RISCA On the Road! A Tour of the Ocean State’s Cultural Facilities and Public Art Sites

On August 7th RISCA escorted budget analysts from the House and Senate Fiscal Staff and the State Office of Management and Budget on a tour of cultural facilities and public art sites throughout the State of Rhode Island.

This was an opportunity to provide direct “off-the-page and in-the-field” experience about state investment in cultural facilities and public art to our colleagues in the House, Senate and State Budget Office.  It was a full day of traveling to a variety of sites.

RISCA’s amazing Public Art Manager, Elizabeth Keithline, organized the day’s tour. Here’s where we went:

9:00 am – Cultural Facilities project at the Common Fence Improvement Association, 933 Anthony Road, Portsmouth

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Senator James Seveney (left) joins members of the Common Fence Point Community Center project in Portsmouth

10:00 am – Public art projects at the Veterans Home, 480 Metacom Ave, Bristol 

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Artist Allison Newsome describes her work “The Eagle Has Landed” at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol
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Artist Deborah Baronas with one of her installations at the Rhode Island Veterans Home in Bristol

11:30 am – Cultural Facilities projects at the RI Philharmonic, 667 Waterman Ave, E Providence

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Rhode Island Philharmonic Orchestra and Music School Executive Director David Beauchesne conducts a tour of the Carter Center for Music Education in East Providence

1:00 pm – Public art projects at RI College, 600 Mt. Pleasant Ave, Providence

Rhode-Island-College-with-work-at-Alex-and-Ani-Hall
RISCA’s Public Art Manager Elizabeth Keithline shares information on public art on the Rhode Island College campus with participants in the tour

2:30 pm – Cultural facilities projects at the Greenwich Odeum, 59 Main St, E Greenwich

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Senator Bridget Valverde (center) and her children visit the Greenwich Odeum in East Greenwich

4:00 pm – Public art projects at URI, 45 Upper College Rd, Kingston

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Visiting a large bronze sculptural work by Rhode Island artist Peter Diepenbrock in front of Lippitt Hall on the University of Rhode Island campus
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An installation at URI’s Beaupre Center for Chemical, Forensic Sciences by artist Erwin Redl
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Participants in the day-long tour included (from left to right) Timothy Donahue, House Fiscal staff; Randall Rosenbaum, RISCA Executive Director; Elizabeth Keithline, RISCA Public Art Manager; Kelly Carpenter, Senate Fiscal staff; and Loren Spears, RISCA Council Member.

New Exhibits at TF Green and Block Island Airports

RISCA RIAC Luke Randall Russian Night Flowers
Russian Night Flowers by Luke Randall

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts announced new art exhibitions on display at Rhode Island’s airports. At the GREEN SPACE Gallery at TF Green Airport, an exhibit entitled FORMAL CONSIDERATIONS, featuring works by Eveline Luppi, Luke Randall, and Stacey Messier, is on display through September 22, 2019. At the Block Island Airport Gallery, works by Jim Gwiazdzinski are on display through August 4, 2019.

Abacus Eveline Luppi
Abacus by Eveline Luppi

In the GREEN SPACE exhibit FORMAL CONSIDERATIONS, the viewer is invited to examine the various ways in which a visual work can underscore an artist’s relationship to aspects of art history. Works by Eveline Luppi reference the history of abstraction; art by Luke Randall pays homage to early american craft; artwork by Stacey Messier refreshes a long line of works that focus on geometry. In all the work, the artists indicate their appreciation for the creative arc of humanity.

At the Block Island Airport Gallery, Jim Gwiazdzinski is exhibiting pen and ink to create works from marine species that connect him to his IMG_3147fishing adventures on the waters off the coast of New England. His intimate connection to the waters of New England has led him to fishing aboard various commercial vessels, calling Shinnecock Inlet, Point Judith, and Stonington their home ports. Shark, tuna, sunfish, whales, various seabirds, as well as the occasional submarine provide his mainly naturalist subject matter.

Exhibitors for GREEN SPACE were chosen by panelists Saberah Malik, Jodie Goodnough and David Barnes, while exhibitors for the Block Island Airport Gallery were chosen by Lisa Robb, public school arts educator.

The GREEN SPACE Gallery and Block Island Airport Gallery are a partnership between the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, promoting outstanding work by artists living and working in Rhode Island. The galleries present art to an ever-changing audience of local, national and international travelers.

About RISCA:
The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance, and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

About RIAC:
The Rhode Island Airport Corporation operates T.F. Green Airport and the five general aviation airports in Rhode Island. A long-time supporter of public art in Rhode Island, the Rhode Island Airport Corporation has worked with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts on a number of public art commissions for T. F. Green and Block Island airports.

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.