Warren, Rhode Island, hosts many creative things in its path, but I stumbled upon a foundation that is worth receiving a shout out. The IFA, (Imago Foundation for the Arts), located on Market Street, is a wonderful 1500-foot space that houses a cooperative place dedicated to the arts. It’s free and open to the public. With fundraising activities, grants and a community that loves this gallery, it has been in operation for over 10 years. I recently was in amazement of the multiple mediums in this gallery. From sculptures to photographs and paintings and the list goes on. I was so thrilled when I stepped in to explore further and was able to chat with two local artists about their works and techniques. It’s refreshing when new forms or art work are created and the end results are impressive and on display!
The membership encompasses 18 artists who participate and staff the gallery with four-hour rotating shifts. They have a few compensated volunteers and no paid director, therefore the space is open for 24 hours each week. The member artists are able to receive exposure of their works and can use the IFA’s website as another promotional vehicle. The website has links to the artist’s work, and promotes upcoming events along with YouTube videos on a specific artist. Unlike with most galleries, the commission rates are kept low and the exhibits include members’ works and holds an annual community show. For a small fee, any community member can submit up to three pieces of artwork (any medium) that will be displayed in the gallery. Their mission is to “support community involvement in a wide range of cultural activities related to the arts.” Warren is lucky to have this passion.
Partnering with various mediums of art forms, The 2nd Story Theatre, also in Warren, does an annual fundraising event with the IFA. They have captured ‘live’ art and related venues in forms of dance recitals, musicians and poets. Art talks are also represented in conjunction with the exhibits, various topics and panel discussions. The space is unique in that it can handle a variety of performances and be accommodate food and beverages.
The IFA partakes in the monthly (5x per year) Art Night in Bristol and Warren with extended hours. It’s a great way to introduce the gallery and art to the local area and visitors.
If you would like more information regarding the IFA or would like to be a member, visit their website and apply using the forms. Applicants for membership are asked to submit images of recent works, which are reviewed by the committee. Each applicant is invited to meet with members to discuss their works and ask questions about IFA and how the gallery operates. Come visit, it’s an exciting space that houses some of Rhode Island’s noteworthy artisans.
Imago Foundation for the Arts, 36 Market St, Warren. 401-245-3348; firstname.lastname@example.org; IMAGOfoundation4Arts.org