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Andrade-Watkins Installs Panel Dedicated to Cape Verdean History

Emerson Visual and Media Arts Associate Professor Claire Andrade-Watkins’ dipped her toes into a new art form this past year. She was commissioned by the Rhode Island Department of Transportation (RIDOT), under the umbrella of William D. Warner Architect & Planners (the architect who is responsible for the “new” Providence), to install a graphic panel on the Providence Harbor Walk at Fox Point.

The panel depicts the history of the Cape Verdeans of Fox Point in Providence and was installed the week of December 6. The 32″ x 56″ fiberglass panel is part of a series of panels adorning the Providence Harbor Walk at Fox Point and India Point.

“This is my first major public art commission. I love how it turned out.”

Written and designed by Andrade-Watkins, the panel has been a year in the making. “This is my first major public art commission,” said Andrade-Watkins. “I love how it turned out.”

Andrade-Watkins has been creating a dialogue about the Cape Verde immigrant population in the Fox Point neighborhood for years. She directed and produced the films Some Kind of Funny Porto Rican?, The Spirit of Cape Verde, and Testamento. She is the founder and president of SPIA Media Productions, Inc., a production and distribution company specializing in media from the Africana Diaspora, and the creator of the Fox Point Cape Verdean Project.

“Everything I do has meaning,” she said. “You take what inspires you and you make craft. That’s what I do, what I teach, and what Emerson is.”

A formal dedication of her panel is planned for January.

Cape Verdean

Fox Point Cape Verdean Project committee members (left to right): Avelino (Chapy) Rose,  Harold Fontes, Claire Andrade-Watkins, Barry O'Connor, and Flo Bento (not in photo: Gene Joseph, Marshall Bento, and Stevie Bento)

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