arts & entertainment
COOPERATIVE DEBLOIS GALLERY
newportnaked.com • winter 2013 / 2014 67
By Kristen Coates
eBlois Gallery has found a new home on Aquidneck Avenue, in Middletown, after 29 years on Bellevue, in Newport. I recently visited their new space and later interviewed Valerie Debrule, a member of the arts cooperative for the last 18 years, and Kathy Armor, one of the gallery’s newer members. Here is what I learned about their new space, their upcoming holiday invitational, and the history of the gallery. In 1984, artist and arts patron Edith Bozyan founded the cooperative, using the first floor gallery of a building she owned on Bellevue Avenue, at the corner of DeBlois Alley. Wanting to show contemporary art in Newport, she gathered a small group of artist friends to form the co-op, and thus DeBlois Gallery was born. Edith eventually passed on, but the spirit of the group endured. The production moved to 138 Bellevue Avenue, a few doors away from the original location, assumed non-profit status, and its membership grew to as many as 18 associates. The Gallery featured solo shows for artists like Joseph Norman, Jim Baker, and Rita Rogers, and hosted monthly openings for two to four guest artists. Over the years there have been hundreds of shows featuring countless pieces of art. Since moving to their latest location in September, the gallery has had two successful openings and currently boasts 15 members, some with over ten years of tenure. The layout of the space is different, which allows the curators to experiment with new exhibitions, and they look forward to the annual DeBlois Holiday Arts and Crafts Invitational, with an opening reception on Saturday, December 7, from 5 to 9pm. The show runs through December 24, offering a wide array of handcrafts featuring pottery, woodwork, jewelry, paintings, sculpture, clothing, and accessories, all by local and regional artists. Visit DeBlois Gallery at 134 Aquidneck Avenue, Middletown. Learn more about the arts cooperative on their website www.debloisgallery.com. And be sure to check out the DeBlois Holiday Arts and Crafts Invitational opening on Saturday, December 7, and running through the 24th.