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The Providence Art Club is the second oldest clubhouse of this kind in the United States after the famous Salgamundi Art Club in New York. The galleries and exhibitions support artists around the greater New England region and all are open to the public. Some of the exhibits include photography, assembled prints, film, sculpture and much, much more. It's better to visit during the week as opposed to weekends when it's only open for two hours.
The Rhode Island School of Design is one of the country's leading art schools and it has a museum to match this lauded reputation. Located on colonial Benefit Street, RISD museum traces the history of art from antiquity to the present day through more than 85,000 works of art from all over the world. There are also collections showing Providence's history as a manufacturing center for silver, but the main galleries are categorized as follows: The Grand Gallery, Early Renaissance & Medieval, Ancient Greek & Roman, Contemporary & Modern and Decorative Arts & Design.
The Bell Gallery is located in the List Art Center, on the Brown University campus and is open to the public. You will find all manner of modern art in this sparse white space. In one month you could see an exhibit by three artists working with photography and texts, an installation about a vanished Russian cosmonaut and photographs depicting a futuristic society of bog-dwellers. All events at the Bell Gallery are free. Include this gallery in a walking tour of the campus.
AS220 is a non-profit venue that foments love for art in all its myriad forms. They have various resources open to the public, some are free, others require a nominal fee. Some of the workshops and classes include computer labs that teach programming languages, darkroom skills for DSLR Newbies and print shop techniques for traditional media purists. Additionally, inside this 22,000-square-foot building, visitors will find several galleries and a stage where local artists display their talents. There is always something new at AS220.