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Current Exhibition- Vivid Stories: Bess Rodriguez Richard

November 16, 2018 @ 5:30 pm - January 12, 2019 @ 5:30 pm

  • Bess Rodriguez Richard, Ox of Vignales, Cuba, Acrylic on wood, 40” x 30”, Permanent collection of the AAWR
    Bess Rodriguez Richard, Ox of Vignales, Cuba, Acrylic on wood, 40” x 30”, Permanent collection of the AAWR

Title of Exhibition: Vivid Stories- Bess Rodriguez Richard

Dates:  November 16th – January 12th, 2019

Opening Reception: Friday, November 16th, 5:30 – 8:00pm


At two years of age, Bess Rodriguez Richard began to draw… in color.


The child of US diplomats, Rodriguez Richard spent much of her early years abroad and has resided many places.  It was Mexico, however, with its vibrant, saturated hues, that made a lasting impression on her work.  “Perhaps due to the bold colors I observed while living in Mexico City as a child, I love to create vibrant pictures. This impulse to create something pleasing or intriguing that captures one’s eye coupled with an increasing fascination with color has only grown in me.”


Rodriguez Richard’s paintings are dominated by color. Bold strokes of lemon and ochre juxtapose cool splashes of lavender and blue, pooling to form the façades of buildings from Venice to the villages of Cuba and fishing shacks in Maine.  Though real architecture is often featured, the purpose of her work is not simply to replicate a place or time. Rodriguez Richard transmits the mood or impression of a scene, a “transcendent moment,” she “strives to communicate with kindred spirits.”  “At heart I am a storyteller…” Bess explains, “To tell a story, to create a mood, or to evoke…this all fuels my creative process.”


Many of Rodriguez Richard’s landscapes feature patterns of luminous red flecks, drifting through the scene like confetti after a passing parade.  In fact, the shapes are patches of the under-painting peering through to create an optic sparkle, like the dazzling effect of the noonday sun. Combined with loose and “broken brushwork”, Rodriguez Richard “creates a setting and a story.”  In her painting, Ox of Vignales, Cuba, a great beast plods along a violet road with two children riding on his back.  Figures watch the scene, strolling through a dreamy yet electric haze.  “I was ‘channeling’ Henry Moore when trying to capture it.  And in creating this work, I was also inspired by the Latin American writers, Gabriel Garcia Marquez and Isabel Allende, and their fantastic writings.”


Rodriguez Richard’s floral paintings will also be on display in Vivid Stories.  “These represent a more abstract form of nature-derived expressionism.” Rather than a physical object in space, they capture the vibrant energy of a flower in bloom.  In addition, a series of the artist’s still lifes and examples of her newer figurative work will be on view.


Vivid Stories will be celebrated with an opening reception on Friday, November 16th, 5:30 – 8:00pm at the Artists Archives of the Western Reserve. The exhibition will run from November 16th until January 12th, 2019.  In conjunction with Vivid Stories, Holiday Treats, our annual member’s show will be on display and feature original artwork for delicious prices.


November 16, 2018 @ 5:30 pm
January 12, 2019 @ 5:30 pm
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Artists Archives of the Western Reserve
1834 E. 123rd St.
Cleveland, 44106-1910 United States
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