Eileen Travis, The Poppy Field (Detail), 2021. Approximately 3,200 unique crochet yarn poppies by the artist, 20" x 40."

Artists Selected for the Jamestown Arts Center 2022 Outdoor Arts Biennial

The Jamestown Arts Center announced the 13 artists and artists’ collectives who will exhibit their artwork in outdoor sites throughout Jamestown.

Outdoor public art enables rediscovery of familiar landscapes and creates new ways of seeing and connecting with others. The artists selected to exhibit in the 2022 Outdoor Arts Biennial hosted by the Jamestown Arts Center will create this opportunity from July through October across Conanicut Island. 

Exhibition Co-Chair Tom Farrell describes: “By providing a challenge for artists’ ideas and using the island’s natural landscape, the Outdoor Arts Biennial promises to be a wonderful exhibition that our community can look forward to every two years. We’re thrilled to have the opportunity to display these 13 artists and artists’ collaboratives this summer. The selection process was very competitive, with over 100 proposals submitted of high caliber artwork. The artists chosen resonate with the Biennial’s mission to encourage exploration and experiences with art in Jamestown.” A panel consisting of Jamestown community members and arts professionals selected works in a blind jury process.

The selected artists are Amelia Wilson, Claudia Ravaschiere and Michael Moss, Daniel Shieh, Eileen Travis, Jean-Marc Superville Sovak, Jerome Harris Parmet, Keith Francis, Linda Hoffman, Mark Dornan, Peter Diepenbrock, Rob Lorensen, Sean Harrington, and an artists’ collaborative consisting of Mary Meagher, Anne Kuhn-Hines, Janie Harris, and Melody Drnach. Collectively, their works embody the cultural psyche while reflecting on the passage of time through sculptural forms and interactive art experiences. The Biennial’s theme for 2022, Passages, is inspired by the Town of Jamestown on Conanicut Island, itself defined by the passages of water on the East and West side and its long history of evolving communities.

About the Artists:

Amelia Wilson (Jamestown, RI) is a multidisciplinary artist working in a range of media including painting and graphic design. In her work, she plays with contrasting visuals such as whimsey and humor with the Rhode Island seascape and botany. The Biennial is Wilson’s first public art installation.

Boston-based art duo Claudia Ravaschiere and Michael Moss have collaborated on participatory public art and sound installations for 20 years. A recurring concern addressed in their work is the inclusion of participants’ different physical and sensory abilities. Their work is in the permanent collection of the Boston Children’s Museum and Perkins School for the Blind.

Daniel Shieh creates interactive artworks that alter the power dynamics between participants, encouraging different interpretations of another person’s humanity as an act of mortal perception. In conjunction with his Biennial installation, Shieh will be the Artist-in-Residence at the Melrose School in Jamestown creating Sound Fort. Each student at the Melrose School will create a windchime for the collaborative project, creating a shared space to play and hear the collective chimes of each other’s work. Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Shieh is currently exhibiting across the US. He received an MDes in Art, Design and Public Domain from Harvard Graduate School of Design.

Eileen Travis is a landscape architect and fiber artist based in Poughkeepsie, NY. Her large-scale crochet artworks are inspired by natural beauty and are often interactive or participatory. Travis’ outdoor installations have been exhibited across New England.

Jean-Marc Superville Sovak (Wallkill, NY) is a multidisciplinary artist and educator who combines sculpture and storytelling to reframe history. His work for the Biennial will be dedicated to celebrating the history of Jamestown’s settlement with the inclusion of the stories of the First Africans whose histories are often unwritten and whose voices often remain unheard. Superville Sovak holds an MFA from Bard College.

Jerome Harris Parmet (Silver Spring, MD) is a sculptor who works in steel to explore the flexibility and malleability of the otherwise cold material. Parmet’s series of sculptures, or groupings, are imbued with warmth, spirituality, and enlivened by narrative.

