Nov. 13, 2002 – To the most literal observers of art, "space" may be something to be filled in a painting. But to an artist, capturing the imagery of space itself can be a challenging, inspiring and satisfying endeavor.
St. Thomas painter Frances M. Rutnik has been exploring the serene spaces of island land- and seascapes of late, as well as the simplest of spaces ordered by objects in a still-life setting.
More than 20 of her recent paintings in both genres are showcased in the exhibition opening Friday at Alexander's Café in Frenchtown. A meet-the-artist champagne reception from 5 to 7 p.m. will inaugurate the show.
"Infinite Spaces of the Landscape and Still Life" is the title of the exhibition. According to a release, the title reflects the artist's "intrigue with the endless possibilities that art possesses." Equally fascinated with the spacial relationships of panoramas and of close-up objects, she strives to transport the viewer "beyond the artwork to a place where the essence of art itself may be experienced."
Rutnik is a longtime member of the art faculty at Ivanna Eudora Kean High School and also teaches privately, both individual and group classes. Her work can be seen in galleries and shops throughout the Caribbean. And in case you're wondering, yes, she is related to the "other" Rutniks — she's the sister of Licensing and Consumer Affairs Commissioner Andrew Rutnik and sister-in-law to his wife, St. John artist Janet Cook-Rutnik.
The public is invited to attend Friday's reception, enjoy complimentary champagne and appetizers, and register for a door prize gift from the artist. The show will hang through Dec. 12. All works are available for purchase.
To view more images from previous shows, visit the St. John Gallery Web site.
Alexander's Café hosts monthly exhibitions of works by local artists. Those wishing to stay for dinner following Friday's reception are asked to make reservations. This can be done by calling 774-4349.

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