“Art Buses” begin to travel throughout Rhode Island

Exciting news from our friends at RIPTA and The Avenue Concept. Learn about the new “art buses” that will begin traveling throughout our state.

Providence, Rhode Island, October 5, 2018 —   The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority (RIPTA) today announced a collaboration with The Avenue Concept public art organization that creates two “art buses” which will help promote the importance of both public transportation and public art in Rhode Island.  Called MOVE RI, the project involves two buses wrapped in vivid designs created by The Avenue Concept’s 2018 Design Fellows, Myles Dumas and Colin Gillespie.  The buses will be in service on RIPTA routes across the state and will hopefully brighten the landscape while also encouraging discussion about art, public transit and how the two can complement each other.

Yarrow Thorne, founder and executive director of The Avenue Concept, broached the idea of a new art bus project with RIPTA for the state about a year ago.  “We were excited by his vision and his commitment to public art in Rhode Island,” said Scott Avedisian, CEO of RIPTA.  “These buses provide a wonderful canvas for public art and will also help underscore the fact the public transportation is a multi-faceted benefit to the communities it serves.”

The project is a continuation of The Avenue Concept’s mission to create public art encounters by incorporating art more thoroughly into the urban environment and providing opportunities to engage and interact with it. It continues a season of projects and programs that began in July, and included the installation of four new sculptures in downtown Providence as well as a large-scale mural by internationally renowned street artist Gaia at Custom House Street, and another mural currently in progress on the facade of the former Providence National Bank building. This is RIPTA’s third collaboration with The Avenue Concept. The two organizations have previously worked together on a project to turn recycled scrap metal from old Kennedy Plaza signage into art, and a sculpture installation by Rhode Island artist Peruko Ccopacatty in the Plaza earlier this year.

“MOVE RI is a natural progression of the work we’ve been doing for the past five years. We’ve put art on sidewalks and walls, now we’re putting it on wheels,” explained Thorne. “Our goal is to make public art accessible to as many people as possible. Now instead of placing it in a fixed location and waiting for people to come to it, we’re bringing the art to them and inviting them to experience it in a new way.”

One of the buses, the “Move” bus, was unveiled this morning at Kennedy Plaza. The design, which forms the word “move” from repeating lines of bold colors, is intended as a visual announcement of the new program. “Creating the letters in this fashion added energy and a visual vibration to the design, which we felt really reinforced the name,” explained Dumas. “The design is more abstract when the bus passes in close proximity to the viewer. However, as you move further away, the word becomes easier to read and it takes on a more functional role.” The inside of the bus has also been redesigned by the Dumas and Gillespie; it provides more information about the project and encourages riders to share their photos of the art buses on Instagram with the hashtag #MoveRIbus.

The second bus, a visual ode to the local street band festival, PRONK, is scheduled to be unveiled during the festival on Monday, October 8.

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PVD Public Art: Peruko Ccopacatty

On February 5, 2018, The Department of Art, Culture + Tourism joined Mayor Jorge Elorza, The Avenue Concept, and RIPTA officials to celebrate a series of new temporary public sculptures installed on Kennedy Plaza by Peruko Ccopacatty. The four metal sculptures, on view through June 2018, are the first significant original public art works to be installed in the Plaza since the Soldiers and Sailors Monument in 1871 (the adjacent “Hiker” was a replica). A full series of figures created by Ccopacatty had originally been created 20 years ago for the plaza, but were never installed. The new installation features a 14’ angel fashioned from reused car bumpers, a 7’ man built from reclaimed stainless steel, and two 6’ llamas sculpted from scrap metal.

With a career stretching back more than 50 years, Peruko Ccopacatty is an internationally-renowned artist who received the United Nations Society of Writers and Artists Award of Excellence in 2003 for a life’s work of social relevance. His studio is located in West Kingston, RI and he has exhibited throughout the world. According to The Avenue Concept: “This is a project we’ve been looking forward to for a long time – though not as long as Ccopacatty, who first received approval to install his sculptures in Kennedy Plaza in 1995. Of course, that project never came to be, and that missed opportunity was one of the reasons why we became so invested in helping him achieve it. This project represents both the culmination of a major investment we’ve made in Kennedy Plaza as a showcase for public art and the first look at a longer-term vision we have for a robust public art program in Providence.”
Originally from an Andean village on the banks of Lake Titicaca, Ccopacatty is revered back home as an international ambassador for Aymara culture and created a nonprofit library/cultural center to document and preserve its art and traditions.

What Song Do You Think Of When You See…?

Resonance is a color + music public art project conceived of by artist Lynne Harlow. It explores the intersection of color and sound with an emphasis on our personal, deeply subjective associations with songs and colors. Text 508-216-0366 with the song you think when you see the color in the event poster, and don’t miss a gallery dance party on February 22, featuring a playlist of YOUR song choices!harlow_dance-party.jpg