Keith Francis (New Bedford, MA) is an educator, graphic designer, mixed media artist, and sculptor. His work examines contemporary social, political, and environmental issues through meticulously constructed and thought-provoking objects. Francis has an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Linda Hoffman (Harvard, MA) is a writer, graphic artist, and sculptor. A lifelong passion for poetry converged with her other artistic mediums, launching an exploration of narrative sculpture incorporating language, natural fibers, wood, stone, and found objects.

Sculptures by Mark Doran (Brick, NJ) range from incredibly small, intricate objects to enormous outdoor art. His well-known 8-ft tall soda fountain cup has hung from 7th Avenue and Bleecker Street in New York City since 1986.

Peter Diepenbrock (Jamestown, RI) is an award-winning artist with many public sculpture commissions in Rhode Island, including the State House, Hasbro Children’s Hospital and several universities. For his design work, Diepenbrock received the Marc Harrison Award for Excellence; Best Design Award at Accent On Design, New York International Gift Show; Excellence in Design for Dansk International; as well as multiple Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) Fellowships. He has a BFA and BID in Industrial Design from the Rhode Island School of Design.

Rob Lorensen (Middleboro, MA) is a sculptor and arts educator. Originally from the Midwest, Lorensen exhibited in the Providence Convergence Arts Festival in the late 1990’s and moved to New England shortly thereafter. He has exhibited in outdoor sculpture tours across the country and his work is held in over 300 public and private collections.

The work by Rhode Island based sculptor and arts educator Sean James Harrington (Greene, RI) is inspired by nature and myth. His sculptural figures express collective fear and wonder of the unknown while embracing fantasy and immortality. Harrington’s whimsical figures were also a part of the JAC’s 2021 exhibition Spacing Out(side).

An artists’ collaborative of four Jamestown residents, Mary Meagher, Anne Kuhn-Hines, Janie Harris, and Melody Drnach, combine art, activism, and community discussion in their site-specific project. Rather than create art to direct conversation, this group is using Jamestown’s changing landscape itself to address the threat of climate change and the need for immediate action. 

About the Biennial:

Every two years, the Outdoor Arts Biennial creates unique avenues to actively engage the community through outdoor installations and related arts programs. Danielle Ogden, Curator of Engagement for the Biennial describes: “In addition to the artwork installations, the JAC will host family-friendly events, artist-led programming, and participatory workshops. The Outdoor Arts Biennial promises to create a fun and engaging atmosphere for the arts in Jamestown.”

The theme of the 2022 Biennial is Passages, inspired by Conanicut Island’s physical passages of water on the East and West side and metaphorically, of the island’s evolving communities: first settled by native Americans, next by European and colonial farmers, followed by immigrants from diverse backgrounds, families with vacation homes, and now, year-round residents. For more information about the Biennial, visit outdoorartsexperience.org.

The Jamestown Arts Center is a multi-disciplinary visual and performing arts space that hosts art exhibits, theater, dance and musical performances, film screenings, and educational programming including artist talks and hands-on art classes for all ages. The JAC opened in 2010 in a former boat repair shop redesigned by award-winning architects Estes/Twombly. Since 2014, it’s won 5 of Rhode Island Monthly’s ‘Best of Rhode Island’ awards, including the Editor’s Pick for Outdoor Art in 2021.

Programming partners include: Heifetz International Music Institute, FirstWorks, RISCA, FabNewport, RISD, Manhattan Short Film Festival, SENE Film Festival, Spectrum Theatre, Providence Art and Design Film Festival, Island Moving Company, the Jamestown Schools, Social Enterprise Greenhouse, The Brown/Trinity Rep M.F.A. in Acting & Directing Program and many individual artists and local organizations. The Jamestown Arts Center has quickly become a leading arts and cultural hub for Rhode Island and beyond, where creativity, ideas, and innovation flourish. For more information visit: jamestownartcenter.org



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