Fine Arts

A Brush Stroke Of Opportunity Brings Color to the Providence Art Scene

artimprovDo you dream in color?

If not, you might be inspired to by the selection of art now hanging in the latest entry into the Providence Gallery scene.  “Color Sense,” on April 17, opened as the title of their first full showing.

ArtProv Gallery,  located on Chestnut Street, just south of the old highway path, speaks to the possibilities of what that area can bring in creative opportunities. It will certainly be a destination on Providence’s Gallery Nights going forward.


Co-owner Nick Paciorek is not new to the creative game. His bright paintings have welcoming city vistas with open door or window views on familiar street scenes that encourage you forward. Watching guests at the opening react and listening to their comments that these are paintings into which you could walk reminds you of the location where they are hung. Like his paintings, their new gallery space encourages walking and exploration.

But this colorful dream, with its warm, welcoming pathway of multiple rooms, began in the mind of co-owner Michele Aucoin even before Nick was in her life. Michele has long wanted to open a space, and spending years in the arts community as a graphic designer and working the exhibits of her husband in shows across the country only added to that desire.

Back in Providence, this Pawtucket-based couple had their second home in their third floor unit at 150 Chestnut. It is here where Nick paints and Michele works her creative magic in side-by-side studios. On the other end of their loft space, Nick established a small exhibit hall for private viewings by his clients. Their personal spaces were divided by two tenet units in between. Time brought changes; first one unit opened up, then in January the second unit was free.

Thus entered the brush stroke of opportunity to fulfill Michele’s dream, while capitalizing on their many years of experience and participation in the national arts scene.

Here with a colorful palette they combined all three units into one vibrant space that makes you feel like you’re visiting a friend’s condo. You get a sense of how a particular work of art would be presented in your own home.

In all those years of art-related travel, Nick and Michele have met and developed relationships with artists who inspire and excite them. So their creative colorful vision for ArtProv is to bring many of those artists to Providence, introduce them to the community and build the city as a destination for collectors. We who are active in the regional creative community appreciate that addition and effort.

Launching their first opening night, they chose three artists to accompany Nick’s work. Presenting  art that captures attention, “Color, Texture, & Expression” is their vibrant goal. They started with two friends who have local roots,  but whose works of art have that mission covered. In addition, the paintings of artist Kate Hoyer of Arizona brought another colorful viewpoint.

When artist Judy Araujo Volkmann paints, she does so with a freedom of expression that not every artist gets to explore, so she strives to have the figurative subjects of her paintings breathe. She believes that honestly sharing emotion through her work is the best gift she can give both viewers and potential collectors. Currently a New York artist, she and her musician husband, Steve Volkmann, split their time between New York and Rhode Island.

When artist Mary Jane Andreozzi’s creative life required an adjustment of medium, the once active fiber artist, based in Rehoboth, Mass., discovered her new process and the results are bold, striking, colorful statements. Mary’s abstracts transform slices of wood and stone with line drawings using wax oil crayons. Her first exploration of this medium was rewarded by a positive response from her daughter, which made her excited about the possibility of its acceptance. While her works are occasionally enhanced with carved areas, she is always looking for unique sections of wood that will inspire her.

Kate Hoyer was not present for the April 17th opening, but her approach to painting the familiar faces of mankind’s best friend in her own style captures their emotions and makes them speak. She states, “My particular style of painting started back in the early 1980s. Initially, I would create abstract drawings with stripes but then I had an epiphany — I wanted to combine the design of stripes with a recognizable subject — hence giving something ordinary a unique presence. I paint dogs in stripes because it makes us look at dogs not just as animals we own, but as part of our culture. Painting them in stripes echoes how integrated they have become.

This first brush stroke having successfully delivered, we congratulate Michele and Nick and await the next opening of “Inspiring Color” at the end of May.