About the Artist

Gail Whitsitt-Lynch

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Personal Statement 2016

Gail Whitsitt-Lynch has devoted her artistic career to exploring a variety of materials, both two and three dimensional. The goal of each exhibit is to draw the viewer into a dialogue between their own visual experiences and the artist’s imagery. This conversation underscores her determination to widen the definition of artist community.

For over forty years, Whitsitt-Lynch has shared her vision through teaching, both college curriculum and residencies throughout Rhode Island.

A monumental Eagle in Roger Williams Park has been a family-favorite photo location. Whitsitt-Lynch built it on-site in 1976. She worked with young cancer patients and their families to plan and construct two treatment rooms at Hasbro Children's Hospital, in Providence, RI. One treatment room chosen by the young patients included a water scene inhabited by the animals they chose personally. The other treatment room, sponsored by Ben Coates, a New England Patriots team member, featured a metal framed stadium attached to the ceiling of the room, with spectators hung from the ceiling to complete the illusion of a patriots game in progress. It was exciting for her to follow the directions of a patient to who figured out what the “play” had to be.

This dialogue with the audience continued When Whitsitt-Lynch received a commission from Saint Sebastian’s Parish, in Providence to carve a relief for the altar. She took the opportunity to encourage each parishioner to examine their personal connection to a historically accurate Saint Sebastian shown offering a symbolic arrow of witness to an un-named person in the relief.

Gail's personal artwork reflects her curiosity and fascination with animate structures. These works examine how and why these structural relationships appear over and over again in nature. In more recent years, Gail has combined forms so that they seem “real”, but are actually composites that she hopes will trigger memories in viewers coming both from what they are looking at (but can't quite name), and their own personal histories. Sometimes she takes one form, such as herself, and displays it in many different ways, revealing how even one form has many facets.

WSPIC Arts Statement 2016

WSPIC Arts is my business name.

W is for wood, the material I first learned to carve, and the one I continue to carve most often. I tend to use wood to explore more abstract ideas.

S is for stone, which became my alternative carving choice, offering me different technical challenges and sensibilities than wood.

P is for paper and prints. I started making prints with my father as a young child. It seemed like magic to move an image from one material to another, again and again. I also like to build paper forms into reliefs and sculptures, often in conjunction with inks.

I is for inks and drawings. Most of my drawings begin as studies for sculptures, but sometimes they take on a life of their own in order to achieve moods or effects different than explored in my three dimensional works. My favorite method for developing a two dimensional surface is with ink.

C is for casts. From time to time I have developed an idea beyond its original material (usually stone), and achieve a new life and aesthetic for it in bronze. The aspect of casting I most enjoy is chasing to create new effects which I can then accentuate with patinas.

Arts is for other modes of sculptural work. My primary “outlier” group was a set of 81 small assembled sculptures regarding the Tao te Ching. This series was an opportunity to change my pace of thinking, to free myself of my accustomed materials, and to try something new. The series was an exploration as a westerner of an eastern philosophy, and showed how this westerner connects with the philosophical gist of each passage in a visual way. My other “outlier” pieces were public pieces; a monumental ferrocement sculpture I built for Roger Williams Park through a NEA matching grant in 1976, and two subsequent treatment room environments created for Hasbro Children's Hospital, in Providence, RI. The common aim of all my work is to connect with viewers by bypassing as many cultural, educational, religious, gender-related, and age-related barriers as possible. My great hope is to visually present some aspect that viewers already know in themselves, and use it to find a human connection. Many of the sculptures and works on paper on this website are available for sale. Some are presented only as examples of particular styles. These can be referred to as guides for a commissioned work.