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ALEXANDER'S FEATURING COOK-RUTNIK ARTWORK

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Aug. 5, 2001 – Six recent paintings by St. John artist Janet Cook-Rutnik are on exhibition at Alexander's Cafe in Frenchtown through Sept. 13.
"The Past Is Always Present," the title of one of the paintings, also is the theme for what the artist describes as an "intimate exhibition in one of St. Thomas's favorite restaurants known for fine dining."
In recent years, Cook-Rutnik, a Virgin Islands resident since 1969, has been showing her work mainly outside the Virgin Islands. She is preparing for a solo show that will open in October at the Rathbone Gallery of Russell Sage College in Albany, N.Y., and then travel to Washington, D.C., and Seaside, Fla. next year.
She had solo shows last year at the Savannah Gallery in Anguilla ("Island Dreams"); in 1999 at the Museo de las Americas ("Recuerdo") in San Juan and at the Savannah Gallery ("Then and Now") in Anguilla; and 1998 in the Fondo del Sol ("To Remember") in Washington, D.C; and at the Györy Fine Art Gallery ("Who Do Voodoo") in Miami.
Her paintings, pastels and collages currently can be seen at the National Gallery in Jamaica, Casa de las Americas in Havana, Palacio de Bellas Artes in Santo Domingo and the Musee D'Art in Haiti. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Museo de las Americas in San Juan, Museo de Arte Moderno in Santo Domingo, Georgetown University Print Collection in Washington, D.C., University Hospitals in Cleveland, Ohio, and Marriott Frenchman's Reef Beach Resort on St. Thomas.
"My work is about a personal and collective search for the truth through the meaning hidden in memory and myth," Cook-Rutnik says. "The underlying mystery and unspoken drama of life in the Caribbean greatly influences my work, as do the ancient stories of mythology that transcend the boundaries of time, as memory does, as dreams do."
She notes that a critic "once said I was like an archaeologist of the psyche, searching in the deep, dark terrain of memory for buried knowledge only glimpsed in passing moments of intangible sensations of dejá vu or the fleeting images fading from the memory of dreams." She is currently working on a series of paintings collectively titled "On the Other Side of Dreams."
In the last five years she has taken in international exhibitions in the Dominican Republic (2001, 1999, 1996); Havana, Cuba (2000); Paris (1999); Jamaica (1999); Cagnes-sur-Mer, France (1998); and Cuenca, Ecuador (1996). She has shown in group exhibitions this year on St. Thomas ("The Heart of Africa in the U.S.V.I."); last year at Galerias Prinardi ("Christmas Collective") in San Juan; in 1999 at the Alternative Museum ("Millennium Exhibition") in New York City; and in 1998 at the Williston Fine Art Gallery ("Caribbean Artists") in Northhampton, Mass.
Pieces available for purchase may be seen on St. John both at Frames of Mind and at the artist's Guavaberry Farms studio, or on her web site at www.cookrutnikART.vi.

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