A Jamestown Art Gallery Makes Space for All to Create and Show

Out of the Box Studio has a full roster of winter exhibits and programming

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For a Rhode Island town of around 6,000 residents, Jamestown has a considerable arts scene, including the newly renovated Out of the Box Studio and Gallery. Home to a vibrant community of over 30 professional and aspiring artist members, the now state-of-the-art facility launched in 2011 and was upgraded in 2018. Along with being
affiliated with Looking Upwards – an agency that supports individuals with disabilities – the unique gallery provides exhibition and studio space, technical support, networking, and inspiration. Their goal is to assist clients in living full lives, which includes having a sense of self-expression through the arts. 

“Out of the Box serves the whole community,” explains creative art director Casey Weibust. “We are an inclusive space for art enthusiasts, artists who want to create and/or exhibit, and artists who want to share their knowledge through talks and workshops. Our membership is diverse, including artists with various interests and many artists with disabilities.”

Regular programming – like Crafty Sunday open studios for all ages and experience levels – invites the whole community to get involved. They also host live poetry readings organized by the Rhodeo Poets every second Thursday of the month. 

New exhibits open every couple of months, with several exciting gallery events on the way. Irish Eyes, featuring artists Ann Biddle and Izzy Goff, runs through December 31. “Several Out of the Box studio members who created work during a workshop with Ann and Izzy will also have their work on display during the exhibit,” says Weibust.

Another exhibit, Outsider Art: Harnessing Color, opens January 27 and will be housed at the Jamestown Arts Center. “We will be exhibiting alongside six other art spaces that provide services to artists with disabilities,” says Weibust. “This will be the third exhibit at the Jamestown Arts Center that Out of the Box has helped organize and curate, and the first time that we are exhibiting alongside other studio spaces that are outside of Rhode Island.” The studio is partnering with the Center for Creative Works in Philadelphia, Spindleworks in Maine, The Studio in Maine, Artists Exchange in Cranston, Downtown Design in Newport, and Studio 57 in Middletown.  

No doubt, the studio’s reach is widespread, including their inclusive Looms and Libraries project popping up around the state. “Six libraries will house a 36x48-inch loom from December 2022 through February 2023, and all community members are invited to contribute,” explains Weibust. “The finished tapestries will be displayed at Out of the Box Gallery in March 2023. After the exhibit, each tapestry will be donated back to the library where it was created for patrons to admire for years to come.”  

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