Free Culture 2012

Free Culture!Award 2012

Guillermo Gómez-Peña & Joan Wyand

Joan Wyand is a local artist living and working in Providence, Rhode Island.  “I am a radical performance artist, experienced collaborator, and skilled maker.  My creative mission is to share my awareness of our material environment, and inspire simple environmental trends.  My main mediums are clay, recycled fabric, trash, installation, and play.”  Wyand embodies the spirit of the local arts in Providence.  She is part of a multi-disciplinary generation of Rhode Island artists that are in tune with their urban and environmental surroundings, while pushing cultural boundaries of gender and materiality.

Photo of a seated costumed Guillermo Gomez Pena

International artist Guillermo Gómez-Peña is a Mexican performance artist who creates work that responds to the demographic and cultural transitions reflected in the growing Latin American population.  Gómez-Peña’s work resonates with the artistic bravado that composes part of Providence’s attitude and cultural identity, not to mention AS220’s mission to promote creative expression through unjuried and uncensored art.  Gómez-Peña works world-wide and currently lives in San Francisco, California.


Free Culture Art

Guillermo Gómez Peña’s “The New Barbarians: To The Lords Of Censorship” Mural

Guillermo Gómez Peña Mural - Free Culture 2012 - Fragment of the text "The New Barbarians: To the Lords Of Censorship"

Guillermo Gómez Peña Mural – Free Culture 2012 – Fragment of the text “The New Barbarians: To the Lords Of Censorship”

Guillermo Gómez-Peña’s text-based mural is installed on the rear wall of AS220’s Empire Street Complex, facing Providence’s Aborn Street and visible from Washington and Westminster Streets, next to the 2010 Shepard Fairey Free Culture Mural.  The chosen text is a fragment from his work The New Barbarians: a Declaration of Poetic Disobedience, entitled “To the Lords of Censorship”.  The mural was designed by Aaron Peterman and Director, Umberto Crenca describes the text as a “manifesto validating the work and integrity of the Providence arts community – a stamp on downtown.”

Joan Wyand’s Providence Shade Installation

Joan Wyand Shades - Free Culture 2012

Joan Wyand Shades – Free Culture 2012

Joan Wyand’s installation consists of several shade panels on the second floor of AS220’s Empire Street Complex. The art piece features a diverse group of past and present community members, depicting valuable community history and vitality in the City of Providence. It features local artists and musicians, outstanding youth and educational facilitators, as well as many other local people. This innovative project blends the line between functional craft and contemporary public art.

“The New Barbarians: Prints from the New Border” 

Guillermo Gómez Peña and Joan Wyand collaborated in the design of a Limited Edition Character Box featuring a set of 10 silkscreened prints of the artists’ performance personas packaged in a recycled box. The set of prints is accompanied by a set of ten Postcards from the Geographical and Social Margins (five of GP’s images and five of Wyand’s).  This is an edition of 250 sets of prints, out of which 200 editions will be available for purchase. The postcard pack will also be available for purchase individually. Click on the image below to purchase the Prints from the New Border!

New Barbarians - Prints from the New Border. Free Culture 2012. Joan Wyand and Guillermo Gómez Peña.

New Barbarians – Prints from the New Border. Free Culture 2012. Joan Wyand and Guillermo Gómez Peña.

The New Barbarians X-Treme Fashion Show 

Gómez-Peña, joined by a Michele Ceballos Michot, both founding members of La Pocha Nostra performance troop,  conducted a three-day performance workshop with 10 local Rhode Island artists during the first week of August. The workshop culminated in a performance art fashion show at 95 Empire on August 10, the night before Foo Fest. Check out a review and photos HERE .

Photo of Free Culture Awards for 2012, blue glass hammers

Photo of Free Culture Awards for 2012, blue glass hammers by Steven Easton.


Thank you for your support

Thanks so much for your support!

Live Arts Venues

Main Stage:
The AS220 Main Stage hosts over ten events a week and is a 200 capacity performance venue and gallery space. The venue contains 4 powered main speakers, three monitors, in house compression and efx, projection / dvd capabilities, and a 6 foot screen. A full inventory can be viewed here.  While the Main Stage hosts a wide array of artistic programming, it primarily is used as a concert venue. It is located at 115 Empire Street.


Black Box:
The Black Box is an extremely versatile 90 capacity performance theatre. It has a surround sound system, Subwoofer, digital projector with 8′ X 12′  screen, and full theatrical lighting. The space focuses on theatrical and dramatic works and encourages users to customize the space to suit the needs of their production. The Black Box is on the first floor of 95 Empire Street.


Dance Studio:
The dance studio hosts regular dance, yoga, and fitness classes and is available for rental for rehearsals and private instruction. The Dimensions of the marley floored room are  28′ X 42′ and it is equipped with mirrors, ballet barres, an easy to operate sound system and sunlight!

Dance Studio image

Psychic Readings:
Psychic Readings is an intimate and mysterious multi-purpose room. It has a capacity of 45, but also has an “Annex Room” which moonlights as an art gallery. Psychic Readings is run in conjunction with the AS220 Artists in Residence on the third floor of the Empire Street building.