Bob Dilworth: Backyard

Curated by Dr. Francine Weiss

July 15, 2023 - December 31, 2023

Morris & Cushing Galleries (Cushing Building)

Bob Dilworth is a Providence-based artist who works in many different media to explore issues of identity, community, and place. Throughout his career, he has created works of art that are as richly layered with materials as they are with meanings. In his own words:

“My paintings, textiles, and works on paper tackle issues of race, culture, ethnicity, family, myths, folktales, and religious beliefs through metaphor and allegory. They employ an aesthetic gesture towards moments in history that run parallel to current times, often intersecting and exploring hidden and deeper meanings of my experience as an African American male. My current work examines the identity of friends and family and explores notions of home, heritage, ancestry, and generational change. This examination of friends and family members is also seen in decorative patterns, designs, and bric-a-brac; executed in oil and acrylic paint, spray paint, stencil, paint markers, inks, or glued, stitched and sewn onto fabric, paper and other surfaces.”

From lush wild landscapes to portraits filled with floral motifs, “Backyard” draws on the memories and experiences from the artist’s life in Providence and home of Lawrenceville, fifty miles south of Richmond, Virginia. This exhibition features past works of art, as well as new ones being shown for the first time.

About the Artist:

Bob Dilworth is a Professor Emeritus from University of Rhode Island where he taught painting and served as Chair and Director of the Main Art Gallery and Director of Africana Studies. He has also taught at Princeton University, Brown University, and Columbia College in Chicago. Dilworth received his BFA and MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design and School of the Art Institute of Chicago respectively. He has exhibited his work extensively and has received grants, awards, and residencies from the Rhode Island State Council for the Arts, Iris Project Residency, National John Biggers Award, Playa Artist Residency, and Anderson Ranch Art Center among others.

Nationally recognized and exhibited, Bob Dilworth’s works have won many awards including the 2014 Rhode Island State Council for the Arts Fellowship in painting, and also grants from the Rhode Island Foundation; University of Rhode Island Center for the Humanities; University of Rhode Island Council for Research; National John Biggers Award in drawing; and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. He has received fellowships from the Iris Project Residency; Brush Creek Foundation for the Arts; Angels Gate Cultural Center in association with Marymount California University; Playa Artist Residency; Anderson Ranch Art Center; Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences; the Klaus Center for the Arts; Contemporary Artist Center; the African American Master Artist in Residence Program, Northeastern University; and Le Cité International des Artes, Artist Residency in Paris. His work is in corporate and private collections, as well as many Chicago libraries and public institutions. Bob Dilworth is represented by Cade Tompkins projects.

Bob Dilworth: Backyard, Exhibition Catalog Newport Art Museum. 34 Pages. 9.25″ x 11.25″. Published by Hollis Publishing, Inc. $25 plus tax & shipping.

Bob Dilworth: Backyard, A Conversation

Exhibition Resources

Explore Bob Dilworth's Recommended Reading List