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Private Visions, Public Ideals – The Legacy of Howard Ben Tré

Portrait of Howard Ben Tré by Lucas Foglia for the 2008 NetWorks Catalogue

Coming in January 2021 to the WaterFire Arts Center

Howard Ben Tré with some of the works in the The Lightness of Being series.

(1/17/21: Update on show run dates.) 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 27, 2021 – March 7, 2021. 

“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.

In Howard Ben Tré’s memory, this show is a premier exhibition of WaterFire’s new Pass the Torch Exhibition Series which connects and showcases works of Rhode Island-based artists, each exhibit pairs a mentor and mentee, one NetWorks Rhode Island artist and one emerging artist.

“Private Visions, Public Ideals – The Legacy of Howard Ben Tré” will run through March 7, 2021. There will be experiences from ‘Celebration of Life’ video recordings and discussions on Howard Ben Tré’s legacy to educational tours and lectures on his work, process, and inspiration. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, in-person events will be ticketed. WFAC hours will be Wednesdays – Sundays 10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. for the exhibition.

Studio Installation
Studio Installation

About the author

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Over the last 10+ years, alongside some incredible co-workers and volunteers, I've worked to build the organization that WaterFire Providence is today. As Director of Creative Services, my team and I work on visual communications, graphic design, the visitor experience, merchandising as well as project management for programming at the WaterFire Arts Center. Being a part of the 'Rhode Island' experience for tens of thousands of people is incredible and I have an intense pride in place for both Downtown Providence and the Valley neighborhood.

Interactive Media Manager at WaterFire Providence | + posts by author

I've worked at WaterFire Providence since 2003. For the first 9 years of my career, I worked in the Production Shop learning all of the details that go into the physical production of the event. In 2012 transitioned to the role of managing WaterFire's social media and web presence. I now head up WaterFire Providence's digital projects including, web, social, databases, and our physical IT infrastructure.

6 thoughts on “Private Visions, Public Ideals – The Legacy of Howard Ben Tré”

    1. There isn’t anything currently scheduled. We will be following public safety and covid-19 safety guidance. We are hopeful that WaterFire will return to the rivers of downtown Providence in some form in 2021, but we don’t know what that will look like or when we’ll be able to do it yet.

    1. Hi Kristen, sorry we missed your message. I hope you were able to see the show. We have another exhibition opening in two weeks.

        1. Hi Rebecca, we’re planning to resume WaterFire lightings in September. So, unfortunately, there will not be any event in July. We are currently rebuilding after the pandemic shutdown. You can really help us out by making a donation to the WaterFire Relief Fund. We do have some great programming that will be running in July at the WaterFire Arts Center, I hope you’ll check it out.

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