Featured

Getting Creative: Outsider Collective showcases work of artists with differing abilities

Outsider Collective is a newly established non-profit art gallery storefront/studio space located at Hope Artiste Village in Pawtucket. They currently have 35 artists with pieces showcased at the studio, including paintings on canvas, drawings, framed and slip-sleeved artwork, pillows, mugs, cartoons, poem books, calendars, stickers, t-shirts, buttons and music CDs (debut album of Angry Skull). The goal of Outsider Collective, which is the brainchild of Jessica Angelone and Carrie Hyde (both program managers at RHD-RI), is to sell art made by people of differing abilities.

“The idea of Outsider Collective was a mutual idea brewing in our brains right around the same time,” Angelone says of its origin. “We decided to create what was missing and truly needed in our community, which in an integrated, Outsider Artist community with a focus on adults living with differing abilities. We envisioned a creative space for people to belong to foster successful, self-employed artists.”

The team consists of Angelone, Hyde, Aaron Leidecker and Justin Riley. Their mission is to build community and belonging through art and unity for all abilities. Most have experience working with adults with disabilities, and they saw this as a great opportunity to combine their passions of art and helping people thrive and succeed. While they don’t have any official employees at this time, they are hoping to grow to the point where that can change.

Advertisement

“Our growing team is passionately involved with serving the I/DD (Intellectual/Developmental Disability) community and creating a space for them to be creative, meet new people, learn the ins and outs of being a working artist and have a community to really belong to,” Angelone says.

Outsider Collective is still growing, using grassroots marketing, social media and word-of-mouth to get their name out there. Outsider Collective is open every Saturday from 9 am – 2 pm during the Wintertime Farmers Market. They recently hosted their first event, RHD-RI’s 12th Annual Bizarre Bazaar, and plan to add more open studio hours as well as workshops, artist receptions and art shows.

“We have an amazing location right in the middle of all of the action during the farmers market every Saturday, so we get a lot of patrons coming in to see all of the bright artwork,” Angelone says while discussing the advantage of their location. “We plan to stay consistent with art shows and taking advantage of all of the fun things that go on within the Hope Artiste Village. We are lucky to be surrounded by so many talented, self-employed artists there. We met a lot of people who have never been exposed to our folks’ artwork who were in awe.”

The 35 so far featured artists create what Angelone calls outsider art.  Outsiders are the people who don’t quite fit the mold, which can sometimes lead to their gifts getting overlooked or misrepresented by society.

“Outsider Art is raw, unique, untraditional and imaginative,” Angelone proudly says while describing what she considers some of the most talented artists in RI. “Our artists work from the heart. You can see the pain, happiness, love, struggle and joys in each piece of art. That is what makes it so amazing.”

Outsider Collective always considers artist work, and is willing to view anything submitted to see if the art would be a good fit for their storefront. They are active online and on all social media outlets. Their next art show, “Animal Kingdom,” will take place from February 13 – 24.

Outsider Collective is located at Hope Artiste Village (1005 Main St in Pawtucket). The storefront is open on Saturdays from 9 am – 2 pm during the Wintertime Farmers Market. They are active on Facebook and Instagram (@outsidercollective401) and www.theoutsidercollective.org. Please email outsidercollective401@rhd.org for further information.