WESTERLY — Arlene Piacquadio and Kathleen Hemenway are this month's featured artists at Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly. The show, called “20/20 Carnevale — What a Sight!" kicks off Friday with an opening reception.

"March is a month of transition and Carnevale, with its music, dance and costumes, celebrates the evolution from winter to spring," said artist member Lois Lawrence in a statement. "Amidst the blustery winds, lengthening days and faint signs of new life, all are invited to the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly for the new show."

Piacquadio is an artist who has worked in a variety of mediums, including jewelry, oil and pottery, and currently, said Lawrence, is exploring the world of encaustics.

Using beeswax-based medium and a variety of other techniques such as collage and alcohol inks, Piacquadio creates images that are "as magical as they are mysterious," Lawrence said. "Encaustic painting, an artform that dates back 2000 years, is still relevant today," Piacquadio said. "The quality of the material is very much alive, like an organic skin, and can hold color in a more luminous tone. As a painting material, beeswax and resin reveal a subtlety rarely found in artificially manufactured materials. The delicate beauty of nature is inherent in the medium.”

Hemenway, an abstract artist, has painted for much of her life. Her current body of work combines her passion for abstract landscapes and mixed media to create "worlds filled with color, drama and dynamic movement," Lawrence said. "In keeping with the theme of the current show at ACGOW, the artist’s works represent the color and feelings she shares in celebrating the anticipation of spring.

“I consider myself a painter of the natural world," said Hemenway. "My current landscapes express my respect for nature … the water, the mountains. In my work I strive for a synthesis of what I first feel as an ordinary landscape and transform it with texture and movement into a new vision.”

"20/20 Carnevale — What a Sight!” runs from through March 29.

 — Nancy Burns-Fusaro

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