Introducing RISCA’s Teen Arts Assembly

RISCA is thrilled to announce the inaugural members of the Rhode Island Teen Arts Assembly. The Rhode Island Teen Arts Assembly is a group of student leaders who collaborate with the​ Rhode Island State Council on the Arts to advise the Education Department on initiatives and youth involvement, to represent Arts Education and the creative sector at events throughout the State, and to develop creative skills, leadership experience, and opportunities for their peers to engage with the arts. The Assembly members work with RISCA staff and local partners to develop projects at the intersection of arts education, advocacy and community engagement.

Lola Rael

Lola is a senior at School One.  Lola is from Cranston.  Lola identifies as a future art educator.  In just the last two years she has participated in Intergenerational Arts programs through her school, volunteered at CityArts, interned for Gallery Night Providence and been invited to sit on their board and been given charge of an audience survey for the organization. In her personal statement she wrote, “Part of Gallery Night’s mission is to make the Providence Art scene more accessible, but leaving out whole neighborhoods means we’re missing the mark. . . If I could implement one initiative in RI community, it would be art programs for older teens in South Providence.”

Mia Stevenson

Mia is from North Kingstown, attends the East Bay Met school and is part of RISD’s Project Open Door. They are a multidimensional artist aspiring to be an illustrator. Mia aims to raise awareness around the issues that LGBTQ youth face in a way that gives back to the community. They write in their statement, “As a member of POD (Project Open Door) I want to highlight their generosity and inclusivity . . .I would love to implement an initiative to get more students into free art programs . . .Making art programs for kids free makes them a million times more accessible and makes the arts seem a million times less like an ‘extra credit’ kind of thing.”

Abigail Casey

Abigail is a sophomore at Westerly high school and has been a performer with the Chorus of Westerly for 7 years. Ryan Saunders says, “she serves as connector for nearly all our teens. . . She is a center point for our expanding teen program, and she helped us nurture her fellow teens from a social and community point of view” Abigail writes, “I firmly believe everyone can learn something from each other and by collaborating together, more opportunities can arise.”

Nkeke Harris

Nkeke is a sophomore at the East Bay Met and an intern at the Tomaquag Museum. He also interns at “Rites + Reason Theatre” at Brown and was a fashion design intern at “Restored by Design”.  Nkeke wrote that if appointed to the Assembly he “would like to highlight that empowerment through art and culture brings to a community social justice and cultural reclamation.”  An American Indian from the Narragansett Tribe Nkeke would like to implement “free cultural arts classes that will give youth access to the many vibrant cultures of Rhode Island while also providing exposure to the arts.”

Flora Ackley

Flora’s interest in joining the Assembly “…is in creating a physical space where teens that are interested in are, and may not get enough of it in school, can come together.” A sophomore at School One in Providence, her advisor remarks, “Flora Ackley [is] a very strong student in the arts, academics, and community engagement.”

Jayson Rodriguez

Jayson is a sophomore at Classical High School and a member of the Studio Team Advisory Board at New Urban Arts.  Jayson is from Providence. In addition to his affiliation with NUA he is also a youth organizer for the Providence Student Union and a photographer. Jayson hopes to bring the community aspect of NUA to the RISCA Teen Arts Assembly.  He is interested in planning a student art gallery space to spotlight young local talent and give them an opportunity to sell work and begin a career as a professional artist.

Public Art Information

The Rhode Island State Council On the Arts has created a Google folder that contains information on public art. If you’d like to learn more about the Allocation For Public Facilities Act, RISCA’s process of selection or to see some samples of public art proposals that were selected, click here: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1Jxb7jx2ASEfQmcXVH_c5QJCgzuRWev0l?usp=sharing

All of RISCA’s public art projects can be seen on the Public Art Archive website: https://www.publicartarchive.org/. Just type “Rhode Island State Council On the Arts” into the search bar.

All of RISCA’s Requests For Qualifications can be seen on the callforentry.org website:https://www.callforentry.org/. Just type “Rhode Island” into the search bar.

For further information, contact Elizabeth.Keithline@arts.ri.gov.

 

New Exhibition, Block Island Airport Gallery

Kate Wilson at Block IslandThe Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) is pleased to present works by artist Kate Wilson on exhibit through September 18, 2018 at the Block Island Airport Gallery. The Block Island Airport Gallery presents the work of contemporary Rhode Island artists in quarterly exhibitions.

Kate Wilson is a fine artist who blends photography and graphic design to transform reality by elevating ordinary objects into fine art on a grand scale. Each artwork has a love note or positive word, hidden within to ignite wonder & curiosity.

Graduating from Skidmore with a BS in Education & Liberal Studies, studio art concentration, Wilson has taught both elementary school and studio art. She furthered her studies in the RISD CE graphic design program, and taught herself the art and craft of photography.  She has run her own graphic design and photography business before devoting herself full-time to fine art. Exhibiting widely throughout the New England region, Kate is represented by Candita Clayton Gallery in Pawtucket and Atelier Newport.

Exhibitors for the Block Island Airport Gallery were selected by juror Lisa Robb, Block Island’s public schools arts educator.

