Serena Bates

Serena Bates

As a child of eight or nine years old, Serena Bates started her journey of exploration and interpretation of the world around her through art.  Beginning with pencil and paper sketches, Serena went on to explore a variety of media, including charcoal, pastel, and oil and acrylic paint, as she depicted landscapes, flowers, and animals. As a young adult, she studied traditional figure painting and anatomy at the Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design. 

 

Upon discovering the joy of working with clay, Serena found her passion for sculpting portraits – busts and full figures, both serious and whimsical – and all sorts of critters with lots of personality: barnyard animals, domestic ones, and increasingly over time, marine animals. She added working with bronze and stone to her repertoire. Many years of observing animals in nature, at home, and in her job at the Mystic Aquarium, helped Serena develop her non-traditional approach to sculpting. Rather than taking measurements, Serena trusts her observations, intuition and connection to the stories of the people and animals she portrays, producing a “Wabi-Sabi” effect, Japanese for perfectly imperfect. 

 

“Stories are what define my work, what drive my vision, what inspire my hands…my life,” she says. The stories-turned-sculptures range from a clay White Rabbit staring down to the bottom of a log, looking for Alice; to bronze Three Stooges fountainheads squirting water from pursed lips; to alabaster octopi and mermaids at play and at rest.

 

This approach has proven successful, with Serena’s sculptures shown in nationally-known exhibitions and galleries across the United States and Canada. She has won more than 70 awards and honors during her career. In the last five years alone, she has won more than 20 prestigious awards from the American Artists Professional League, Allied Artists of America, the Salmagundi Club, the Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Club, the Academic Artist Association, and Mystic Museum of Art, to name a few. The artist is also a member of the American Society of Marine Artists, Allied Artists of America, American Artists Professional League, and the Salmagundi Club.

 

“Survivor,” winner of the Environmental Statement Award, presented in 2019 at the Artists for Conservation’s International Juried Exhibition in Vancouver, is a wonderful case. The ceramic work cracked in the heat of being pit-fired. Serena recalled a Japanese approach of filling cracks with gold and used that method, making the harbor seal look scarred from being caught in a fishing net. Wabi Sabi, indeed.

 

 

Awards:

 

2023

SCNY Animals:  Domestic and Working Exhibition
Aug 28 – Sept 28, 2023
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
Juror: Robert Pilsbury
First Prize: “Zen Zen”

 

Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts CAFA + 112th Annual Exhibition
June 10 – July 22, 2023
Lyme Academy of Fine Arts, Old Lyme CT
First Place Sculpture: "Emancipation"

 

73rd Annual Exhibition of Traditional Realism
May 21 – June 18, 2022
Academic Artists Association
Arts Center East, Vernon, CT
Juror: Del Bourree Bach
Award of Honor: “Isjborns – Ice Bears”

 

2022

CLWAC Annual Members Exhibition
October 2022
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club
Lyme Art Association, Lyme CT
Juror: Robert Pilsbury
Honorable Mention: “My Precious”

SCAA All Media 2 Exhibition
Oct 20 - Nov 12
South County Art Association, Kingston RI
Juror: Del-Bourree-Bach
Award 3rd Place "Sirena & Octavious"

CLWAC 125th Annual Open Exhibition
June 20 – 30, 2022
Catherine Lorillard Wolfe Art Club
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
Joseph Beardsley Sandor Memorial Award:
“Dolly on the Rocks”

72nd Annual Exhibition of Traditional Realism
May 12 – June 5, 2022
Academic Artists Association Arts Center East, Vernon, CT
Juror: David Brega
Award of Merit: “Up Dog”

ACGOW Regional Art Exhibition
May 6 – 29, 2022
Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, Westerly, RI
Juror:  Michael Rose, Manager, Providence Art Club
Katherine Forest Crafts Foundation Mabel Kingsbury Fentress Award:
"Love Story, Sirena & Octavius

 

2021

113TH Annual Thumb Box Exhibition
Nov 23, 2021 - Jan 1, 2022
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
Juror: Robert Pilsbury
Award: Alphaeus P. Cole Memorial Award, “Star Gazer”

Society of CT Sculptors Exhibition
Nov 19 - Jan 2, 2022
Lyme Art AssociationOld Lyme, CT
Juror: Norman Legasse
Award:  3rd Prize “Gemini”

93RD Annual Grand National Exhibition of the American Artists Professional League
Nov 8 - Nov 19, 2021
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
Juror: Peter Trippi, editor-in-chief of Fine Art Connoisseur
Award: "Miss Independence", Barbara Newington Award for Traditional Sculpture

