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.
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!
Have you taken a look at our current digital exhibition about Providence’s vacant spaces, or visited any of the locations on the tour to see the signs?
Exhibition curator Angela DiVeglia will be giving a talk on Wednesday, May 22nd in the lower level of the Bell Street Chapel from 6:00 – 7:30 pm. (Did you know that the park next to Bell Street Chapel used to be a convent?)
The evening will begin with a short presentation where Angela will show highlights from the exhibition, discuss her research and curatorial process, and answer questions from the audience. The second half of the event will consist of an optional interactive workshop with drawing and writing prompts to encourage audience members to engage with vacant and open spaces from their day-to-day lives or from their memories.
Learn more and register for the event here!
We’re very sad to say that our 2018 Creative Fellow’s time with us is coming to a close at the end of June. We’ve had a delightful time working with her, and it’s been energizing and exciting to see the new work that she’s created based on our collections.
First, we’d like to say that Becci Davis gave an astounding and well-received performance on the library’s Washington Street steps this past Saturday as part of PVDFest, complete with large-scale banners bearing images of items from our Special Collections. Below are a couple of photographs of her performance:
If you missed Saturday’s performance, or if you loved it so much that it left you wanting more, you’ll be happy to hear that tomorrow (Wednesday, June 13, 2018), you’ll have TWO opportunities to see Becci!
First, she’ll be bringing her Beacon Beauty Shop (as seen at our HairBrained opening) to Burnside Park in downtown Providence from 11:00 – 2:00. A description from the artist:
Beacon Beauty Shop is an interactive art performance. Becci Davis had her first appointment in a beauty shop when she was ten years old. Since then, she has been a patron in numerous beauty salons and found that elements of Black salon culture are widespread. That alone is something beautiful. These institutions are beacons of Black culture and the setting to countless intimate interactions between stylist and client. Join her as she examines beauty shop culture through performance. Share good, bad, and awkward moments in an intimate, 5 minute, one-on-one exchange.
Then, later that same day, Becci is giving an artist’s talk at the library, where she’ll reflect on her research and creative process, show documentation of Saturday’s performance of Private Proclamations, and answer questions. (Thank you to Matthew Lawrence of Law and Order Party for a lovely shout-out regarding this talk!)
We hope to see you there!
After nearly 8 months of research, planning, story-collecting, writing, and interdisciplinary art-making, PPL’s 2018 Creative Fellow Becci Davis has created a multi-part performance entitled “Private Proclamations.”
Please join us for Becci’s culminating performance next Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 2:30 pm as part of PVDFest. The performance will be outdoors, on the library’s Washington Street steps (near the historic entrance); it’s free of charge and open to the public, and no advance registration is required. In the words of the artist, “Private Proclamations is a performance about Black hair in three parts. Part One: Letters to my Locks establishes a level of intimacy between the performer and audience. In Part Two: Act It Loud, appropriate private behavior in public spaces is redefined through defiance. Part Three: Please Touch presents an invitation for change through collective action.”
Parking downtown will likely be tricky, as PVDFest brings numerous street closures and large crowds. Read more about parking and public transportation options on the PVDFest FAQ’s page.
Becci will also give an artist’s talk at the library about her process and her performance on the following Wednesday, June 13. We look forward to seeing you there!
Thanks to all who attended the HairBrained opening party on February 28th; it was a delightful evening! Remember to check the Library’s website for up-to-date information about upcoming hair-themed programming, and to pass through the Rhode Island Room on your next visit to PPL to view our exhibition.
Speaking of programming, we want to share information about two upcoming events in Providence that may be of interest to our fair blog readers:
Latinos in Heritage Conservation/ Rhode Island Statewide Historic Preservation Conference
Thursday-Saturday, April 26-28, 2018
Various locations throughout Providence
Registration required; register here before April 17.
Latinos in Heritage Conservation, Rhode Island Latino Arts, and the Rhode Island Historical Preservation & Heritage Commission are proud to present Encuentro 2018. Spanning three full days of programs in Providence and the Blackstone Valley, this groundbreaking event brings together the 3rd National Convening of Latinos in Heritage Conservation and the 33rd Annual Statewide Rhode Island Historic Preservation Conference.
Featuring guest speakers from across the country and opportunities to meet and exchange ideas with fellow practitioners and advocates for Latino historic preservation, this is a not to be missed opportunity. Rhode Island Latino Arts, RIHPHC, and local partners have planned an engaging program of tours and special events to round out the schedule.
