Tag Archives: Providence

Art Happenings

11 Jul

With a firm focus on the kickoff of Festival Fete’s 2014 summer season, we haven’t had much time to check out all of the exciting, inspiring stuff going on all around us. Read on for some highlights we stumbled upon for the weekend, whether you’re sticking close by or traveling around greater New England…


Saturday, July 12th: From noon -10 pm, the public is invited to the Providence Rink in Kennedy Plaza to paint their piece of the 10,000 square foot vinyl mural, entitled “Within Providence.” Paint your piece of a map of the city’s transit system created by artists from all over Rhode Island. Live entertainment, food trucks and more.

Admission is free to Waterfire, the spectacular evening event starting at sunset this Saturday, 7/12 featuring artful bonfires along downtown Providence’s waterways.  Followed every Sunday by The Providence Flea, a thrift shoppers delight, the Providence River greenway is alive all summer.




Saturday, 7/12 & Sunday, 7/13: Enjoy free admission and tax free shopping at the 52nd annual Wickford Art Festival. Located in pretty Wickford Village, peruse the work of over 200 fine artists from all over New England and beyond.


South Shore

Saturday, July 12: Check out the 2014 Etsy Arts Market at the Pinehills Village Green in Plymouth, Mass. Festival Fete favorite, Jen Black of Islandesign, will be there! Featuring local Etsy Shop owners and their handmade goods including jewelry, apparel, home decor, children and pet accessories and more.

Greater Boston

Friday July 18th – Sunday, July 20th: On Revere Beach outside Boston, you’ll find the National Sand Sculpting Festival. Over 350,000 will attend the annual event, now in it’s 11th year, to enjoy the sand maneuvering talents of master sculptors, fireworks, gourmet food trucks, live music and more.



Springfield, Mass

July 8th – July 13th: The Brimfield Antique Show and Flea Market runs it’s second show of the year with seemingly unending tented fields as more than 5,000 antiques dealers sell their goods along a one-mile stretch of Route 20 in rural New England at the largest outdoor antique flea market of it’s kind. Find anything and everything here.

Portsmouth, New Hampshire

An alternative to outdoor film screenings, the Prescott Park Arts Festival offers open air theater productions of Shrek every Thursday through Sunday through August 24th. For kids of all ages, reserve a blanket or table and be inspired by the dazzling sets and scenery provided by this live performance along the Piscataqua River in Portsmouth New Hampshire. The Sheafe Warehouse Gallery, also located in the Park, is open simultaneously and shows the work of various New Hampshire artists.



Saturday, July 12th & Sunday, July 13th: If you’re planning to be near Burlington, then please head to the The Vermont Farms Tour, where over 40 artists, small farms and artisans open their doors and invite the public to discover the heart of the islands of Lake Champlain. Gorgeous scenery, art and adventure.


And Finally, Closer to Home

Saturday, July 26th: Our newest addition to the 2014 lineup will take Festival Fete just over the Rhode Island border and into the Bay State for the first time! The Emerald Square Mall will provide ample space for a show grand both in scale and delivery. We’re sure this fresh audience will welcome Festival Fete’s diverse semblance of jewelers, painters, sculptures, artists and crafters. Juxtaposed outside over 140 traditional retail stores, the unique wares found only at our festivals will compliment the mall’s offerings in a truly original and, as always, creative way. This latest and largest venue is conveniently located at the intersections of Routes 1 and 295, so save the date and plan to spend the day. We’re pulling out all the stops here!



Art Happenings: Inside the Studios of Ten31 and the RISD Spring Sale

2 May
Ten31 Gargoyles at Waterfire

Ten31 Gargoyles at Waterfire

Have you been to Waterfire in Providence and seen the creepy Gargoyle statues that move and interact silently but playfully with their viewers? Or maybe you’ve been to a wedding or fundraiser and been captivated by the living topiary statue waving at you with her branches and leaves? Well, this weekend you have an exclusive opportunity to go inside Ten31 studios where they make these amazing performance art pieces. My daughter has been fascinated with their work, so I asked one of the owners Joe Pari, a few months ago if he would offer a tour. He told me that a special opportunity like that would be coming up soon….and here it is!