The Block Island Airport Gallery, a partnership between the Rhode Island Council on the Arts and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, promotes outstanding work by artists living and working in Rhode Island.  The gallery will 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, the Block Island Airport and four other 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 ofpublic art commissions.

 

Block Island Airport Call for Artists

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Diana Sartor’s work in the Block Island Airport, summer 2018.

The gallery space at the Block Island Airport is accepting art submissions for their 2019 exhibitions.  The gallery program is a partnership between RISCA and the Rhode Island Airport Corporation, to promote outstanding work by artists living and working in Rhode Island.  The gallery at the Block Island Airport will present art to an ever-changing audience of local, national and international travelers.

Works in all media will be considered.  Note that the Block Island Airport Gallery is best suited to moderately-sized works.  The Block Island Airport presents four artists per year in solo exhibitions. Artists included in the 2019 exhibitions will receive a $100 stipend for participating in the program.

Eligibility:  All participating artists must be Rhode Island residents.  No students please. Resident Block Island artists are encouraged to apply.

Entry Deadline:  September 4, 2018

Selection: Finalists for the 2019 exhibitions schedule will be selected by the Block Island High School Visual Arts Program.

Apply: Please submit your application through Google Forms.

Artists are encouraged to apply to the gallery even if they have applied in previous years and not been selected. Artists who have exhibited previously are ineligible for new consideration for a period of two years.

If selected, artists agree to suitably frame, wire or otherwise prepare their artwork for display at their own expense. Works for Block Island must be 34” x 46” or smaller, and packaged by the artist for safe transport via ferry. Artwork is hung at gallery coordinator’s discretion, and gallery coordinator reserves the right of final selection of artwork and approval of installation. Artwork is not insured by the galleries during exhibition; artists are encouraged to carry their own insurance. Artwork may be listed for sale if desired, and any sales are direct without commission to the galleries.

Learn more about the airport galleries, and view past exhibitions.

Please address any questions regarding this call to Molly Dickinson, Coordinator, at AirportArtsRI@gmail.com or 401-845-0890.

New Art Exhibition up at T.F. Green Airport

At the GREEN SPACE Gallery, an exhibit entitled RHYTHMIC VISIONS featuring works by China Blue, Hayley Morris and Ben Wohlberg is on display from May 14 through September 4, 2018. The GREEN SPACE Gallery is 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.

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Migratory Torrent by China Blue

RHYTHMIC VISIONS explores various ways in which movement, music and rhythm can be expressed visually. These questions are explored in the work of three artists; Ben Wohlberg, whose large, gestural canvases experiment with organic forms and texture to capture a quality of space and time; China Blue, whose graphic works depict movement and migration; and Hayley Morris, whose animation conveys the exuberance of music as well as the shifting realities of dementia.

A RISCA Fellowship recipient, China Blue has also been honored as an Artist-in-Resident with the Norman Prince Neurosciences Institute at the Rhode Island Hospital, has received three NASA/RI Space Grants, and is an adviser to Rhode Island Congressman Langevin’s Committee for Art & Culture and the state’s Art and Health Committee. Driven by her interested in how our world is built from our sensations and perceptions, the body of work shown in this exhibition focuses on visualizing acoustic propagation of sound in space. A resident of Warwick, she additionally is the Founder and Executive Director of the non-profit organization The Engine Institute

Hayley Morris is an artist and animation director based in Providence, R.I. She runs the studio Shape & Shadow creating animated commercials, short films, music videos, projection art and social media content. Morris uses traditional stop-motion and mixed media techniques to tell stories that unfold through layered textures, handcrafted details and inventive storytelling.  Morris has directed commercials for Samsung, Hewlett Packard, Burt’s Bees, Kate Spade & The Detroit Zoo; commercials for Special K, McDonald’s, Toyota, The New York Times; and music videos for Iron and Wine, violinist Hilary Hahn, and pianist Hauschka. Her short film, Undone, won the Grand Jury Prize for Best Animated Short at Slamdance in 2009, and her sets, puppets and music videos were shown at La Gaité Lyrique’s Motion Factory Exhibition in Paris. Morris also teaches at the Rhode Island School of Design.

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Living Large 3 by Ben Wohlberg

Ben Wohlberg was born in 1927 on a farm in Montezuma, Kansas. His first “canvas” was the dirt, in which he began to draw at age 5. After serving in the Navy during World War II, he earned a B.F.A. in Illustration and Painting from Art Center School in Los Angeles, California. Moving to New York City in 1953, he supported himself and his family as an advertising illustrator first at Charles E. Cooper Studio, and later in his own commercial art studio.  He retired in 2005 to pursue abstract painting, dividing his time between Harbour Island in the Bahamas and Block Island. Inspired by nature, Wohlberg’s paintings have been shown in galleries in New York, Connecticut, and Rhode Island and can be found in corporate and private collections throughout Europe, the Bahamas, and the United States

Sherry Brown and Retirement…

sherrySherry Brown and Retirement are two words I never expected to put together in the same sentence. Sherry was here before I arrived twenty-three years ago, and I fully expected that she would be here long after I left.  She is, after all, made of hearty Norwegian stock, with a quick and facile mind that can grasp the intricacies of education policy better than most mortals.

