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Featured Artist: Mary Jameson

“I have black cherry kombucha, or red wine,” Mary offered while pulling up chairs and clearing off table space to accommodate me. I was earlier than anticipated, and with Mary’s jam-packed schedule of creating art, teaching workshops, helping her community, running her own small business, and looking after her family, including her husband and 11 year old son, every minute is filled. Still, she does it all with ease, a warm smile, and an infectious positive attitude.

Rhode Island native, Mary Jameson owns Saltwater Studios located in Newport. She’s been an artist her entire life, spending most of it drawing figurines. However about 8 years ago she garnered new inspiration. She was exploring scrapbooks at the Newport Historical Society and discovered pressings with poems and writing. As she began looking at other Historical Society’s scrapbooks, she saw the same. It inspired her to create her own version of pressings, and in turn, a legacy. She first experimented using the same methods that people use for flowers and leaves, and used that to develop her own method of pressing seaweed to both capture it’s essence and movement.

She begins by heading to the beach. Using her artistic perspective, she studies the seaweed in the water, seeking its shape, color, texture, and movement. She then brings it to her studio, where she put it into plastic tubs covering her table space. The first step is to dip the paper in saltwater, necessary for these sort of pressings, and once she feels she has the seaweed in the right shape she carefully places it on the paper. This paper is covered with thin fabric, blotting paper, and into a contraption she calls a portfolio.

Then of course come the weights and actual pressing. Because the seaweed is so delicate, Mary has to check on the pressings throughout the first day in order to swap out the blotting paper. After this stage, she is able to leave it for as long as necessary, which varies from piece to piece. This process essentially loosens the fibers of the paper just enough to allow the seaweed to integrate itself into it. The result? You can feel the texture of the seaweed on the paper but it is completely fused.

Mary scans these and creates beautiful pieces on a variety of surfaces, including matted and canvas prints, plates and platters, and even jewelry. Lately she’s been experimenting with black paper backgrounds and Eco-printing, a process that includes cooking the paper and natural products by boiling them in saltwater, leaving manipulated paper which she then presses seaweed on, to give a new look.

When Mary first started her seaweed creations, she was bringing them to the farmer’s market to sell where passerbys were enthralled by the pieces. Soon after, she had her breakthrough with this art style, when Newport Art Museum gave her a show and exhibition.  Although she admits she wasn’t an expert at first, she certainly is now as evidenced by her vast, new-found knowledge of seaweed and the spectacular pieces she creates. Over the past 8 years she has developed, and continues to develop, new processes and inventive ways to construe plants on paper. From freezing it, to letting it slightly decompose and create a new color outside of nature, there’s nearly nothing this artist hasn’t tackled in the world of seaweed.  Her personal favorite? “Grenell’s pink leaf. It’s thin, pretty, and delicate.” Find prints with this, and countless others, at Blink Gallery as well as her studio, Saltwater Studios.

Mary Jameson, Saltwater Studios

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Featured Photo: Soul Alley

Soul Alley

As I searched for the first photo to be featured as a part of our featured photo blog series, a customer muttered under their breath, “It must not look like that anymore.” When I turned to see what he was referring to, I saw him gazing up at the canvas print in the window of an image taken by Sandy in Antigua. Sadly, he’s probably right. After the series of devastating hurricanes that brutally attacked our world in September, the reality conveyed in the photo may likely be much different today. When I saw Sandy later that day, I asked him to tell me the story of how that photo was created.

On a trip in 2004 in the island capital of St. John, Sandy wandered around with his camera looking for moments to create art. Alive with the excitement of novelty, freshness, and freedom he was feeling at the time, he was searching for a moment that felt like, “a little piece of that town was sucked out and captured in an image”. As he walked down High Street, he found what I’d like to call half of a moment. 

The technical side of him said all of the colors, visuals, and angles were perfect, and the text brought along a voice that created the separate, but remarkable depth he was actively seeking. That other side though, the artistic, creative, feeling-inducing side said it needed something more, something to make this photo a full story, a full moment. “Intuitively, I knew I needed a person,” explained Sandy. 

The rainy street, brightly colored buildings and thought-provoking street signs at the intersection of Soul Alley and High Street provided the set up for a distinct moment in time. He sat for over a half an hour with the camera set on manual, focused on the street sign, hoping and wishing that the right person would come along and he would be able to capture that composition. When someone finally arrived, he almost missed them as they were walking from an unexpected direction. But there he was, in all his glory, the quintessential Antiguan strolling along through the wet streets without shoes and ostensibly carefree. His arms are swinging along his sides and you can practically hear him whistling. It couldn’t have been more fitting.

