Bond referendum campaign kick-off

On Oct. 4, supporters of bond referendum #2 gathered for a campaign kick-off event at ChemArt in Lincoln, R.I. The $78 million higher education referendum calls for $17 million to renovate RIC’s Art Center and $61 million to finance a new chemical and forensic sciences building at URI. The referendum will be on the state’s Nov. 2 election ballot.

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RIC President Nancy Carriuolo speaks at the bond referendum kick-off event.
At the kick-off event, RIC President Nancy Carriuolo stepped up to the podium and pointed out that she was wearing a piece of wearable sculpture designed by a RIC student in the metal arts and jewelry-making program. She also told the crowd of about 100 supporters that art is “very much a part of the effort to stimulate the economy in Rhode Island.”

She added that there is a natural pairing between the arts and sciences, as evidenced by the location for the kick-off event, and that the creative thinking of artists often leads to new ways to market ideas.

ChemArt, founded by URI alumnus Richard Beaupre in 1976, designs and manufactures photochemically etched decorative brass ornaments and collectibles. Beaupre graduated from URI with a BS in chemistry in 1962 and serves as CEO of ChemArt.

Lindsey Beaudreau ’10, a recent RIC graduate with a BFA degree in studio art and printmaking concentration, told the audience that she would typically spend between 10 and 16 hours a day working in the studio, oftentimes working through the night, along with “the other die-hards.” She said that she would like to teach one day and “be what the art professors at RIC have been for me.”

The Art Center at RIC houses the art department, its studio art and art education courses, and related programs. About 2,000 students take one or more of the 130 course offerings each year. The art degree-granting programs serve about 240 undergraduate majors, 30 minors and 25 graduate students yearly.

“RIC’s art program as well as its students and faculty are highly regarded. Our goal is to provide an appropriate working environment for their fine creative work,” said Carriuolo.

RIC President Nancy Carriuolo and grad Lindsey Beaudreau '10, with a display of
Beaudreau's artwork.
Built in 1958, the 34,000 square-foot building was designed as student center, dining hall, bookstore and library.

The facility is now used for classrooms, studios and faculty offices, but does not adequately meet the need for academic program requirements and exhibition space. Space redesign and improvements will also address health and safety codes needed for continued use.

In addition to Carriuolo, Beaupre and Beaudreau, other speakers at the event included Robert Beagle, URI vice president for advancement; Ray DiPasquale, commissioner of higher education; David Dooley, URI president: and Joshua Potvin, URI chemistry student.

The referendum has received support from the RIC Alumni Association, RIC Foundation, RIC’s Student Community Government, and the AFT, PSA and Council 94 unions at RIC.