‘Stolen Moments’ exhibit opens at Westerly Gallery

‘Stolen Moments’ exhibit opens at Westerly Gallery

The Westerly Sun

WESTERLY — Fiber artist Betsie Withey joins watercolorist Lizbeth McGee and photographer Deborah Napelitano this month for the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly’s show designed to celebrate the many dimensions of time, memory and sensation.

“Stolen Moments — Past, Present, Future,” runs through July 30 with an opening reception set for Friday from 5-8 p.m.

Withey, whose whimsical and delightful work has earned her an international reputation, creates fiber art, knitwear, and large scale textile art/sculptural dresses and hats.

“Her work is exhibited from coast to coast,” said Madeline Beaudry, an artist member at the cooperative gallery.

Withey, who has degrees in both fashion design and fine arts, designs and creates magical clothing and accessories which can be found at her etsy shop, thefaeriemarket.etsy.com.

Withey also has extensive experience in design and illustration, and designed a Nebula Awards banquet dress for author C.S.E. Cooney, and has done work for Goblin Fruit Poetry quarterly and the musical group, Brimstone Rhine.

“Her inspiration comes from nature,” said Beaudry, “including all manner of leaves, flowers, roots, and other organic shapes ... and from folklore, fashion and costume history.”

“With free motion sewing, a knitting needle, and great attention to detail, Withey creates works of art that appear to have been conjured up by fairy magic,” Beaudry said.

McGee is an award-winning watercolorist whose inspiration comes from her experiences in the wilds of nature and her deep spirituality.

“When I look at nature, I see the hand of the master all around me,” said McGee. “He has created a glorious masterpiece. From this canvas, I draw my artistic inspiration.”

Even with a formal education in Textile Design from Rochester Institute of Technology, a professional career as a freelance designer and the publication of a book, “Mystic,” featuring original wallcoverings and coordinating fabrics, the artist never forgot her first seed of inspiration, a watercolor by Carolyn Blish.

“I became enchanted with the way Blish had captured light streaming through the window, falling onto flowers and cascading across the floor,” McGee told Beaudry.

Whether in abstract paintings as in “Tav,” or realistic pieces like ‘The Door,” McGee weaves her own enchantment of light and shadow with skill and imagination. Her work can be found in numerous shows, exhibits and galleries in southeastern Connecticut, and private collections in the U.S. and England. For more lizmcgee.com.

Photographer Napelitano has been in pursuit of stolen moments since she was 18 years old and photography was a hobby. She continued experimenting while she raised her children and worked as a nurse, but when she was faced with the life-threatening challenge of a brain aneurysm, her life changed and a new passion was born.

Napelitano moved to Connecticut and fell in love with taking photos of the seaside and the city. Napelitano’s keen eye celebrates ordinary moments that most would miss as in “School of Van Gogh,” said Beaudry, and captures other moments that give one pause as in “Storm Approaching.”

Also this month, in the Back Room Art Gallery, the mural designs of the Bricks and Murals project, the wall art to be painted throughout downtown Westerly-Pawcatuck in September, will be on display through July 30.

Next month, the gallery will host “Art Heist,” a fundraiser, at the Lanphear Livery in Watch Hill. Tickets vary in price depending on the level of participation.

This year the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly celebrates its 25th anniversary. In September, all artists who were ever a member of the gallery are invited to exhibit one piece of work. More information on the event is available at westerlyarts.com.

The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly is located at 7 Canal St. The Gallery is open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m to 7 p.m. and Sunday, 1-5 p.m.


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