The Avenue Concept: Bringing Year-Round Street Art to Providence
This Rhode Island arts organization creates and nurtures public art in Providence, including 170 public art installations.
If you find yourself noticing a lot of murals, sculpture and color in general in Providence, you might be witnessing the impact of the Avenue Concept. This Rhode Island arts organization creates and nurtures year-round public art in Providence and is currently credited with creating 170 public art installations and bringing $100,000 in tourism to Providence annually. Their mission includes everything from promoting art and storytelling to supporting local artists to making art accessible to all. Their Mural Public Art (2D Program) project brings both local and international artists to Rhode Island to create murals in public spaces all over Providence. Current murals on view include “Still Here” by Gaia, the Baltimore-based American street artist, “Battlecat” by Nychos, Austrian illustrator and street artist and “Party Shark” by Providence’s own Sam O. White.
One of the Avenue Concept’s more recent projects is a selfie wall brought to the public just last month. Selfie walls, gaining popularity in today’s social-media saturated world, are traditionally murals designed to be photographed with people in front of them, most often for posting on sites like Instagram. Appropriately, then, on May 1st, the Avenue Concept shared a picture of their original (not to mention Providence’s first) selfie wall on Instagram, but left the mystery of its location up to its followers. Soon, pictures across social media started popping up as people discovered the wall, now revealed to be on Broad Street and Wickham Street in Upper South Providence. The wall is still up and ready to be photographed, so if you go visit, be sure to tag @avenuepvd and use the hashtag #avenuepvd. Perhaps you’ll be the next one featured on their website!
In addition to the selfie wall, the Avenue Concept recently painted a 1,000-foot street mural in partnership with Trinity Square Together as part of their program, “Care for the Square (Spring Edition).” Possibly the largest painted street mural in all of Rhode Island, this colorful spread of polka dots was brought to life by around 100 local volunteers, a diverse group ranging from residents of the area to RISD students to neighborhood children. In addition to painting the street, the group also planted trees, set up street gardens and cleaned up the local cemetery. As one volunteer says in the video published on the event, “When you bring color to a place it makes everything possible.” Now, in Trinity Square, these words are brought to reality.
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The Avenue Concept won’t stop there, however. Other upcoming murals in June include Jess X Snow (location TBD), Above at PVD Innovation and Design district, and in July, Ricki Vespia at Olga’s Cup and Saucer. The Avenue Concept also hosts community events such as “Paint Jam” and artist talks at Avenue Paint Bar. For more information, visit the website at theavenueconcept.org. If you still want to get more involved, you can apply to be one of the Avenue Concept’s wonderful artists here.
The Avenue Concept is bringing color to the streets of Rhode Island one mural, sculpture,or artist at a time. If you’re looking for a way to see all of the art they’ve installed around the city, check out their helpful map, and enjoy!