WAKEFIELD, R.I. — Artist Molly Kaderka may have recently moved to Oklahoma, but that didn’t stop the RISD graduate and former New England resident from submitting to Hera Gallery’s Small Works Show.
Kaderka mailed one piece to Hera for inclusion in the show. It’s a painting that explores her fascination with the universe and astronomy, and she said it was created with materials such as linen, rabbit skin glue and oil grounds.
“I’ve been connected with Hera for a couple years, just by way of geography,” Kaderka said. “And now that I’ve moved away, I’m still wanting to participate and be a part of it, even if from afar.”
Kaderka and 14 other artists are exhibiting their work at Hera Gallery’s Small Works Show, which runs through Dec. 18. The name refers to both the size of the items and their prices, Gallery Director Sonja Czekalski said — all the works are smaller than 8”x10”, and each is priced under $100.
The show features a variety of works, Czekalski said, from photography to mixed media collages to prints and postcards. It has no theme, and Hera members were invited to exhibit the work of their choosing.
And it’s located in Hera’s newly-renovated gallery —Czekalski said the back of the building used to be an office, but it’s been turned into an expanded gallery space.
“This is the first time Hera has hosted an exhibition quite like this,” Czekalski said. “We are excited to show — and celebrate — our expanded space with our artists and community and hope to annually host a Small Works exhibition to end the year.”
Hera members said they were drawn to the Small Works Show because it makes art more accessible to the public.
One of those members, Damon Campagna, said his works are typically priced higher, and he described them as “more academic.” So, he said, the Small Works show offers a chance for non-experts to learn more about art and shop for pieces.
“The Small Works show is great because I can show work that people can afford, and it’s small so they can put it in their house,” Campagna said. “I’m excited to be involved in it.”
Campagna submitted three works to the show, all of which are prints. He said he created them by etching marks into a copper plate, then covering the plate with ink, putting it on a press, and putting a piece of paper on top of it.The paper absorbs the ink off the plate, he said, creating the image.
The artist said he’s also excited about the Small Works Show because he’ll be exhibiting alongside artists he respects.
“It’s flattering to be included with the people that I’m showing with, because a lot of the artists that are involved, that are going to be in the show, I really admire,” Campagna said. “It’s always cool to be with people that you really like. When you like their work a lot, it’s really flattering to be involved and to have the opportunity to show with them.”
That group involves both longtime Hera members and relative newcomers. One of those newcomers is Kira Goodale, who became a gallery intern at Hera after learning about the internship from Czekalski, who taught her at Massachusetts College of Art and Design.
Goodale is displaying five paintings in the Small Works show, all of which were created using acrylic paint on canvas. She assisted in bringing the show together as well, by helping Czekalski decide where to place certain works, producing labels for the pieces and assisting artists.
Goodale said anyone who comes to the show will be able to view pieces that are different from what’s normally presented in Rhode Island galleries.
“It is contemporary work that discusses real issues in the world – and is not purely just landscape paintings or a ‘pretty’ piece of artwork to view. You are also supporting local artists in South County, and college students, like me,” said Goodale, a senior at MassArt who is pursuing a BFA in painting.
Hera’s Small Works show offers something for everyone — artist John Kotula, for example, created images of roosters, goats, dogs, bulls and dancing cowboys, while artist Barbara Pagh made a series of small collages based on images taken at Moonstone Beach in South Kingstown.
But despite their wide range of subject matter and media, all of the artists encouraged the community to stop by the show – and to support the gallery hosting it.
“The work is quite varied and all very interesting. It is a great place to pick up a unique Christmas present,” Kotula said, “However, the most important reason (to visit the show) is to support Hera Gallery, which contributes so much to our community.”