TAC TEN+: Sculpting Public Space

Having begun quietly in 2012 as an endeavor from then unknown RISD Graduate Yarrow Thorne, TAC quickly moved from a concept, to an imperative.

Exhibiting Guest Artists for TAC TEN+ Pop-Up Installation

Works on Pedestals

David Allyn
Gillian Christy
Brower Hatcher
Howie Sneider

Large-format Sculpture

“Herky Jerky” Peter Diepenbrock
“Llama” Peruko Copacatty


Public art is an avenue. Though many argue its merits, it will inevitably emerge in one form or another at the will of the community who inhabit a space. A “space” being a block, a neighborhood, city or town. The community being the people who live there.

When unwelcome, art will find its way up through the cracks and crevices to the pedestals and walls of commercial districts and everywhere in between when embraced. It will spring forth in the harshest and most welcoming environments alike.

It is at the pleasure of the artists that we are offered the opportunity to spectate, to question, and to engage in meaningful conversation surrounding our spaces thankfully. Art does not beg your pardon. It only requires your acknowledgment of its presence. And what better acknowledgment of public art’s certainty than welcoming it into one’s space?

Not to be confused with a public monument—such as a statue erected in a community but not by said community—pieces of public art are important artifacts imbued with history, and place, taking dedicated hands and resources to bring them to fruition. The Avenue Concept (TAC) has advocated for the municipal support of public and community-informed art for more than 12 years to support the making of place and space for Rhode Islanders.

From its small beginnings to its most celebrated wins, The Avenue Concept’s (TAC) mission to bring sculpture to the streets, squares, and districts of Rhode Island has been unwavering. Having begun quietly in 2012 as an endeavor from then unknown RISD Graduate Yarrow Thorne, TAC quickly moved from a concept, to an imperative. Under Yarrow’s guidance, the organization grew into its current home on Lockwood St. It also grew in its vision and public interventions.

With over 60 individual pieces of sculpture being installed over the last 12 years, many of which rotate in and out, TAC has taken the torch lit by legacy art convenings that have brought lots of people into close proximity to activate the state like The Convergence International Arts Festival (1988-2003), Sound Sessions (2005-08) and other independent efforts that continue to attract hundreds of artists to Rhode Island, and can claim their rightful place in the story of The Creative Capital.

One of TAC’s more interesting interventions was realized in the repurposing of RIPTA bus stand pedestals being removed from Kennedy Plaza during its reconstruction in 2014. Where others saw refuse, Yarrow and the TAC team saw an opportunity to create and sustain. Several pedestals were repurposed to house sculpture placed throughout the city in various locations.

A year later, a newly opened boutique hotel in the heart of downtown Providence collaborated with TAC in 2015 to bring new life to 6 concrete pedestals dotting the circumference of the adjacent street level parking lot. Artist Nidal Fakhouri placed custom tilework around several pedestals while sculpture from various local artists was mounted to the tops. In grand fashion, these were a prominent display during the inaugural year of The Providence International Arts Festival, now PVDFest, the cities annual art festival.

Through persistent advocacy, community building, and a willingness to learn, TAC has stood the test of time. An organization undertaking such an important mission needs to consistently ask itself if the decisions it is making are mission facing. The Avenue Concept has taken great care to add voices who express important viewpoints and ask the necessary and sometimes hard questions that non-profits must be asked.  And it has always been of vital importance to Yarrow that both TAC’s efforts and final product were community-minded. For community is the mission.


Aarin Bernard Clemons (he/him) is often described as a mentor, connector, and bridge builder. He leads with the belief that everyone is deserving of dignity, and empathy. With this, he has managed several operations and had the privilege to affect the lives of many in The Hospitality, Non-Profit Arts, and Corporate sectors. Aarin is a graduate of the School of Business Administration at Johnson & Wales University in Providence, RI, with a degree in Entrepreneurship & Small Business Management. Engaging in a concentration in Non-Profit Foundations, Aarin began to immerse himself in Board and Committee Work in Housing Development, Education, and Arts Foundations through the aughts. In 2017, he received an Emerging Leader Award from The Rhode Island Hospitality Association and was welcomed as a guest judge in the Rhode Island Prostart Regional Competition. A 2019 Champion of Adult Learning award from The United Way cemented his path into Workforce Development. A resident of Providence, RI, Aarin enjoys quality time with his loved ones and music collection in nearly equal measure.