The Mission of the Pawtucket Public Art Program is to reflect the city’s identity, improve the quality of life for residents and visitors, stimulate city pride, attract economic development, and to engage artists and the community in the life of the city by acquiring and maintaining high-quality public art that is funded partially or fully with public monies and/or located on public property.

A preliminary draft of the Pawtucket Public Art Strategic Plan may be downloaded here.
The Public Meeting presentation of May 22, 2019 may be download here.



A dynamic new mural has appeared in Pawtucket.  The large mural, Golden Spinners, 180 feet long and 25 feet high, is located on the back side of the Creative Commerce Center, at 881 Main Street.  The colorful mural is in full view at the exit ramp of Exit 26N off I-95.

The Creative Commerce Center, currently being developed by Wayne Rosenberg, was formerly occupied by the New England Lace Company and Tecumseh, an industrial machinery company. David Teng Olsen, the artist, explains, “I took forms from both industries and created an image that evokes both of those histories in addition to the diverse local population of contemporary Pawtucket.”

Olsen brings to his art a background of scientific illustration in the bioengineering field. His work as an artist uses new and traditional visual methods to explore ideas of science and life. In addition to painting murals, Olsen also works with printmaking, animation, interactive digital media and performance art in the creation of site-specific installations.  He is on the faculty of Wellesley College where he teaches New Media.

In preparation for the mural in Pawtucket, Olsen spent a year researching, designing, and fund raising. Then with the help of five assistants, he recently  painted the mural in twelve days.  It is the largest mural Olsen has painted to date.




Bird Woman, a larger than life-size, metal sculpture by Peruko Ccopatcatty is owned by Phyllis and Morris Nathanson and can be seen at Blackstone Studios, their property at 163 Exchange Street in Pawtucket, RI.,

Peruko Ccopacaatty was born in Peru and attended art school there. In 1981 he relocated to Rhode Island where he maintains a studio in West Kingston.

Ccopacatty's sculptures are monumental and dramtic, full of energy and movement, achieved through both the pose and with complex open work that merges the interior with the exterior of the structural form. He shapes hard metal as if it were fluid. His themes typically express the universal human drama of struggle and triumph.


Recent additions to the Pawtucket Public Art Collection



Barrington artist, Penelope Manzella, generously donated two oil paintings to the City. Mills Across the Blackstone depicts a view of mill buildings looking east from the bridge on Central Avenue and Pawtucket Library shows the Gerald S. Burns wing of the library looking at it from the intersection of Summer and East Avenue. Both paintings now hang in the Pawtucket Public Library.

Over the years Manzella has painted numerous scenes of Rhode Island mill buildings, particularly those in Pawtucket, in a style that evokes nostalgia.  The architectural forms are often depicted under moody skies in stark settings with lone figures.  She says of her paintings, I work to make the paintings interesting, to evoke an emotional response - stir a memory." 

Manzella, a long-time resident of Barrington, graduated from Columbia University’s School of Painting and Sculpture and continued her studies in California, Illinois, and Florence, Italy.  Early in her career she worked in both painting and sculpture but now engages only in painting. She has had gallery associations and exhibitions throughout Rhode Island, Massachusetts, and Maine. This past September and October her paintings were shown in Gallery 175 in the Visitors' Center in downtown Pawtucket. In 2012 the Pawtucket Arts Festival featured one of her paintings of Pawtucket mills on its festival poster.


Mills Across the Blackstone



Pawtucket Library



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