By Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

An exhibition of artwork in the shape of a face mask is now on display at the Atrium Gallery on the main floor of the state’s Administration Building, One Capitol Hill, Providence. The Conceal/Reveal Mask Installation was created during the pandemic and presents a mix of handmade face masks by RI artists and members of the community, who answered an open call. The exhibit, which examines the intersection of the arts and healing, will be open weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., though June 25.

On viewing the installation at the state’s gallery, which is managed by the RI State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the state’s arts agency, said, “I am amazed and in awe of the quality of the pieces our community contributed to this timely show, which illustrates the healing power of the arts. Conceal/Reveal sends another important message, and that is to encourage community members to do their part and wear a mask to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

The face mask art exhibit was originated and displayed at the Providence Art Club’s Dodge House Gallery on Thomas Street. It included works by Rhode Islanders of all ages and members of the Art Club. In late fall, Rhode Island’s Art and Health Network expanded the show to include works by Department of Health staff, and faculty and students from The Pennfield School, Portsmouth. In addition, the 80 masks were exhibited at the Department of Health and RI State Archives on Broad Street in Providence.

“Creativity is available to each of us and we experience it in profound ways during times of crisis.  The COVID-19 pandemic has been no exception. It has fed the creativity of artists and individuals from across the globe,” said Steven Boudreau, co-chair, RI State Arts and Health Network. “This Conceal/Reveal exhibition has drawn upon the experience, grief, humor and resilience that many Rhode Islanders have endured since the beginning of 2020.” 

Exhibit details
What: Conceal/Reveal Mask Installation, an exhibit of artwork in the shape of a face mask.
When: Open to the public, weekdays, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through June 25.

Where: The Atrium Gallery, first floor of the state administration building, One Capitol Hill, Providence

About the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill

The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill was developed to exhibit the work of Rhode Island artists in the State Capitol Complex. It hosts exhibits on a rotating basis, in partnership with several state agencies & organizations. The art gallery enhances Capitol Hill as a destination point for visitors, as well as for the many people who visit Administration offices or attend conferences at One Capitol Hill. It also enriches the work environment for the hundreds of state workers who spend their workday in the building.

About the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders.

About the Rhode Island Art and Health Network

In 2016, RI Department of Health partnered with the RI State Council on the Arts to support development of a State Arts and Health Plan – a public health roadmap for advancing the integration of arts and health for the state. As part of this process an interdisciplinary team of arts and health practitioners, which includes researchers, artists, and clinicians formed the RI Arts and Health Advisory Group. The Advisory Group outlined a strategy for fully integrating arts and arts-based therapies into healthcare and community settings through innovative and sustainable policy, practice, and research recommendations.

About the Providence Art Club

Founded in 1880 to stimulate the appreciation of art in the community, the Club has long been a place for artists and art patrons to congregate, create, display and circulate works of art. Located along Thomas Street, in the shadow of the  First Baptist Church, the Providence Art Club is a picturesque procession of historic houses, home to studios, galleries and the clubhouse. Through its public programs, its art instruction classes for members and its active exhibition schedule, the Providence Art Club continues a tradition of sponsoring and supporting the visual arts in Providence and throughout Rhode Island. All exhibitions are free and open to the public.

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