Rhode Island Cultural Anchor: Meredith Stern

mush6 - Meredith SternMeredith Stern is a ceramicist and printmaker living in Providence. She is a member of the international group The Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative. She is RISCA’s 2019 drawing & printmaking fellow.

We asked her a few questions about her life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: Give us a brief overview of your day yesterday- what did you do in both your personal and professional life.

MS: My typical work day in the winter begins by bringing wood inside for our woodstove and drinking coffee. I usually spend some time answering emails and managing other administrative issues. I’ll cook a lunch at home and then work on creating new work. Sometimes this means cutting up old prints and creating collages from them, other times it means drawing a new print onto a slab of linoleum or printing an image onto paper. I pick up our child from daycare in the afternoon and I often invite one of his friends over. Once my husband finishes work at 6, we have dinner as a family – usually cooking at home- and sometimes go on an adventure together. A walk outside, going to the playground, or when the weather is lovely, working in our backyard garden.

RISCA: How did you end up in Rhode Island?

MS: I visited Rhode Island in August of 2005 to visit some friends and we drove to the Fannie Simonowsky - Meredith Sternbeach and I fell in love with the salty air and the feel of the sand between my toes. I had been living in New Orleans for 7 years and there were no nearby places to swim in clean water. I was enthralled with the fact that we could get to the ocean in Rhode Island in less than one hour, so I decided to move in with my friends for a couple months. That visit turned into me now living her for 14 years.

RISCA: Why do you do what you do? What inspires you, drives you, to create or enable the creation of art?

MS: I am inspired by people and our need to communicate and to connect with each other. Artistic expression can allow people to connect through non-word based language which allows for subtlety, for emotions, for dreams to be shared through sound, texture, color, or touch. I think art can be many things to many people – it can communicate what is present but also who and what we can be. Art can allow us to think differently, to explore different possibilities, and to explore how our society can change and how we can be better. Much of my art explores history, social movements, family connections, and mutual aid and cooperation.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?

MS: I think our society as a whole needs to work to undo institutional inequality, specifically racism, sexism, transphobia; which means so does the arts communities. Nationally, white men have been over represented, celebrated, and rewarded in museums, galleries, etc. It’s essential that we acknowledge our historic biases, and work to correct it. This can include many efforts, including retelling art history from the perspective of those who have historically been marginalized or ignored. We can Justseeds InstallationPIttsburghBiennial2 - Meredith Sternhighlight artists and hire administrators in our museums, galleries, and other cultural centers who reflects the diversity of perspectives of people living in our city of various ethnicities and genders.  Another example is a custom that has been being adopted by cultural and educational institutions of land acknowledgements of the indigenous inhabitants of the land. I’ve seen this done in the University of Connecticut, and I’d like to see institutions in Rhode Island adopting this practice as well. There’s a lot of work to do to address systemic inequality, these are just a couple examples.

RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?

MF: Time. I used to spend 10 – 12 hours locked in my studio 5-6 days a week. Now we have a three-year-old and I have less time and need to budget my time better. I have less time to wander through the stacks at the library or get lost in the woods by myself. I think I am more efficient with my time, but sometimes miss the ability to lose myself in a book or random adventure for a day or two.

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Providence Art Club seeks Part Time Gallery Assistant

Founded in 1880 to stimulate the appreciation of art in the community, the Providence Art Club has long been a place for artists and art patrons to congregate, create, display and circulate works of art. Through its public programs, its art instruction classes for members and its active exhibition schedule, the Providence Art Club continues a tradition of sponsoring and supporting the visual arts in Rhode Island.

The Gallery Assistant will assist the Gallery Manager with all aspects of gallery administration, aid in the installation of art exhibitions, greet gallery guests, and complete general office tasks. Must be friendly, outgoing, detail oriented, and be able to work productively as a member of a tight-knit gallery team. A strong interest and/or background in fine art is preferred.

Photography experience, as well as basic knowledge of Photoshop and InDesign are preferred but not required. A Bachelor’s Degree in studio art, art history, or related disciplines is highly preferred but not required.

This position is a unique opportunity for the right individual to gain experience in a gallery setting.

Required Hours:

Tuesdays and Thursdays: 12-4 pm; Saturday & Sunday: 2-4 pm

For more information and to apply, click here.

Rhode Island Cultural Anchor: Libby Slader

Libby-Slader-Photo-Mrs.-Duchovny.jpegLibby Slader is the founder of Libby Slader Interior Design, Inc., an award winning design firm that specializes in hospitality and corporate office environments. She is also a Co-Founder of DESIGNxRI, a non-profit organization that promotes and galvanizes the design community in Rhode Island. Currently, she serves as the Chairman of the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, a position she has held for 3 years.

