Raimondo names the artist to paint her official gubernatorial portrait

 Patricia Watwood chosen from a field of 350 applicants

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is Headshot-WATWOOD-678x1024.jpgFormer RI Governor Gina M. Raimondo has selected Patricia Watwood, of Brooklyn, N.Y., to paint her official gubernatorial portrait.

Chosen from a field of 350 applicants, the official portrait selection committee of State Arts Council members and community representatives initially narrowed the applications for the commission to 11.

Brooklyn-based Watwood is a leading figure in the contemporary figurative movement. Her subjects are primarily women and figures, incorporating myth and narrative. She has been exhibited at the Beijing World Art Museum, The European Museum of Modern Art (MEAM), The Butler Museum, and is in the collections of The St. Louis University Museum of Art, and The New Britain Museum of American Art.

Upon hearing of the commission, Watwood said, “It is a great honor to be selected to portray Rhode Island’s first woman Governor. In creating this work of art for the State House, I look forward to celebrating her inspiring service, and show young women, girls, and the people of Rhode Island that there is a place in leadership at the highest level for all of us. ”

Previously, Watwood’s commissioned portraits include two mayors of St. Louis for City Hall and two historical portraits of pioneering women, Cecilia Payne-Gaposchkin and Ida B. Wells, both in the collection of the Harvard Art Museums. Other institutions that have commissioned her work include Weill Cornell Medical Center, St. Louis University, and Washington University. Originally from St. Louis, she has created portraits for many families in the St. Louis area as well as around her current home, New York.

Watwood is a member of the Salmagundi Club of New York, where she is the current First Vice President (2021). She is also a Signature member of the Portrait Society of America and named a Living Master by the Art Renewal Center. She’s represented by Portraits Inc. and Dacia Gallery, and others.

Watwood earned her MFA with honors from New York Academy of Art and studied with Jacob Collins as a founding member of the Water Street Atelier. Watwood has produced instructional DVDs including “Creating Portraits from Life,” with Streamline Art Video, has been a professor of drawing at New York Academy of Art.

She has created several online drawing courses, including Seven Days of Drawing, with the creative streaming platform Craftsy.com. She has written articles for American Artist, American Arts Quarterly, and Fine Art Connoisseur magazines, and teaches painting in Brooklyn, online with Terracotta.org, and in workshops around the country.

Her first book, “The Path of Drawing,” is coming out with Monacelli Studio Press in late 2022. Learn more about Watwood at www.patriciawatwood.com.

State law requires that an official portrait be commissioned for each Governor by the Secretary of State’s office. The Secretary of State has requested that the State’s Arts Agency oversee the process.

Call for Artists: Health and Human Services Artist in Residence Program

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We invite practicing artists, at least 18 years of age, with experience in bringing creative arts-based approaches to health-based projects and/or settings to apply for the 2022 Artist Residency at the RI Executive Offices of Health and Human Services (EOHHS). It is sponsored  the Rhode Island Arts and Health Initiative and Applications deadline is April 25.

This opportunity combines artistic practice and an openness to explore and develop creative solutions to specific public and behavioral health priorities within the context of a health and human services agency. One selected artist will receive a stipend of $15,000 plus supplies, professional development support, and the opportunity to work closely with the EOHHS staff and community members. During this six-month residency, the artist will identify, create, and carry out one or more projects focused on Children’s Behavioral Health System of Care and/or Overdose, Addiction, and Adult Behavioral Health.

This residency is presented in partnership with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Rhode Island Department of Health (RIDOH), and the RI Executive Offices of Health and Human Service (EOHHS).

About the Artist in Residence Program 

The Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts believe that embedding artists within the state’s Offices of Health and Human Services will help drive creative arts-based approaches to achieving health equity, addressing the social determinants of health, and attaining behavioral and clinical population health goals. Ultimately, the arts have the power to create healthier individuals and thriving communities.

The selected artist will be embedded at the Rhode Island Office of Health and Human Services (EOHHS) in Cranston, RI and will work from associated community locations for a project period of 6 months between July 1 and December 31, 2022.  The selected artist will work with selected staff within the EOHHS umbrella agencies to create one or more projects which respond to a public and/or behavioral health issue to be identified in collaboration at the onset of the program.

Practicing artists, at least 18 years of age, with a background in developing and providing arts programming for health-based projects and/or settings are eligible to apply. Applicants must be Rhode Island residents at the time of application and throughout the project. Artists in any arts discipline are eligible to apply. The stipend for the residency will be $15,000, paid by a RIAH partner agency over the course of the residency. An additional amount up to $5,000 will be budgeted for supplies and materials. The daily work schedule will be negotiated between the artist and relevant RIDOH/EOHHS staff.

Applications due April 25.

About the Rhode Island Arts and Health Initiative 

The Rhode Island Arts and Health Advisory Group was formed in 2016 to advise the Rhode Island Department of Health and the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, on the important role the arts can play in health and wellness. An 18-month planning process was undertaken by the Advisory Group, facilitated by RISCA and RIDOH with the Brown University School of Public Health. The result was the Rhode Island State Arts and Health Plan available here. The planning process was funded by the Rhode Island Foundation.

The Advisory Group became the RI Arts and Health Initiative Steering Committee to assist in carrying out the recommendations of the State Arts and Health Plan and with building a framework for development of an Arts and Health Network to foster collaborations across the state. RISCA and RIDOH envision fully integrated and sustainable arts and health systems that build on Rhode Island’s rich creative capital and innovative healthcare infrastructure. RISCA and RIDOH are the HUB agencies of the Network providing oversight during this process and together with the Steering Committee and other community partners they:

  • Provide strategic direction to the implementation of the state plan for arts and health.
  • Advocate for the meaningful integration of the arts into health policy, practice, and research.
  • Guide the long-term development of the Network into a Center for Arts and Health.This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is MicrosoftTeams-image.jpg

Block Island Airport Gallery features the works of RI artist Linda King

Linda King’s Mixed Media Collages

The gallery at the Block Island Airport, a partnership between the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation (RIAC), announced the opening of its winter exhibit featuring works by Linda King, of North Kingstown. Exhibit will run through mid-May.

Linda King attended workshops in all media with local New England artists, before finding her true passion for creating movement and texture with mixed media and collage. A love of texture and dimension is evident in her use of paper and mixed media to create uniquely personal works of art. Finding compositions in everyday things and in nature inspired abstracting them into works of art. The crashing surf at Beavertail State Park in Jamestown remains her favorite source of inspiration. 

Linda has received many awards for her acrylic paintings, collaged seascapes and abstracts. Her work is in private and corporate collections across the country.  She is currently an exhibiting member of South County Art Association, Wickford Art Association, New England Watercolor Society, Plymouth Center for the Arts and Collage Artists of America.  A juried artist member of Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly and an elected artist member of Mystic Museum of Art. To learn more visit: https://www: lkingartist.com.

“RISCA is pleased to feature Linda King, a Rhode Islander who depicts a unique love of the power of the sea,” RISCA’s spokesperson, Faye Zuckerman, said. “In her works, it is easy to see the ever-changing colorations and textures created by the unique weather patterns that we have in New England.”

The 2022 exhibitors for the Block Island Gallery were chosen by panelists Darrell Matsumoto, Wakefield, Saman Sajasi, Providence, and Judith Tolnick-Champa, Pawtucket.

To learn more about the airport galleries, click here.