We’re so excited to announce the Library’s 2023 Creative Fellow, J.R. Uretsky. J.R. will be doing extensive Special Collections research and making new work about grief and mourning, in conversation with our spring 2023 exhibit Picturing the Pandemic.
J.R. Uretsky (she|they) is a Providence-based artist who weaves performance, video, puppetry, and sculpture into emotionally charged, affective artworks that shift seamlessly between autobiography and fiction. Performing under their moniker, J.R. and the Worship Band, Uretsky draws on worship practices and rituals used by western evangelical churches to create musical performances that turn trauma into strange and positive collective experiences.
We’re happy to announce that we’ve released the call for proposals for PPL’s 2023 Creative Fellowship, an eight-month fellowship for an artist to do research in our Special Collections and create new work related to the theme of our spring exhibition.
This year, we’re looking for an artist working in the field of performance to create work about grief and mourning, in conversation with our upcoming exhibit Picturing the Pandemic.
We’re accepting applications until the end of the business day on October 1, 2022. Details and application instructions are included in the call for proposals. Please share widely; email us if you have any questions.
As we reshelve and return Tomboy exhibition items and wrap up the 2021-2022 Creative Fellowship, we want to take a moment to highlight Carmen Ribaudo‘s final (stunning!) fellowship creation: a digital reading room called Shape Becomes Story. The digital reading room features historic and contemporary materials from PPL’s Special Collections and from Queer.Archive.Work that served as part of Carmen’s fellowship research process, along with Carmen’s own creative work.
Created in collaboration with Kate Hao, a graduate student at the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities and Cultural Heritage, as part of her practicum, the digital reading room is interactive and best viewed on a larger screen (so if you’re on your phone, save this one for when you’re home). If you weren’t able to make it to PPL to see Carmen’s collage movie projected on the wall of the exhibition gallery, this is your big chance to view it alongside the books, zines, comics, and illustrations that inspired it.
Bravo Carmen and Kate on a beautiful and inspiring window into the research and creative process!
We’re pleased to announce that our 2021-2022 Creative Fellow, Carmen Ribaudo, is presenting an Animated Art Talk and Digital Reading Room Release at Providence Public Library on Saturday, May 14, 2022 at 3 pm.
You can read details about the event in the calendar listing here. Capacity is limited, so register today!
After many months of Special Collections research, PPL’s 2021-2022 Creative Fellow, Carmen Ribaudo, has created incredible new work as part of our current Tomboy exhibit. We’re so excited to tell you about it and invite you to view it in person at PPL!
First, you can visit PPL’s 3rd floor exhibition gallery to see Carmen’s projected collage movie, We Are Full – the colorful, cut-paper animation explores “the links between being outside, embodiment, tomboys, and queerness.” It’s projected on the wall just inside the door, leading into the full Tomboy exhibit co-curated by Kate Wells and Mary Murphy.
While you’re in the exhibit gallery viewing Carmen’s movie and taking in the Tomboy exhibit, you can also grab a free, colorful, folding comic that Carmen printed on the risograph at Binch Press, an awesome local, volunteer-run print and ceramics cooperative. (It’s also where we printed the Tomboy exhibit catalogs.)
Finally, Carmen’s giving an animated art talk and digital reading room release at the Library on Saturday, May 14, 2022 from 3:00 – 5:00 pm. Learn more and register for the event here!
It’s opening day for Tomboy, the first Special Collections exhibit on display in our post-renovation, now-fully-open-to-the-public, maximum-elegance 3rd floor exhibit gallery. (No thanks to COVID for thwarting the ability of the public to visit The King is Dead, our 2020 exhibition and program series, in person.)
We invite you to visit our exhibit gallery on the 3rd floor of the library any time the library is open – Tomboys will be on display until June 30th, 2022. Inside the gallery, you’ll also be able to see a tomboys-themed animation and free comics from our 2021-2022 Creative Fellow, Carmen Ribaudo. If you can’t make it in person, you can view photographs of exhibit items on the Tomboy webpage, along with a digital version of our exhibit catalog with incredible illustrations from Jazzmen Lee-Johnson and an essay by Dr. Virginia Thomas.
Stay tuned for upcoming Tomboy-related programming, including an upcoming artist’s talk from our 2021-2022 Creative Fellow!
Happy Halloween from Special Collections and from our spooky friends! First, this very cheerful cloaked skeleton who hopes they’re invited to your Halloween party:
Next, from the characters in “Little Wee Pumpkin’s Thanksgiving,” none of whom are at all unsettling:
Don’t stress, this anthropomorphized pumpkin with leafy toupee and a skin-colored cravat just wants to make somebody very happy! Is it you? Is it this bossy queen standing in a pumpkin patch?
The stockinged gentleman accompanying the queen here is, I should note, Peter Pumpkineater, the keeper of the pumpkin patch. I don’t know about you, but if I were a pumpkin being tended by someone with the surname Pumpkineater, I wouldn’t be looking quite so placid…
Finally, we bring you copious Halloween greetings from Jack Pumpkinhead, the very aptly named character from The Land of Oz:
Do you love Jack Pumpkinhead? I love Jack Pumpkinhead. I love his clearly-articulated joints, his perfectly spherical head, and his obvious propensity for adventure. I also, as those who know me will attest, just LOVE pumpkins. This is a picture of me during all of the autumnal months:
Jack Pumpkinhead exhibits a surprising range of emotion given his fixed facial features. Here he is looking sweetly bashful!
As always, get in touch if you’d like to set up a time to see any of these books in person, and until then, may you enjoy this time of year with its crunchy leaves, golden light, copious pumpkins, and spooky nights.
Here in PPL’s Special Collections, we do our best to talk openly about the gaps in our historical collections, as well as the ways that collecting practices and archival structures have created and upheld these omissions over time. “What can’t you find because it isn’t here,” we sometimes ask researchers, “and what stories do those absences tell?”
In that vein, we love the new exhibit at the Carnegie Mellon University Libraries called What We Don’t Have. The exhibit highlights a series of items/ collections that they (you guessed it) don’t have, and deals directly with issues like the myth of archival neutrality and the ways in which archival processing priorities have de-emphasized materials documenting the lives and work of people of color. We especially like the action steps included with each exhibit item!
What do you think? And do you know of other institutions that are highlighting the gaps in their collections in interesting and proactive ways?
We’re also delighted to announce that we’ve selected the recipient of our 2021-2022 Creative Fellowship. Our new Creative Fellow, Carmen Ribaudo, will spend the coming months doing research in PPL’s Special Collections and creating new work related to the theme of our 2022 exhibition, tomboys.
Carmen Ribaudo works with pictures and words. With comics, painting, writing, and animation, she tells stories about characters who are in playful symbiosis with the worlds around them. She thinks about how we become what we do, how we get lost in what we create, and how worlds are built around what we pour ourselves into. She lives in Providence and is from St. Louis. View her work: www.carmenribaudo.com or on Instagram at @carmroses
We have an update to our last post! We’re still accepting proposals for our 2021 Creative Fellowship…
But we’ve decided to postpone both the Fellowship and our annual Exhibition & Program Series by six months due to the coronavirus. The annual exhibition will now open on October 1, 2021 (which is 13 months away, but we’re still hard at work planning!).
The new due date for Fellowship proposals is April 1, 2021. We’ve adjusted the timeline and due dates in the call for proposals accordingly.