Photo courtesy of Rich Hudson

The Newport Art Museum’s beloved art making event and fundraiser, Wet Paint, presented by Russell Morin Catering & Events and Newport Restaurant Group, wrapped up on Sunday, August 13 raising a grand total of $145,651 for the Museum’s exhibitions, outreach, education and historic preservation efforts and setting a new record for the event. On Saturday, 448 artists of all backgrounds, skill levels and ages made art and donated their work, much of it still wet, to the Museum. Over the weekend, 526 pieces went up for sale in silent and live auctions. Event co-chairs Rupert Nesbitt, Victoria Rios and Brooke Roberts led a committee of volunteers to produce the 24th annual event.

Bidding began with a silent auction during the Wet Paint Preview Party on Saturday night that continued into Sunday. The silent auction raised $55,401. Wet Paint culminated in its live auction Sunday afternoon, with auctioneer George McNeely, selling 28 pieces, which raised an additional $46,900. Combined, the silent and live auctions raised $102,301 for the Museum. Additional funds were raised from sponsorships, Preview Party admission, the cash bar, sales of snacks and other refreshments, and additional donations made over the weekend. Funds raised support Museum programming, events, acquisitions and collections care.

Wet Paint 2017 was presented by Russell Morin Catering & Events and Newport Restaurant Group with additional support generously provided by LaForge Casino Restaurant, Nick Liuzza and Linear Title, Marie and William Samuels, Victoria and Julio Rios, Welch & Forbes LLC, Denise L. Roberts and Morgan Stanley, John Grosvenor and Cheryl Hackett, Merrilyn Bardes and Piper Quinn, Michael Hayes, Midtown Oyster Bar, Rising Philanthropists Club, Sandra Craig, Webster Bank, Brooke Roberts, Christopher C. Bicho Landings Real Estate Group, Greenvale Vineyards, Jessica Hagen Fine Art + Design, Judy Clagett McLennan, Newport Physical Therapy, Newport Sunglass Shop, Patrick M. Sweeney and Morgan Stanley, Park Place Holding, Susan and George Petrovas, The Francis Malbone House, The Pennfield School, Vacation Newport, Discover Newport, John Eric Hovernale and Mary Clare O’Grady, Mary Kosowski, Newport Harbor Corporation and Newport Hardware. For more information, visit wetpaint or call 401-848-8200.

Ryan Belmore is the Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

Belmore visits Newport every couple of weeks to support the 12+ paid contributors What'sUpNewp has on the ground across Rhode Island, a place he called home for 39 years.

Belmore is a member of Local Independent Online News (LION) Publishers, Society of Professional Journalists, and the North American Snowsports Journalists Association.

In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
Belmore can be contacted at and 401-662-1653.