I-95 Murals

“How we present ourselves through our gateways has an influence on Rhode Island’s identity to the outside world,” Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee said. “Beautiful gateways are important to tourism and economic development.”

Governor Chafee initiated the beautification demonstration program with the goal of enhancing tourism and the State’s reputation as a cultural heritage destination. Created by Rhode Island artists recognized nationally and internationally for their work, the murals are being placed on highway retaining walls and abutments along I-95 in Providence, Pawtucket and Hopkinton, and along I-195 in East Providence. It is believed that the only other states featuring murals within Interstate rights-of-way are California, Arizona and Utah.

The mural along Pawtucket’s stretch of Route 95—a portrait of the inside of a historic sawmill—was installed in 2012 and is designed by Rhode Island School of Design graduate Gretchen Dow Simpson. It’s located along the southern end of the Pawtucket “S curves” on I-95, facing traffic traveling south. Gretchen Dow Simpson’s work is included in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Newport Art Museum. Her paintings have appeared on 58 covers for The New Yorker.