Call for Designs

Please click on the link below for the 2024 prospectus.

Lily Hannuksela

This design is meant to represent community through a quilt. Each piece of fabric in the mural is meant to represent something important to Wickford or Rhode Island as a whole. The border of the quilt shows a classic wave pattern, which ties in other nautical themes within the piece. The sailboat shows the town’s ties to the harbor and the long running history of sailing the town has. The fish are meant to represent not only fishing but also the people within the community in a more abstract way.

There is a variety of flowers native to the state, including, in order from the left, violet wood-sorrel, red columbine, purple-stemmed angelica, purple wood aster, and dandelions. Each flower has a special meaning within the quilt. Violet wood-sorrels represent everlasting love and remembrance, red columbines represent fortitude and courage, purple-stemmed angelicas represent protection, purple wood asters represent love and wisdom, and dandelions symbolize rebirth, growth, and strength. The ivy that is on one of the patches is meant to represent not only the ivy that often grows in the village, but also growth and togetherness in the face of a challenge. Ivy is able to grow in most conditions.

The brick pattern and the building are meant to represent the storefronts that populate the town. A specific block on the street was chosen for the quilt, but nearly any stores can be swapped in for those spots. When I think of the stores I don’t think only of the material objects within the stores, but also the owners. The owners truly make this community through all the kindness they show while you are in their establishments. They truly try to make you feel welcomed.

The patches of people with hearts are meant to represent the community in a non-abstract way, unlike the fish. Those patches of fabric are meant to show the community that is actually there in human form. There
is such a deep sense of caring and connection in the word and idea of community, and that is shown through the crowd.

The final two patches are anchors and stars meant to be an interpretation of the state flag. Anchors also symbolize hope, our state slogan. Hope can mean many things to everyone, but to me hope means looking towards a brighter future, one that we can all accomplish together.

Alexandra Jedrey

For me, community means different parts that make up a whole. We are all different, but we are all connected. Our differences make us great and should be celebrated. It is important to remember our commonalities that connect us and bring us closer together.

The shells represent the people that make up our community. Each are different and individual. No two shells are alike, much like the people. The shells are all local and found in Narragansett Bay, just a stones throw away from the Wickford Art Association.

I chose the spiral composition for two distinct reasons. A spiral is anchored at a base, but it is never ending and always expanding. Our community continues to grow in size, but also in knowledge, acceptance, and involvement. There is no end to the spiral and there is no end to the possibilities of our community. If you follow the line in the opposite direction, it leads you in. Wickford has a way of drawing people in from all around and charming its way into people’s hearts, making visitors want to come back for more and get a deeper experience each time.

At the center of the mural and spiral is a pearl. At the heart of our community is a small bit of beauty that should be cherished. We are so fortunate to be part of such a wonderful place and group which should be valued, much like a semi-precious gem. The people who make up the community are the ones who make it so special, in the same way a shell makes its own pearl.

One of my favorite things about public art is that it can exist on multiple planes. It should be
interesting and captivating from a distance, and just as intriguing up close. The overall composition of this mural hooks people in from afar and pulls them closer. The details and colors keep their attention when walking near.

Betsey MacDonald

I joined WAA 5 years ago, when I retired from teaching. I wanted to be more involved with an art group but specifically one that was accepting of all, not pretentious and not with an “art ego” that set artists apart from the rest of the world. Having become an active member, meaning often a part of exhibitions as well as teaching several classes, I clearly made the right choice. Everyone is friendly, thoughtful and accepting and the perfect example of what community should mean.

I once read a psychology article that said something that artists intuitively know, that we think with our hands as much as our brains. My acrylic sketch shows a variety of diverse artist hands, young, old, different ethnicities, using many different mediums. The hands are coming together to paint an image of the relaxing and beautiful natural elements in front of WAA. To me, WAA exemplifies the support of art making by the whole local community in an amazing RI setting and I hoped to incorporate these two important ideas in my design.

I left a section of grass unpainted as I wondered if possibly the grasses could be completed by members of the WAA community. If we had a few containers of yellows and greens, could students or WAA members paint a small section? I’m not sure this is realistic but I was hoping we could include the community in the creation of the mural.

Gwendolyn Ruffolo

I am Gwendolyn Ruffolo, a junior Advanced Placement Drawing student at North Kingstown High School. I have been pursuing art since I was young, and create work in a variety of media, such as painting, digital art, charcoal, pencil and more. Aside from being accepted and pursuing two AP Art courses at NK High School (AP Drawing and AP 2D), I have also taken accredited courses at RIC and the WAA. I have received a National Scholastic gold key, two silver keys and one honorable mention, as well as Gallery Educator’s Choice Award at the WAA. My work has been selected to be featured in the Wickford Art Association, Hera Gallery, Gallery North at Nk High School, the Annual Youth Art Month Exhibition at North Kingstown Free Library, Artsonia, Celebrating Art, and the Congressional and Senatorial Art Competitions. I have created an instagram account dedicated to my artwork, which has amassed 14,000 followers and millions of views. My future plans include taking AP 2D (painting) Studio in my senior year (to which I’ve already been accepted into the program), and have aspirations of attending RISD. Being selected as a mural artist for the WAA is extremely important to me, as I want to contribute to beautifying my community, and gain the experience of working alongside other professional artists.

My submission is a reflection of how I view the community of Wickford. When I think of my home, Wickford, I am reminded of its environment; the beautiful floral summers and the costal landscape filled with vibrant marine life, and buzzing with happy beach-goers. I wanted my work to represent Wickford’s beauty and it’s unique community. My digital rendering (which is alike to my exact painting style) combines the two in a fantastical and imaginative way, with whales and fish swimming through seas of flowers and trees. I wanted to emulate Wickford’s bucolic atmosphere; people coming to visit the historical town and enjoy all it has to offer.