Cotuit Center for the Arts presents three exhibits May 12 through June 10: “Bloom,” an open juried exhibit; “Beyond Nature” by Laura Fantini, and “SHE: Ancient Vessel, Ancient Wisdom” by Kimberly Scott. There will be a talk with the artists at 5 PM on Saturday, May 12, followed by a reception until 7 PM. "Bloom," the first integrated exhibition mounted in collaboration with Cape Cod Collaborative Arts Network, will feature the work of local artists of all abilities, including artists with disabilities who have created work inspired by the theme. The drop-off date of gallery-ready pieces is Monday, May 7 between 10 AM and 4 PM. The entry fee per piece is $10 for CCftA members and $15 for non-members. Laura Fantini is a hyper-realistic minimalist artist living and working in both Brooklyn, NY, and Bologna, Italy. She specializes in colored pencil still life defined by strong contrast values, intense details, and highly theatrical compositions with dramatic lighting. She graduated from the Liceo Artistico and Accademia di Belle Arti in Bologna, her hometown. “My flowers, seeds or leaves are more than mere objects,” writes Fantini. “My artworks do not only represent the reality of the ‘still life objects’ I paint, but also the unique and intimate interpretation of emotions, memories and human relationships. I love the poetic potential of simple objects. The settings I apply are modest and minimalist: few objects can stand alone to make a complete composition dominated by a critical use of shadows which produces a dramatic staging effect.” Fantini has been winning national and international awards for her artwork since the age of 14, including the Canson Paper Award for Excellence, the Award for Exceptional Merit from the Colored Pencil Society of America, first prize in the First Annual Sylvia Glesmann Floral Exhibition, and the Jane Peterson Memorial Award at the Salmagundi Club in New York. She was selected by Profilo d’Arte – Banca Profilo as among the most interesting emerging Italian artists. She has exhibited at the Museo della Permanente in Milan, the Galleria Forni in Bologna, the Staten Island Museum in New York, the Schweinfurth Art Center in Auburn, the National Museum José Malhoa in Portugal, and Denise Bibro Fine Arts in New York, among others. Kimberly Scott is a sculptor. Her exhibit, “SHE: Ancient Vessel, Ancient Wisdom,” celebrates the universal woman, going back to the Goddess that virtually all ancient cultures revered as the creator and sustainer of all life. “The Goddess represented the fertility and life cycles of the earth and everything on it—birth, death, regeneration,” said Scott. “But she was more than that. She was also order and reasoning, justice and social conscience, the very organization of the earth,” she said. “Thus, she was both vessel and wisdom. And this reverence extended to human women who were respected and honored, not only because they possessed the same crucial life-giving ability as the Goddess, but the same wisdom as well.” Scott’s sculptures are female in form, in varying degrees of abstractness. A few are literally vessels that could potentially be used as vases, but most are strictly sculptural. Each piece is named for a different Goddess from ancient cultures around the world, and will be accompanied by a short description of her namesake. Scott has always been fascinated by clay. “Creating a piece of sculpture or pottery has always seemed a bit magical to me,” she writes. “An amorphous hunk of clay, placed on a spinning wheel, grows and spreads its earthy wings to become an object of beauty. Surely there are mystical forces at work here!” There is no charge for admission. The gallery is open 10 AM to 4 PM Monday through Saturday and during evening events at the center. For more information, visit artsonthecape.org, or call 508-428-0669. Cotuit Center for the Arts is at 4404 Route 28 in Cotuit.