Deblois Gallery Honors Contemporary African Experience


Two Newport artists celebrating their travels in Africa showed inspired works recently at the Deblois Gallery on Bellevue Avenue, with all proceeds from the sale of the works donated to Flying Kites, the Newport-based organization that is building a children’s center in Kenya to house and educate orphans, of which there are an estimated two million in that country.

Travelers feel that their lives are expanded and enriched as they visit new places. Two Newport artists, Kathleen Morton and Valorie Sheehan, couldn't agree more. Their new exhibit entitled "Dreaming of Africa" explores their recent visits to the "dark continent", and the deep emotional connections that they each feel to its lands and peoples, which have inspired the creation of the work that they display. As Kathleen Morton states "never have I felt a more lasting affinity with nature than I did in Africa, the seat of mankind, which has maintained its beauty despite its cultural diversity and hardships. This exhibit is derived from that unique and wild place." The photography, prints, masks and mixed media work that she has created for this show reflect her love for Africa.

Sculptress Valorie Sheehan, who has twice visited the Flying Kites Children's Center in the Abadares Mountains of Kenya, found herself becoming deeply connected to a group of 16 children while living at the Center. She explained "... it is the children that have captured both my heart and my imagination. As a group they are bright and curious, engaging and funny. Most of all it is their gratitude and their overwhelming sense of gladness and thanks for what they have been given, which inspires me."


Sheehan’s sculptural works are vessels depicting the children in the guise of saints and biblical prophets, each holding the attributes of that holy person.

Other Artists contributing to the Deblois cooperative are Kathleen Armour, Ann Marie Balasco, Izabella Casselman, Ronald Caplain, Rosemary Day, Valerie Debrule, Karen Nash, Helen Poniatowski, Rodie siegler, Felicia Touhey, Marion Wilner, Doreene Dewhurst, and Willye Roberts.


Deblois Gallery is located at 138 Bellevue Avenue, Newport, with hours Wednesday through Sunday from 12 noon to 5 p.m.


A small replica of a giant sculpture of Joseph












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