Looking at this seemingly happy individual we’re reminded that “soul” is this intangible sensation we don’t quite know, but has a heavenly context associated with happiness. The idea of Soul Alley conjoined with the sign that reads High Street and the arrow pointing up was everything this photographer had been hoping for. What Sandy seemed to appreciate most about it, aside from the fusion of technicality and authenticity combined to create a feeling, was the use of text. “As this parallel verbal reality in photography, text allows for endless contemplation,” he said, “it gives a second impact, the exact amount of contextual information necessary.” This photo is an important part of his culturally insightful collection of images involving text. 

That customer’s observation is likely correct, Antigua was battered by the recent storms. As we contemplate our changing global landscape and the awe-inspiring nature of the weather, perhaps we can see new value in this idealistic moment Sandy caught on camera years ago.

Follow @blinkgalleryusa to stay up to date with featured photos, featured artists, and more!

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You need art. It’s not optional.

You need art. You can invest in something that tells you every day that you have what you need. Something that says life is more than a struggle and in some measure a product of your aspirations and dreams. You can declare that you have room beyond the bare necessities to enjoy life.

Those walls don’t just hold up the roof, they surround you and make your experience of home, family, work, or career what it is. But what are they? Blank? Naked? Lame? Noncommittal? Make your walls a testament to your inspiration, a record of your interaction with your town and the creative outer limits of your people!

-Alexander Nesbitt 2017


You need art! - Colossal Buddha, Wat Si Chum, Sokothai, thailand
Colossal Buddha, Wat Si Chum, Sokothai, Thailand

Drop by the gallery or browse some of our collection here:  The photography collection is here and the paintings are here.  Let’s see if the walls around you can speak to you.

A sunset ride down pristine Mamoli Beach, Southern Mozambique


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Our Tips on Newport’s Best Beach

Sunset at Second or Sachuest, often voted the best beach
Sunset at Sachuest Beach

Newport’s Best Beach?

Its true Newport is known for its world class sailing but sometimes we all need to take a break from being on the water to being in the water. Luckily, Newport offers some great beaches for relaxing, walking, playing and swimming. Each beach has something that’s a little special just about it. So read on to discover which beach might be the best beach for you. (listed, not ranked)


1. Easton’s Beach (a.k.a. First Beach)

Newport, RI - Number nine lifeguard chair - first beach. the best beach to walk to.If you find yourself in Newport without a car, Easton’s beach is an easy choice. You can walk there from most parts of town, the road features bike lanes, and the sidewalks are wide enough for strollers. If its a family outing the kids will love a break from the sun to grab a snack at the snack bar, explore the Save the Bay touch tank or take a ride on the old carousel. And if sandcastles and carousels aren’t their thing – there is also a pretty nice playground. Easton’s Beach is a cove beach, with an awesome view of the famed Cliff Walk. Most days the surf isn’t too rough, but has enough movement to let you know you’re definitely in the ocean. If you’d like an adult beverage to wash the salt out of your mouth, there are a number of great bars nearby (I like Flo’s Clamshack and Easton’s Point) to cap off your beach day.

2. Sachuest Beach (a.k.a. Second Beach)

Del's lemonade truck 1
Del’s Lemonade truck at Surfer’s End

Winter Sunset - 2nd Beach 1

The largest of the beaches, Sachuest Beach has a bit of everything. If soothing views, long walks on the beach, boogie boarding, building 3′ sandcastles, surfing or kiteboarding, and slammin’ sunsets are your thing then Second Beach is the place for you. What’s that? You don’t think all those things go together? They do! The south end of the beach, “Surfer’s End” is often populated by locals, and beginners at surf camp. The north end of the beach, not only joins the beautiful Sachuest Point Wildlife Refuge, but is also the place to see skilled kitesurfers late in the day. Everywhere in between is packed with families and people looking for that traditional beach experience. Pack up your chairs, umbrellas and coolers and head out for a day at the beach. Note that this beach does have a public restrooms but the snack bar is an on again off again thing- so you’ll want to bring a lunch, and keep it really contained lest the seagulls eat it before you do. Feeling thirsty? Take a walk down to Surfer’s End and grab a Del’s Lemonade, you won’t regret it.

3. Third Beach (actually called Third Beach)

No fancy name needed for this small no frills beach. A favorite of local families, Third Beach is a great place to take anyone who prefers pools or ponds to ocean adventures. A rare northeastern facing beach, there is basically never any surf and no steep drop off. Rumor has it this is the best place to try SUP, and it offers nice calm waters for kayaking, or a training swim. A public boat ramp is available to anyone who pays for parking, or has a season pass. The beach area has a few pavilions with barbecue pits, but they are hard to snag. You can also make reservations for private parties. No public restrooms or concessions.

