The Avenue Concept invited me to be one of their 2020 Artists in Residence for a public arts commission painted upon the historic Providence Bank facade in Downtown Providence.

The bank facade offered a unique surface arrangement with its multiple painted panels inside of historic brick archways that had been window frames when it was a bank building. I could paint on the five wooden panels, but NOT on the brick structure between them. In my designs, I want continuity. I knew I must break those brick vertical interruptions and this presented challenge and opportunity!

I have been thinking over the years of the way we, as people, move in society. How we crowd our cars tight to each other in a traffic jam. How we physically push to get into an event and then herd to get out. Truly the movement of people in a city is much like we see in other species such as birds and fish. I am not sure, though that the purpose is always the same. Fish live in schools and birds migrate in flocks to protect each other, often moving in unison.

I have painted many murals over the forty years I have worked as an artist. Nature is my subject of primary interest, but the idea of using nature as a social message is new to me. With so much national expression of outrage over injustice this summer, I felt inspired to do so in this mural ‘We Are One Flock’ in which the birds of different sizes, colors and shapes are flying in unison, as if they are all flying together in the same direction just as we are moving forward together in time. Some of the birds are big, some are small. Some are from here, others from out of town. The mural is meant to be an inspiration to us to fly together as a society despite our differences.”

—Amy Bartlett Wright, RISD CE instructor, pictured with “We Are One Flock” 2020

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