Two years in the making, the Outdoor Arts Experience will be officially ready to receive visitors on June 27, 2020.
“By Saturday, June 27th, all artworks will be fully installed and labeled,” reports Molly Dickinson, Project Manager. “While you may have seen us out and about town working on the installations all week, by Saturday we plan to have all artworks finished for the public to begin exploring.”
The exhibition features 10 artworks installed in various outdoor locations around Jamestown, including the Police Department lawn, Shoreby Hill, East Ferry gardens, BankNewport, Town Hall, Jamestown Museum, the Jamestown Philomenian Library, Fort Wetherill Marine Fisheries, and Godena Farm. Locations were chosen not only for their suitability to display artwork, but also for accessibility to visitors and the ability to highlight other organizations or locations of interest around town.
Exhibition maps are available in printed format, and will be included in the June 25th edition of the Jamestown Press. Copies can also be picked up at the JAC from a weather-proof box at the front door, as well as various business partners around town. A full list of brochure distribution points is available at the exhibition website, www.OutdoorArtsExperience.org. The exhibition website also features an interactive map with a wealth of information on the locations, artists, exhibition sponsors, parking, and other points of interest around town.
Exhibiting artists are: Nicholas Benson, Cynthia Farnell, Ana Flores, Needles Galore, Madeleine Lord, Martin Keen, Drew Klotz, James Payne, Jeff Soderbergh, and Sandy Sorlien.
The exhibition garnered 109 applications from a national Call for Proposals. Following public art best practices, artworks were chosen by a selection committee of 9 individuals including community members, a JAC staff and board member, and Anne Strauss, an outside curator of note in the field of public art.
Proposals were evaluated with the artists’ identifying information removed, allowing the works to be judged on the merits of the artwork alone. One installation was reserved for selection by the JAC staff and was awarded to Nicholas Benson. Of the finalists selected, two artworks, including an artist-in-residence program planned for the Melrose School, have been postponed due to logistical challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Public art brings the unexpected to familiar public spaces,” said Jamestown Art Center’s Executive Director, Maureen Coleman. “It’s exciting that we don’t need to travel to a major city to have access to this level of skill and perspective. And these artworks are specifically inspired by our community. Especially this year, we’re thrilled to be able to share such extraordinary art, in an outdoor setting.”
“The JAC is so grateful to the co-chairs of the Outdoor Arts Experience, Mary Keen and Tom Farrell,” said Coleman. “Their years of planning have resulted in ten truly extraordinary art installations for our community to enjoy.”
The JAC’s exhibition-related events and educational programs will accommodate social distancing. “We’ve been working hard to reformat a number of our plans into collaborative projects and pop-up artworks that can still happen outdoors while observing distancing rules,” said Seamus Hames, JAC’s education director. “We’re rolling a number of these ideas into an exciting summer arts programming series, Free Range Summer.”
Public art is all about the public, so the JAC is including a People’s Choice ballot, so viewers can vote for their favorite artworks. The ballot is available online, or printed ballots can be picked up from a rack outside the JAC. The JAC also invites participation in a contest to guess how many marbles artist Sandy Sorlien used in creating her work, MARBELLE. Prizes for both will be awarded at the end of the exhibition.
The Outdoor Arts Experience– At A Glance
WHAT: Island-wide exhibition of 10 temporary artworks
WHERE: Ten locations in Jamestown; map at www.OutdoorArtsExperience.org
WHEN: June 27-October 31, 2020
FREE and open to the public at all locations
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 Short Film Festival, SENE Film Festival, Providence Art and Design Film Festival, Island Moving Company, The Jamestown Schools, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, The 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.
The mission of the Jamestown Arts Center is to engage, enrich and inspire our community through extraordinary arts and educational experiences.