Art is central to the human experience. It can be a calming presence or a powerful tool for social change. It connects us and challenges us. Now, ART inc. pulls back the curtain on the people and the process.

A Rhode Island PBS Original, ART inc. is a digital-first series exploring the art around us, from its traditional and iconic forms – music, performance, visual arts – to unexpected discoveries: the art of crafting reef to table sea salt, of the Chinese tea ceremony, of creating a prosthetic eye.

“This is a new venture for us,” said Rhode Island PBS President David W. Piccerelli. “We are proud to launch this digital-first series. Short-form videos create the fresh content our viewers are requesting, and presents it in a way they say they want to watch it. We are excited about the opportunities.” 

Through dynamic footage and narrative storytelling, ART inc. explores the full possibility of the arts: the diversity of who creates it and why, where art can take us, and why it takes us there.

“We want to create a different experience for the viewer each week,” said Tracy MacDonald, award-winning producer of the new series. “The tone of a particular story can be playful or serious, but it will always be visually exquisite. After all a show about the arts should, in itself, be art,” MacDonald said.

The first episode features the charming art of David M. Bird, toy maker, photographer, and creator of Becorns. What are Becorns? Woodland creatures crafted by Bird from acorns, pine cones, sticks, and other natural materials, then photographed in nature with birds, squirrels, chipmunks, and other wildlife.

“The photography process usually involves a study of animal behavior, birdseed, and a lot of patience,” Bird says. “My work evolved from my years as a designer for Lego, where I learned to build characters and tell stories with bricks. Now I do the same, but with sticks.”

Viewers will find video previews of this and future episodes on the station’s social media accounts on InstagramFacebook, and YouTube. As a digital-first series, full stories of ART inc. will premiere online on ripbs.org/artinc every Wednesday for 13 weeks. In early 2023, three or four of these short videos will be combined each month into one longer program, to be broadcast on Rhode Island PBS.

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