4. Gooseberry Beach

Dune fences at Gooseberry
Dune fences at Gooseberry

Gooseberry Beach is a family-friendly beach situated off the Ocean Drive. With paid parking primarily for season members.  You can try your luck early with a paid parking spot or can visit on a bike and enjoy this sheltered cove beach with views of the open ocean.  The beach has virtually no surf because of the sheltering islands which, like a carefully placed folly in a garden, offer excellent views.

5. Reject’s Beach

Reject's Sunset 1

A favorite of the younger adult crowd, Reject’s Beach is a wonderful “unofficial” beach in Newport. Situated between the southern Cliff Walk access and Bailey’s Beach (private, members only) is this great spot for hanging out, reading a book, or taking a swim. It’s got no amenities – not even a parking lot, but it does have plenty of room to lock up your bicycle, and the town trolley has a stop nearby. If you’re looking for a spot to meet up with friends, play some games, or relax on your own without a pile of children kicking sand nearby this is a great choice. Just don’t cross the line in the sand or you’ll get growled at by the Bailey’s guard.

I can’t let it pass without noting that two of the beaches on the list are not located in the 02840. When it’s all said and done, if your best beach is Second or Third, then maybe Newport’s best beach is actually in Middletown . . . Hi, neighbor!

General rules to remember – there is no smoking or alcohol permitted on any of the beaches, glass containers are not allowed and frowned upon, and your pets need to stay at home. Always expect to pay for parking (although you’ll occasionally get lucky if you just drop in for an evening swim.)


Post contributed by Newport resident Nichole Smith

All photographs ©Alexander Nesbitt Photography

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2nd Annual Mini Art Show

Mini Art Show Opens Saturday at 2pm!


blinkminis_igPlease join us from 2-5pm, November 12 at Blink Gallery  for another fun and vibrant reception filled with creativity!

“A close-to-home feel with a wide variety of artistic flavor”

Last year, we gave you the first Annual Mini Art Show. This year,
we return with another fantastic group of artists of all ages and
mediums who have worked hard to bring you their unique pieces
in our salon-style art show logo

Staying true to the first Mini Show, this year’s show curates work from an all-inclusive pool of artists, with no requirements to enter. Each artist has a connection to Newport, however they all have varying styles and approaches to their work. The Mini Art Show exhibits a close-to-home feel while simultaneously offering a wide variety of artistic flavor. In the spirit of a ‘mini’ show, the pieces are scaled on the smaller side and have been mostly priced under $150.

We hope to see you on Saturday to celebrate and appreciate
our community’s local talent, and to support some truly
wonderful artists!group of minis

Mini Art will be on display until January 8th, or its sold out!


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2nd Annual Mini Art Show – A Call for Artists

Mini Art – Call for Artists

Our 2nd annual Mini Art show is right around the corner! We’re soliciting small work from local artists who feel they have new, interesting, and beautiful things to share and sell over the Holidays.

Registration Deadline: Nov 1, 2016

Show dates: November 12, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Entry Fee: $5 per artist – Why? Because organizing all of you is more than a labor of love and we need to know you are  serious about submitting your work.

The Quick Details

  • Must be original artwork, or made in a limited edition. All work must be signed. All mediums that meet this criteria are accepted.
  • The artist must have a Rhode Island connection
  • 2-D work should be no larger than 9×9, 3-D work between 2x2x2 and 6x6x6 – pieces reasonably close to these limits are welcome. Pieces must be marked with artist name and some sort of name or ID number.
  • Work should be presentation ready (framed or hangers included, or able to stand on its own)
  • Retail prices should not exceed $150 (but we’re ok with some exceptions to this).
  • Must submit at least 3 but not more than 8 pieces.
  • Work must be dropped off during a designated time slot – or mailed with return postage. While this is an open call for artists it is a semi-curated show, so please understand if we don’t immediately display all of your work. We also reserve the right to tell you your work isn’t the right fit for us. Sorry, we cannot accept jewelry.
Heard enough?
Register now!

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Read on for all the in-depth info.

Submission Criteria

You, the artist, need to actually make the thing.

All works must have some level of evidence of the artist. This means we can’t accept prints of a scanned thing that you once made and now mass produce. We are looking for hand made art. In the case of photography, digital prints are accepted, but they must be signed, and ready to hang on the wall in a frame or some other permanent presentation. Ideally, you have printed them yourself, or carefully instructed the person printing them.

All two dimensional work must be presentation-ready. Three dimensional work should be able to stand on its own, or have the proper support.

There has to be a Rhode Island connection.

