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WaterFire Arts Center Exhibitions

Current

February 8 – March 3, 2024

5 Moving Bottles at the US Rubber Company Mill, a solo exhibition by Eli Tegu

5 Moving Bottles at the US Rubber Company Mill, a solo exhibition by Eli Tegu, offers a dynamic viewing experience as five clay sculptures will be created within the gallery during the month-long exhibition.

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5 Moving Bottles at the US Rubber Company Mill, a solo exhibition by Eli Tegu

Upcoming

March 7-31, 2024

SPACES ACROSS TIME: Gretchen Dow Simpson, A Retrospective

SPACES ACROSS TIME, a month-long retrospective exhibition, celebrates the illustrious career of Gretchen Dow Simpson, a painter, photographer, and artist who’s called Providence home for many years. In this expansive exhibition, which spans decades of creative exploration, visitors will be enveloped in the artist’s masterful command of shapes, light, and color. Dow Simpson’s art offers viewers a unique perspective on the world around us.

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Prior

January 11 – February 4, 2024

4,489, A Solo Exhibition by Abenda Sohn

The month-long solo exhibition, 4,489, by Abenda Sohn explores the condition of being and belonging through themes of forced migration, memory, and the bond between a father and son.

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2023

November 16, 2023 – January 7, 2024

BuyArt [small works holiday show and sale]

Thirty contemporary Rhode Island-based artists are showcasing their work in the gallery at the WaterFire Arts Center.

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October 12 – November 23, 2023

DIVINE PROVIDENCE, an exhibition by Umberto Crenca

DIVINE PROVIDENCE was a salon-style month-long exhibition by Umberto “Bert” Crenca featuring a short documentary by Ashly Lemus and Chloe Rourke.

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Divine Providence Umberto Crenca

August 24 – October 8, 2023

“Don’t Worry, You’ll get used to the Smell” The History and Works of Tannis Root

The exhibition features a deep dive into the prolific career of the design team Tannis Root showcasing the lineage of the group’s career from early screen printing techniques to designing for some of the most iconic bands of the alternative and independent music scenes such as Redd Kross, Nirvana, Hole, and Sonic Youth. The exhibition will also feature contributions from Sergio Aguila of Nic Fit + Sonic Life Archive a personal collection of one-of-a-kind merchandise and ephemera. 

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Poiesis and Remedy at the WaterFire Arts Center

July 13 – August 20, 2023

[Providence Biennial for Contemporary Arts] Concurrent Exhibitions Poiesis and Remedy at the WaterFire Arts Center

In 2021, the Providence Biennial of Contemporary Arts launched Providence Curates, an initiative that focuses specifically on recruiting emerging curators and assisting them in developing exhibitions of contemporary art. Through a creative partnership between the Providence Biennial and the WaterFire Arts Center, concurrent exhibitions curated by two Providence curators, POIESIS and REMEDY were on view at the WaterFire Arts Center in the Main Hall and gallery from Thursday, July 13 through Sunday, August 20, 2023.

POIESIS: Street Culture & The Art of the City curated by Melaine Ferdinand-King and REMEDY curated by Joel Rosario Tapia explore the theme Commemoration.

Learn more about the Exhibition and the Curators »

June 1 – July 9, 2023

If These Walls Could Talk, a group exhibition by the 2022-2023 WaterFire Accelerate Artist Cohort

If These Walls Could Talk, a group exhibition by the 2022-2023 WaterFire Accelerate Artist Cohort: Denzel Amoah, Justin DeGraide, Savaree “Sav” Hazard-Chaney, Hannah Nahas, Rhue Nobre, and Elijah Trice.

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If These Walls Could Talk
Pencil Gun, One Gun Gone Project

May 4-28, 2023

Merge, A One Gun Gone Exhibition

Merge, the largest to date One Gun Gone exhibition, combines art and activism through the creation and sales of art made from disarmed guns. The exhibition included the unveiling of welded metal sculptures created through a new collaboration between the Princes 2 Kings, a Providence Boys and Girls Club program, and the Steel Yard, in addition to pre-pandemic visual artwork. 

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March 29 – April 27, 2023

Interconnected, an exhibition observing Earth Month, curated by Gather Farm

Interconnected, was a month-long exhibition in the WaterFire Arts Center gallery created in celebration of Earth Month through a creative partnership between Gather Farm, Gather Glass, and WaterFire Providence.

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glass mushroom in swamp 1200x900
Glass mushrooms by Gather Glass photographed at Gather Farm in Johnston, RI
Bubble by Scott Lapham

March 2-26, 2023

Vigilance, a solo exhibition by Scott Lapham

Vigilance was a month-long solo exhibition by Scott Lapham. The exhibition features work from three of the artist’s most recent bodies of work including “Vigilance“, “A is for Anthropocene“, and “Perfectly Preserved Sea Shore“.

