Meet our 2024 AiR/Newport artists:

April AiR: Lori Larusso

Lori Larusso is an American visual artist working primarily with themes of domesticity and foodways.

Larusso holds a BFA in Studio Art from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning and an MFA in Studio Art from the Maryland Institute College of Art. Her body of work encompasses paintings and installations that explore issues of class, gender, and anthropocentrism, and how these practices both reflect and shape culture.

Larusso’s work is exhibited widely in the US and is included in various public collections such as the KMAC Contemporary Art Museum, 21c Museum, and numerous private collections. She has been awarded noteworthy residency fellowships including the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, McColl Center for Art + Innovation, Sam & Adele Golden Foundation, and MacDowell where she received a Milton and Sally Avery Fellowship. She is a recipient of the Kentucky Arts Council’s Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky South Arts Fellowship, and multiple grants from the Great Meadows Foundation and the Kentucky Foundation for Women. Lori Larusso earned an MFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art (MICA) and a BFA from the University of Cincinnati’s College of Design, Architecture, Art, and Planning (DAAP). She currently lives and works in Louisville, Kentucky, and is represented by Galleri Urbane in Dallas, TX, and Rubine Red Gallery in Palm Springs, CA..

June AiR: Ellen Xu

Jing (Ellen) Xu is a visual artist who was born and raised in Inner Mongolia, China, and currently resides in Queens, NY.

Xu holds a BA in Sculpture and Law from Xiamen University, China, and an MFA in Photomedia from the University of Washington in Seattle. She uses multiple mediums like painting, drawing, and installation to explore concepts of time, reality, history, memory, and fantasy. She is primarily interested in exploring how humanity’s relationship with the environment affects our existence.

Xu has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Wassaic Residency, Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts, and Vermont Studio Center. She has been awarded the BRIC Media Arts Fellowship in NY, the Artist Fellowship from Hamiltonian Gallery in DC, the Asian American Arts Alliance grant in NY, and the Foundation for Contemporary Art Grant. Xu’s work has been included in exhibitions at the Asian Art Museum, Seattle, WA; Vermont College of Fine Arts, Montpelier, VT; Governors Island Art Fair, NY; Knockdown Center, NY; KID Museum, Bethesda, MD; and North Dakota Museum of Art, ND, among others. Her artwork has been featured in acclaimed publications, such as The Seattle Times, The Washington Post, Hyperallergic, and The Seattle.

October AiR: Andrea Spiridonakos

Andrea Spiridonakos has a practice driven by process, experimentation, and detail, through various mediums such as fiber art, decorative art, and installation.

Spiridonakos holds a degree in Fashion Design from the Fashion Institute of Technology in NYC. She began her career as a professional ballerina who danced leading roles on stages across the US & Europe to literary acclaim. Now, as the creative force behind her studio, Spiridonakou, her debut fashion collection sold at NYC’s legendary Bergdorf Goodman. Spiridonakos has exhibited at Musée des Arts Décoratifs (Paris) in collaboration with the Métiers d’Arts, Chanel, the Bergdorf Goodman windows (NYC), FAU Ritter Gallery (Boca Raton), Big Art Now Gallery (West Palm Beach) and solo exhibitions at the Coral Gables Museum and the Miami Design District.

Her artwork is acquired into the permanent collection at the DeYoung Museum (San Francisco) and in private collections in the US. She was selected as part of the “Excellence In Fibers IX” juried exhibit for Fiber Art Now magazine (cover, Winter 2024) & featured in and on the back cover of Assouline’s book “Miami Beach” (2020). Andrea is a 2020 Knight Foundation NEW WORK grantee, a Miami Artist Support grantee, an FSF scholar and a Critic’s Choice Award (2015) through FIT. She’s created hand-painted textiles for Isabel † & Ruben Toledo as well as designed a 2023 world premiere commission for Miami City Ballet by choreographer Pontus Lidberg.

Thank you to our generous supporters

Our 2024 AiR/Newport Funders:

EJMP Fund for Philanthropy
Kane Wallace Foundation

The AiR/Newport initiative was launched in 2020 thanks to the following individuals and foundations:

West Bay View Foundation
Cynthia Sinclair
EJMP Fund for Philanthropy
The Sand Foundation
Roseanne Williams
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Cultural Facilities Grant