Audubon Artists 79TH Annual Exhibition
Oct 25 - Nov 5, 2021
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
Juror: Michael Cagno, Executive director and Curator of Noyes Museum of Art, NJ
Award: "Upward Dog", Marion & Gill Roller Memorial Award

Connected Land and Sea National Exhibition
June 17 - July 18, 2021Copley Society of Boston, Boston MA
Juror: Don Demers
Award: Second Place - "Leviathan"

Seaport, Small Works
May 6 – Aug 29, 2021
Copley Society of BostonBoston, MA
Award: Excellence “Sir Penguin”

2020

 

Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts CAFA + Members Exhibition
Feb 6 - March 20, 2021
Award: Third Place Award "I am Woman"

Fall Annual Members Exhibition
Oct 20 - Nov 6, 2020
Salmagundi ClubNew York, NY 
Award: Philip Isenberg Memorial Award "Paradise Lost"

Land and Sea - Annual Elected Artists Exhibition
Oct 9 - Nov 19, 2020, Lyme Art AssociationOld Lyme, CT
Juror: Robert Pilsbury
Third Prize:  "Shoo Fly"

Annual Members Exhibition
Aug 10 - Aug 28, 2020 
Salmagundi ClubNew York, NY 
Juror: Edmond Rochat
Award: Mary Fitch Memorial Award "Padawan"

107th Annual Associate Member Juried Exhibition (online),Allied Artists of America
May 18 - Aug 2021 - Aug 2022
Salmagundi ClubNew York, NY 
Award: Excellence in Sculpture -Elected Artist Status Awarded "Amun Ra"

Annual Members Exhibition
May 20, 2020
Salmagundi ClubNew York, NY
Juror: Claudia Seymour
Award: Philip Isenberg Memorial Award "Precipice"

Black & White Exhibition
Feb 3 - Feb 21, 2020
Salmagundi ClubNew York, NY 
Juror: Robert Pilsbury
Award: Margery Sorokava Award "Miss Independence"

Mystic Museum of Art Members Exhibition
Jan 30 - Feb 29, 2020
Mystic Museum of ArtMystic, CT
Award: Award of Merit "Up Dog"

CLWAC 123rd Annual Open Exhibition
Jan 7 - Jan 31, 2020
National Arts ClubNew York, NY
Jurors Norman Legassie & Marc Mellon
Award: Charlotte Dunwoodie Award for Contemporary Realism "Miss Independence"

 

2019

Annual Artists for Conservation International Juried Exhibition
September 26-29, 2019
Artists for Conservation, Vancouver, Canada
Award: Environmental Statement Award "Survivor"

2019 ANNUAL MEMBERS EXHIBITION
Apr 28 - May 8, 2019
Salmagundi Club, NY, NY
Reception May 8, 6-9 pm.
"Enlightened", Award of Honor

110th Annual Thumbox Exhibition
Dec 3, 2018 - Jan 1, 2018
Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003
Award: Philip Isenberg Memorial Award "Putin on the Ritz"

90th Grand National Exhibition, American Artists Professional League
Nov 11 - Nov 19, 2018
Salmagundi Club, 47 5th Ave, New York, NY 10003
Juror:  Stephanie L Heidrich PhD, The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Assistant Curator of American Painting & Sculpture, American Wing
Award: Marilyn Newmark Memorial Award "Precipice"

2018

ACGOW REGIONAL EXHIBITION
Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly, Westerly, RI
May 4 - May 27, 2018
Jurors: Michael Peery, Rhode Island School of Design Professor
“Leviathan” Katherine Forest Foundation Award

100TH DUXBURY ART ASSOCIATION SHOW
Art Complex Museum, Duxbury, MS
Feb 4 - Apr 22, 2018
Jurors: Crystal Duell, Julie Beck, Tim Ian Mitchell, Cindy Vallino, Craig Bloodgood
“Survivor” Second Place Award for Sculpture

CLWAC 121ST ANNUAL OPEN EXHIBITION
CATHERINE LORILLARD WOLFE ART CLUB
Jan 9 - 26, 2018 
Jurors: Gwen Pier, Director, National Sculpture Society 
Elizabeth Allison, Technical Instructor, Art Students League, NYC
NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, New York, NY 
“Amun Ra” Council of American Artist Societies Inc." for traditional sculpture

 

2017

 109th ANNUAL SALMAGUNDI THUMB BOX
Dec 8 - Dec 31, 2017 
Salmagundi Club, New York, NY
"Hello Dolly" Alpheous P. Cole Award

