RI Cultural Anchor: Uriah Donnelly

UD - uriah donnellyUriah is a nonprofit administrator and arts educator from Warren, RI where in early 2016 he launched The Collaborative, a nonprofit arts organization. Uriah is also a published writer and celebrated musician. He lives in Warren with his wife, Janet. We asked him a few questions about his life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: Give us a brief overview of your day yesterday- what did you do in both your personal and professional life.
UD: Well, the Collaborative is one of four “jobs” that I have so each day is unique. But specifically yesterday I ran an art selection presentation for Art Connection-RI at WARM Center in Westerly, updated the website for Art Night Bristol Warren, met with the Superintendent of Bristol Warren Schools as part of my grant writing position with the Town of Warren, and then went shopping for refreshments for The Collaborative’s Student Artist of the Month Artist Reception. Later in the evening, I attended the reception (which was very well attended!)

RISCA: What do you love about the art community in Rhode Island?
UD: Simply put, it’s that there are so many folks doing great things here with creativity and drive to make the arts a permanent part of Rhode Island’s economic and cultural RISCA - uriah donnellylandscape.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?
UD: I’m a Rhode Islander. My family are Rhode Islanders. There’s not a way to un-become that, it’s in the blood.

RISCA: What is one thing, personal or professional, that you or your organization want to accomplish in the next year?
UD: My main goal has always been to grow The Collaborative into a sustainable organization with full time employees and year-round arts education programs. This year we were able to begin compensating our Gallery Manager with a small stipend. My hope to grow that position into full time by next year. Programming-wise, we are really working hard on adding more workshop and class opportunities for people of all ages.

RISCA: Why do you do what you do? What inspires you, drives you, to create or enable the creation of art?
Self - uriah donnellyUD: Have you ever seen the look on a young person’s face when they create something they are proud of and see it hung on a gallery wall? Or the look when someone they don’t know purchases it? The arts are so important to the community, I can’t think of anything else I’d prefer to do than support the folks creating it.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?
UD: More funding! Lots and lots of money please.

You can see what Uriah is up to at The Collaborative by visiting their website, and following them on Facebook and Instagram.

Mural by RI Artist Featured in eMoney’s New Offices

eMoney ribbon cuttingRISCA has been working with eMoney Advisor since November of 2017, three months after they opened their offices in Providence. While eMoney was in a temporary space, we worked with their  staff to select three RI artists to show in their space. We installed pieces by Jodie Goodnough, Kathy Hodge, and Johnny Adimando in the offices in March 2018. As eMoney grew rapidly, we worked with them to commission a local artist to create and install a mural in their permanent space at 100 Westminster in downtown Providence. On Monday, May 6th, in a ribbon cutting with Governor Raimondo and Mayor Elorza, eMoney unveiled the mural as a highlight of their new office space.emoney mural

Artist Lizzy Sour, a Providence native and current RISD freshman, created a mural approximately 20 feet by 13 feet, showcasing eMoney’s mission and culture, icons selected by eMoney staff, and images central to Rhode Island. Bill Burg, eMoney Advisor’s Creative Director, said “We wanted to hire an up-and-coming artist local to Rhode Island.  We really liked Lizzy’s work because it’s expressive and fun and connects to the eMoney brand. The only direction we supplied was to include the eMoney logo and icons that represent the company. The rest was up to her.  She provided us with a few sketches, andemoney lizzy and gina we ended up selecting a concept that’s similar to what you see today. It’s inspiring to look at the mural because each time you find something new.”

Lizzy Sour’s work has been seen in the Dirt Palace windows, at Paris + Friends pop ups, at Providence Field Day, around the streets of Rhode Island and Los Angeles, and she has a brand new mural in AS220’s recently reopened bar. In addition to large scale murals, Lizzy also creates apparel, protest signs, and a variety of other work. You can check out more of Lizzy’s work on Instagram or on her website.

Public Art Commission installed at RI State Police Barracks

The Rhode Island State Council On the Arts and the Rhode Island State Police are pleased to announce the recent installation of a public art commission by Warren artist Deborah Baronas in the renovated Lincoln Woods Barracks at 1575 Louisquisset Pike, Lincoln. The commission features 8 textiles and paintings for the hallway and board room of the facility.

Under the Art For Public Facilities Act, 1% of the Barracks renovation budget was set aside for artwork. A public art selection panel performed a site visit, helped to write a Request for Qualifications, reviewed 38 entries, considered proposals from three finalists, and ultimately selected Baronas for the $25,000 commission.

The panel remarked that Baronas’ “conscientious attitude” helped her win the award and Lieutenant Richard D. Swanson noted that Baronas “captured the spirit and emotion of what we do.” Baronas interviewed many members of the force and visited the Barracks multiple times before and during the creation of the work. Her inclusive, research-intensive process had already won her attention after she created 9 glass and textile pieces for the Bristol Veterans Home in 2017.

RISCA’s Percent For Art Director Elizabeth Keithline thanked Baronas and the RI State Police for their hard work and diligence, noting that “Rhode Island has so much talent, it’s often difficult to choose among the many highly qualified applicants. We were honored to work with Deb Baronas and the RI State Police on this important commission.”

The Council wishes to thank all the officers who contributed to Baronas’ interviews and those who served on the panel, including Union Studios architect Andrew Barkley, Lincoln artists Bonnie Lee Turner and Merle Poulton, Cecilia Hallahan from the RI Department of Capital Asset Management and Maintenance and Lieutenant Richard D. Swanson, Facilities/Capital Projects Manager for the RI State Police.

Funding for the commission was provided through the Allocation For Public Facilities Act and overseen by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, through a bond approved by Rhode Island taxpayers and the Rhode Island General Assembly.