Distributed May 26, 2000
For Immediate Release
News Service Contact: Mary Jo Curtis

Sleight of Hand

Bell Gallery exhibit to feature artists’ works of illusion

The David Winton Bell Gallery will present a two-person exhibition, Sleight of Hand, featuring works by Holly Laws and Larimer Richards, from June 10 through July 9.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — Illusion will be the order of the day when the David Winton Bell Gallery presents Sleight of Hand, an exhibition featuring works by artists Holly Laws and Larimer Richards.

The exhibition will open June 10 and continue through July 9 at the Bell Gallery, located in the University’s List Art Center, 64 College St. An opening reception will be held on Saturday, June 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.

According to Webster’s Dictionary, a “sleight of hand” refers to “a skill with the hands (that) confuse(s) those watching, as in doing magic tricks...” Laws and Richards rely on such devices of “trickery or magic” to illustrate the deceptive, illusionary aspects of art.

“Both artists play with the notion of illusion or magic in art, directing the viewers to that which is implied or absent, rather than to that which is given or present – thus questioning the borders between fiction and reality,” said Vesela Sretenovic, Bell Gallery curator.

In her sculptural installation, Laws, a resident of Providence, combines woodworking, sewing, beading and decorative patterning to make 20 pairs of miniature shoes – which, when suspended from the ceiling and touching a large table, evoke body movements. In his work, the Boston-based Richards projects videos onto found objects such as furniture, lamps and light bulbs, adding sound elements to some, to create environments that allude to permanent and fleeting moments of life.

Laws studied art at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va., and at Tyler School of Art, Temple University, in Philadelphia, Pa., where she received an MFA degree in sculpture. She has shown her works most recently in Providence at Center City Contemporary Arts and AS220 Gallery, as well as at La MaMa Galleria in New York City and the 1708 Gallery in Richmond, Va. In addition, she has been involved in performance art and puppet theater as a writer, director and performer. In 1999, the Perishable Theatre in Providence featured her live performance I Wanna Boy With Feathers: Part II; the same theater is presenting her sculptural work in conjunction with the Women’s Playwriting Festival through June 18. Laws this year also received a Rhode Island State Council on the Arts fellowship in three dimensional art, which provided partial funding for the project included in the Sleight of Hand exhibition.

Richards studied sculpture at Massachusetts College of Art and received an MFA degree from the Museum of Fine Art School in Boston. He has shown his work extensively on the East Coast at locations that include the Massachusetts College of Art and Bernard Toale Gallery in Boston, Fuller Museum of Art in Brockton, Mass., DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, Mass., and the Thread Waxing Space and the Sculpture Center in New York City, among others. His work is also in the permanent collections of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the DeCordova Museum.

The exhibition is free and open to the public. The David Winton Bell Gallery is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday; it will be closed July 4. For further information call (401) 863-2932.