PAWTUCKET – Downtown Pawtucket is turning into an art gallery – one ideally suited to the COVID19-era: It’s outdoors, and there is more than enough room for social distancing.
Called the Windows on Pawtucket Project, this “gallery” fills empty windows on Main Street and beyond. With the official opening on Thursday, Oct. 1, more than 35 works by 28 Rhode Island artists will make the area a destination, say planners, now through May 15, 2021.
The project is a collaboration between the Pawtucket Foundation, a non-profit geared to developing and promoting the city, and Art League RI, headquartered at 80 Fountain St. For 20 years, ALRI has been dedicated to supporting excellence in the arts in Rhode Island.
The executive directors of the two organizations, Jan Brodie of the foundation and Ellen Matesanz of ALRI, have been working on the project for months, lining up landlords willing to lend their windows to the project, and recruiting artists to fill them.
The artists’ response, according to Matesanz, has brought “really, really amazing work,” from all corners of the state, including 12 who live and/or work in Pawtucket.
Brochures are being prepared with a map, so people can find their way around this spacious “gallery,” Brodie adds. Information on the artists will accompany their displays and be included in the brochures. The map is also available at https://artleagueri.org/windowsonpawtucket/
Brodie says she has been trying for three years to get a Windows-like project off the ground. Funding and manpower had been the obstacles until she found “a perfect partnership with Art League RI. I’ve been delighted to work with Ellen,” she says. Additionally, State Sen. William J. Conley sponsored a legislative grant to Pawtucket’s Art Commission, which is providing support for the project.
The Call for Artists went out in late spring, and a five-member jury selected the participants. Jury members are Eric Auger, founder of 1031Productions; Heather Stivison, an artist and ALRI member; Leslie Moore, a local business woman who offered windows in several of her Pawtucket properties for the show, as well as Brodie and Matesanz.
Because of COVID19 precautions, “We can’t have a big opening celebration,” Brodie notes. However, she and Matesanz will be on hand Thursday at 3:30 p.m. when Mayor Donald Grebien officially announces the exhibition during the kick-off at the corner of 210 Main Street and East Avenue.
“From there you can see four or five of the buildings where art is on display,” Brodie notes.
Ironically, the COVID pandemic played a role in bringing the project to fruition. When indoor activities were restricted, “People were on the streets,” Brodie observes. “All you could do was take a walk, and Windows on Pawtucket makes that walk inviting.”
Read full article in Pawtucket Times: HERE
Download the Walking Brochure HERE
Find out more information HERE