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Barnaby Evans is an artist who works in many media including site-specific sculpture installations, photography, garden design, architectural projects, film, writing and conceptual works. His original training was in the sciences, but he has been working exclusively as an artist,  teacher and consultant for thirty years.

Sc.B. degree in biology and environmental science, Brown University, 1975
Doctorate of Fine Arts, Brown University, 2000
Doctorate of Fine Arts, Rhode Island College, 2000

Aaron Siskind Fellowship in Photography
Several fellowships from the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts

The Silver Prize for Colour Photography at the International Triennial Exhibition, Switzerland, 1997

Providence’s Renaissance Award, Rhode Island, 1997

Kevin Lynch Award,  Massachusetts Institute of Technology, 2003 (biennial award for work sensitive to importance of place, cited in two categories – change in city image and urban events and ephemera.)

Rudy S. Bruner Silver Award for Urban Excellence, Bruner Foundation, 2003   

Distinguished Service to the Arts Award from the National Governors Association, 2010.

Tom Roberts Prize for Creative Achievement in the Humanities, 2011

Tiffany & Co. award to commemorating WaterFire’s significant contribution to the revitalization of Providence, 2011

   •  Inductee, RI Heritage Hall of Fame, 2011




  • Amongst hundreds of financial confirmations of support totaling millions of dollars, he received one of ArtPlace’s major awards of $454,000, 2012


Brown University
Rhode Island School of Design
MIT (Urban studies dept, the impact of ephemera on the urban environment)
University of Colorado
University of Arizona
University of Barcelona

  • Hosted the national conference “The Art of Creative Placemaking” 2013 (conference sessions here)
  • Established as a portal for information on Creative Placemaking, 2013
  • Created the International Center for Excellence in Creative Placemaking, 2015.


WaterFire was an early exemplar of successful Creative Placemaking and as such was cited as follows:

NPR radio show on urban trends Carol Coletta’s Smart City in 2003

Richard Florida on the Creative Economy MIT’s “Event Places” by Joaquim Sabate, Dennis Frenchman, and J. Mark Schuster in 2004

National Endowment for the Arts’ 2010 founding white paper “Creative Placemaking” by Ann Markusen and Anne Gadwa

WaterFire has been discussed in hundreds of articles and included in symposia in Helsinki, Barcelona, Montreal, Seoul, New Zealand, Amsterdam, Minneapolis, Philadelphia and China.

WaterFire has also been studied and written about in numerous urban studies and public art books, as well as being featured in many novels, poems, and films.



Creative placemaking projects utilizing WaterFire as the fulcrum in the following communities:

Columbus, Ohio

Kansas City, Missouri

Houston, Texas

Providence, RI

Rome, Italy

Sharon, Pennsylvania


Tacoma, Washington

West Warwick, RI

Currently working with the communities of Seoul, Ottawa, Hiroshima, Padua and Paris on new projects




Barnaby Evans is an accomplished photographer and his art and photographs have been shown and are in the collections of prestigious museums around the world including:

Addison Gallery of American Art, Andover, Massachusetts;

Bibliotheque National, Paris

Brattleboro Museum of Art

Institute of Contemporary Art’s, Boston

Musee’ d’art et d’histoire, Fribourg, Switzerland

Museum of Glass and Contemporary Art in Tacoma, Washington

Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art

Victoria and Albert Museum, London