Nature’s colors take center stage in new exhibit at Nikki Sedacca Gallery


The opening show of the 2018 season at the Nikki Sedacca Gallery in Edgartown is called “Feeling Fresh,” and the lightness, brightness, and soft colors, along with the nature subject matter shared by all three featured artists, really justifies the chosen theme.

Sedacca also owns and operates a sister gallery in Sarasota, Fla., where she spends the winter months. “Both of our galleries are in coastal towns, so we want to show work that reflects nature and is inspired by the sea,” she says. “This season is all about color and freshness. Spring is here, and we wanted to get off to a new, fresh start.”

The three artists currently on exhibit all work in vastly different media and styles, but each has captured the spirit of the Vineyard in his or her unique way.

Plein air painter Linda Richichi clearly has a passion for color. A lovely diptych that dominates one wall of the gallery is appropriately titled “Tangerine Sky.” The large double painting features a striking sunset sky rendered in various tones of orange with the colors reflected in the water of a marshy pond. Subtle touches of pink and lavender add to the tranquility of the peaceful scene.

Another new painting by Richichi captures the iconic Aquinnah lighthouse in her unique palette.

“Linda is very inspired by Martha’s Vineyard,” says Sedacca of the former New York State artist who now resides in Sarasota. “Every year she comes to the Vineyard to work for a week.”

Carter Wentworth of Marblehead draws his inspiration from nature in a very different way. His work evokes flowers and other botanical forms, using watercolor and gouache in an abstract manner. Nature and design combine in his work. Using lots of blues as a base and green representing vegetation, Wentworth has punctuated his recent scenes with vibrant reds and oranges.

He explains his approach to natural subjects in his artist’s statement, saying, “My use of repeated forms, lines, and juxtapositions is my visual ‘shorthand.’ These forms, defined by color, are my own record. The emotions and thoughts generated by these forms as they evolve become the vision’s temporal record. Just as in the gardens that I create, the paintings provide organically formed colored planes.”

Working in a much more subtle, romantic style, Kathe Fraga draws on nature to create lovely magical scenes featuring lovebirds, roses, and butterflies in a very fresh and modern style, with a nod to antique Valentines, French wallpaper, and chinoiserie. She works in the medium of fresco on panel using acrylic and gold leaf, which gives each of her works the sense of a cherished heirloom, befitting the timeless quality of the imagery.

Fraga lives in a century-old house on Bainbridge Island, off the coast of Washington State. She describes the home and its influence on her artwork very poetically on her website. “[The house] is built with barnacled beach rock and weathered gray shingles. The old fir floorboards of our home, milled from the surrounding trees, remind me on a daily basis of the love and gentle patina of time — the sound and scent of the forests that surround us. With their decay and rebirth, they send their message to my art as I explore how the fresh beauty of the ‘new’ evolves, over time, into something far more interesting and dramatic.”

Both Wentworth and Fraga are new to the gallery this year. Their work, as well as Richichi’s, is also featured at Sedacca’s 530 Burns Gallery in Sarasota. Fraga’s work has already proven very popular at both locations. “Every painting of hers that we bring in sells,” says the gallerist, adding that one of Fraga’s frescoes was sold on the day that the Edgartown gallery opened for the season.

The Nikki Sedacca Gallery focuses equally on jewelry and fine art. Sedacca herself is a jeweler who has been creating her sculptural handwoven pieces for more than 30 years. The latest additions to her collection Endless Love feature pearls, black diamonds, and semiprecious stones, intertwined with her lovely, gently twisting silver designs.

Sedacca also represents a number of other jewelers working in original designs. The styles range from delicate pearls to edgy, urban statement pieces.

“I think what makes our gallery so eclectic is that the work that we show is so different, yet they still have a common thread,” says the gallerist. “The subject matter is all about nature and the sea.”

“Feeling Fresh,” featuring new work by Kathe Fraga, Carter Wentworth, and Linda Richichi, will hang at the Nikki Sedacca Gallery in Nevin Square, Edgartown, through June 20.