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Exhibitions: Past

Untitled (Still Not Titled Yet)

An Exhibition by Sam Duket and Brad Fesmire

January 25 – February 22, 2018

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Artists are alchemists of a sort. They often rely on the transformation of materials as the method of transmission to reveal the essence of their ideas. As such, there is always an implicit and necessary relationship between media, skill, and intent. These notions also reflect considerations about preparation and execution. Woodworking encourages curiosity about materials, accepting limitations, and a respect for process.

Untitled (Still Not Titled Yet), an exhibition by Sam Duket and Brad Fesmire, features new works created specifically for the gallery. Duket and Fesmire are artists who also define themselves as woodworkers, carpenters, and tradesmen. And these interrelated distinctions inform their approach to making work. Craftsmanship or artisanry implies a purpose to making, and both artists accept the integrity and limitations of materiality but reject notions that their works are predisposed to functionality.

Brad Fesmire increasingly pulls from the culture of labor and trade. Layering themes of personal narrative, place, and craft upon this constant of work ethic and labor, his work has evolved in material and imagery while continuing to act as a vehicle by which a greater audience may experience the work. Presently, the act of lumber making and its various processes, skills, and tools is a motif that is intrinsic to the work. Felling, processing, and splitting are things in the ether and using these motifs inform the work created for this exhibition.

Sam Duket approaches a similar threshold from another vantage entirely. His perspective is primarily one of the trades, and as oftentimes a carpenter, he cannot help but include such exposures in his work. Building from the literal craft of wood and fiberglass and paint, he seeks to address issues of picture plane, perspective and architectural space; to build work that is both of and greater than its means. A plank mounted on a gallery wall exists as a sculptural moment in our space and a similar plank rendered through a language of drawing existing in a parallel pictorial space; an intermediary between architecture and abstraction.

In the way that a trestle bridge relies on the balance of mutually opposing forces such as tension and compression, Duket and Fesmire revel in the push and pull between a variety of contradictions. For this exhibition, the artists decided to install new works upon opposing walls while collaborating on the large sculptural installation that addresses labor and craft as critical elements in the artistic process. Building upon their previous collaborations, this centerpiece is a modular train "platform" taking its cues from the artists' shared history with model trains.

Kathleen Hancock


Sam Duket

BFA, Massachusetts College of Art, Boston, MA
Pont Aven School of Art, Pont Aven, France

Honors and Awards
2013 Billytown, Artist in Residence, Den Hague, Netherlands
2011 Bemis Center for the Arts, Artist in Residence, Omaha, NE
2010 I–Park, Artist in Residence, East Haddam, CT

Selected Exhibitions
2016 Idle Trades , New Bedford Art Museum, New Bedford, MA
2014 We Don't Make Mistakes , Chazen Gallery, Providence, RI
2013 Heavy Cover , with Brad Fesmire, Woonsocket, RI
2013 Another Metric , Billytown, Den Hague, Netherlands
2012 Bemis Center Benefit Auction , Omaha, NE
2011 We're Gonna Make...World , Gallery at One Sims, Providence, RI

Brad Fesmire

MFA, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, RI
Collegiate Teaching Certificate, Brown University, Sheridan Center for Teaching and Learning, Providence, RI
BFA, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Honors and Awards
2015 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Painting Fellowship Award Panelist
2013 National Endowment for the Arts, Visual Arts Panelist for National Grants
2012 Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, Project Grant Award with Homesteady

Selected Exhibitions
2017 Out of the Woodlands, Jamestown Art Center, Jamestown, RI
2016 Parts and Labor, Horowitz Center, Howard Community College, Columbia, MD
2016 Appetite for Destruction, Maxon Mills, Wassaic, NY
2016 Idle Trades, New Bedford Art Museum, New Bedford, MA
2015 Writing on the Wall, The Painting Center, New York, NY