The Block Island Times

New artist center starts up

By Lars Trodson | Jun 06, 2014
Photo by: Kari Curtis Felicia Cinquegrana, left, and Paige Gaffett are the co-founders of Heart Space, a new community arts center.

Block Island is teeming with artists of all kinds — writers, photographers, painters, sculptors, weavers, jewelers — but there is almost no single space where these disparate talents can gather and share the secrets of their craft.

Two such artists, Paige Gaffett, of Paige Gaffett Woven Designs, and Felicia Cinquegrana, of Felicia Grace Designs Artisan Jewelry, have addressed the issue by creating Heart Space, a new venture located in the Elevation Studio at Champlin’s Marina. “Multi-media art classes for children, teens and adults,” is how the mailer for Heart Space reads.

Cinquegrana has a master’s degree in art education from Rhode Island School of Design and is a certified kindergarten through grade 12 teacher. Gaffett has a bachelor’s degree in textile design from the University of Rhode Island, where she minored in fine arts. Gaffett is also currently taking a master weaver’s course on the mainland.

To help kick things off, Gaffett and Cinquegrana are holding a fundraiser on Sunday, June 8, at the Old Island Pub on Corn Neck Road from 3 to 7 p.m.

“We’ve wanted to do this for the longest time,” said Cinquegrana, but Gaffett said “space was our biggest issue.”

They recognize that the space at Elevation Studio is rather small, but both Gaffett and Cinquegrana said it was perfect as a starting point and it’s convenient for mothers who want to take a yoga class while their children are doing arts and crafts right in the next room.

The teachers can also bring their classes outside.

“Our mission is to bring art instruction to the island and create an environment where anyone can pursue their discipline,” said Cinquegrana. Heart Space will have a community arts table and also retail space where the artists can sell their wares. They also hope to have boatbuilding classes on the weekends.

Anyone wishing to teach a class should send in a proposal to The grand opening will be held on Saturday, June 21, from 5 - 8 p.m.

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