WaterFire Arts Center | Exhibitions

Past Exhibitions

August 1, 2019 – January 31, 2020

Landscapes in Relief: Recent Work by Julia Samuels

“My most recent work has been depicting neighborhoods around Providence. I love how the maze of transmission lines acts as both a conduit for current activities and shows the legacy of growing through different types of technology. I want the viewer to feel a sense of interconnectedness- with the neighborhood, the city, and when we expand our view, an interconnectedness with all of America and the world. I want the viewer to consider our collective responsibility and personal implications as we think about the ever-looming threat of global warming.”


As part of the exhibition the WaterFire Arts Center also presented the first artist talk in our pass the torch series Julia Samuels + Andrew Raftery – Pass the Torch Artist Talk.

Rhode Island artists, Julia Samuels and Andrew Raftery, came together to explore printmaking via a discussion and exhibition featuring Julia’s relief prints and Andrew’s NetWorks Rhode Island video by Richard Goulis. Moderator Tripp Evans led a short discussion.


July 9-28, 2019

To the Moon and Beyond: Celebrating the 50th-Anniversary of the Apollo 11 Moon Landing with Art, Science, and Exploration

An Art Installation by English artist Luke Jerram

In July 2019 the Waterfire Arts Center hosted the “Museum of the Moon,” an enormous art installation by English artist Luke Jerram, which is a highly-detailed 23’ diameter moon, which allows for visitors to experience and examine the moon fully around and see it like never before. The Moon was also a tribute to the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing and was a part of a larger series of events and exhibitions including, “Milky Way” a mural by John Sabraw and the Aspect Collective, “The Overview Effect” paintings by local artist Jeremy Schilling, and LivableRI Posters Campaign by Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island.

The exhibition was presented by the NASA RI Space Consortium in association with WaterFire Providence. 

July 23-27, 2019


In July 2019 FRINGEPVD  was held for its fifth year, and was hosted by the WaterFire Arts Center for their thrid year. The festival featured more than 250 performing artists from across the country. Sharing work in theater, dance, visual arts and everything in between; making it easy for audience members to see more shows and visit multiple venues each night. FRINGEPVD was featured through out the Valley/Olneyville neighborhood area including The Wilbury Theatre Group, Riffraff Bookstore and Bar, Sprout CoWorking, WaterFire Arts Center, Donigian Park, and Nicholson File Studios.  

July 9-28, 2019

July Galleries

In July 2019, in addition to Luke Jerram’s “Museum of The Moon” exhibit, there were three displays including “Milky Way” a mural by John Sabraw and the Aspect Collective, “The Overview Effect” paintings by Rhode Island artist Jeremy Schilling, and LivableRI Posters Campaign by Civic Alliance for a Cooler Rhode Island. “Milky Way” which was on display in the main hall, is an interdisciplinary multimedia, interactive experience of art, science, and technology that explores and examines issues of scale-from molecular to the astronomical. “The Overview Effect” which was on display in the visitor center, focuses on astronauts, gravity and space. The LivableRI Posters Campaign which was on display on movable walls throughout the space; the posters focus on artwork that would convey the messages of urgency to combat the threat of global warming and climate change echoing the WW1 Food Administration posters. These displays were apart of a larger series of events and exhibitions throughout Rhode Island in July 2019, as part of WaterFire’s Summer of Science #Art4Impact Event Series. The July 20th WaterFire event was marked the 50th anniversary of man’s first landing on the Moon with the Apollo 11 mission on July 20th, 1969 and celebrate RI’s involvement in space exploration.

July 30 – August 4, 2018


Founded in 2014 by The Wilbury Theatre Group, The Providence Fringe Festival®, a.k.a FRINGEPVD, is produced to nurture emerging and established performing artists by presenting fun, fearless and affordable theater to the community. FRINGEPVD creates ties between artists, audiences, businesses and local organizations, amplifying the vibrancy of Providence as a renowned cultural destination and an unparalleled place to live, work, and visit.

2018 was the second year of FRINGEPVD at the WaterFire Arts Center and include 51 performances over 5 nights. In addition to the five performances spaces at the WaterFire Arts Center FRINGEPVD shows were held at several nearby Olneyville locations including the Courtyard at The Plant, The Steel Yard, Riffraff, Yellow Peril Gallery, and The Wilbury Theatre Group’s own performance space.

March 31 – June 3, 2018

Rosa Parks House Project

An art installation by Ryan Mendoza

Ryan Mendoza’s “The Rosa Parks House Project” is an art installation that honors Rosa Parks and the struggles she faced due to her courageous leadership in the civil rights movement. The artwork was created with the support of the nieces and nephews of Rosa Parks and includes recreations of remembered details of her stay with them in that house.

To celebrate the last weekend of Ryan Mendoza’s The Rosa Parks House Project exhibition, the WaterFire Art Center hosted a Community Picnic Party and Concert on June 2nd, 2018, with food provided by Amos House and special performances by Rose Weaver, Len Cabral and Valerie Tutson of the Rhode Island Black Storytellers, Grupo Ondas Capoeira, Kim Trusty, Braxton Mason, the Manton Avenue Project, Phoenyx Williams, and more.

The Rosa Parks House Project was sponsored by VisitRhodeIsland.com and the Rhode Island Commerce Corporation. Funding is provided by the Nash Family Foundation. Additional support is provided by Amica Insurance honoring Cheryl Watkins Snead’s leadership in the Rhode Island community.  Other partners and contributors include the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts, the Rhode Island Council for the Humanities, YouthBuild Providence, ACLU, NAACP, the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Art and Art History, Robert Dilworth and Jeanne Theoharis.

July 25-29, 2017


The 2017 Providence Fringe Festival, FRINGEPVD was the first large-scale exhibition held in the new WaterFire Arts Center. Modeled after the original Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and in the tradition of Fringe Festivals around the world, FringePVD brings over 300 independent performing artists from around the country to Providence to share original work from the “fringe”.

“Since 2014 FringePVD has been bringing arts organizations throughout the city together to provide artists the opportunity to present their work in a way that supports each of them, where the artist receives 100% of all ticket sales for their performances,” – Providence Fringe Festival Founder and Wilbury Theatre Group Artistic Director Josh Short. “In addition to continuing to foster an environment of support for artists, our goal this year through our partnership with Waterfire and their beautiful new arts center is to centralize the festival’s footprint to encourage our visiting artists and audiences to see more shows and engage with each other on a deeper and more meaningful way.”