Alexi Widoff

Rhode Island


Photo of a historic house with cherry blossons framing the left side of the foregorund

Griswold House in spring with blooming cherry blossoms. Photo by Alexi Widoff

My first experience at the Newport Art Museum was as a five year old signed up for a furniture collage class at the Coleman Center for Creative Studies. Twenty years later, I am recreating the museums gift shop as a full time employee of an institution whose mission, which is accomplishes on a daily basis, is to inspire a passion for the arts in Rhode Island.

While working as a visitor services representative at the museum I had the opportunity to interact with visitors from across country and all over the world. The Newport Art Museum, which is a also National Historic Landmark, attracts artists and non-artists, historians and all types of tourists with our diverse exhibitions of both contemporary and historic Rhode Island artists. While many come to view specific shows, my favorite visitors were those who walked in off the street because they found the architecture of the Griswold House inspiring and wanted to learn more - it was great to see their reactions when they realized we were an art museum as well!

Working in an art museum, art is a major part of my day each and every day. As the Director of the Museum Shop, I am most looking forward to introducing local artists to the museums community and showcasing their work to a diverse audience. Without art and the work done by the National Endowment of the Arts over the past 50 years, I would not only be out of a job, but be without a passion. Art not only inspires creativity while bringing together communities, but has the ability to make people smile, and being able to make people happy on a daily basis while introducing them to art is why I have one of the best jobs in the art world.