Created By: The Avenue Concept
Siting contemporary public art in a historic city creates a current of energy between the past and the present, allowing old and new stories to emerge through artists' eyes and to the public that experiences them.
Providence has a rich history, held not only in the physical manifestation of bricks and mortar on land but also in the legacies and communities that have lived this place into existence over time. Providence is and has always been an intersection of cultures, as our city's Department of Art, Culture & Tourism notes that the city holds a "deep history [...] as a cultural meeting ground between Indigenous people, then European settlers, enslaved Aftricans, and free Black [people], and later immigrants who came to work on the waterfront, and today refugees and new arrivals from across the globe."
As our city balances its historic beauty and the movement into modern living, we see a space where thoughtfully curated, high-quality public art can create spaces for identity and resonance for life-long Rhode Islanders and new residents, for tourists and school children, for art lovers and art novices alike.
Public art creates spaces for identity within a city, a way for artists to acknowledge and honor communities, to anchor gathering environments, to enliven historic structures and to create a sense of identity through free and accessible world-class artworks. These artworks draw people into the city's Downtown to investigate it more closely, to walk through and see firsthand the beauty that Providence has to offer.
This tour will take you through a select number of installations curated and produced by The Avenue Concept, largely in our Downtown portfolio. If using our app, you may either do the tour live and in-person or by switching to "virtual" tour in Settings (upper left corner of the app). You may also experience a less visually-rich version of the tour through your browser.
Things to know:
Two things to remember as you set off to discover:
Public art never closes! Public art is made to be enjoyed by the community as a source of inspiration, conversation, and engagement. Free and open to the public. If you love something, ask yourself why. If you don't, dig into that too! Art is meant to be an active way of engaging with the world. It's something we all need.
YOU make public art happen. At The Avenue Concept, our tagline is "we make public art happen". Our small-but-mighty team imagines public art installations, works with amazing artists to help implement those projects and then shares the stories of those artists and artworks with the community in order to make our cities more beautiful, livable, viable and safe. But as a nonprofit, we rely on people like you to help us make that happen through financial support, volunteering, and sharing what we do with your friends and family. Thank you! With your help, we make public art happen.