Warren Utility Box Project

The Town of Warren and The Avenue Concept have partnered to create Warren’s first Public Art Utility Box Program, which debuted with boxes on Water Street painted with original artwork by local artists William Schaff and Adam Tracy.

In April 2021, seven new boxes were painted by Heather Annis, The Lady J, Kristin Divona, Holly Emidy, Adam Kelley, Makerjake, and Connor Robinson.

Tracy is a painter and printmaker who lives and works in Warren. For more than twenty years he has been designing, printing, and selling apparel and accessories for his Dubs Deep brand. He is also one of the founding members of Warren’s nonprofit art organization, The Collaborative, and a high school art teacher in the Tiverton School Department. His utility box design is a celebration of Warren’s working waterfront.

Schaff is a veteran of the local arts scene known primarily for his album artwork for bands such as Okkervil River, Godspeed You! Black Emperor and the Mighty Mighty Bosstones. He is also the founder of Warren’s “Fort Foreclosure,” a Warren-based studio and gathering place for artists. His utility box design features hand-painted recreations of traditional Chinese paper cuts, as well as depictions of native local birds.

Heather J. Annis is an artist and educator living in Providence, RI. Her personal artistic practice focuses primarily on collage and ink; in community settings, she has facilitated workshops across the country for children, teens, and adults in a wide variety of art-making modalities, from small scale media like comics and zines to larger installations including murals and mosaics.

The Lady J is multimedia spectacle generator, creating disruptive & humorous work, steeped in pop culture references. Prioritizing cultural competency as a pillar for successful learning in the classroom. She creates flexible environments that facilitate an inclusive space to explore, reflect, & discuss the challenges of race politics, social justice concerns & cultural commentary.

Kristin DiVona is an illustrator, educator designer, and the Visual Information Specialist for the Chandra X-ray Observatory, one of NASA’s space-based telescopes.  She designs and develops print, web, and interactive educational tools, such as the new Reach Across the Stars, an augmented reality app designed to encourage young girls to envision themselves in STEM careers.  She works on her fine art practice in her Warren-based studio.

Holly Emidy is an accomplished surface designer with over 30 years of experience and Warren resident. She is a specialist in layout and design of repeating patterns for textile, wallpaper and other decorative applications, and able to create original, exceptional artwork in many styles and mediums. Emidy has worked independently, as part of a team, and as a studio manager and enjoys being surrounded by color, design, and creativity.

Adam Kelley was born and raised in Providence RI. While pursuing his BFA Kelley was able to keep a focus in manual print disciplines, particularly silkscreening and woodblock printing and continued that work back in RI after graduation at the AS220 printshop. Kelley has always maintained a steady art practice and had the opportunity to do commissioned work.

Makerjake is a Massachusetts-based educator and artist well known for his unique approach to portraiture and animals.  In his professional mural practice Makerjake integrates the iconography of his First Nations ancestors with contemporary design elements.  He currently teaches 1st through 5th graders at a small public school outside of Boston, where he’s taught the last four years.

Connor Robinson is a Rhode Island-based artist who completed his BFA at RISD in Illustration in 2020.  He has exhibited at Woods Gerry Gallery and was a Featuring Artist at RAW Artists: Connect, both in Providence.  He began freelance work in 2019 and has completed commission work for Brown Political Review, Brown Jug, and the Scituate Tri Country Commission, amongst others.