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ART! Arts Champion Iona Dobbins – a collection of Rhode Island Art

Arts Champion Iona Dobbins – A Collection of Rhode Island Art on display at the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill, began on September 15th and will run until Oct. 26th

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (RISCA) announced today the exhibit, Arts Champion Iona Dobbins – A Collection of Rhode Island Art, to feature an arrangement of drawings, paintings, etchings, monotype, a quilt, along with ceramic, metal, blown and fused glass sculptural pieces from the collection of long-time R.I. arts advocate Iona Dobbins (1930-2012). 

The artwork will be on display, from Sept. 15-Oct. 26, at the Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill on the main floor of the state’s Administration Building in Providence. A gallery reception honoring Dobbins’ notable collection will be on Friday (Sept. 30) from 5-7 p.m. at the Atrium, One Capitol Hill, Providence.

Iona Dobbins (1930-2012) was a vital force in the Rhode Island arts community, a bright sun that enabled all the arts to grow and flourish throughout the state. It was her deep belief that the arts are an essential part of everyday life. Her work, especially with emerging artists, helped Rhode Island enjoy an artistic Renaissance.

“The arts and arts activities are the soul of the state. We (RISCA) specialize in raising consciousness levels and awakening people to the art forms that surround us,” Dobbins, a former executive director of RISCA, once said. 

“Iona was a champion for established and emerging artists in Rhode Island. I had the privilege of receiving my first RISCA grant under her tenure and became engaged in the teaching artist program under her direction” said Lynne McCormack, Executive Director of RISA. “She cared deeply about the cultural life of the state and made sure that RISCA’s programs reached broadly across the state.”

Throughout her decades of work in the arts, Iona was a catalyst for change. Where there was a need she moved to fill the void. She brought creative opportunities to the disabled, business and arts communities together, and founded enormously successful events that benefited the state. 

The artists highlighted in this exhibit include, Xavier Navarro Alemay, Stephen Brigidi, Paulette Carr, MC, Ruth Dealy, Bill Drew, Neal Drobnis, Fritz Eichenberg, Elizabeth A. Goddard, Hmong artists unknown, Karen Klingon, James Kubiatowicz, Connie Leslie, Maxwell Mays, John C. Meyers, Alice K. Miles, Denny Moers, James B. Myette, Joseph Norman, Regina Partridge, Sarah Powers, Jacquelyn Rice, Mimo Gordon Riley, Aaron Siskind, Esther Solondz, Nick Swearer, Michael Stern, and Elizabeth Zimmerman.

Exhibit details

WhatArts Champion Iona Dobbins – A Collection of Rhode Island Art.

When: Sept. 15 – Oct. 26, 2022; open to the public, weekdays, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.

Where: The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill is on the first floor of the state administration building in Providence.      

For more information on Dobbins, visit

The Atrium Gallery at One Capitol Hill was developed to exhibit the work of Rhode Island artists in the State Capitol Complex. It hosts exhibits on a rotating basis, in partnership with several state agencies & organizations. The art gallery enhances Capitol Hill as a destination point for visitors, as well as for the many people who visit Administration offices or attend conferences at One Capitol Hill. It also enriches the work environment for the hundreds of state workers who spend their workday in the building. 

The Rhode Island State Council on the Arts is a state agency supported by appropriations from the Rhode Island General Assembly and grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, a federal agency. RISCA provides grants, technical assistance and staff support to arts organizations and artists, schools, community centers, social service organizations and local governments to bring the arts into the lives of Rhode Islanders. To learn more visit


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