Saturday, May 4th

TEN31 Studios Creation Observation – Don’t miss this exclusive chance to see how this unique company operates and creates their stunning works of living art!


TEN31 is celebrating its 13th year of operation by opening the doors to their studio for the first time to the general public. Known locally in New England for their living statues and gargoyles at Waterfire and public performances at Roger Williams Park Zoo and Faneuil Hall. This unique opportunity is free of charge, and will give the public a chance to see behind the scenes at TEN31. Saturday from 11:00am–4:00pm.

TEN31 Studios 250 Esten Avenue, Suite 103. Call (401) 725-1031, email eric@wemakepretend.com, or visit the TEN31 Promotions website for more information.


Also on Saturday starting at 10am – RISD Alumni Spring Art Sale on Benefit Street in Providence.


Sunday, May 5th 11am – 3pm rain or shine – My favorite preschool, Barbara M. Tufts Cooperative, is holding their annual May Fair Festival at Academy Field in East Greenwich. This free event is open to the public and is the major fundraiser for the school, which offers a sliding scale tuition program and a super-duper preschool experience! For the past 33 years, hundreds of teachers, parents, local business owners and members of the community have come together, the first Sunday in May, at Academy Field in East Greenwich, to host the annual Barbara M. Tufts Cooperative Preschool (the Co-op) May Fair fundraiser. All of the proceeds from the event go back into the school and help to fund full and partial scholarships for families in need. There is lots of entertainment for the kids, a toy sale, silent auction & raffle, tons of activities and a really great plant sale!

Finally, I want to mention the South County Artisan’s Market located in the Fantastic Umbrella Factory in Charlestown will now be open 7 days a week and there is a nice article about them in the SO Rhode Island Magazine this month.

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Many thanks to our Garden City Art Festival Sponsor:

Cardi's Furniture

Cardi’s Furniture

Art Happenings & Opportunities: 4/18-4/21

18 Apr

Wickford Art Assoc logoDo you love art? (I’m thinking you do if you’re reading this blog) Have you considered volunteering for an art organization? Even a little bit of time can make a huge difference. There was an article in The Business Times that says, “The value of volunteering is much deeper, much more fulfilling and much more important in contributing to a healthy and vibrant community than money can ever measure”.

The Wickford Art Association is holding a volunteer informational meeting on Saturday, April 20th. Consider checking it out!

“Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted, counts.” — Albert Einstein


bullet4/18 – Gallery Night Providence from 5-9pm. There will be an opening at the BankRI Gallery for Garden City Art Festival Artist/Photographer Stephen Spencer. You can read more about Stephen and his photography show in my previous blog post.

Stephen Spencer photography

Stephen Spencer photography

bulletMany consider food to be a form of art, and we fully support festivals so I think this one deserves to be mentioned: The Eat Drink RI Festival is this weekend from 4/19-4/21. Go to the website to see all the delectable possibilities…Gracie’s Grand Brunch…yummm!


Garden City Art Festival 2013

Garden City Art Festival 2013

Festival Fete would like to thank our sponsor:

garden city

Art Events in RI This Weekend & a BIG Thank You!

6 Dec
Art is Smart Creation Station

Art is Smart Creation Station

Last weekend’s Festival Fete Holiday Market was an incredible success and a whole lot of fun!

