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World class artists make ‘placemaker’ at Interlink
Kelcy Dolan
Warwick Beacon photo
Coat of many colors: The gray walls of the Interlink have taken on a vibrant look as workers install art commissioned for the structure. Installation will be completed in about two weeks.

R&R Studios have art installations all over the country and all over the world. Within the next couple of weeks their latest project, “All Together Now,” will be complete right here in Warwick.

R&R Studios, working out of Miami, was chosen for the Interlink’s public art project on the face of the Interlink garage on Jefferson Boulevard. The choice was made by a panel consisting of the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) and representatives from the airport, architectural firms, the City of Warwick and the art community.

Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt are both graduates of the Universidad Nacional de Rosario in Argentina with degrees in Urbanism and Architecture. Behar continued his studies at the Institute of Architecture and Urban Studies in New York City. Together they began R&R Studios. Their proposal was chosen before the over 100 other participants in the contest to work with the space.

The project includes 94 brightly colored tubes, some red, blue, yellow, orange and green, hung vertically on the front of the garage. Twelve of the 94 will be internally lit across the project.

In an email, Randall Rosenbaum, the Executive Director of RISCA said, “the work is bright, colorful and playful addition to the gray concrete of the parking garage. It is a ‘placemaker,’ meaning that the art will, we expect, help to serve as a visual landmark for the new ‘Station District’ in Warwick.”

The project was awarded 1 percent of the cost of the Interlink project that connects T.F. Green Airport to the train station, car rental facility and the parking garage. One percent equated to $300,000, and $30,000 of that was put aside for maintenance as part of the Rhode Island Percent for Art Program. The program works with the state law that requires 1 percent of any public project be set aside for public art.

The law says, “The state of Rhode Island has a responsibility for expanding the public experience of art…Art creates a more humane environment: one of distinction. Enjoyment and pride for all citizens.”

R&R Studios have worked before with vertical ribbons of color mirrored in the Jefferson Boulevard piece. Many of their large installations, one in New Haven, Conn., Miami, Fla., Madison, Wis. and even Brussels, Belgium. All of their public art installations can be seen at their website www.rr-studios.com

In an interview with Jane Simon, for the Madison Museum of Contemporary Art in 2008 posted on R&R’s website, both Behar and Marquardt explain, “The specific colors we made and their combinations retain a popular character while adding a contemporary dimension to them…a third dimension transforms the work into three dimensional paintings or penetrable sculptures.”

Rosario Marquardt herself will be coming to Rhode Island for the finalizing of the project in early June according to the secretary of the R&R Studios in Miami. Marquardt, being away for another exhibition with Behar, could not comment.

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