art design

GoLocalProv | Holiday Show Highlights at Jessica Hagen Fine Art and Design

Glading Marteen 

Wednesday, December 15, 2021


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PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessica Hagen

Since 2005, gallerist Jessica Hagen has mounted regular exhibitions at her eponymous exhibition space in Newport. Over more than a decade-and-a-half, Hagen has established a reputation for melding artists from a range of backgrounds to create a diverse and exciting gallery stable. On view through December 31, 2021, Hagen’s Holiday Show offers an enticing selection of works by artists she represents, inviting viewers to establish aesthetic connections between objects of divergent sensibilities.

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Jolie Stahl Landscape with Tree PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessica Hagen

In the exhibition at 9A Bridge Street in Newport, visitors will find a plethora of objects from paintings and sculptures, to photographs, ceramics, and even works of textile that blur the line between fine art, craft, and design. The show is a feast for the eyes featuring art-makers from throughout the region. Among the multitude of items on view, there are plenty of things to like and also a few particular standouts.GET THE LATEST BREAKING NEWS HERE — SIGN UP FOR GOLOCAL FREE DAILY EBLAST

Walter Horak’s bronze sculpture titled “Lean To” is one such stunner. It is an object of unusual and meditative beauty that rewards keen observation. Featuring two figures, one carrying another in a dancelike pose, the piece is full of poise and balance. “Lean To”, like many of Horak’s smaller sculptures, conveys a sense of monumentality which is thrillingly at odds with its scale. Horak earned his BA in art history from Harvard before pursuing a Master’s in Teaching at RISD and an MFA at UMass Dartmouth. He works in Little Compton.

Another bright spot in the exhibition is Jeanne Tangney’s “Macintosh”. Although her chosen subject is a simple one, a lone apple against a neutral backdrop, her execution elevates this humble still life. Tucked under a tuft of leaves, the skin of Tangney’s apple subtly changes tone from red to green and glints with an eye-catching shine. Her treatment channels the mood of the great eighteenth-century French painter Chardin, who made studied quietude his metier. Tangney studied at Rhode Island College and has exhibited widely.


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PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessica Hagen


Also enjoyable, Jolie Stahl’s ceramic work leverages the earthy medium of clay to explore nature. In “Landscape with Tree”, the craggy limbs of a tree blend into the rich blue expanse of sea and sky. Stahl’s surfaces and glazes result in warm and inviting scenes that make inventive use of ceramic. Stahl boasts a lengthy resume of awards and exhibitions, beginning with studies at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts.

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Jeanne Tangney Macintosh PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessica Hagen

The show does not just highlight representational work, but also a number of thoughtful abstractions. Daniel Denton’s “Primaries” is a grouping of three wall-mounted constructions. Consisting of colorful panels overlaid onto two-by-four substructures, Denton’s works probe color, form, and the built environment in a precise and even terse visual language. Described as a self-taught artist, Denton gained an architectural education from the New York Institute of Technology and Boston Architectural Center before embarking on a career in stone fabrication.

Included alongside objects traditionally categorized as “fine art”, one will also find textile-based work by Susan Troy. Made by hand, Troy’s pieces have feet in multiple disciplines. Of this work, Hagen says, “The response to Susan’s work has been phenomenal and it’s wonderful to see people responding to the handwork aspect of it. There’s a bit of nostalgia to how she creates her pieces, but with a modern take, that really resonates with people. And I think that this holiday season especially, people really want that feeling.”

This year’s exhibition is the sixteenth annual installment of Hagen’s holiday celebration. With works on view by over 30 artists, there is much to see and experience. Where holiday art shows can occasionally be overwhelming, Hagen’s curatorial acumen results in a more nuanced collection of works that might make for a fine gift or a suitable addition to a personal collection.

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Daniel Denton Primaries Detail 2 PHOTO: Courtesy of Jessica Hagen

Speaking of the exhibition, Hagen underscores the rich variety she has assembled, saying, “I love our holiday show because it is a large show comprised of all different types and styles of artwork and yet, somehow it all works together. It has been my experience that when collectors see a show curated in this way, they are encouraged to expand their thinking about their own collection. It’s exciting to mix it up and allows each piece to shine on its own.”

In her Holiday Show, Hagen keeps a finger on the pulse of collectors’ interests while also continuing to cultivate high-quality opportunities for local artists to share and sell their best work.


Jessica Hagen Fine Art and Design’s Holiday Show continues through December 31, 2021. The gallery is located at 9A Bridge Street in Newport, Rhode Island. The gallery’s hours are Thursdays and Fridays from 11 am – 4 pm, Saturdays from 11 am – 5 pm, and Sundays from 12 – 4 pm. The gallery may also be opened by appointment. For more information visit



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