Mary Beth Meehan
MARY BETH MEEHAN is an independent photographer, writer, and educator, who has spent more than twenty years embedding herself in communities across the United States. Beginning in her native New England, and continuing in the Midwest, the American South, and Silicon Valley, her work, which combines image, text, and large-scale public installation, stems from her belief in a collaborative process that should function in and for the communities it reflects. Co-opting the scale of celebrity and advertising, Meehan’s portrait banners activate public spaces and spark conversations among and about the people who inhabit them.
This show will comprise recent works from installations in Georgia, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.
More details coming soon.
January 23, 2021 – March 7, 2021
Private Visions, Public Ideals – The Legacy of Howard Ben Tré
WaterFire Providence is pleased to present an exhibition in honor of the life and legacy of Howard Ben Tré at the WaterFire Arts Center (WFAC). “Private Visions, Public Ideals – The Legacy of Howard Ben Tré” show will run from January 23, 2021 – March 7, 2021. In addition to the regular WFAC hours, the exhibition will include a series of receptions and talks.
“Ben Tré spoke of his interest in turning “experience into expression”. His ambition was to give the general public a chance to experience spaces which have been designed by the artist with attention to both functionality and aesthetic pleasure.” -Ronald J. Onorato, an excerpt from his essay “A Constant Discussion: The Public Work of Howard Ben Tre”
Howard Ben Tré is internationally recognized for his unique sculptures and large-scale works of art for public and private spaces. Ben Tré was a pioneer in the use of cast glass as a sculptural medium and his work is included in more than 101 museum and public collections worldwide. His breakthrough technical innovations extended his mastery of cast glass and allowed him to create monumental sculptures that can survive the rigors of outdoor installation. Ben Tré received an M.F.A from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1980 and was a three-time recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship and a three-time recipient of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts Fellowship.
December 9, 2020 – January 15, 2021
Presented by THE VANTA GUILD
THE LET-OUT is an exhibit focusing on the joy, anger, and uncertainty of Black American experiences in Rhode Island as people grappled with the realities of pandemic-induced lockdowns, socio-political uprisings, and the struggle to maintain a sense of beauty, joy, and balance in the century’s most turbulent year.
Founded in the spring of 2020 by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley and Dee Speaks, The Vanta Guild is a Rhode Island-based photography collective that seeks to create community by cultivating and celebrating the work of Black photographers who unapologetically depict the experiences and imagination of those of the African diaspora.
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
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.”