“Erased Landscapes” featuring artwork by Salve’s gallery director Ernest Jolicoeur
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is pleased to announce the opening of “Ernest Jolicoeur: Erased Landscapes,” an exhibition of recent paintings and drawings by Ernest Jolicoeur, associate professor of art and the gallery director at Salve Regina. The exhibit will be open Oct. 5 – Nov. 2. An opening reception and artist talk are scheduled for the evening of Thursday, Oct. 5, from 5-7 p.m. with a lecture from 6-6:30 p.m.
Last year, Jolicoeur was awarded a sabbatical leave of absence to advance his professional work as an artist. This show acknowledges the impact of that experience on his creative livelihood, according to Jolicoeur.
“I am currently in my twelfth year as the director of Salve’s Hamilton Gallery,” said Jolicoeur. “Across that span, I have conceptualized, curated and installed approximately one hundred exhibitions on our campus. However, I’ve only shown examples of my professional work a handful of times in faculty group exhibitions. This is my first solo exhibition on campus, and it’s very special to me to have such a large body of work installed in the gallery that I know so well.”
In his series titled “Erased Landscapes,” Jolicoeur explores the memory of place and the place of memory as agents of image making. His acrylic paintings and collage drawings depict a world of charged spaces and architectural structures shaped by the forces of memory, observation and imagination.
“The work in the show explores the imprint of place on my life,” Jolicoeur explained. “How do we hold onto and depict our complex lived experience? And how do we reconcile the intangible forces of memory and imagination against the backdrop of architecture and the natural world? Those are some of the fundamental questions in this work.”
Each of the 23 pieces on display will offer viewers a unique composite of abstract and representational elements that are pressed together into a new hybrid landscape. These works invite the viewer to journey to a place just out of reach — like a childhood home or a temporary COVID-19 test site.
“I think of it as a reflective, poetic response to a time and place marked by the pandemic,” said Jolicoeur.
Jolicoeur’s work draws equally from both the natural world and the built environment. His paintings combine fleeting sensations of light, temperature, and atmosphere with fragmentary traces of landscape, architecture and the human figure. His work reimagines the poetic capacity for abstract painting to embody his lived experience of place.
“I hope people spend time with the work and allow the show to activate their imaginations and memories in a genuine way,” said Jolicoeur. “Paintings are static objects that embody space and time. I try to make paintings that are visually dynamic and highly associative, paintings that are available to everyone. I believe these drawings and paintings reveal themselves in time and reward contemplation.”
Jolicoeur received his BFA from Rhode Island College and his MFA from Yale University. He exhibits his work nationally and internationally. Most recently he exhibited his drawings in Newport at the contemporary art gallery Overlap. Other local venues include the RISD Museum, Roger Williams University and Brown University’s Bell Gallery. He also has an extensive record of exhibitions in New York that includes the Museum of Modern Art PS1, VOLTA, Feature Inc., Silverstein Gallery and ArtPort Kingston.
His work has received numerous honors and awards, including three fellowships from the Rhode State Council of the Arts. In 2022, Jolicoeur and Anthony Mangieri, associate professor of art history, co-authored “Muse and Mercy: Exploring Fine and Decorative Arts at Salve Regina University” to highlight the significance of art on Salve’s campus.
The Dorrance H. Hamilton Gallery is located in the Antone Academic Center on the campus of Salve Regina. It is a fully accessible space with parking along Lawrence Avenue and Leroy Avenue. Its exhibits are open to the public Tuesdays and Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Fridays from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Saturdays and Sundays from Noon to 4 p.m. The gallery is closed on Mondays.