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.

Request for Qualifications: Landmark Public Art at the Providence Innovation District Park

Optional art information session to be on Monday March 22, 2021, at 5pm via Zoom

The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism and Art in City Life Commission invite artists to submit qualifications for a Landmark Public Artwork in the City’s new Providence Innovation District Park.  This inaugural, large-scale, signature, permanent work of art will be the first of its kind in the City and is the first activation of Providence’s Art in City Life Ordinance. Successful proposals will grapple with the historic complexity of the site. A site brief accompanies the RFQ and outlines both the current site condition and use as well as historical context.

This call for qualifications is open to professional artists within the United States.  Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, gender nonconforming persons, LGBTQIA+ community members and people with differing physical abilities are highly encouraged to apply. Artists living across Rhode Island are highly encouraged to apply.

Deadline for qualifications: April 18, 2021.

Budget: $850,000 

More information on the call

To apply click here.

There will be an optional art information session for interested applicants on Monday March 22, 2021, at 5pm via Zoom. To register click here.

Deadline approaching for public art commission for Garrahy Judicial Complex 

Public Art Workshop, Thursday, Feb. 11, 4pm. Click here to RSVP

Free application process is open

Deadline Feb. 15  

 The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is requesting qualifications for a new public art commission for the Garrahy Judicial Complex parking garage, which is located at 1 Dorrance St., Providence. The deadline is Feb. 15 at 11:59 p.m., and the applications will be reviewed by a public art selection panel.  

For more information and to apply, click HERE. Free application process consists of submitting six images from one’s existing portfolio, a bio or CV and a short statement.

Through a competitive selection process, one artist or team of artists will be chosen to create a large-scale temporary mural, which will be on display for 5 years. This is a national call open to all artists. Students are excluded. There is no fee to apply, and the budget has been set at $98,000.

Without belying the dignity of the court, artwork that is colorful, bright, cheerful, calming and/or soothing would be appropriate. The selection panelists indicated that applicants should consider how the artwork is viewed from both inside and outside the courthouse. The Courthouse is used by approximately 3,500 people daily and has 400 employees. 

The courthouse is adjacent to the Providence Innovation and Design District, which encompasses land made available during the relocation of I-195, and may change significantly because of its adjacency . Besides visitors to the courthouse, the parking garage mural will be highly visible to residents, visitors, hotel guests, and those employed in the area. The façade is visible from multiple vantage points throughout the city.  For more information, contact Faye Zuckerman.  

“Public art is a proven way to enliven a community. A blank wall is just a blank wall, but put a mural on that wall and it adds visual interest and excitement to a neighborhood or business district. We look forward to commissioning work that will contribute to the Garrahy Courthouse and its surrounding community.” 

  –Randall Rosenbaum
Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

About the RI Public Art Law: Artwork for the Garrahy Judicial Complex will be commissioned by RISCA through Rhode Island’s Public Art Law, which mandates that 1 percent of all state capital construction and renovation funds be allocated to the purchase and maintenance of public art. Through this program the State recognizes that “public art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction, enjoyment, and pride for all citizens.”