Community Sculpture with Lisa May Tobin, Annan & Malen's Chocolate Surprise, Art is Smart, Tir Na Nog Irish Dancers, The King and Queen of Festival Fete, Ladies of the Rolling Pin and Creation Station

Noelle in the Community Sculpture chair, crowds lined up, Annan & Malen’s Tir Na Nog Irish Dancers, The King and Queen of Festival Fete, Lisa May Tobin, Ladies of the Rolling Pin and Liam and Rylie enjoying the Creation Station

We are so thankful for all of the great folks that came out to enjoy the event and support the arts, as well as the super talented artisan vendors and performers, the sponsors, Festival Fete friends, family and staff. We would also like to extend a special thank you to Garden City Center and Whole Foods Market Cranston for all of their support.

Save the date! The next Festival Fete will be the Garden City Art Festival June 8-9, 2013. We are now accepting applications for Artists and food vendors for all 2013 shows. Please visit www.festivalfete.com for more details and an application.

ML_bcard back

Now on to this weekend…

The always sophisticated and well-run RISD Alumni Art Sale is this weekend at the Providence Convention Center. All artists participating in the sales are RISD alumni or current RISD students selling original work including prints, photographs, apparel, ceramics, glass, textiles, and more!

Please contact alumnisale@risd.edu with any questions.

RISD Holiday Art SaleSat 10-5

RISD Holiday Art Sale
Sat 10-5

If you’re looking for more “Artful ways to shop” locally and in the smaller towns of RI, SoRhode Island online features a nice article that describes some venues south of Providence to explore. The Craftland show on Westminster Street in Providence continues this weekend until 12/24. I think I may check out the East Greenwich Library “Winter’s Eve” for a juried art exhibit and concert by The Hummingbird Trio. The event takes place tonight from 5:30 – 8:00 pm and it’s free. This is such a great time of year for socializing and shopping in festive venues – the options are endless! Please share with us what events you will discover this weekend by commenting below.

Have a super weekend!

– Danielle

Featured Artist: Colleen Ellse Letter & Lark Letterpress Studio

13 Oct

You’re Invited!

Take a moment to “virtually” step into the letterpress studio of Letter & Lark at the AS220 Printshop in Providence, Rhode Island. Here you will meet designer and letterpress printer Colleen Ellse, whose love for this classic form of printing is celebrated in each turn of the press.

If you aren’t familiar with the centuries-old craft of letterpress printing, you can watch this very cool video of Colleen in action by Leo F. Bonarrigo.

Letter & Lark offers completely custom pieces for weddings, milestone celebrations, business branding, as well as a letterpress paper goods line of note cards, prints and gift sets. Colleen personally designs and draws by hand all of the illustrations for her letterpress paper products. (She’s also an amazing photographer as you’ll see if you visit her flickr page)

Artwork by Kristin DiVona, Printing by Colleen Ellse

Colleen has a very simple and elegant aesthetic, with a focus on delicate type and line work, with “punches of bold color”. She also works with other designers as in this wedding suite designed by Kristin DiVona. She says, “Whenever I work with clients on custom work, I really focus on making the design process really enjoyable for both of us”.

Artwork by Kristin DiVona, Letterpress by Colleen Ellse

I asked Colleen some questions about her business and her journey as an artist, and I am happy to share her story with you:

What’s your background?

I graduated from the Art Institute of Boston in 2004 with a degree in Graphic Design and worked for a designer for several years.  I love designing on my computer, but also love the tactile experience working with something by hand as an artist. Letterpress is the perfect combination of those two aspects of my work.

How did you learn your art?

After I lost my design job at the start of the recession, I decided on a whim to take a day workshop in letterpress printing.  I loved it so much I took several others, and then it totally snowballed: I accepted an internship, which then lead to a printing position at a letterpress studio.  I studied under several printers for just over two years before I started printing my own work.

What kind of research do you do for your art?

I’m inspired by so much of other creative folk’s work and collect a lot of images for inspiration. Patterns, color palettes, typography, photography – sometimes I’ll see a photo from a catalog or blog where a tiny section has a color grouping that I immediately think could translate into a 2 or 3 ink color letterpress piece.  I read a lot of design & lifestyle blogs as well as make good use of my public library when I need any historical research!  When all else fails, I go for a walk outside… nature always is the best inspiration.