While we feel it is too limiting to say you have to physically live in Rhode Island to submit work to our show, we do need you to demonstrate a connection to Lil’Rhody. (Maybe you grew up here, and moved away, but you come back often to visit. Maybe you live here all summer long and source materials and inspiration from the Ocean State before wintering in the Caribbean.) Tell us your story.

Size (and price) Matters.

We’re defining “Mini” as any artwork smaller than 9” square. Two dimensional work, framing included, cannot exceed 9” on the long side (if your thing must go in an 8×10 frame, we’ll accept it, but please be mindful – space is at a premium!). Please also note, we’re not veering into micro art just yet – please keep the small dimension 3” and above. For 3-D work let’s try to stay around 2”x2”x2” and above, but less than 6”x6”x6”, if you feel your work demonstrates a reasonable exception to these rules please include your reasoning on your application.   

We need to cap retail prices to under $150 per piece. As the goal is to sell your work, we want the prices to be in an attainable range for the broadest customer base. Sales follow the traditional gallery agreement. The artist will get 50% of the sale price. Please be reasonable with your expectations.

Quantity & Labeling

Artists must have a minimum of three pieces, and a maximum of 8. If work sells quickly, you will be given the opportunity to provide more pieces. Each piece needs to have your name and some sort of title or ID code on it.

You need to register to bring your work in during a designated time slot, or mail it to us with return postage.

Unfortunately, not everyone will have the right work for our show. We know you tried hard to make it, and we want you to keep making things, but we can’t automatically show it all. We reserve the right to show or not show the work as we decide is best.  When we accept your work we will give you all the details in writing. Please know that if you send us things without following the rules we might not be able to send it back or keep it around forever in hopes that you will come for it.

Accepted Mediums & Eligibility

As we mentioned before, to be eligible you have make it yourself. When it comes to medium, we don’t want to put anyone in a box. The standard things like painting, works on paper, mixed media, ceramics, and glass are perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, we cannot accept jewelry.

Other Perks
Exhibition Opening Party

The opening for this show will have a reception. We’d love to have as many of the artists present as possible, along with your friends and family – come celebrate, see the show and meet the people looking at your work.

Chance of a long term agreement or a solo show

Like many galleries, we have a handful of artists whose work is always available at Blink. If we really like your work, and our patrons do too, we may ask to have some of your work available year round. If one of you just completely blows us away then we may opt to offer you a solo exhibition with bigger work and another party sometime in the next year. It would be fantastic if we could find an emerging artist and give them an opportunity.  If you’re an established artist, it gives you an established gallery to share your work with locals, collectors and the mysterious masses.

Sign up online here!

(When you arrive at your drop off time we’ll collect the fee, note how to pay you, get the details about your work, and schedule time to return it to you if we can’t sell it)

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Waves and Woods – John and Pamela Redick

Redick-Card frontRedick Opening Reception

Saturday, October 1st

Blink Gallery is excited to welcome the works of husband and wife artists John and Pamela Redick. Through two vastly different and distinct approaches to painting, they each achieve a meticulous recreation of the natural world.

John’s ocean waves utilize the liquid properties of paint to simulate the movement of moving water while Pamela mimics the details of the forest by recreating each tiny shape.  Each artist thoughtfully applies or forfeits control of the materials to generate life-like works of beauty.

We hope you’ll join us for an opening reception on Saturday, October 1st at Blink.


John Redick

“I use the natural properties of flowing paint with just enough control to create works that capture the energy and mystery of the ocean.”

Pamela Redick

“I paint landscapes that are not just recognizable places but instances of being someplace out of the ordinary . . . about that ephemeral sense of connecting with something greater that comes when we are in and at one with nature.”


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New Works by Kris Offill

New Works by Kris Offill at Blink Gallery

Stormy Seas

Opening Friday, April 8, 2016

Kris is a local oil painter and Navy Corpsman. He is self-taught and known for his moody seascapes and award-winning figurative works. Kris’ paintings straddle a line between abstraction and representation while impressively recreating the emotion and intensity of a stormy sea. All works on view are locally inspired. The show will run Thursday, April 7 – May 15. An opening reception is scheduled for Friday, April 8 2016 from 6-9.

Kris received the “Best in Show” at the Newport Art Museum Annual Juried Member’s Show in 2014.



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Artwork Submissions

Sunlight streaming into Blink Gallery
Blink Gallery interior
Kris Offill painting
"Storm" by Kriss Offill - oil on canvas painting 48" x 48"
Newport coasters sample
Diana Hall- Carbon finger bangle with diamond
Carbon fiber Spiral Wrap bracelet by Diana Hall

Are you an artist either from Rhode Island or with a strong connection to Rhode Island? Do you feel that your work would be a good match for Blink Gallery?