RISD unbound Art Book Fair
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Fleet Library at the Rhode Island School of Design
15 Westminster Street, Providence, RI
Free and open to the public
This day-long event celebrates artists’ books, zines, and experimental printed matter created by RISD students and local artists, designers, and publishers. Through exhibits, sales, and discussions, RISD unbound seeks to inspire unbound conversations around cultural publishing in the Providence community.
In case you haven’t heard, tomorrow (Wednesday, February 28, 2018) is the kickoff party for our 2018 exhibition and program series, HairBrained! The event runs from 6:00-8:00 here at the library, and will feature curators’ tours of the exhibition, an interactive performance from our Creative Fellow Becci Davis, and a performance by Sussy Santana and Orlando Hernández. The opening is also a great chance to get a copy of our exhibition catalog, which features color photos of exhibition items alongside hair-themed poetry by Sussy Santana.
We’re excited that opening day is nearly here. We’ve spent months carefully selecting items, researching everything from ancient Egyptian wigs to the history of the hooded hair dryer, building a fleet of custom book supports, and printing labels.
Meanwhile, our Director of Programs and Exhibitions has been planning a fantastic series of hair-themed programs to take place at the library during the upcoming months. You can see a list of upcoming programs on the PPL website.
We’re just over a week away from this year’s Updike Prize award ceremony, and we’re excited to welcome our featured speaker, Nina Stössinger, to Providence. If you want to get a head start and read a short article by Nina, try this one. Or maybe check out this interview with her and then follow her on Twitter.
But whatever you do, be sure to join us on Monday, October 23rd, at the RISD Metcalf Auditorium and hear from Nina in person!
We have big news:
Special Collections at the Providence Public Library is publishing a comic book!
Lizard Ramone in Hot Pursuit: A Guide to Archives for Artists and Makers is a comic book conceived of and printed by the Providence Public Library in Providence, RI, working in collaboration with artist Jeremy Ferris, who created the storyline, illustrations, and text. It’s being distributed locally with a bonus insert illustrated by O. Horvath.
Providence describes itself as the “Creative Capital”, and we work with a great number of artists and designers in our Special Collections. These creative researchers often have a different approach than the students, scholars, and genealogists whom many tend to think of as “typical” archival researchers.
After asking ourselves, “How can we better meet the needs of creative researchers?” and “How can we make our collections more accessible to artists and other non-traditional researchers?”, we decided to team up with a local illustrator and library student to make a fun-to-read guide demystifying archival research. (It’s also hilarious!) We wanted it to be specific enough that it could help our users, but general enough to be applicable to collections across the country.
We’re having a comic book release party this coming Wednesday, June 21st, from 6:30-8 on the 3rd floor of the library. (Facebook event for the party here.) Artist Jeremy Ferris will give a short presentation and answer questions; we’ll also have a bevy of interactive stations, like a mini research consultation booth, a comics-drawing station, and a table where you can have your portrait drawn by a librarian. (We’ll also have snacks.)
For local blog readers, we hope to see you at the release party! For all blog readers, stay tuned for online-readable and printable versions of the comic book!
Jeremy Ferris performs a clam-centric ritual in front of his projected illustration. The drawing is based on historical photos of clambakes in the Rhode Island Collection.
During the month of May, Walker asked a number of local artists, writers, and musicians to visit Special Collections, each armed with a research assignment. They then were asked to write a story or create a comic based on their research.
Dailen Williams, Alexander Smith, and Veronica Santos (l-r) share their stories on stage.
These artists’ various creations were showcased at the resulting “A History of Future Bummers.” Writers including Caitlin Cali, Veronica Santos, Dailen Williams, Alexander Smith, Jim Frain, Jeremy Ferris, Keegan Bonds-Harmon, William Keller, and Julia Gualtieri shared their stories, punctuated by musical interludes from Joe DeGeorge. (You can listen to Joe’s sketch demos of these library-based songs here, here, and here. The last one is based on entries about vandalism in our Rhode Island index card catalog!)
Providence Sunday Wipeout cover; “Faces of Narragansett Bay” by Walker Mettling; huge and colorful illustration by Aaron Demuth (clockwise from top left)
The evening also marked the official release of a new, Special Collections-themed issue of the Providence Sunday Wipeout comics newspaper. WOW! Lots of familiar historical items, local lore, and strange tales appeared in illustrated format in this VERY large format publication.
Walker printed the paper in color on a risograph, and a small army of intrepid volunteers taped and folded pages. Thanks to all for their hard work and for a hilarious and highly entertaining evening!
(Stay tuned for more info about seeing drafts and originals of these awesome creations live and in person!)