specializing in gorgeous, quality pearls. Traditional and unusual cuts and colors were displayed on the glass countertops of Tiffany Peay’s fine jewelry boutique, and they did more than look pretty. The pearls were inspiration for tons of new looks by Tiffany.

“This is agriculture at it’s best,” said Pamela, who’s from Sydney, Australia and has spent a career collecting and distributing pearls, gems, and diamonds. Peter Tirpaeck of Studio by the Sea of Little Compton was also on hand to service jewelry brought in by customers. The pearls seemed to glow and sparkle with ease, but the process of harvesting them proves to be an extremely lengthy and specific procedure. While fresh water pearls take only 3 months to culture, South Sea varieties can take up to 3 years.

Pamela was only in town for four days, but long after the pearl show Tiffany still has a lot to share about why she loves gems so much. Stop in and fall in love with the looks.

Here are a couple of pictures of girls who just want to have fun, with pearls…