What themes do you pursue?

I love using calligraphy and quirky illustrations in my work, things that show the presence of the hand-made.  I also like fun subject matter like vintage tea cups, British townhouses with ornate, colorful front doors, organic patterns, and lichen (I’ve definitely been happily surprised to find how many fans there are of my Lichen print)!

What is your dream project?

I would love to do some unusual, out-of-the-box wedding invitations with multiple components! Color, fabric, different types of paper – things that set the stage for a wonderful, memorable day. I’m also really interested in doing more collaborations with other artists and seeing how our different ideas could meld together to create a piece I couldn’t have created on my own.

Continue reading

Big Art in Little Rhody this weekend

4 Oct

What a great weekend for art!

The great news is that there are so many wonderful choices this weekend. The bad news is that to see them all, you’ll be driving back and forth across most of the state of Rhode Island – luckily it’s a small state. Here is the line-up of our top picks for this weekend:

Saturday, October 6th


RISD Art Sale – The 2012 RISD Fall Alumni + Student Art Sale is on Saturday, October 6, 2012 from 10 am to 4 pm. The sale will take place on Benefit Street between Waterman and Hopkins Streets and is free to attend. Over 150 alumni artists and current students will be displaying and selling their work including fine art, glass, ceramics, apparel, jewelry and much more.

JAMESTOWN (that’s over the bridge – you’d better pack a lunch folks)

Monster Party Opening Reception at the Jamestown Arts Center – Saturday from 5 -8pm. The Studio Miners and the Jamestown Arts Center present Monster Party, a friendly celebration of monsters for the whole family, opening on Saturday, October 6 and running until October 31. The exhibition will feature artwork from prominent New England artists in the main gallery, with the inclusion of monster-centric doodles and drawings made by local children in the front gallery space. In addition to the artwork, there will be a monster mini-golf hole, a photobooth, face painting, a 30 foot mural, an 8 foot monster sculpture, costumes from Providence-based character creators, the Big Nazo, and many other monster surprises.


The Scituate Art Festival is also this weekend October 6th – 8th Saturday thru Monday. What began in 1967 as a fundraiser for an ailing church building with only 12 local exhibitors is now a huge event with over 300 exhibitors from all over the U.S. and Canada.

The event takes place over the Columbus Day Weekend – Saturday and Sunday, 10/6-7 from 10am to 5pm and then again on Monday, 10/8 from 10am – 4pm. Village Green on Route 116, North Scituate, Rhode Island.


The 7th Annual All Members Show at the Artists Cooperative Gallery of Westerly. October 3 – 31st. Members have created works of art in the theme of “Peace” for this show. Admission is free, and the gallery is open Tuesday through Saturdays, 10am – 5pm. 7 Canal Street, Westerly. 596-2221

Please leave a comment on this post if you hit any of these venues and would like to share. We would love to hear from you! Have a great weekend!

Special thanks to Roger Williams Park Zoo for their support of Festival Fete’s Holiday Market in Garden City on December 1st and 2nd.

“America in View” opening celebration at RISD Museum tomorrow

19 Sep

The Museum of Art at the Rhode Island School of Design is having an opening celebration for the new exhibit, “America in View: Landscape Photography 1865 to Now” tomorrow night from 5:30 – 8:30. The exhibit will be on view from September 20, 2012 to January 13, 2013. For more information about the show you can click here. It looks like a fantastic show so if you get a chance to go please leave your comments on this post and let us know what you think!

RSVP or get more details about the show on Facebook.

This image above from the show is by Laura McPhee, Smoke from a Wildfire Ignited by Sparks from a Burn Barrel, Champion Creek, Custer County, Idaho, 2005. Gift of the artist and Carroll and Sons (Boston, MA) in honor of Joe Deal. © Laura McPhee.