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Distributed March 9, 2005
Contact Mark Nickel

Through April 22, 2005
The voices of Providence artists: A new oral history exhibition

The John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization is hosting its first exhibition in its new Carriage House Gallery through April 22, 2005. Intimacy and Isolation in Providence: An Installation is a collection of oral histories gathered by students from the city’s artists and institution builders. An opening reception is planned for Thursday, March 10, 2005, from 7 to 9 p.m.

PROVIDENCE, R.I. — The voices and stories of the city’s artists are being heard – and preserved – through a new exhibition at the John Nicholas Brown Center for the Study of American Civilization, the first exhibition in the center’s newly renovated Carriage House Gallery.

Intimacy and Isolation in Providence: An Installation, on display through April 22, 2005, is an oral history exhibit featuring the images and voices of 17 Providence artists and institution builders, including Raffini, Barnaby Evans, Ruth Frisch Dealy and Paul Ianelli.

Editors: The press is invited to an opening reception with the exhibition organizers and its featured artists Thursday, March 10, 2005, from 7 to 9 p.m. in the Center at 357 Benefit St.]

The exhibition, curated by Brown students and designed by students from Rhode Island School of Design, was initially developed in the fall of 2004 at Brown in an American civilization course, Theory and Methods of Oral History, taught by Paul Buhle, senior lecturer. Each of the students in Buhle’s class conducted two 60- to 90-minute interviews with local artists identified in an earlier project led by Buhle, titled Underground Rhode Island. The students began by investigating avant-garde art and culture in Rhode Island, but soon found themselves fascinated by the voices of men and women who were agents of change in Providence’s artistic community. In this exhibition, these key players speak for themselves, illuminating the connections between individuals and artists and communities, and between artists, issues and events.

“The oral histories of artists and cultural activists capture a mood of Rhode Island life, the interracial culture blossoming in the 1950s, the ‘underground’ rock music of the 1960s and ’70s, the experimentation that went on little noticed by most people – in short, a story that has never been told,” said Buhle. “Seeing it, hearing it, offers an important way to understand what we have become and what we are.”

“The contributions of these institution builders are vital to the construction of what Providence is today,” said Steven Lubar, professor of American Civilization and director of the John Nicholas Brown Center. “This exhibit, like much of what we look forward to presenting, is a joint effort of Brown students and RISD students.

“This is an opportunity to bring student research to a larger audience. It's not only a good educational experience for the students, we believe it will also be of interest to the Brown and Providence community.”

Brown students Monica Martinez ’06, Nolan Shutler ’06 and John Butler ’07 curated the exhibition; RISD students Jannah Townsend and Shraddha Aryal designed the display. The featured Providence artists are Raffini, Barnaby Evans, Paul Iannelli, Peter Eiermann, Paula Hunter, Nancy Fuller, Jose Pinera, Xander Marro, Lynette Labinger, John Roney, Lynn Ho, Richard Fishman, Edward Zaretsky, Matthew Barros, Michael Gaughan, Milton Stanzler and Ruth Frisch Dealy.

The Carriage House Gallery, 47 Power St., is open Monday through Friday, 1 to 4 p.m. The exhibit is free and open to the public. For more information, call (401) 863-1177 or 272-0357.


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