Award sends local artists ‘Flying’ high

Award sends local artists ‘Flying’ high

Members of the Flying Shuttles Art Studio on Main Street in Pawtucket pose with their “Best of Rhode Island” award. (Breeze photo by Ethan Shorey)

PAWTUCKET – Members of Pawtucket’s Flying Shuttles Art Studio say they still haven’t come back down to earth after their big win at the Best of Rhode Island awards in July.

Member Jennifer Fogel said she and others in the Arc of Blackstone Valley’s program are more motivated than ever to produce great pieces and build their reputation.

“It felt really good,” she said of winning the “Best Affordable Artwork” award from Rhode Island Monthly. It felt so good, in fact, that she and others danced on the stage.

Fogel and her friends were nominated by Alison Bologna, of Shri Yoga, a woman who has a special relationship with Flying Shuttles, said Ann Telfer, of the Arc of Blackstone Valley. Telfer said Bologna has been very good to the studio, running adaptive yoga sessions for the artists there.

Flying Shuttles, which has been around since 1984 in various locations, is now headquartered at the Grant Building, 250 Main St. Some of the artists have been there almost since the beginning of the program, said program director Toni Carroll. Art pieces produced are sold on site or at various festivals in the area. The idea, said staff, is to get artists interacting with the community as much as possible.

Flying Shuttles was originally established as a vocational weaving program whose purpose was to complement the textile work of the many mills in the area. Other arts, including jewelry-making and painting, have been added in the years since.

According to a synopsis on the group’s “Best Of” award, organizers “always find something to covet in the collection of colorful paintings, table runners, rugs and placemats at this amazing nonprofit studio. The eclectic styles range from naturalistic to abstract and graphic so there’s something for every taste and decor.”

For more on Flying Shuttles Studio, which supports the creative endeavors of artists and weavers with intellectual and developmental disabilities, visit .