The Cushing Building at the Newport Art Museum is overflowing with artwork — sculptures of glass, stone and plastic are strategically placed throughout the space and myriad other works line the walls. Over 250 artists submitted 850 paintings, photographs, sculptures and multimedia works to be considered for the 2022 Newport Biennial. Sixty-nine artists were selected for the exhibition by guest juror Dr. Kimberli Gant, the McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at the Chrysler Museum in Norfolk, Virginia.
The Biennial exhibition, formerly known as the Newport Annual Members’ Juried Exhibition, has been a showcase for regional artists for over 30 years. Gant selected works that were “dynamic and inspiring, as well as [those that had] a thoughtful message.” And in that goal, she succeeded. There is no way to capture the entirety of the Biennial in one article. Therefore, much like Gant, I was forced to narrow this already curated show into five pieces that stood out from the crowd — not in objective merit — but in their ability to capture the variety of the exhibition.