Governor Gina M. Raimondo today announced an initiative for Rhode Islanders to connect through art during this time of social distancing and staying home.

The Governor is encouraging Rhode Islanders to create and share family-friendly art – drawings, poetry, songs, essays, photographs, videos, or any preferred medium – inspired by this unique and challenging period. Rhode Islanders can share their artwork by posting it on social media with the tag #RIArts. Creations can also be submitted via email or mail to the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

“During this difficult time, many of us are turning to creative outlets as a source of strength and as a way to take a break from the challenges we face,” Raimondo said. “We hope #RIArts becomes a way for us to connect with our fellow Rhode Islanders and share inspiration as we work together to get through this time.”

In the spirit of sharing, Raimondo also thanked Shepard Fairey, renowned artist and founder of Obey, for creating “R.I. Angel of Hope and Strength.”

Shepard created this image for Rhode Island in late March. He has since created a second version, for people across the country and the world to find hope, as we navigate this challenging time.

Fairey is a 1992 graduate of Rhode Island School of Design and is perhaps best known for his iconic image of President Barack Obama with the word “Hope.” His latest creation, inspired by his time spent in Providence and reflective of his gratitude for health care and frontline workers across the country, is available for free download at

“We are grateful to Shepard for keeping Rhode Island in mind as we fight this pandemic,” Raimondo continued. “This inspiring image of leadership exemplifies our ‘can do, roll up our sleeves’ spirit.”

The Rhode Island School of Design will project this image at 7:30 p.m. beginning Saturday April 25 through Saturday, May 2

The first RISD projection site is on the Market Square side of the RISD Auditorium (17 Canal Walk). This location is visible from North Main Street. The second location is the rear of 20 Washington Place. This projection is visible along Steeple Street. RISD will run the projection Saturday, April 25 – Saturday, May 2, 7:30 p.m. – 10 p.m

“I spent a significant eight years of my life living in Providence, Rhode Island, attending the Rhode Island School of Design, and (semi)establishing my first print studio, so it was an honor when R.I. Governor Gina Raimondo reached out to me to create an image to lift the spirits of Rhode Islanders whose lives have been disrupted by the Coronavirus crisis. Governor Raimondo and I discussed the industrial history and working class roots blue-collar fabric of Rhode Island, the iconic ‘Rosie the Riveter’ factory worker image, the stresses this virus has added to the lives of every Rhode Islander and the strength and bravery displayed by healthcare and public safety workers. Governor Raimondo also reminded me that the R.I. state motto is ‘Hope’ something we all need at this time. With all of those things in mind I created this art piece, “R.I. Angel of Hope and Strength” that is meant to both celebrate the courage of healthcare workers specifically, and generally symbolize the spirit of hope, strength, compassion, and resilience that we can all summon in ourselves and share collectively. It’s a tough time even for tough people, but we will all fare better if we summon the better angels of our nature.”
-Shepard Fairey