The Art Center in Woonsocket recently got a stunning face-lift. K-5th graders entering the renovated space are greeted by new floors, bathrooms, tables, chairs, and, a most impressive, brand new mural designed and painted by Tiffany Mendez.
Tiffany holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts Degree in Painting and Art Education from Rhode Island College. She previously worked as an elementary art teacher in Barrington, RI and currently works at the Rhode Island School of Design as a professor with the CE Young Artist Program. You can find Tiffany’s other work on the walls at Rhode Island College and The URI Providence Feinstein Campus
We wanted to get to know more about the woman behind the art and took a moment to meet with Tiffany and learn about her inspiration. Here’s what she had to say.
Tell us a little about yourself and how you got into art.
I grew up in Malden, MA, a city in the greater Boston area and attended Malden High School. The art program was really fantastic there and I felt that I gained a strong foundation in drawing and painting.
Malden is a stop on the orange line, and Central Square in Cambridge was a favorite place to visit with friends on the T. I remember visiting Graffiti Alley, admiring the mural at The Middle East Restaurant, and the H Mart mural. I think the faces, composition, and subject matter in those beautiful murals really influenced my work.
What themes do you like to pursue with your art?
In my personal paintings, I pursue visual themes like vibrant color and broad, expressive brush strokes.
So what is the Art Center mural about? Where did you draw your inspiration?
This mural is a celebration of the families and communities in Woonsocket. The geography depicted in the map, central in the painting, shows the Blackstone River, which brought the rich history of work and industry that formed much of the culture of Woonsocket. On the right wall is a girl blowing a dandelion. The dandelion pieces travel throughout the mural and draw your eye to a girl swinging and boys playing at a playground. These acts of leisure symbolize hope and a bright future for Woonsocket.
How important do you think art is for children and communities?
Incredibly important. Art is a nonverbal form of communication and expression. What can’t be said or understood with words can be said with art.
We feel very fortunate to have Tiffany’s inspirational and expressive art welcoming our youth to the program each day.
Interested in learning more about the Art Center or enrolling your K-5th grade child?