PPL’s annual Creative Fellowship, founded in 2014, provides an opportunity for a local artist to create new work based upon, utilizing, or inspired by materials in and images from our Special Collections.
The Creative Fellowship lasts 6-8 months, coinciding in topic and timing with the Library’s annual exhibition and program series. Each year’s fellowship focuses on artists working in a specified discipline, rotating between visual art, performance, writing, and music/sound on a four-year cycle.
The fellow receives a stipend, funds to help cover the cost of project materials, and intensive research support.
The 2021-2022 Providence Public Library Creative Fellow
Carmen Ribaudo works with pictures and words. With comics, painting, writing, and animation, she tells stories about characters who are in playful symbiosis with the worlds around them. She thinks about how we become what we do, how we get lost in what we create, and how worlds are built around what we pour ourselves into. She lives in Providence and is from St. Louis.
Kelly Eriksen Perez (2020) created an interactive sound installation in the newly-renovated library. Her research and artist's talk focused on conversation, mapping soundscapes, and collecting audio from our surroundings.
Keri King (2017) created a full-color, 8’x8’ mural of an al fresco dinner party using analog and digital collage techniques. Her mural incorporated scanned images from our collections and remains on permanent display at the Library. Keri also hosted a collage workshop for youth and adults.
Laura Brown-Lavoie (2019) created a chapbook of new poetry about fossil fuels, colonialism, and Providence's industrial waterfront. She also hosted an Earth Day ritual with other local musicians and writers.
Walker Mettling (2016) created a series of articulated paper characters and an oversized, full-color comics newspaper (Providence Sunday Wipeout #2), the latter of which incorporated his own research-based illustrations as well as comics from numerous other local artists. He also put together an evening of readings and performance called “A History of Future Bummers.”
Becci Davis (2018) created a three-part, outdoor performance about Black hair entitled “Private Proclamations” and performed it on the Library’s Washington Street steps as part of PVDFest. She also developed an interactive art performance called “Beacon Beauty Shop” and gave an artist’s talk about her research process.
Micah Salkind (2015), our inaugural Creative Fellow, worked with the Fiske Harris Collection of Civil War song sheets to extend the history of anti-racist anthems into the Civil War era. He wrote an issue of the Special Collections publication “Occasional Nuggets” on the racial types used in the woodblock printing of broadsheets published by New York's Henry Marsan Publishers, and his father printed and sewed the issues’ covers.