WJAR: Westerly train station reopens with art gallery

WJAR: Westerly train station reopens with art gallery

By Miles Montgomery

WESTERLY, R.I. — Gov. Gina Raimondo, U.S. Sen. Jack Reed, U.S. Rep. Jim Langevin, and Rhode Island Department of Transportation Director Peter Alviti, Jr. joined the Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly to celebrate the reopening of the Westerly Train Station Friday.

Following Amtrak’s change to online and mobile smartphone ticketing, the station was closed for the last two years. The new station features an indoor waiting area, access to restrooms while providing a new arts venue for the local Westerly community. The station will be closed Sunday to Tuesday but will open Wednesday through Saturday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“This project is a fantastic example of what can be accomplished through successful partnerships. The state, local community and the Artists’ Cooperative worked together on a solution that will provide a vital service to the public while expanding the cultural fabric of the community,” Raimondo said.

“It is great to see this historic train station being reopened to welcome travelers and art lovers alike. Instead of just a platform for passengers, it will serve as a platform for talented local artists to showcase their work in this unique setting,” said U.S. Senator Jack Reed. Senator Reed is the Ranking Member of the Appropriations Subcommittee on Transportation, Housing and Urban Development , who worked to provide record funding for Amtrak in 2018, some of which will help Westerly Train Station make needed improvements to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

“This creative approach for reopening the Westerly Train Station provides a temporary home for the Artists’ Cooperative of Westerly, ensuring the public retains access to the works of local artists. I applaud the Gallery and RIDOT for working together to support Rhode Island’s art economy,” Langevin said.

“Westerly Station is an important part of our transit infrastructure,” Alviti said. “It is wonderful to see it come back to life with a new tenant. We appreciate the willingness of the Artists’ Cooperative to welcome Amtrak passengers. It creates a sense of vitality.”

Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly President Arlene Piacquadio said, “The Artists’ Cooperative Gallery of Westerly is pleased to join with RIDOT and the Ocean Community United Theater to unite our community through the arts with work of local artists displayed in the Westerly Train Station.”

The gallery is expected to remain in the station until renovations are completed on its former location, the United Theatre complex. The complex will be home to the gallery and will be the first satellite location of the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School when the renovations are finished.

The Westerly station, owned by RIDOT, has served passengers since 1912 and provides service for Amtrak’s Northeast Regional trains, including nine stops on weekdays and six stops on weekends.

Patch: EG Student Wins Art Contest: Langevin’s Office

Patch: EG Student Wins Art Contest: Langevin’s Office

From The Office of Congressman Langevin: On Sunday, Congressman Langevin (D-RI) announced the results of the Second Congressional District 2018 High School Art Competition during a ceremony at the Warwick Mall. East Greenwich High School freshman and Nancy Stephen Gallery and School of Art student Sophia Patti took home the first prize for her oil painting, entitled “Finding an Old Treasure on the Cape,” and her work will be on display in the United States Capitol. Langevin has hosted the competition every year since first taking office in 2001, and 62 teenagers representing schools throughout the Second District participated this year.

“It’s no wonder Rhode Island is renowned nationally for its arts scene given the amazing talent we have in our schools,” said Langevin, who has sponsored legislation to increase the role of art and design in STEM education. “I host this competition every year because exposure to art and design principles helps students do better in a range of academic disciplines. But beyond the important role the arts play in the Rhode Island economy and in preparing students to succeed, I also believe in the power of the arts to change lives. I hope all the participants take what they’ve learned back to their communities, and I thank them and their teachers for the craftsmanship they shared with us.”

In June, Patti’s piece will be placed on display in the Cannon Tunnel, a pedestrian walkway leading to the U.S. Capitol, during a ceremony with art competition winners from around the country. Her work will replace “Dreaming of Spring,” a mixed media portrait by 2017 winner Arianna Deal.

This year’s runners up, who will have their artwork hang in Langevin’s Warwick office, are:

  • Second place: “Bedstemor” by Hallie Comer, a junior at East Greenwich High School
  • Third place (tie): “Tangled” by Zari Apodaca, a junior at Cranston High School West, and “Black Power” by Jeffrey Marchetti, a senior at Cranston High School West