Mu­rals brighten out­look at RHD head­quar­ters

Pawtucket Times - - FRONT PAGE - By JONATHAN BIS­SON­NETTE jbis­son­nette@paw­tuck­et­

PAW­TUCKET – The Resources for Hu­man De­vel­op­ment-Rhode Is­land head­quar­ters on Com­merce Street was awash in col­ors this past week as clients from RHD teamed with in­com­ing fresh­men at the Rhode Is­land School of De­sign to cre­ate vivid mu­rals that will be on dis­play dur­ing an art fair later this month.

A group of RISD stu­dents as part of the col­lege’s Pre-Ori­en­ta­tion Ser­vice Ex­pe­ri­ence, or POSE, com­mu­nity out­reach pro­gram joined with RHD to paint the mu­rals and bring a splash of color to RHD’s oth­er­wise dull brick fa­cade.

Since 2004, RHD-RI has helped adults with de­vel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties reach their goals, with a strong fo­cus on the arts, ac­cord­ing to the RHD web­site.

This is the sec­ond year in which RHD-RI and RISD have joined to­gether to cre­ate the mu­rals. Last sum­mer, in an­tic­i­pa­tion of the Rhode Is­land Out­sider Art Fair – part of the an­nual Paw­tucket Arts

Fes­ti­val – the in­com­ing fresh­men united with clients from RHD-RI to paint the mu­rals and mount them to the front of the build­ing on Com­merce Street.

So­phie Chien, a RISD sopho­more and project co­or­di­na­tor with POSE, said that she was an in­com­ing fresh­man last sum­mer and par­tic­i­pated in the mu­ral col­lab­o­ra­tion, say­ing that it was “re­ally cool, it was a re­ally great ex­pe­ri­ence to learn about the com­mu­nity around you.”

“The goal is for the fresh­men to fall in love here and main­tain re­la­tion­ships with the com­mu­nity,” Chien said.

Even more mu­rals were painted on Wed­nes­day and Thurs­day, which will be in­stalled in ad­vance of the sec­ond-an­nual Out­sider Art Fair, known as “The Out There Art Fair,” from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Satur­day, Sept. 24. The fair will in­cor­po­rate work from a di­verse and largely self-taught group of na­tion­ally and in­ter­na­tion­ally rec­og­nized artists.

Lucy Stevens, art teacher with RHD, said that it was “so great” to have 30 RISD stu­dents work to­gether with 30 of RHD’s clients and artists. “We’re so happy and lucky to be part of this.”

“There’s some­thing re­ally cool go­ing on in this build­ing,” Stevens added.

While the team of artists were able to col­lab­o­rate out­doors on Wed­nes­day, the steady soak­ing rain that came through Paw­tucket on Thurs­day morn­ing forced them in­doors in­side the sec­ond-floor art stu­dio. RHD-RI Art Di­rec­tor Nate Car­roll agreed that they made the best of a bad sit­u­a­tion with Thurs­day’s in­clement weather, while some of the RISD stu­dents said it gave them in­spi­ra­tion to be in­doors and see the clients’ work on dis­play, and to use that mo­ti­va­tion on the mu­rals.

Chien said that the bright and col­or­ful mu­rals will add a touch of color to the front of the RHD-RI build­ing, say­ing that the mu­rals show­cased a theme of col­lab­o­ra­tion. These mixed ideas, she ex­plained, man­i­fested them­selves on the can­vases in­side the stu­dio.

Car­roll said the mu­rals are “beau­ti­fy­ing the build­ing,” and said that Paw­tucket’s thriv­ing arts com­mu­nity is al­ways on the move, for­ever evolv­ing and con­tin­u­ing to spread art across the city and re­gion.

“We’re happy to be a part of the Paw­tucket Arts Fes­ti­val,” Car­roll said. “It’s a spirit of col­lab­o­ra­tion. We’re happy to be in such a rich at­mos­phere.”

“This is the big event be­fore the big event,” he added, ref­er­enc­ing the Sept. 24 Out­sider Art Fair, which will be held at RHD-RI’s head­quar­ters at 24 Com­merce St. and is free and open to the pub­lic. The fes­ti­val will also fea­ture art from lo­cal stu­dios in­clud­ing Fly­ing Shut­tles of Paw­tucket, Out­side the Box Stu­dios in Jamestown, and Top Drawer based out of Warren.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Fin­ished mu­rals dry and await hang­ing on the sec­ond floor at 24 Com­merce Way in Paw­tucket Thurs­day. The mu­rals will be hung on the ex­te­rior of the build­ing later this month, all part of the on­go­ing Paw­tucket Arts Fes­ti­val.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Artist Ian Sil­via, left, and Ed­die Bur­gos, lift one of the mu­rals the two helped to paint along with in­com­ing R.I.S.D. fresh­man for in­stal­la­tion on the out­side of 24 Com­merce Way in Paw­tucket.

Photo by Ernest A. Brown

Artist Ian Sil­via, left, and Ed­die Bur­gos, lift one of the mu­rals the two helped to paint along with in­com­ing R.I.S.D. fresh­man for in­stal­la­tion on the out­side of 24 Com­merce Way.

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