RI Cultural Anchor: Damont Combs

35564293_2064806610455195_2847675905520697344_o - damont combsDamont Combs is 2018 Poet of the Year, author of two poetry books: my poem…my riddle and A Touch Of Orange. We asked him a few questions about his life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?
DC: I came here to go to Johnson and Wales to pursue a degree in computer technology. I graduated and settled down with my family. I made RI my home because it grew on me. It’s the best place for the arts to thrive.

RISCA: Why do you do what you do? What inspires you, drives you, to create or enable the creation of art?
DC: Poets are the mouthpiece of society. I say what others say in the back of their minds. I say it more poetically. I use words as more than a way of expression; it is my way of life now. I feed my family with Art, I feed my soul with Poetry. I bring passion back into my city. I stay inspired by my poetry family as well. They push me to continue going and staying relevant and reinventing the wheel.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?
DC: I think it needs more open mics. There use to be over 13 open mics you could go to within a couple of miles from each other within any given week. A lot of them shut down due to the host businesses going under. Open mics are vital to growth for our artists, they bring tourism and bring businesses money if done properly.

RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?
DC:  I want to standardize “paying your artist.” There’s nothing worse than putting in 20 years into your passion and still being told they aren’t paying you because it’s standard not to. I’ve put in a lot of time and effort into poetry. I’ve decided to do this full time, but the biggest challenge I face is organizations and venues not wanting to pay me. They say exposure or they are non-profit but my argument is the gas/light/rent/cable and plumbing is all paid. Why should paying your artist be any different? A service is being provided; pay for that service.

You can follow Damont on Facebook and Instagram.

Two RFQs for Public Art Commissions

Bowling Green State University — Technology Building
Percent for Art Commission 

Bowling Green State University (BGSU) is inviting Ohio and national artists to submit up to nine (9) digital images of past work for the BGSU – Technology Building Percent for Art Project commission.  The College of Technology, Architecture, and Applied Engineering supports diverse students and faculty through an encouraging learning environment, experiential opportunities, and a culture of applied research and professional service. The artwork for the new BGSU Technology building should act as a gateway or ”front door” for this part of campus. The committee is looking to commission an outdoor art work that could act as a gathering place.

Kent State University — Design Innovation Hub
Percent for Art Commission 

Kent State University (KSU) invites Ohio and national artists to submit up to nine (9) digital images of past work for the Design Innovation Hub Percent for Art project commission. The project will complete a major renovation of the old art building originally designed by Australian architect John Andrews in 1971. Called the ”Design Innovation Hub” (DI HUB), the $44.9 million project will completely transform the entire building into a vibrant center of activity for design thinking and include a 350-seat dining facility to bring additional vibrancy to the building.  The artwork will be located outside of the building on a site adjacent to the university’s Lester A. Lefton Esplanade. The location will have strong pedestrian interaction and will establish a visual and physical connection to the building and Design Innovation as a concept.

Deadline: May 17th. For more information and to apply, click here.

Warwick Center for the Arts Presents Watercolor Painting Class

“Watercolor Painting” with Aileen Quinn

Saturday, April 13, 20, 27, & May 4, & 11 2019 (3:00 – 5:00pm)

Cost: $100 for non-members / $90 for WCFA Members 

Instructor: Aileen Quinn

This five-week class will introduce students to basic watercolor techniques like blending colors, creating unique compositions, and creative expression with paint. Aileen Quinn and experienced artist and art instructor will help students discover watercolor as an ever- evolving expression both in traditional ways as well as innovative ways to work with scraps/practice sheets. The class is designed to be an encouraging and adventurous experience for people who have always wanted to try painting with watercolors. A Materials list will be emailed after registration.

Register online OR Call to register @ 401-737-0010 during office hours (Wednesday – Saturday: 11am – 3pm). Click here for more information.