A prototype for a new installation planned as part of the Outdoor Arts Experience starting late June 2020. Photo courtesy of the artist.

In a press release sent today, the Jamestown Arts Center (JAC) announced the artists selected to exhibit in its upcoming Outdoor Arts Experience (OAE) exhibition, opening late June 2020.

In celebration of the JAC’s 10th Anniversary, the Outdoor Arts Experience will feature a temporary exhibit of ten artworks at locations throughout Conanicut Island, plus an artist-in-residency program at the Melrose School. Artworks will be on exhibition June 27-October 31, 2020, and will be complemented by a full season’s worth of related programming, education and free events for the community.

The exhibition’s nationwide Request for Proposals generated 109 applications. Artwork proposals were juried by a selection committee comprised of six Jamestown community members, the JAC’s exhibition director, a JAC board member, and Anne Strauss, a NYC-based curator of note in the field of public art.  

“We were thrilled with the scope and quality of the submissions received”, said Tom Farrell, exhibition co-chair. “We thank the selection committee for their work, our community partners and sponsors for their support, and look forward to sharing this exhibition with everyone”.

The artworks were judged on an anonymous basis, whereby all identifying information was removed from the applications prior to review. This ensured that jurors considered the merits of the artwork solely and that the identity of the artists was unknown during the process. This blind format was chosen due to the large number of entries received from local artists. The selection committee’s process was informed by the published theme of the exhibition, “Celebrate Community Through Art”. 

Jamestown Arts Center announced the following selected artists:  Jennifer Clifford Danner (New York, NY), Cynthia Farnell (Decatur, GA), Ana Flores (Charlestown, RI), Martin Keen (Jamestown, RI), Drew Klotz (Weston, CT), Madeline Lord (Dudley, MA),  Needles Galore knitting collaborative (Jamestown, RI), James Payne (Reading, VT), and Sandy Sorlien (Jamestown, RI). Additionally, Daniel Shieh (New York, NY) was chosen as the Artist-In-Residence for the Melrose School. One installation was reserved for selection by the JAC staff and has been awarded to Nicholas Benson (Jamestown, RI). 

Artworks will be placed at a variety of locations throughout Conanicut Island, including BankNewport, the Melrose School, Jamestown Museum, Jamestown Philomenian Library, Fort Wetherill Marine Fisheries campus, and Godena Farm. Locations have been chosen to provide free and accessible access to all. 

Artworks will be installed by June 27th with an opening event planned for that day. The Outdoor Arts Experience is complemented by the JAC’s summer gallery exhibitions, Spacing Out: Expanding the Field of Vision curated by Karen Conway, and Head Space: Inner thoughts on 3D Creative Process curated by Molly Kugler Dickinson. Both open July 10th in conjunction with the JAC’s 10th Annual Summer Soirée. 

In celebration of the JAC’s 10th anniversary, the Outdoor Arts Experience will invite the community to numerous events throughout the summer, including films, artist talks, workshops, and education offerings. Details and schedules will be posted to www.jamestownartcenter.org and www.outdoorartsexperience.org.

Flagship sponsorship for the exhibition has been provided by BankNewport, the Rhode Island Foundation Community Grant program, the Bafflin Foundation, the Narragansett Bay Group at Morgan Stanley, as well as numerous individuals. Fundraising is ongoing; please contact Molly Dickinson, Development, molly@jamestownartcenter.org to support this initiative.

The Outdoor Arts Experience – At A Glance

WHAT:            Artists announced for the Outdoor Arts Experience exhibition: community-wide exhibition of 10 temporary artworks plus artist-in-residency program at Melrose School.

WHERE:      Various locations throughout Jamestown

WHEN:           On exhibit June 27- October 31, 2020

ADMISSION: Free and open to the public

The Jamestown Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that hosts art exhibits, theatre and dance performances, film screenings, JAC talks and concerts, and provides art and design educational programs for people of all ages. Housed in a former boat repair shop, the JAC was awarded Best Gallery in Newport County by the Best of Rhode Island 2017 & 2018 readers’ polls. Programming partners include: Heifetz International Music Institute, FirstWorks, RISCA, FabNewport, 10 Thousand Small Businesses, RISD, Manhattan Shorts Film Festival, SENE Film Festival, Providence Art and Design Film Festival, Island Moving Company, Jamestown Public Schools, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. in Acting & Directing Program, and many individual artists and local organizations. The Jamestown Arts Center has quickly become a leading arts and cultural hub, for Rhode Island and beyond, where creativity, ideas and innovation flourish.

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