Video by Logan Floyd
Here at The Avenue Concept, we were excited to play a key role in PIAF’s success. “There are a lot of challenges in the public art realm,” says Yarrow Thorne, The Avenue’s founder & artistic director. “For PIAF, we wanted to layer the Washington Street Corridor with as many urban activities as possible that represent the culture of Providence. Overall, we collaborated and managed over 60 local artists and designers—all funded by The Avenue.”
Our PIAF projects were big—literally—and included a variety of media from painter’s tape to spraypaint to music to movement. Here’s a look at some highlights:
Both a group of artists and the medium in which they work, Tape Art was responsible for the large-scale Catfish imagery swimming above the city throughout the festival—the largest public art installation in Rhode Island history. The whimsical Catfish adorned five buildings around Kennedy Plaza, including the very top of City Hall, which required a fully extended 135-foot boom lift. Based in Rhode Island, the Tape Art Crew have created works all over the world that are immediate, temporal, and unique in their ability to transform architecture and spark conversation.
As part of our role in bringing the Washington Street Cultural Corridor to life, we featured the art of two internationally renowned street artists: Bezt and Natalia Rak with two massive murals. Both unique and flamboyant works transformed otherwise unremarkable brick walls into provocative works of art that engage conversation and response from viewers on the street—exactly what we’re all about at The Avenue.
Dean Avenue Activisual Experiment
The Avenue partnered with the Dean Hotel to host the first-of-its-kind Activisual Experiment, featuring an interactive pop-up skate and art park. Local DJs were spinning music while skaters and dancers showed off their moves and over a dozen local artists showcased their works. In addition, 10 local artists painted Art Chairs; 5 local sculpture artists’ work was featured on pedestals; 3 local artists painted the skate ramps; and The Avenue’s Zipcar Art Car was on-site adding another unique element to the event. Plus, a team of 8 local photographers, along with a videographer and a cinematographer documented all of the creative energy and excitement before, during and after PIAF. “It’s about creating the ideal environment for people to come and just do what they do best,” says Yarrow.
We also supported 14 local artists with mini grants to create new installations along the Washington Street Corridor: Topher Gent; Chroma Council; Standard Film; Alicia Uth Headmaster; Daniel O’Neill & Jimi Pantalon; Kate Schapira; Heather Guidera; Alisan Lemay & Leah Miller; Laurencia Strauss; Ten Tiny Dances; Kurt Snell; Philippe Lejeune; Ashley Schwebel.
We’re excited to once again be partnering with the Dean Hotel to host the second Activisual Experiment on September 26—the culmination of INFLUX: Public Art Encounters, our month-long celebration of public art in Providence happening this month. Check back soon for more information and updates on the exciting new public art projects we’re bringing to the city of Providence.