LOOKING BEYOND AND REACHING OUT
Tucked into an historic mercantile block with its entrance discretely marked at the door, the Providence Center for Photographic Arts has an emergent vibe that feels very much like a relaxed atelier. Visitors step into a vestibule and then head up a flight of stairs to find the gallery at the second-floor landing. The building’s upper floors have a mix of artist studios and design offices, and the North Main Street location at the foot of Providence’s College Hill functions as a nexus point between the city’s education and commerce sectors.
Peter Miller, founder of Peter Miller Gallery, transitioned his business into the current non-profit entity. He recruited a board of directors whose founding members are himself; David DeMelim; Rosemary Marchetta; Steve Szydlowski; Ronald W. Dunbar, Jr.; Shari Weschler Rubeck; Tim Tolman and Michael Lennahan. All are active in their respective fields of journalist photography, corporate and fine art photography, painting and design. Collectively, their goal is to fill a void in the area’s arts culture, creating a destination to view ongoing photography exhibitions with layers of outreach and support, with the hope of promoting the understanding of photographic trends practiced locally and globally. The neighborhood has a historical connection for photography buffs as the late Harry Callahan’s studio was located one block uphill from this location.
In developing its methods for exhibition in its two gallery rooms, the Providence Center for Photographic Arts has addressed the practical concerns artists face regarding presentation costs. They have an arrangement with iolabs of East Providence, should an artist want to use that resource to print work and avoid shipping costs. To encourage a kind of global accessibility, juried show artists Featured Gallery UNSEEN IN PROVIDENCE are offered the option of simply sending a digital file to iolabs to be printed, and the prints will be brought to the gallery without a delivery charge. Temporary frames in various sizes are on the premise and, if suitable, become another important savings to an artist. Being a non-profit, The Providence Center for Photographic Arts is not dependent on sales. An agreed to 60/40 split gives the artist 60 percent of any resulting sale through its exhibition. The gallery, therefore, is a practitioner of fair-trade for artists; it’s a refreshingly proactive stance today.