Art lovers on your list? ‘Little Pictures’ shows are the place to shop

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'A Pot Of Coffee,' acrylic on panel, by Jana Matusz, is part of the 'Little Pictures Show' at the Providence Art Club.
'A Pot Of Coffee,' acrylic on panel, by Jana Matusz, is part of the 'Little Pictures Show' at the Providence Art Club.

Looking for a holiday gift with a personal touch that’s not going to break the bank? Two local galleries have put together shows offering small pieces with modest price tags that run the gamut from paintings and photographs to jewelry, ceramics and glass.
AR-161219771-b010c6dbf75e3b96ff69416ca639b21d6eb19f45The “Small Works” show at Warren’s Imago Gallery has its share of quirky offerings such as Candis Dixon’s collection of crude pots and plates that look like archaeological remnants from a race of little people.

Then there are squares of blue canvas covered with cryptic writing from Pascale Lord, and Linda Megathlin’s atmospheric photos that range from somewhat abstract organic images to more representational photos of feathery pine branches.

'At the Root' a photograph by Howard Rotblat-Walker, is part of the 'Small Works' art show at Imago Gallery in Warren.
‘At the Root’ a photograph by Howard Rotblat-Walker.

Conrad Levenson has cobbled together rusted tools — an old saw and a bowl, a pair of pliers, to create a simple but arresting collection of sculptures, while some of the strongest painting comes from Eileen Mayhew. Those range from nudes to a somewhat fussy painting of a father and daughter, who seems to being doing her homework while lying on the floor.

But the best of Mayhew’s work are the less busy oils of dulcimer makers, one of whom is sitting under a tree with a sliver of a river in the background accented with a splash of sunlight.

The best of the photos comes from Howard Rotblat-Walker, who has captured dramatic black and white shots of the California coast with ancient twisted trees clinging to rocky outcroppings. Just as strong is Carl Keitner’s mixed-media image of a ballerina seen from behind with a leg held high, with a red and yellow pennant streaming from her shoe.

Prices for the artwork range from about $50 to $300.

“Small Works” is up through Dec. 30 at the Imago Gallery, 36 Market St., Warren. imagofoundation4art.org, 245-3348. Gallery hours are Thursday 4-8 p.m., Friday and Saturday noon-8 p.m., Sunday 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

Much bigger, and more mainstream, is the popular “Little Pictures Show” at the Providence Art Club, now in its 112th year and filling three galleries with what seems like acres of art by more than 100 artists.

All the pieces are $300 or less, and none of the paintings is bigger than 16-by-16 inches. And among the paintings, you can choose from Nick Paciorek’s vibrant street scenes, the perfect choice to brighten a kitchen corner or hall, or Jana Matusz’s masterful still lifes of coffee cups and an inviting glass of milk, with its buttery surfaces. Those, priced at $300, were selling like hotcakes.

Also appealing are the misty fields and grazing sheep by Sandra DeSano Pezzullo and Carol Paradis Beagan’s fresh, brushy scenes of grasses poking through snow. Or choose from the rich gold-and-white abstract monotypes by Richard Harrington that have an ancient vibe.

John Grosvenor proves the consummate watercolorist with his Newport byways and coastal views. And Mary Benton’s tiny “Wisconsin Lake,” dotted with water lilies and spears of orange grass in the foreground, is a gem.

Arsen Dadekian has painted the perfect rooster, while Susan Shaw has included an oil of a martini glass filled with orange juice among her impressive collection of birds and flowers.

Lovers of glass can pick up one of Dan Read’s organic glass creations, one of which is an oil lamp, or go for one of Roberta Segal’s striking pendants, like “Cobalt Explosion,” a wonderful free-form concoction of rich blues and orange.

The “Little Pictures Show” is up through Dec. 23 at the Providence Art Club, 11 Thomas St., providenceartclub.org, 331-1114. The gallery is open every day from noon to 5, and noon to 6 p.m. on Thursday.