Meet Alice Gebhart and DownCity Design

Twice a year, RISCA awards grants in a number of categories. Over the next few months, we will be profiling the amazing artists and organizations that received grants at our April 1, 2017 deadline, two at a time.

Project ProcessProject Grants for Individuals
Artist: Alice Benvie Gebhart
Project: Images and Memories: Creating and Healing with Glass will help people effected by grief memorialize their loss by creating a personal glass panel with layers of photography, symbolism, and reflections.
Led by artist Alice Benvie Gebhart and Art Therapist Rachel Busch, each participant will design and create a personal glass panel memorializing a lost loved one. The group will learn and create together, while supporting each other as they grieve the loss and cherish memories. Following the workshops, a gathering of participants, family, friends, and community will be planned to view the glass memorial pieces completed during each workshop. These pieces, in conjunction with the work created by primary artist and teacher, Alice Benvie Gebhart, will be exhibited at Heritage Art Gallery and Glass Studio in East Greenwich, RI as well as Friends Way in Warwick, RI. The panelists responded to using art as a tool in the grieving process, and appreciated the inclusion of an art therapist and the creation of connections between people dealing with a loss.
Artist Bio: Alice Benvie Gebhart is a professional glass artist and teacher at Heritage Alice Pic FinalGallery in East Greenwich, RI. Gebhart is a life certified art educator and has worked in the arts education field for over 30 years.  As an art educator at Cranston High School East, she was awarded an Arts in Education grant from RISCA in 1997 and was awarded Art Educator of the Year in 1999. She is currently on the RISCA roster of artist/teachers.
Alice Benvie-Gebhart earned her bachelor and master’s degrees in art education with concentrations in painting and printmaking. She worked as a teacher and painter for many years before discovering kiln-fired glass. She now works exclusively as a full time professional fused glass artist. Gebhart is represented by galleries in Chicago, Ill, Sante Fe, NM, and Dallas, Tx. She teaches her glass techniques in studios around the country as well as her own studio in East Greenwich.

20170811_110505Project Grants in Education
Applicant Organization: DownCity Design
Project Coordinator: Melita Morales
Participating Artists: Max Dehne, Nakeia Medcalf, Simcha Davis, Jeremy Bass, Anthony Azanon, Yasmine , Sohum Chokshi
Project: The DownCity Design Summer Design Studio, now in its fifth year, offers a design-based, STEAM-intensive summer arts learning experience for 44 Rhode Island high school students. In this unique collaborative summer program, DCD Design Educators and staff work together with Providence Public School teachers to create and deliver a six-week experience that gets students excited about design, provides concrete math and literacy skills to prevent summer learning loss, and empowers youth to make an impact on their community. Students explore design careers and design and build two new amenities for public spaces or community groups. This year, the team of young designers created a 20170803_102012shaded shed for Southside Community Land Trust’s Somerset Hayward Youth Farm, and a new nautical-inspired play structure for the Greater Providence YMCA Mount Hope Child Care Center.
About the Organization: D​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​ownCity Design is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping the people of Rhode Island design solutions for their communities. We help youth become change-makers by inviting them to design and build structures that respond creatively to challenges and opportunities. Our free youth programs engage and empower students, while making the core cities of RI better places to live, work, and learn.