SOCIETY OF CONNECTICUT SCULPTORS’ ANNUAL MEMBERS EXHIBITION
Oct 1 - Nov 29, 2017
LYME ART ASSOCIATION, Old Lyme, CT
"Head Over Heels" People's Choice Award

AMERICAN ARTISTS PROFESSIONAL LEAGUE 89TH ANNUAL GRAND NATIONAL EXHIBITION
October 20 - December 29, 2017
Online Exhibition NEW YORK, NY
Jurors David A. Leffel, Sherrie McGraw, Jacqueline Kamin 
“Survivor” Helen G. Oehler Memorial Award  

SOUTH COUNTY ART ASSOCIATIONS ALL MEDIA II EXHIBITION
October 19 - November 11, 2017
SOUTH COUNTY ART ASSOCIATION  
Juror Debra Lee Valeri 
“Amun Ra” Honorable Mention

ALLIED ARTISTS OF AMERICA 104TH ANNUAL EXHIBITION
Aug 31- Sept 17, 2017 
SALMAGUNDI CLUB, NEW YORK, NY  
Juror Lisa Chalif, Curator Heckscher Museum of Art 
“The Game of Cat and Mouse” The Lindsey Morris Memorial Award

SOUTH COUNTY ART ASSOCIATIONS ALL MEDIA EXHIBITION
June 8 - July 8, 2017
SOUTH COUNTY ART ASSOCIATION  
Juror Kathy Hodge, Painter 
“Survivor” 2nd Place

67th NATIONAL EXHIBIT OF CONTEMPORARY REALISM IN ART
May 1 – 19, 2016 Academic Artists Association
Juror:  Robert Obrien AWS, NWS; John C. Traynor
VERNON COMMUNITY ART CENTER, Vernon, CT
“Amun Ra” Honorable Mention Award

WHAT SCARES YOU MOST   March 4-26, 2017
DEBLOIS GALLERY, Newport, RI  
“Gaia” Peoples’ Choice 

2016

NEW ENGLAND LANDSCAPE INVITATIONAL EXHIBITION
Sept 1 – Nov 5, 2016  
LYME ART ASSOCIATION, Old Lyme, CT
Rapunzel” Peoples’ Choice Award

SOCIETY OF CT SCULPTORS’ ANNUAL MEMBERS EXHIBITION
Sept 1 – Nov 5, 2016
LYME ART ASSOCIATION, Old Lyme, CT 
“Leviathan” 2nd Place

SOCIETY OF CT SCULPTORS SUMMR EXHIBITION EXHIBITION
Aug 1 – Aug 26, 2016
ACTON PUBLIC LIBRARY, Acton, CT 
“Spirit” Members Choice Award, 3rd Place

CLWAC 119TH ANNUAL OPEN EXHIBITION
CATHERINE LORILLARD WOLFE ART CLUB
Dec 2 – 19, 2014   Jurors: Marilyn J. Friedman, Sculptor and Instructor, Art Students League, NY; Gwen Pier, Executive Director of National Sculpture Society.  NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, New York, NY “Bagheera” Leila Garden Sawyer Award for Sculpture

2015

ON THE ROAD   October 3 – November 15, 2015
COURTYARD GALLERY, Water St., Mystic, CT 
“Go Ask Alice” Peoples’ Choice Award & 2nd Place

2014

SOCIETY OF CT SCULPTORS 20TH ANNUAL SCULPTURE EXHIBITION
Aug 1 – Sept. 20, 2014
LYME ART ASSOCIATION, Old Lyme, CT 
“Stubborn is as Stubborn Does” Members Memorial Award

SALMAGUNDI CLUB ANNUAL MEMBERS EXHIBITION
Aug 11 – Aug 29, 2014 
SALMAGUNDI CLUB, New York, NY
Dreamer” Members Memorial Award 

THREE RIVERS COLLEGE ARTSHOW
April 12 – May 3, 2014
BEAN & LEAF, New London, CT
“Green Goddess” Best in Show   

 

CLWAC 119TH ANNUAL OPEN EXHIBITION
CATHERINE LORILLARD WOLFE ART CLUB
Dec 2 – 19, 2014   Jurors: Marilyn J. Friedman, Sculptor and Instructor, Art Students League, NY; Gwen Pier, Executive Director of National Sculpture Society.  NATIONAL ARTS CLUB, New York, NY “Bagheera” Leila Garden Sawyer Award for Sculpture

 

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