No longer are travelers confined to peeking through the windows of a shuttered Westerly Train Station or just admiring its exterior Spanish design with clay roof tiles, cream-colored stucco and red-brick façade, and series of curved arches supported by columns. Now, the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly (ACGOW) has transformed the former depot into a warm, inviting space – ready to transport visitors through the visual arts.
The train station’s ornate, two-story building is now filled with ever-changing paintings, photography and prints of landscapes, seascapes, and people, as well as mixed-media art, hand-thrown ceramics, metal sculptures, jewelry, encaustics, collages, and books by ACGOW’s members and visiting artists. On the first Friday of every month, they have new show openings with an artist meet and greet, plus wine.
Since opening in August 2018, the feedback from the community has been extremely positive, and many repeat visitors come and bring their friends, shares ACGW President Arlene Piacquadio. “People walk in and they just go ‘Wow.’ It’s like, ‘I don’t know where to look first, but I can’t wait to wander around.’”
While the ACGOW’s other home at the United Theatre undergoes a fundraising campaign and reconstruction, it has relocated to the train station with a two-year license from the State of Rhode Island’s Department of Transportation.
Hoping to renew their license for another five years, Piacquadio says laughing, “We’d love to stay forever… We’d like to be back at the United Theatre and also stay here.” Visit WesterlyArts.com for more information about upcoming events, including shows, demonstrations, classes, and workshops.