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January 19 – February 26, 2023

Demystifying Process: A PVDPrintmakers Exhibition

Demystifying Process was a month-long exhibition curated by PVDPrintmakers. Despite the accessibility offered by printmaking, both in its ability to endlessly reproduce images and the direct process of creating an impression, the practice tends to have an air of mystery.

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Shelby at Beavertail by Carey Good
Carey Good. Shelby at Beavertail. copper etching with mezzotint and chine collé

2022

November 25, 2022 – January 8, 2023

BuyArt small works holiday show

Thirty-one contemporary Rhode Island-based artists are showcasing their work in the gallery at the WaterFire Arts Center for the BuyArt small works holiday show and sale.

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Photograph by Melanie Steinbrecher
Tender Cargo

October 13 – November 20, 2022

Tender Cargo, an exhibition by Taleen Batalian

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.

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September 1 – October 9, 2022

Portales: Reimagining The Future

PORTALES: Reimagining the Future was an art exhibition presenting the variety of ways that artists and organizers in Rhode Island have strengthened our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic and the movement against racial injustice.

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Ebb and Flow at the WaterFire Arts Center

August 5-22, 2022

Ebb and Flow a solo exhibition by Lois Harada

Ebb and Flow, was a month-long solo exhibition by Lois Harada. The exhibition features documentation from the artist’s ongoing campaign to encourage Rhode Island residents to rethink the naming of Victory Day.

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June 30 – July 31, 2022

This Must Be The Place – A WaterFire Accelerate Exhibition

This Must Be the Placeproduced as a capstone of the inaugural Accelerate program, was a month-long mixed media exhibition of works from the five Accelerate artists: Julio Berroa, Kiara Costa, Sydney Sousa, Ysanel Torres, and Jared Winslow.

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this must be the place
Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on Narragansett Bay and town of Ja
Claiborne Pell Newport Bridge on Narragansett Bay and the town of Jamestown, image courtesy of Envision Resilience Narragansett Bay

June 3-26, 2022

Envision Resilience: Designs for Living with Rising Seas

Envision Resilience: Designs for Living with Rising Seas was a month-long exhibition, curated by ReMain Nantucket, of adaptive proposals for sea level rise on Narragansett Bay. Explore the vibrant history of the Narragansett Bay region, its resilient communities, and the adaptive possibilities for its future.

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May 5-29, 2022

Faded, the gallery was a month-long exhibition exploring the lineage of graphic t-shirts from their earliest adaptations as a new medium for creative self-expression in the 1930s to the present day.

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Faded, the gallery
Faded, the gallery

March 19 – May 1, 2022

Planet Earth, The Environment and Our Future

Planet Earth, the Environment and Our Future was made possible through the generous support of the NASA Rhode Island Space Grant Consortium; Kathleen and Barry Hittner; the University of Rhode Island, Graduate School of OceanographyBrown University; and the Roger Williams Park Zoo. Refreshments and catering at the opening reception were sponsored by Plant City.

Featuring Luke Jerram’s Gaia, a massive 23’ diameter depiction of the entire Earth that creates a sense of the “overview effect” that has often been reported by astronauts who sense a “cognitive shift” in their perception of the fragile “blue marble” “hanging in the void” of space. Joan Hall presented her luminous, engaging, and massive work, Algae Bloom. Richard Friedberg had six of his astonishing and mesmerizing large sculptures of atmospheric phenomena from a tidal wave to a 21’ tall tornado. Judy Chicago, one of the founders of Ecofeminism, has recently returned to revisit this work with three bold, new editions from 2022. Dennis Hlynsky has created a new technique to capture birds in flight with wondrous results and much more.

Planet Earth, the Environment and Our Future also includes a visual overview of the roots and development of the climate crisis with scientific observations between 1826, when the use of coal was first foreseen as a possible threat to mankind, up to our newest efforts to solve the climate crisis, such as the national leadership in offshore wind power development shown with Rhode Island’s Block Island Wind Farm.

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Exhibition Catalog »

Visitors look at work in the planet earth exhibition at the WaterFire Arts Center
Visitors look at work in the Planet Earth exhibition at the WaterFire Arts Center
Firestorm, Oil Fire and Tornado by Richard Friedberg
Firestorm, Oil Fire and Tornado by Richard Friedberg
Lots of little things add up
Lots of little things add up, Julia Samuels of Overpass Projects.

February 10 – March 6, 2022

“Lots of little things add up” was a month-long exhibition of recent prints and their processes from Overpass Projects.

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January 12 – February 6, 2022

The Seeing: a video exhibition scored by Daniel Bernard Roumain

“The Seeing” is a month-long video exhibition produced through a creative partnership between FirstWorks and WaterFire Providence of six film works scored by Daniel Bernard Roumain (DBR).

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The Seeing: a video exhibition scored by Daniel Bernard Roumain. Photograph by Laura Duclos.
The Seeing: a video exhibition scored by Daniel Bernard Roumain. Photograph by Laura Duclos.