We asked her a few questions about her life and art-making in Rhode Island for our series, Rhode Island Cultural Anchors.

RISCA: What do you love about the art community/scene in Rhode Island?

LS: The creative scene in Rhode Island, both within the arts and design communities, are so connected. There are opportunities to connect, collaborate and inspire each other. Whether that’s with individuals, organizations or institutions, the energy around those sectors keeps evolving and growing.

RISCA: Why do you make Rhode Island your home, and how did you end up here?

LS: I’m a native Rhode Islander. I left the state for a long time, after high school, but because of my family, I decided that “home” was the best place for me.

RISCA: What is one thing, personal or professional, that you or your organization want to accomplish in the next year?

LS: I feel that the arts, culture and design sectors have been working towards recognition as a formidable, important and relevant force in the economy of Rhode Island. I would love to see more resources and opportunities to grow these sectors from the state level. Increased funding from the legislature for grants to these organizations would be key to keeping this momentum moving forward.

RISCA: What are you the most excited about right now in your art practice/work as an arts and culture administrator?

LS: This fall, RISCA will be hosting the “Leadership Institute” for the National Assembly of State Arts Agencies (NASAA) in Providence. This conference brings the executive directors, chairs, and council members of state and US territory arts agencies together and we will get to highlight all the amazing work that RISCA and the state have been doing. We’ll also be able to show off our fantastic state and arts ecosystem to the senior staff at the National Endowment for the Arts, including the chairman.

RISCA: What is one thing you think the art community in Rhode Island needs?

LS: As a small business owner and a creative person, I understand that the “business” part is not always taught in art and design schools. Having resources available to develop skills for artists and designers around business development, marketing and finances, etc. would be invaluable. It’s not sexy, but it’s necessary.

RISCA: What is the biggest challenge for you in your art life?

LS: Educating people on the value of art, design and culture in their everyday lives.

You can follow her design work on Instagram and Facebook.

Warwick Center for the Arts Announces 2019 School Vacation Art Camps

Warwick Center for the Arts is excited to announce its 2019 School Vacation Art Camps in February and April. Choose from 2 arts camps: ages 6-11 with offerings such as Art of Yoga and Cartooning, and our teen art camp, ages 12-17, with classes such as Comic Books, Manga Drawing, and Mixed Media. Your child or teen can stretch his or her imagination and artistic skills with sessions in various popular mediums such as painting and sculpture. Led by experienced instructors with backgrounds checked, children will explore their creativity in a safe and encouraging environment.

For more information, click here.

RISCA Seeks Grants Administration Intern

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts seeks an intern with an interest arts administration, who wants to learn about the grant and fellowship process. The intern will be working with Individual Artists Program Director Mollie Flanagan to manage the spring grant cycle for individual artist grants, including fellowships and project grants for individuals. This includes reviewing grant applications for completeness and eligibility; tracking grant applications by category; preparing fellowship applications for panel review; and attending panel review meetings and taking notes. Based on the intern’s interests and skills, additional projects may include: work on the professional development workshop series; online marketing and content creation; assistance with RISCA’s strategic planning process; or program development. Internship includes mentorship from staff members, intern instigated projects, professional development, and a close up view of the day to day operations of a state arts agency.

RISCA is currently seeking an intern for April and May 2019. The intern is expected to work approximately 10-12 hours a week, exact hours are flexible and some work may be done from home. Some hours will be at RISCA offices, open Monday-Friday 8:30am-4:30pm, located at 1 Capitol Hill, Providence, RI. This program may be used by undergraduate and graduate students to obtain academic credit from their institution, but is also open to applicants not currently enrolled in an academic institution. Unfortunately, this internship is unpaid, but we will do our best to ensure a positive learning experience focused on what you want to explore.

For more information, and to apply, click here.

Wickford Art Association Call for Art

The “Journeys Onward” Call for Art is open to current or past members of the U.S. Armed Forces (i.e. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard), the Reserve Corps of the U.S. Armed Forces, or the National Guard; or a member of the immediate family (i.e. a parent, sibling, child (by blood, adoption, or marriage), spouse, grandparent, or grandchild) of a current or past member of the U.S. Armed Forces (i.e. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard), the Reserve Corps of the U.S. Armed Forces, or the National Guard. All 2D and 3D media are accepted and the exhibit is juried. Artists should reflect in their respective medium some aspect of the veteran experience. Please visit www.wickfordart.org to read the “Journeys Onward” prospectus then apply online. The deadline to apply is Friday, March 15, 2019 at 11:59 PM MST.