Newport String Project student musician's Tree Path Project, featuring violins and musical notes

(Photo: Newport String Project student musician’s Tree Path Project, featuring violins and musical notes)

The Tree Path Project, a collaborative art-making project between the Women’s Resource Center, Newport Health Equity Zone,Salve Regina University and the Newport Art Museum will be on display and celebrating ideas of hope and community through Thursday, June 21.

The Tree Path Project was developed and is facilitated by the Newport HEZ and the Newport Art Museum in reaction to desires expressed by North End residents to activate public spaces in their neighborhood. The Tree Path Project is a collaborative, outdoor, public, community art-making initiative in, by and for residents, community groups and neighborhood organizations in the North End of Newport.

Over the winter, the HEZ and Newport Art Museum hosted multiple community Maker Workshops at the Florence Gray Center, where residents were furnished with supplies and inspiration to envision and create decorated tree sleeves. Technical assistance was provided by Newport Art Museum instructor Meredith Fitzgerald and students of the Fine Arts Department at Salve Regina University.

The resulting 18 public art projects were created by individuals, students, and community groups of all ages from the North End. For many, this was a new creative adventure. The 7th grade students from Thompson Middle School made a tree inspired by the Dale Chihuly glass sculptures they had seen while on a guided tour of the Newport Art Museum. Latisha Michel’s tree wrap is covered with photos and mementos as a memorial to those neighbors and friends no longer with us. The Newport String Project’s wrap cleverly uses weatherproof fabrics to depict violins and musical notes, and the Newport County String Chorus’s wrap is a portrait of the many young faces in the chorus. Cynthia Moreino and Leann Karpovitz’s tree wraps explode with colorful flowers, and the Daffodil Days may be past, but the yellow blooms on their tree wrap still brighten the corner of Miantonomi Park. These are just some of the many thoughtful and celebratory projects created for the Tree Path Project.

Since they were unveiled during the Sidewalk Parade on April 21, these beautiful and unique sculptural works have brightened the neighborhood, while encouraging the use of both the new bike and walking paths and Miantonomi Park, the largest green space in the neighborhood. The Tree Path Project will end on June 21. Don’t miss this special exhibit, now in it’s final week.

A true community effort, the Tree Path Project participants include: 
The children at the Boys & Girls Club of Newport, under the direction of Katie Ryan
Newport Prevention Coalition
Bike Newport
Leann Karpovitz
The James L. Maher Center
The Newport Tree Society together with the students in the Newport Project at Roger’s High School under the direction of Tricia Bailey and Helen Papp
The Health Equity Zone and the Women’s Resource Center
The East Bay Met School students, and the Arts Advisory students from the East Bay Met School, under the direction of Met teacher Cara Willi
The Newport String Project student musicians, under the direction of co-directors EmmaLee Holmes-Hicks and Ealain McMullin
The Sankofa Community Connection, under the direction of founding executive director Niko Merritt
The 7th grade Art Department students from Thompson Middle School, under the direction of art teachers Nicolle Icart, John Harvey and Dianne Sheehan
The Newport County Youth Chorus singers under the direction of Artistic Director Elizabeth Woodhouse
The students in the After-School arts program at Pell Elementary School, under direction of Newport Art Museum outreach art instructor Meredith Fitzgerald
Latisha Michel
Cynthia Moreino
The Tree Path Project, by the HEZ and Newport Art Museum
Daffodil Days, under the direction of Executive Director John Hirschboeck

The Tree Path Project is made possible through a Community Grant from the RI Foundation.

Supporters of the Tree Path Project and Sidewalk Parade include the Miantonomi Park Commission, Newport Arboretum and Tree Society, Women’s Resource Center, Salve Regina University, Newport Daffodil Days Festival, Newport Tree and Open Space Commission, and the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County.

Ryan Belmore

Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp.  He 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.

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

In 2020, he was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.

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

Born and raised in Rhode Island, he spent 39 years living in Rhode Island before recently moving to Alexandria, Virginia, with his wife and two rescue dogs. He still considers Rhode Island home, and visits at least once a month.