But, for reasons best known to her and her benefits counselor, Sherry has decided to retire after thirty-plus years with the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts. We’re delighted to welcome Maggie Anderson as RISCA’s new Education Director starting Monday morning, January 22nd, but more on that later. Now is Sherry time.

I can’t begin to describe how empowering it is to work with a person like Sherry.  Arts administrators, by definition, believe they are the best and most creative problem solvers. And we are, for the most part. But if people like me pretend to think in three-dimensions, Sherry is always there to help you look into a fourth dimension, and sometimes a fifth. In her quiet and unassuming way, she will suggest another way to address an issue, phrase a response or diffuse a crisis. There are literally more times than I can count where Sherry Brown has gotten me (and, by extension, our agency) out of a jam.  If I have an important document to write, Sherry is the first person I ask to read through it. Thank G-d she was always there to do it.

2018-01-19 16_44_21-riaea _ 2017 RIAEA Award WinnersSherry Brown as been the Patron Saint of Arts Education in our state. The relationships Sherry has built over the years — with the State Department of Education, the major arts education associations, the Alliance for Arts Education, VSA arts of Rhode Island, all of our major and small to medium size arts organizations, the list goes on — has been the foundation of our work to ensure that “all kids have access to quality arts education” in the home, school and community. Sherry’s work has brought forth a number of important programs and organizations, such as the Arts Talk program for teacher professional development, the Rhode Island Teaching Artist Center, the Rhode Island Arts Learning Network, and now an extensive media education program called Give Me 5 in cooperation with our Rhode Island Film & Television Office.

Sherry’s latest effort is the one that – Thank The Stars! – will keep her collaborating with us. Sherry has helped to organize a major Arts and Healthcare initiative in cooperation with the Rhode Island Department of Health, the State’s Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and the Brown University School of Public Health, among others. Sherry will be a volunteer Co-Chair of this effort, which allows us to keep her RISCA email active and her seat warm.

But for now, it’s literally the end of an era. Thank you, Sherry Brown, for all you have done to elevate Arts Education (writ large) in Rhode Island, and we will do our best to continue this important work. “Fair winds and Following Seas.”

Randy Rosenbaum, Executive Director, Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

After You Hit Submit

Here’s what happens in that murky time after you hit the submit button on your RISCA grant application and before you get a letter in the mail with the results (and why it takes so long).

Each program’s process is a little different, so this is what happens in the Fellowship and Project Grants for Individuals programs.

Step One: Screening for Eligibility

Staff start by reading every single application- for the April 1st deadline, about 215 applications were submitted for the fellowship and PGI programs alone, this week I am working my way through 187. At this point, I just check that each application meets our eligibility requirements and is complete, and I take some notes about content, genres represented, and style for step two.

Step Two: Central Casting

For the April deadline, I gathered nine grant review panels with 31 total panelists from six states. We recruit panelists that are working in a wide variety of art forms and styles. Our panelists are artists, arts administrators, and people working in arts-adjacent fields or serving artists. With the exception of the Fellowship program, they are Rhode Islanders. This is similar to casting a play- we need specific skills, experience, and knowledge and each person fits together like a puzzle piece. We gather totally new panels for each deadline, you can only serve on a RISCA panel once every three years, so we are constantly updating spreadsheets and making notes about people we think would be great panelists.

Step Three: Panelists Evaluate Applications

Panelists for all of the grant programs, except a few of the fellowship categories, then review the applications at home, and give them a preliminary score. So, your applications and supporting materials are first viewed by panelists at home, on their personal computers. We estimate that panelists spend about 30 minutes reviewing each application, so, depending on the number of applications, this is a 12-18 hour time commitment before the in person panel review day. We try to give panelists at least a month to do this work. At this point, in addition to submitting a numerical score via our online grant system, they also take notes and make comments about each application in preparation for the panel review day.

Step Four: Panel Review Day

The panelists come to RISCA offices in Providence for an all day panel review meeting. This is the big day for your application. Facilitated by the program director, the panelists discuss each application in detail, returning to supporting materials, asking questions of each other, and looking at each project’s budget. Each panelists updates their score for each application, and once we have discussed each application, the program director ranks the applications by their total score. The panelists then make funding recommendations for each application, based on the total amount of money available to award.

Step Five: Distilling Feedback

During the review day, both the program directors and other staff take notes on the feedback from the panelists. Then, the program director distills this feedback into a concise paragraph for the applicant. Unfortunately, we are unable to provide feedback or critique in our fellowship programs, partly because of the number of applications.

Step Six: Council Approval

Our council, which is the governor appointed group that oversees RISCA’s activity, reviews the panel recommendations and comments, and then approves the grants. We do our best to give them at minimum a week, usually two, to review the comments before the council meeting.

Step Seven: Notification

Once the grants have been approved, we send out notifications via mail to each applicant. With the exception of the fellowships, each applicant receives feedback on their application regardless of whether they were funded. From submission to notification typically takes about 2 and a half to three months, and a lot of spreadsheets.