City Life

Painting at the Park

Get a peek at the Rhode Island Watercolor Society's gallery at Slater Park


Spring brings many visitors to Slater Park. While some stop by to visit the carousel or to enjoy the splendors of nature, they may not realize there is also an art gallery to explore. The Rhode Island Watercolor Society sits beside the pond and among the trees, offering a beautiful view both inside and out. Founded in 1896, the group has called the JC Potter Casino Building home since 1987. Gallery director Sam Green says this space has been essential for the growth of the society, as it allows room for art classes, workshops, exhibitions and a small library of books on the subject.

The gallery is free for anyone to visit and admire the diverse and intricate works of art. Pieces on display are connected by a theme, which is presented to members for a juried exhibition, but Sam says it is more of a “springboard of inspiration” than a strict guideline. Though members of the society receive a discounted price, classes and workshops are open to public participation as well.

“We try to avoid an elitist feel that arts organizations tend to have,” Sam explains. The welcoming and inclusive community is one of the reasons the organization has lasted for 120 years. An active involvement from teachers and other members also contributes to its success. “We thrive because of our members,” Sam adds. He says they are very active in spreading the word and bringing in guests from all over the country, not just New England. With the plants blooming and warmer temperatures arriving, a trip to the serene Watercolor Society might be the perfect addition to your day in the park. 831 Armistice Boulevard, Pawtucket. 726-1876.