Small Works Show and Sale

Wickford Art Association member Felicia Touhey's collage, "Sun Spots, Santa Fe."

NORTH KINGSTOWN – Starting this weekend, the Wickford Art Association (WAA) will kick off its annual Small Works Show and Sale, which will feature hundreds of small-in-size works of fine art. The show and sale will run from Nov. 17 to Dec. 24, with a special holiday reception taking place in the middle of the run on Dec. 8. 

The WAA is a non-profit organization with 400 members from Rhode Island and New England, hosting art shows and classes in its gallery. The association has also produced the Wickford Art Festival for more than 50 years. 

During WAA’s Small Works Show and Sale show, more than 45 member-artists will display their work in all media, with specific parameters: all of the pieces must be under 14-inches on the longest side and priced under $300, with the goal of making the work both small-in-size and affordably priced. 

Judy Salvadore, WAA’s gallery director, said that the Small Works Show and Sale presented an opportunity for artists to display more work than they normally would, while also taking place right around the holiday season, offering guests reasonably priced works of art to be purchased as gifts. 

“It’s easier to give a small piece of art versus a big piece of art, because if you give a big piece of art to somebody, it’s a little bit harder to find a place to hang it,” Salvadore said. “But when you give a small piece of art, it's easier to fit it into their home.” 

“They can show more work and it’s during the holidays, so you can buy work that’s priced for gift giving,” she continued. 

Normally, Salvadore said, artists–whether they be members or nonmembers–submit up to three pieces to be selected by a juror for inclusion in other WAA exhibitions. However, the annual Small Works Show and Sale is different from other shows put on by the association, in that it allows member-artists to display as much work of their choosing that can fit on 3.5 by 4-feet of wall space. 

And as work is sold, new work is put on display. 

“With this [Small Works Show and Sale], it’s only our artist-members,” she continued. “They get a section of the wall, they have 3.5-feet wide by 4-feet high and within that space they can display their work. It’s a way for them to show more work, priced under $300 and under 14-inches on the longest side.” 

All of the work on display will be fine art pieces, including oil paintings, acrylic, pastel, wood sculpture, photography, mixed-media and more. 

And with 45-plus artists showing roughly ten pieces each, Salvadore estimated that there would be an average of 500 works or art shown at a time. 

“We have 47 artists and they show about ten pieces at a time,” she said, adding, “When their work sells, they come back and put more work in. So I’d say on average it’s about 500 pieces hanging. And then it’s constantly changing.” 

In the middle of the show’s run, there will also be a holiday reception for the Small Works Show and Sale, which is scheduled for Dec. 8, allowing guests to meet the artists, purchase artwork and enjoy refreshments.  

Salvadore said the timing for the holiday reception was chosen to coincide with other holiday events taking place that weekend in Wickford, such as the Wickford Festival of Lights, Shady Lea Mill’s Open Studios and Christmas at Smith’s Castle. 

“There’s a lot going on in Wickford that weekend,” she said. “We ask all the artists to come [to the holiday reception] so people can come in and meet the artists, have something to eat, hang out, and then continue around North Kingstown.” 

The Small Works Show and Sale will run from Sunday, November 17 to Sunday, December 24 at 36 Beach Street, North Kingstown. The holiday reception will take place on Sunday, December 8 from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. at the same location. All fine art purchases are also sales-tax free.

Normal hours for the WAA are Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and Sunday from 12 to 3 p.m. For more information, please call (401) 294-6840 or visit http://wickfordart.org.

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