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This event is part of a series – see below for details.

Tender Cargo, an exhibition by Taleen Batalian

13oct10:00 a.m.9:00 p.m.Tender Cargo, an exhibition by Taleen Batalianin the gallery, Oct 13 - Nov 20WaterFire Arts Center, 475 Valley Street

Event Details

Tender Cargo, is a month-long exhibition by Taleen Batalian. The exhibition explores how bodies hold and carry trauma across time and geography, drawing on artist Taleen Batalian’s legacy as the granddaughter of four grandparents from Western Armenia. Batalian grew up surrounded by references to the Genocide her family endured, but it was never discussed openly. After the death of her mother in 2012, Batalian began using textiles and sculpture to unpack this murky silence and interpret her cultural history to understand the legacy of trauma passed down from her grandparents to her parents and ultimately to her. Tender Cargo investigates what it means to wear and carry our trauma and asks us to consider how the body traverses under the weight of these heavy loads.

Tender Cargo comprises sculptural garments, other 2D and 3D artworks, and an original soundscape. The exhibition will culminate in a live performance with dance, original sound score, and scenic design.

The exhibition is on view in the WaterFire Arts Center gallery from Thursday, October 13 through Sunday, November 20, 2022 with an Opening Reception on Thursday, October 13 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.

In addition to the opening event, visitors are invited to additional exhibition programming: a Film Screening + Discussion on Thursday, November 10 starting at 6:00 p.m. and a Live Performance will take place on Thursday, November 17, the live performance will start at 7:00 p.m.

Gallery Night Providence trolley tours will also take place, on both Thursday, October 20 and Thursday, November 17, leaving the WFAC at 6:30 p.m. Visit for details and times on trolley tours on third Thursdays of each month.

The WaterFire Arts Center store + gallery hours are Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 9:00 p.m.*

Collaborators: Antonio Forte, sound design | Heidi Henderson, choreography/dance | Keri King, scenic design/project consultation | Michele L’Heureux, curation

Tender Cargo is supported by: RI State Council on the Arts | The City of Providence Department of Art, Culture + Tourism | Real Dream Design | The Wilbury Theatre Group

*Visit the for event listings at the venue as the store + gallery hours may vary on certain days.

Taleen Batalian, Tender Cargo, 2022, cotton, wool, ink, felt, payettes, batting, 72” x 48” x 36”


Taleen Batalian, Visual Artist, Project Creator, is an artist and educator. Her work explores emotional landscapes and ways in which the body can serve as a vehicle for carrying experiences and memories through complex terrain. Among her recent projects: ‘Waves and Shadows’, a collaborative film; ‘Disassemble’, a performance installation at RISD Museum; and ‘Graft’, a solo exhibition and site-specific installation of sculptural garments, paintings and video. Taleen has been awarded grants from Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA), Providence Art, Culture + Tourism (ACT) and The Arts and Cultural Alliance of Newport County.

Antonio Forte, Sound Designer, is a composer, sound artist, and educator who creates process-driven electroacoustic music to help tell stories, build sonic worlds, and explore ephemera.

Heidi Henderson, Choreographer and Dancer, lives and makes work in Rhode Island, after dancing in NYC for some years (with the companies of Bebe Miller, Nina Wiener, Peter Schmitz, Sondra Loring, Colleen Thomas, etc.) Her pick up company, elephant JANE dance, performs mostly in New England but would like to get out more. Her dances are delicate, reductive, simple and human.

Keri King, Scenic Designer/Project Consultant, is a cross-disciplinary artist, whose practice spans the worlds of public art, illustration, and theater. Based in Providence, RI, King has worked with organizations including the Steel Yard, RISCA, Providence Art, Culture & Tourism, Dirt Palace, and Wilbury Theatre Group, to produce immersive, storytelling murals and installations.

Michele L’Heureux, Curator, is a visual artist, digital designer, and independent curator who designs and curates exhibitions of contemporary art with a focus on interdisciplinary content and programming.

Event Times

(Thursday) 10:00 a.m. - 9:00 p.m.