Friendship and Creativity: Beauty Squared

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A glimpse of the opening reception for “I Know Just What You’re Saying” at Kingston Gallery on January 8. To the left, springs eternal, a lovely porcelain piece by Christina Pitsch.

This month at Kingston is all about the value of artists influencing and supporting each other. Our current exhibition, I Know Just What You’re Saying, is an all-members effort and a game of “telephone” made visual. While its concept opened selections up to chance and some improvisation, the final result is elegant and thought-provoking. It’s up until Sunday, January 31.

In a lovely case of kismet, a former Kingston artist member, Richard DeVeau, wrote an article on Medium about the fellowship of artists, including his time at Kingston Gallery. The piece primarily focuses on artwork and friendship linking artists Amedeo Modigliani and Chaim Soutine in the first half of the 20th century.

DeVeau writes, “Given the number of portraits they painted of each other, especially the number of times Modigliani painted Soutine, it’s clear they were best friends. Their studio/living spaces were in the same building. And they had a lot of time to talk with an easel between them.”

One of the best things about Kingston Gallery, that’s not always apparent to even a frequent visitor to the exhibitions, is the lively chaos in the form of witty banter and passionate dialogue between members at the monthly  meetings. Kingston IS its artists. As DeVeau mentions in his article, it is one of the oldest artist-run galleries in the nation.

It’s no secret that creativity increases when we share ideas, whether directly related to a body of work, generally about art-making, or about life in general. Earlier this week, a friend and former student, Jessica Yvonne Lewis, posted on Facebook:

Do you have to make art consistently to be an artist? Can you be a creative person without a visual element involved? Do you need people to see it for it to mean something? What about conversation? What about how you see and interact with the world?

As is often the case with contemporary art, the questions are more interesting than the answers. Lewis is based in Portland, Oregon. Find her on Instagram @furrawnyvonne.

Finally, in case you missed it, an all-too-relatable cartoon, What Do You Do? by Jack Sjogren on Hyperallergic.

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