2021

Buy Art SMALL WORKS HOLIDAY SHOW in the Visitor Center Gallery. Photograph by Laura Duclos.

December 4, 2021 – January 9, 2022

Buy Art
[small works holiday show]

The Buy Art show is made up of work by artists: Sydney Sousa, Kiara Costa | OZMA, YSANEL Torres, Jared Winslow, Spocka Summa, Keira Gonsalves | Stone Soup, Rafael Medina, Madison Peck, Julia Dwinell, Laura White Carpenter, Maxime Jean Lefebvre, Julia Samuels, Lois Harada, Jeremy Schilling, Sara Breslin, Regina Teresa, Molly Horan | Creations by Fiore and Alexa Cahill.

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October 29 – November 28, 2021

Welcome to the Anti-Robot Club” by Spocka Summa

Spocka Summa is an emerging artist based out of Providence, RI. Through his artwork and collaborations with other artists, he has developed a unique way of storytelling. In this installation,  “Welcome to the Anti-Robot Club”, Spocka explores the idea of a world in the not-too-distant future in which technology has taken over and mankind is on the verge of extinction.

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WelcomeAntiRobotClub
Welcome to the Anti-Robot Club. Photograph by Laura Duclos.
Chazan Unfiltered in the Visitor Center Gallery.
Photograph by Laura Duclos.

September 15 – October 24, 2021

Featuring original artwork by Rhode Island based artist Erminio Pinque. Chazan! Unfiltered follows the path of Rhode Island superhero and nephrologist Joseph A. Chazan, MD, as he pursues his two passions – art and medicine – and explores how the two collide.

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June 30 – August 22, 2021

EYE TO EYE: Photographs and Projects by Mary Beth Meehan

An exhibition of work from all four of Meehan’s most recent in-depth projects – from Brockton, Massachusetts, to Providence, Rhode Island, to Newnan, Georgia, to her newest project and book on Silicon Valley, California. A collaborative installation, ANNYE RAYE PITTS: WITNESS an installation by Jonathan Pitts-Wiley and Mary Beth Meehan will be on display in the Visitor Center Gallery.

Exhibition Catalog »

EYE TO EYE Photographs and Projects Mary Beth Meehan
EYE TO EYE Photographs and Projects Mary Beth Meehan. Photograph by Matthew TW Huang.
Robert Rohm Exhibition (Photograph by Matthew TW Huang)
Down to Earth: Robert Rohm Sculpture, 1963-2013. Photograph by Matthew TW Huang.

March 24 – April 25, 2021

Down to Earth: Robert Rohm Sculpture, 1963 – 2013

An exhibition spanning fifty years of work by sculptor, Robert Rohm. Robert Rohm is internationally recognized for his sculptures with exhibitions at the Whitney Museum of American Art; the Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston; the San Diego Museum of Contemporary Art; the Seattle Art Museum; and the Kunsthalle, Zurich, Switzerland. Rohm was a dedicated sculptor for fifty years as well as a professor of art at the University of Rhode Island for over thirty years.

Exhibition Catalog »

January 27, 2021 – March 7, 2021

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

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.

Exhibition Catalog »
Photograph by Matthew Huang

2020

December 9, 2020 – January 15, 2021

THE LET-OUT
Presented by THE VANTA GUILD

THE LET-OUT was 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.

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The LET-OUT A Vanta Guild Exhibit
THE LET-OUT A Vanta Guild Exhibit
The Starry, Starry Night Installation. Photograph by Erin Cudddigan.
The Starry, Starry Night Installation. Photograph by Erin Cudddigan.

February 18 – July 31, 2020

Reflective Lenses:
WaterFire Volunteer Photography Show

A vibrant collection of photographs by WaterFire’s Volunteer Photographers featuring highlights of their WaterFire stories interacting together as an enchanting reflection of WaterFire. This group exhibition showcases the work of our local talent in Providence’s cultural tapestry.

The WaterFire Volunteer Photography Program brings together local artistic talents for an exploration of Providence’s culture and provides an opportunity for local photographers to share experiences and collaborate with one another.

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2019

July 9-28, 2019

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

WaterFire Providence celebrated the 50th anniversary of the Apollo 11 Mission and man’s first steps on the Moon which was co-sponsored by the NASA RI Space Consortium with support from Brown University. The exhibition featured Luke Jeram’s Museum of the Moon and included a series of exhibitions, lectures, and other activities throughout July 2019.

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Museum of the Moon installed at the WaterFire Arts Center. Photograph by Elissa Pierce.
Museum of the Moon installed at the WaterFire Arts Center. Photograph by Elissa Pierce.
Julia Samuels: Landscape in Relief
Photograph by Laura Duclos.

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.”

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2018

March 31 – June 3, 2018

Rosa Parks House Project

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.

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Photograph of the Rosa Parks House Project in the Main Hall at the WaterFire Arts Center. Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.
Photograph by Erin Cuddigan.