At 24 Bridge Street

30 Years: Martiesian, Speiser & Bert

For thirty years Bert Gallery has handled hundreds of paintings & sculpture and continually promoted a select group of contemporary artists including painter Paula Martiesian and sculptor Kenn Speiser. Thirty Years: Martiesian, Speiser & Bert is an exhibit of the latest works by these talented artists and their singular dedication and passion for making art despite the artistic climate or other life distractions. They make art day in and day out working in their studio, honing their craft, exploring their ideas in a visual media with little consideration of the consumer of their art. Stripped down to its essence, they create objects that give insight and meaning into their world and ours.

30 Years: Martiesian, Speiser & Bert marks the lasting partnership between art gallery and artist over thirty years. It grounds the importance and relevance of painting and sculpture in the art culture of Providence today. Both Martiesian and Speiser were selected for NetWorks, a project to document artists and the Rhode Island artist scene beginning in 2008 with archival videos and various exhibitions, including at the Newport Art Museum.

Paula Martiesian

Paintings priced $2,500 - $5,000

Martiesian continues her journey as a painter of nature. This exhibit includes primarily the latest works from 2013 and 2014 with a smattering of older Bert Gallery favorites. The artist makes no apologies for a career of steadfast painting, no distractions into new media and art forms, just oil on canvas and her uncanny ability to study nature; interpret the rhythmic cycle of habitats. These are by no means pretty little landscapes but large powerful renderings with unrelenting color. What many would overlook in a backyard garden, on a walk through the neighborhood or during a New England seasonal shift are recorded by the artist and celebrated: the tumult, the transition and the messiness.

“My thought process is visual. I don't think in words and ideas and then translate to images. I think in imagery, space, color and line. As I progress in painting, that mode of visual thinking becomes stronger and my painting becomes stronger because of it." - Martiesian
Artist Bio and Networks Video portrait
  • <i>After the Rain, 2013</i> Oil on Linen 36" x 50"
  • <i>Between the Lines, 2014</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Cutler Maine, 2009</i>, oil on linen,  30" x 36"
  • <i>Every Garden Should Have a Spirit Tree, 2012</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>High Tide, 2014</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Hosta, 2014</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Kolob Canyon, Utah, 2007</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 72"
  • <i>My Garden Grows Sideways, 2011</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>North Side of Rain, 2014</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Promise of Spring, 2011</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Reflected Wave, 2013</i>, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Sinew over Water, 2014, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Summer Shadows, 2013, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>View from the New Window, 2010, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Where the Sea Wall Meets the Sea, 2014, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Waiting for the Moment, 2014, oil on linen,  36" x 50"
  • <i>Weeds in the Snow, 2011, oil on linen,  36" x 60"

Ken Speiser

Sculptures priced $250 - $1,200

While Martiesian finds inspiration in the natural, Speiser is an urbanite. The sculptor introduces a new body of polychrome wood sculptures where he tames raw wood scraps with paint and color, then assembles them into quirky tableaus. Geometric shapes of squares, rectangles and triangles combine with cast off plywood from a carpenter’s floor to transmute into trees, creatures, ships, neighborhoods and forests.

At times whimsical, at times rough, these little sculptures (mostly under 12") become characters in a narrative. They test the viewers imagination like a Rorschach inkblot psych test to identify and analyze art objects from the isolation of the individual to the interplay of the group dynamic.

"A sense of humor is very much part of my work. This is not Angst-ridden work." - Speiser
Artist Bio and Networks Video portrait