- Public Art Selection Committee, led by Dirt Palace and Steel Yard artist facilitated, and incorporating neighborhood champions, meets to develop request for public art qualifications/proposals to be sited along San Souci Drive and in Riverside Park.
- The Steel Yard and the Woonasquatucket River Watershed Council determine sites for sculptural animal habitats to be fabricated by Steel Yard artists.
- October 19 – Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery installation by Daniella Ben-Bessat goes on view.
- November 25, 6:00PM – 7:30PM
Dirt Palace, 14 Olneyville Sq.
Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery Artist Talk and closing celebration with Daniella Ben-Bessat:
EELS in the Olneyville Square?? PROOF!!
Daniella Ben-Bassat is an artist and musician based out of Providence, Rhode Island. With an interest in making paintings, music, and sound sculptures that reveal the presence of the mystical in the mundane, she draws inspiration from trash, nature, spirituality, and psychedelic culture. Her work aims to exist in a tenuous space that warbles between morphing abstraction and the material of the everyday.
“I first found out about the eels in the river at a 4th of July party. People were throwing chicken pieces into the water, and the eels were swarming. Equally mesmerized and furious that no one had told me about this phenomenon sooner, I needed to know more.Eel larvae migrate from the Atlantic’s Sargasso Sea — floating for about a year until they reach fresh water in the Woonasquatucket (often translated as an Algonquin word meaning ‘where the salt water ends’). As they approach the shore, they become more pigmented and yellow, mirroring their increasingly muddy surroundings. Sexual differentiation only happens once the eels are between 1 and 3 years old, and it’s highly dependent on environmental factors like population density. With a high tolerance for pollution, they live in the river for between 5 and 20 years until they reach sexual maturity and their physiology changes in preparation for their return back to the sea to spawn. Their digestive tracts get smaller and their pectoral fins get bigger to improve their ability to swim long distances. The skin becomes thicker, the composition of their body fluids changes, and their retinas adapt to prepare for deeper water with less sunlight.
Determined to capture video of my neighbors, I purchased two orders of chicken nuggets at the local Burger King and a friend joined me at the river with an underwater video camera. We found a 2×4 piece of wood and fastened the camera to it. We also fastened pieces of chicken nuggets to the wood with some strong Gorilla Tape. The long piece of wood, once submerged in the Woonasquatucket, would allow us to get underwater footage without actually going into the river, and the pieces of chicken nuggets would lure the eels close enough to the camera to capture some (hopefully) good shots. This technique proved to be flawless in execution. The eels were most excited about the chicken nuggets that were fully submerged, and were less likely to get the pieces of chicken that were bobbing on the surface of the water.”
- November 28 – Public Art Selection Committee, led by Dirt Palace and Steel Yard artist facilitated, and incorporating neighborhood champions, meets to refine and finalize request for public art qualifications/proposals to be sited along San Soucci Drive and in Riverside Park.
Selected artists will design, fabricate and install temporary public art that will enhance the design of civic infrastructure (the greenway) by improving people’s experiences of using this place and interacting with its natural ecology and cultural amenities. This project is funded by the National Endowment for the Arts and as such, the art/artist selection process will be implemented with project partners.
December 5 – Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery installation by Shey Rivera goes on view.
- December 19 – Shey Rivera Artist Talk at Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery.
- Public Art RFQ Deadline (exact date TBD).
- January 12 – Closing of Shey Rivera installation at Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery.
- January 19 – Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery installation by Sto Len goes on view.
- Public Art RFP goes to shortlisted artists (exact date TBD).
- Sto Len Artist Talk at Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery (exact date TBD).
- February 24 – Closing of Sto Len installation at Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery.
- Sculptural animal habitat fabrication begins.
- Deadline for Public Art RFP (exact date TBD).
- March 5 – Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery installation by Matt Tracy goes on view.
- Public Artist selections and Art in City Life Commission approval (exact date TBD)
- April 12 – Closing of Matt Tracy installation at Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery.
- Public Art fabrication.
- Dirt Palace Storefront Window Gallery show 5 (artist TBD) goes on view (April 19).
- Public Art fabrication.
- Sculptural animal habitat fabrication.
- Public Art installation.
- Sculptural animal habitat installation.
- July 21 – 28: Fringe Festival 2019 including site-specific performances by Manton Avenue Project and the Wilbury Theatre Group.
- Final public art installations by selected artists and WaterFire.
- Processional and celebration (exact date TBD)
- Public listening meeting 1 of 2 (date TBD).
- Public listening meeting 2 of 2 (date TBD).