Chardavogne Group to celebrate 50th anniversary of its arrival in Warwick

| 27 Sep 2017 | 07:50

— In 1967, just a few months after the village of Warwick celebrated its one hundredth anniversary, the Chardavogne Barn was purchased.
Now, a few months after the village of Warwick celebrated its sesquicentennial, the Chardavogne Group, also known as the Institute for Religious Development, will celebrate the fiftieth anniversary of the purchase of the property on Chardavogne Road and the founding of the Chardavogne Group.
Dr. Willem Nyland established the group based on the teachings of G. I. Gurdjieff.
Many young people were drawn to the Chardavogne Group in the late sixties and early seventies. The influx of these young people into the small rural town of Warwick at that time had a considerable impact on the Warwick community and this influence continues to the present day.
Professions, businesses, craftsGroup members include many talented and creative people, some of whom have contributed their talents to the community in the professions and businesses and others have made their livings in crafts.
Some notable crafts people from the group have had their works shown in juried craft shows such as the Smithsonian and Philadelphia Museum craft shows.
After Nyland’s death in 1975, some group members left the area but many others stayed in the Warwick area and made their lives here.
Nyland took his teachings to other parts of the country and the world. There are affiliated groups in California, Europe and as far away as Australia.
There are many small groups across the country that meet to discuss the ideas and teachings of Gurdjieff as taught by Nyland.
Documentary photographic exhibitionAs part of Chardavogne's celebratory year, the Amity Gallery will hold a documentary photographic exhibition entitled "Chardavogne Barn - Fifty Years," which will display original photographs illustrating the many developments and changes which have taken place over the past 50 years and up to the present time.
Some of the many aspects of the group illustrated in the photographs include the workdays when groups of people gather together to maintain and improve the buildings and grounds and the varied occupations and crafts which group members participate in.
The exhibit will be on display each weekend in October from noon to 4 p.m. at the Amity Gallery, 110 Newport Bridge Road, Warwick.
The opening reception will be held on Saturday, Oct. 7, from 5 to 7 p.m. All are invited.
The Amity GalleryThe Amity Gallery was opened three years ago by members of the Chardavogne Group. Most of the Gallery Committee members are artists whose work has been shown at the gallery and other venues as far away as New York City, Maine, and Block Island.
“The building,” said Ekua Sharp, one of the Committee, “has gone through many incarnations. Over the years it has served as a carriage house, a chicken coop, a mechanic shop, a children’s nursery, a gift shop, an art studio and now an art gallery.”
“The committee meets once a month at a member’s home,” added Pat Foxx. “We all sit around a table, have soup and then get down to the business of making the decisions involved in running a busy gallery.”
Monthly exhibits held from April through December include painting, sculpture, fabric art, and other media. In addition, a variety of monthly events offer musical, dramatic and poetry presentations.
Essential informationFor more information on the fiftieth anniversary exhibition, The Chardavogne Barn – Fifty Years, visit or visit us on Facebook.
For more information on the Chardavogne Group, visit

This article and accompanying photographs were provided by Patricia DeBruhl.