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News & Events

Rhode Island Artists Get Their Work Displayed on Billboards

Providence Journal Image
Art by Wilson Aguilar gets roadside exposure at 800 Charles St., in Providence, one of three billboard displays in the city sponsored by the nonprofit Artboards RI and Lamar Advertising. (Photo Credit: Bob Breidenbach, The Providence Journal)

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — How about a little art with your commute?
Thanks to a new program that seeks to put work by local artists on unused billboards, Rhode Islanders can now soak up some culture as they walk, drive or bus around the state’s capital city.
Beginning last week and continuing through next fall, a group calling itself Artboards RI is placing art on so-called “junior posters” — small-scale billboards that are often located on busy surface roads.
So far, the group has created three such billboards with the help of the local office of Lamar Advertising, a national outdoor advertising company. The billboards, all of which are located on the edges of downtown, feature the work of Ruth Dealy (a semi-abstract landscape at 384 Valley St.), Mark Freedman (a gritty streetscape at 221 Allens Ave.) and Wilson Aguilar (an urban scene at 800 Charles St.).
“Basically, it’s a way to bring art to people who might not otherwise experience it,” said program coordinator Linda Holmes. “We also liked the idea of working with artists who had personal or artistic ties to the places where their work would be shown.
“Ruth, for example, has a studio near where her billboard is located. And Mark and Wilson both use urban-style images that fit their locations.”
Holmes said that both the artworks and the locations would change every three months, with pieces by three new artists popping up in different parts of Providence, Pawtucket and Central Falls through next October. In addition to Dealy, Freedman and Aguilar, the program will also feature works by Bob Dilworth, Ida Schmulowitz, Angel Quinones, Bill Drew and Entang Wiharso.
Funding for Artboards RI comes from a variety of local arts and business groups, including Cornish Associates, the Providence Tourism Council and AS220. Art lovers can also follow the program on the Artboards RI Facebook page and on Twitter at #artboardsri.

The original article appeared on The Providence Journal »

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