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BRT Art Gallery

The BRT Art Gallery is an ongoing initiative to have the work of local visual artists combine with BRT's performing arts programming to enhance the audience's total experience and expose them to the many talented artists that live and work nearby. Exhibits generally change every 5-6 weeks between September and May. Artwork is viewable two hours before scheduled theater events and is often for sale.

Current Exhibit

Space Debris Untitled #13 Portrait of Beatrice
as a middle-aged woman

Blackstone River Theatre's Art Gallery will host an exhibition and sale of The Abstract Art of Duke Robillard from February 18 through April 8 viewable two hours before and during scheduled theatre events, in the upper and lower lobby of the Blackstone River Theatre, 549 Broad St., Cumberland, RI. The BRT Art Gallery is an ongoing initiative to have the work of local visual artists combine with BRT's performing arts programming to enhance the audience's total experience.

There will be an opening reception Saturday, Feb. 18, from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. The exhibit will conclude April 8 when the Duke Robillard Band featuring Sunny Crownover performs.

Duke Robillard is best known as an award-winning blues and jazz guitarist but he has long appreciated the visual arts as well. "As a child I was very interested in art but my intense attraction to music at an early age drew me to the guitar. My brother Gerald's gift as an artist led him to a life as painter as I followed my course traveling the world as a musician. During my decades of touring, especially in Europe, I was lucky to find myself in cities with museums housing many of the world's finest artworks and spent long visits to many of them on numerous occasions soaking up as much art as I possibly could," says Robillard.

In 2015 a rotator cuff injury put Robillard's musical career on hold for over a year and the inability to play guitar left him searching for a creative outlet. Over the years Duke had dabbled in painting and now, needing another artistic outlet, he dove back into photography and painting head first and found a new love for art in abstract expressionism. Says Robillard, "I now experience profound meaning in the abstract and surreal and feel a strong connection with my subconscious like never before. Over the last year or so I have produced nearly seventy paintings and can't find enough hours in the day to paint." He added, "I am thankful that an injury turned into such a satisfying new direction for me and I'm truly thankful I can produce both music and visual art now. I am looking forward to presenting my paintings at Blackstone River Theatre, a wonderful venue for all things music and art."

Art Gallery Info

Art Gallery information: Contact Russell Gusetti

Blackstone River Theatre currently books visual artists for 5 or 6-week shows in the BRT upper and lower theatre lobbies from September through May (usually 18-34 pieces depending on size). We are now reviewing artwork for the Fall 2014 season and beyond; showings are usually arranged 4-8 months in advance. Artists must first contact Russell Gusetti to express interest and then will be asked to show a portfolio or e-mail current samples of work to be considered. All BRT exhibits are now coordinated and hung by Pat and George Sargent. Artwork or visual artists with a connection to the Blackstone River Valley or musical themes are preferred but not necessary. We are currently only displaying two-dimensional work as a rule.

Artwork CAN be sold by the artist with no commission fee taken by BRT. Our sole goal is to have the work of local visual artists combine with our performing arts programming to enhance our audience's total experience. The artist is SOLELY responsible for drop-off/pick-up of work, matting, framing, and taking down their show and for all costs and insurances associated with hanging their artwork in an exhibit space.

BRT will send out a press release with representative image 14 days before your show hangs so please email a biography/artist's statement/show info and a high-res image (200-300 dpi jpeg please at 5 x 7 inches) in a timely manner.