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Whether Honoring History Or Pushing Boundaries, Art Has A Home In Rhode Island

From historic villages in the Blackstone Valley to contemporary haunts in downtown Providence, art is on full display in Rhode Island.

Galleries range from genre-bending modern spaces to quaint boutiques in historic homes. Providence has dozens of contemporary private and public galleries. One of the most popular is the Bannister Gallery at Rhode Island College, but galleries such as ArtProv (contemporary works centered around color, texture, and expression), AS220 (community non-profit), Chazan (contemporary juried works), Cate Charles (painting, sculpture, and photography), and Z (Armenian, American, and European works) also win rave reviews.

The Newport area has several dozen galleries. Find glass at Anchor Bend and pottery at All Fired Up. Studios are also available at the Betty Ann Morris Gallery and DC Stoneware.

South County has popular spots such as Black Duck Gallery and Charlestown Gallery. Pawtucket is home to the Mad Dog Artist Gallery and interesting Pawtucket Arts Collaborative. Warren’s Imago Gallery of Art and Fine Craft showcases visual and literary arts and runs educational programs. Block Island photos can be found at Greenaway Gallery, and the island is also home to the Jessie Edwards Gallery, which features contemporary American paintings, drawings, and woodcuts.

WaterFire Providence

Originally created in 1994 by award-winning sculptor Barnaby Evans, WaterFire is a free public art installation located in downtown Providence, Rhode Island.

The installation consists of 100 braziers mounted on steel tripods throughout Providence's three rivers.

On WaterFire evenings, the braziers are lit up as bonfires and create an impressive display of firelight just above the surface of the rivers.

Guests are invited to walk the riverfront and enjoy festival performances, music, and an all-around good time. WaterFire events typically run from end of May through early November.