If you answered yes, then please let us know by filling out the form below. You can submit up to six images of your work. Please only submit finished pieces that are good examples of your larger body of work. We love all mediums of art! Once we have received your submission we will review it and get back to you within a week. Thanks for your interest in Blink Gallery and good luck!

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Salon de Refusés

Salon de RefusésBlink Gallery will host a show of beautiful works which did not make it into the 2016 Newport Annual Juried Members Show at the Newport Art Museum.  Join us for an opening reception Saturday February 6th from 5-8 as we celebrate the work and creativity of over 40 artists from the Newport Area.

Every year there are countless pieces that don’t appeal to the Juror so we’re hanging the walls with 40 plus fantastic pieces that we think were overlooked. Join us and see what else Newport’s artists have created!

The show will be hung in traditional Salon style and showcase an eclectic mix of subjects, styles and sizes all with a fantastic vitality.

Join us to celebrate the tradition famously started when Napoleon offered a Salon De Refusés to those excluded from the Annual Paris Salon show in 1863.

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Join us at Blink gallery for Sunday Gallery Sunday


Sunday Gallery Sunday is a new arts initiative in Newport. It’s on an easy to remember day at a time when locals and visitors alike can make time to enjoy the towns diverse galleries.  I’m excited to have Blink a part of this right from the beginning.

Here are the details: Join us for a monthly gallery hop on the first Sunday of every month in beautiful Newport, Rhode Island. We recommend starting at Stone Acre Pantry, 515 Thames Street at 11:00am for a delicious brunch. A guided tour will commence at 1:00pm from the restaurant. Every month the tour will highlight different galleries. No registration needed and a map can be printed from here for self guided tours. Wrap up the day with a lively Salon hosted by the Newport Art Museum Contemporaries and moderated by Rupert Nesbitt at the Newport Art Museum, 76 Bellevue Avenue.

Here is more about Sunday Gallery Sunday on the website


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Small Business Saturday – Two Reasons to Visit


Small Business Saturday: A Rare and Wonderful Sale!

This Saturday only all in-stock photo prints on metal, paper, and canvas are 20% off!

Burn off those surplus Thanksgiving carbs by getting out and taking a stroll around town – making plenty of stops at your favorite local merchants in support of Small Business Saturday!

Blink will be open 10-7, and serving light refreshments all day 🙂

Can’t make it to the store? Shop online with coupon code shopsmall for 15% off your order. (Expires Monday, some exclusions)

First Annual Tree Lighting

The perfect way to top off your Small Business Saturday shopping trip. Together with Duris Studios, we’ve decked the boxwoods & bricks, and replaced our lovely fountain with a lovely tree!

Join us at 6pm when we officially flip the switch! 

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First Annual Mini Art Show

Please join us 2:00 PM – 5:00 PM, November 14, 2015
at Blink Gallery, for a special night!

Join us in celebrating our 1st Annual Mini Art Show. We are excited about the great bunch of artists
we have participating and we think you will be too.

The Mini Art show displays a wide range of works from over twenty young, artschool-hopefuls,
curious hobbyists, and seasoned professionals who live in or near, or have a strong connection
to Newport. Photography, painting, ceramics, collage and more will be on view in this
salon-style show.

In an effort to mobilize our creative community, Blink’s Call for Artists was all-inclusive.
The no-barrier-to-entry approach has created a startlingly vibrant collection. The work
presented showcases a snapshot of the diversity and talent of our local creative community.
In the spirit of all works being “mini” the work has been priced under $150. The Mini Art Show
will remain on view until January 9, 2016.


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Hidden Gems – The Darkroom Print Collection

In conjunction with the “Uncommon Gems” show at Duris Studios,

Please join us 6:00 PM – 9:00 PM at Blink
Gallery, October 17, 2015 for a special night

Celebrating a collection of hidden gems from deep in the archives. We will be showing 35mm photographs from Alexander “Sandy” Nesbitt’s early photographic career. This collection showcases Sandy’s innate ability to capture the feeling of a moment in a single frame often with a wry irony. All of the black and white photographs in this collection were printed in a darkroom by the artist himself between 1989-2004.

It has been a decade or more since this collection has seen the light of day. Many are one-off prints, others are in tight editions of 5 and 10. With the darkroom gone and the color labs closed, these will never be printed as analog silver prints again.

This is a unique opportunity to enjoy some of Sandy’s early work and celebrate a simpler, more hands on approach to photographic art making. We have such a tight collection of these analog darkroom prints that they will only be available, first come-first serve, during the one month run of this show.