Mental Images: Two Artists Explore the Brain’s Form and Function
Brown University Medical Education Bldg
222 Richmond St, Providence, RI 02903
Art League Rhode Island in collaboration with The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University, will sponsor an interpretive exhibition, “Mental Images: Two Artists Explore the Brain’s Form and Function.” The exhibit will feature varied works by artists Victoria Guerina and Betsy Ritz in which the human brain, the complex and mysterious organ that directs our thoughts, behavior and all aspects of our lives, is investigated. The exhibition opening coincides with National Brain Awareness Week.
Guerina’s and Ritz’s work, along with other artists from around the world, were displayed at last year’s first Annual CSF Symposium’s Juried Exhibition held at The Warren Alpert Medical School, also a cooperative effort between ALRI and The Warren Alpert Medical School. Both artists were awarded a joint exhibition by jurors, Petra M. Klinge, Professor of Neurosurgery at The Warren Alpert Medical School and Director of the Center for CSF Disorders of the Brain and Spine, Pediatric Neurosurgery Division at Rhode Island and Hasbro Children’s Hospitals; artist Gretchen Dow Simpson, former “New Yorker” cover artist and author whose work is shown in several corporate collections, including the “Metropolitan Museum of Art”; Peter Snyder, Ph.D., Adjunct Professor of Neurology at The Warren Alpert Medical School; and artist, art activist and founder of ALRI, Nancy Gaucher-Thomas.
Award-winning artists Guerina and Ritz both work in multiple mediums including clay, collage, drawings, gouache, paper, paint, photography, textiles and other materials, and have a background and special interest in the sciences, particularly with respect to the human brain. Guerina obtained her B.S. from Pennsylvania State University, and a two-year graduate scholarship from Boston University College of Fine Art, where she earned her M.F.A. She is also the recipient of the National Sculpture Society’s Gloria Medal, and the Laura Goldenberg Scholarship. Her art can be found across the globe in public commissions, including works in Istanbul, Turkey and Chilpancingo, Mexico. She created a life-size bronze sculpture for the Martin Richard Memorial at Bridgewater State University, which honors an eight-year-old victim of the 2013 Boston Marathon attack. Guerina has worked with several acclaimed artists, included, among others, Lloyd Lillie with whom she created several installations such as The First Wave, Women’s Rights Convention of 1848, bringing eleven of twenty life size bronze historical portraits and figures to the Women’s Rights National Historic Park at Seneca Falls, NY. She has also offered her technical assistance to John Wilson on the Father and Child Reading sculpture at Roxbury Community College; and, Nancy Schön on the Make Way for Ducklings sculpture on the Boston Common.
Ritz, a graduate of the University of Southern California where she received a B.A., pursued PostBac PreMed courses at Rutgers University and was granted a Teaching Assistantship in English. She obtained a Certificate in Drawing and Painting Studies from Rhode Island School of Design in 2007. Among other ventures, Ritz has worked as a professional photographer, curatorial mentee, writing lab instructor, and managing editor, writer and photographer for the Texas Gardener Magazine. She has exhibited her photographs, paintings and mixed-media work in both solo and group shows and dozens of juried exhibitions throughout the country. In 2006 she was awarded a joint exhibition, Eight Visions Show, held at the Attleboro Arts Museum. More recently, Ritz was honored with the BLICK Art Materials Award at Attleboro Arts Museum’s 2017 Members’ Exhibition.
The artistic renderings in this exhibition illustrate the artists’ imaginative and singular look at our most complex, and likely least understood, human organ. Drawing on curiosity, personal experience, scientific references, and artistic experimentation, Guerina and Ritz have created a series of artworks, each in their unique visual style. Using a variety of materials and perspectives, they have brought to life the insights, projections, and memories that express what they find most intriguing and beautiful about the brain. Whereas Ritz probes the geography of the brain, Guerina delves into the coping mechanisms of patients with certain brain conditions. The works represented promise to inspire and illuminate.
The exhibition will be held at The Warren Alpert Medical School, 222 Richmond St., in Providence through May 18. Gallery hours are Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m.–5:00 p.m. and is closed on Saturday and Sunday.
Seeking excellence in the arts, Art League Rhode Island fosters participation in and appreciation of the arts by providing opportunities for growth and encouragement of artists. In furtherance of their mission, ALRI has partnered with local art museums, RISD, Rhode Island College, The VETS Foundation, Providence Art Club, New England Foundation for the Arts and many other artistic, educational and philanthropic organizations.