Artists' Exchange Highlights
Dear Friends of Artists' Exchange,

Recently we have been talking about ways to enhance our communication within the agency of what goes on here at Artists' Exchange. We would like to find ways to highlight and celebrate successes, from small daily triumphs to major hurdles.

This will hopefully help to shed more light on the impact of our programs on the lives of people we serve. And in the spirit of a Complaint Free Workplace, this will give us all more positive things to talk about.



Highlights at a Glance:
  • Artists' Exchange secures $850 Professional Development Grant from the RI Foundation
  • Christian stays for two full art classes!
  • Liz, Catherine & Amanda take a scrapbooking class
  • Artists' Exchange acquires 2 additional pottery wheels
  • David Smith throws his first pot on the wheel
  • Black Box Players dig deep into "Cider House Rules"
  • Day program artists connect with local teens through art
  • Met School Students are making their mark
Artists' Exchange Secures $850 Professional Development Grant!
Grant will send Karen & Shannon to NCECA, the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts

From a program recently cut by the Rhode Island Foundation, Artists' Exchange was fortunately one of the last to secure a professional development grant, allowing Karen and Shannon to attend a conference that will enhance our ceramics program.

From March 31st to April 3rd, Karen and Shannon will be in Philadelphia attending workshops, demonstrations and lectures, learning best practices from leading ceramics artists from around the country. All of these tools and methods will be fused directly into our ceramics program at Artists' Exchange, which is our fastest growing program.
Progress in Art Therapy Class

Shannon would like to highlight that Christian recently stayed for two entire art classes. When Christian first came to us for art lessons, he was only able to stay for 15 minutes or less... this is amazing progress!

Christian has been taking art classes at Artists' Exchange for several years now, steadily building his skills and portfolio.

His paintings and sculpture were recently featured in "Creatures & Relics," alongside the work of local photographer, Justin Oliver.

We're all very proud of the progress he has made.
Making Memories
A scrapbooking session

Liz Torres, Catherine Fay and Amanda Volpe recently took advantage of an opportunity to participate in a scrapbooking session. The ladies had a lot of fun learning the basics of scrapbooking and assembling a few starter pages of their own.

The scrapbooking
instruction came from a group of women who are renting space in Artists' Exchange to meet and scrapbook together... just one of the many groups of artists who use Artists' Exchange as a meeting place.

Pictured from the t
op: Amanda showing off a heart-shaped cutting tool she used to shape her memories, Catherine working with her instructor on the lay-out of her scrapbooking page, and Liz showing off a final page displaying her memories.

The ladies learned a fun and creative way to document their life stories and celebrate their uniqueness.
In Other Ceramics News...

Artists' Exchange's ceramics program is growing steadily. Currently our most popular visual arts program, classes have long been limited to just 5 students due to the limit of 5 wheels in the studio.

We are excited to report that we have acquired two new wheels, which will increase our class limit to 7 students.

We anticipate classes running at full capacity, with a significant profit gleaned each session.

David at the wheel
Karen is also currently interviewing artists to share a vacant studio space (formerly Celia's Zanger's space for Windmill Studios). The artists will offer instruction and studio maintenance as part of a barter to lower their rental costs.

We have also added an open studio which has resulted in additional income, and has increased community access to our studios.

David Smith recently threw
his first pot on the wheel!
Congratulations to David!
In the Black Box Theatre...

Rich would like to report that his actors are getting a deeper understanding of their characters in their current project, "Cider House Rules," scheduled to open May 5th. They have been workshopping daily, and are almost all off book.

Black Box workshop

We look forward to seeing them take on weighty and controversial subject matter of the play, challenging themselves as actors, and as human beings, to tell a story that will make people think.

Connecting with Local Youth...

Shannon has recently been hosting an after school art group for local high school students from Cranston East. The group, Art Guild, formed from a conversation between Shannon and a Cranston East High School student, Sara Moore, who started volunteering at Artists' Exchange at the Fall Out of Summer Festival in 2009. Sara first heard of Artists' Exchange when she attended the festival in 2008.


Sara informed Shannon that Cranston East would be losing their after school arts program because none of the art teachers wanted to run the group after the long-time coordinator retired.

Shannon started the group shortly thereafter, meeting once a week with up to 10 students participating. Their first large scale project will be a redesign of one of Artists' Exchan
ge's windows.

Karen came up with a way for the
students to inte
Mylena working on journalract with the guys by communicating through drawing and writing in a shared journal. This project began last week with five Cranston East students who introduced themselves on the first page of the journal. Karen selected five day program artists to participate, and they each chose the student with whom they wanted to share a journal.

This is the beginning of a great collaboration and friendship.
Met School Students Are Making Their Mark...

Artists' Exchange currently has four student interns from the Met School, an alternative high school based in Providence recently commended by President Obama for its outstanding programs: Maranda (Jenny's intern), Kylie (Karen's intern), Jamie (Shannon's intern) and Gigi (Christina's intern).

Gigi and Miranda
Maranda, Jamie and Gigi are each working on a project that will in some way benefit the community, and many of them have chosen to focus on the community here at Artists' Exchange:

Gigi (pictured far right) is interested in pursuing photography, and decided to do a portrait project with the guys, entitled "Beautiful Faces." Jamie, an aspiring comics artist, will be putting together an art show featuring work by day program artists. And Maranda (pictured near right) is organizing a dance.

Stay tuned for soon-to-come details on these exciting projects... we hope you'll join us to celebrate!