WESTERLY — "Passing Through," the July show at the Artist's Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, featuring the works of photographer Anna Shaw and painter Helen Roy, kicks off Friday with an opening reception from 5 to 8 p.m. 

An artist and educator, Roy says she considers herself fortunate to have had the opportunity to "fall in love with painting" after working for many years as a learning specialist.

While Roy recognizes that the first reaction to visual art is what is seen, according to a statement released by the gallery, she believes the most important response is how a painting makes the viewer feel. Roy believes that a colorful, vibrant painting might help transform a down or dark emotion. She finds it is especially satisfying to be in the middle of a difficult time, a dark day or the urban jungle of New York City, and to be able to capture the refreshing and soothing colors of nature, especially the shades seen in an ocean sunset.

Using acrylic or oil, she creates work consisting of clean lines and geometric shapes and abstract seascapes. Shaw said she tries to "challenge expectations and perceptions" by using balance, color, shapes, lines and a palette knife to encourage both movement and capture emotion.

Shaw, an experienced professional photographer, has had many opportunities to show both motion and emotion in her work. Early work comprised of multi-toned multiple gelatin silver prints created in her commercial darkroom will be on view, as well as her newest work, representing the digitable images she now creates. With the opportunity for more travel in retirement, and her discovery of interesting new photographic techniques, even more motion, and emotion, can be seen in her work.

Shaw, who holds a bachelor of fine arts in fine art photography, spent 21 years doing large-format architectural work, medium-format environmental portraiture, and photographing portfolios as well as fine art photography. She uses archival materials, both inks and paper, to create the highest quality work.

— Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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