Meet the man behind the idea:
Brent is from the town of Newry, Maine, located
in the western mountains not far from the New
Hampshire border. He was always into creating
artwork from an early age. He drew constantly
and as he got older he started building elaborate
scale models, created life-size sculptures of aliens,
drew countless comic books and even painted
a number of murals in his high school.
Brent went to Telstar Regional High School in
Bethel, Maine, but during the summers of 1981,
1982 and 1983 he attended the Gould Academy
Summer School, a program for the gifted and
His art teacher during the summer program was a graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design and encouraged Brent to apply. He did, and was accepted. He was also accepted to Parson School of Design in NYC. He decided to attend RISD, and
moved to Rhode Island in 1985.
At RISD he explored many options, but eventually he decided to major in sculpture. While he studied he was also working at the Children's Museum of Rhode Island, where he learned many usefull skills in exhibit design and fabrication as well as his first interaction with children on an education level.
Brent graduated from RISD in 1989, on a Saturday. On Monday he started his business Club Neopolsi Creations and his first big client was the Museum of Natural History in Providence. He also created custom artwork for a number of clients and then he bagan teaching at various locations as a visiting artist.
Soon he was offered a job at the Joslin Community Center as the activities director. There he forged a full education program for the children in his care. They learned art, martial arts, went on field trips and many other things. Brent still ran his business around this new full-time job.
On one of the field trips they went to a roller skating rink. He observed how boring and unorganized the space was. He sent them a business card and began doing freelance work for United Skates of America. This lead to a number of other roller skating rinks over the years, in fact a large number of Brent's regular clients are roller skating rinks, laser tag
arena's and family fun centers.
After 3 years Brent moved on from the community center and added creating public art and mural projects to his repertoire. The most famous of his murals in Providence was the Wickenden Street Underpass Mural. It survived for 10 years and became a local landmark, until the highway was rerouted and the bridge was torn down.
In 1997 he was awarded the Microbusiness of the Year award.
Feeling the need to expand his use of technology, he enrolled at Rhode Island College and graduated in 1999 with a second Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, this time in graphic design. Tech has played a major role in the creation of his work over the years. Now Brent does as much, if not more graphics for clients than he does large scale paintings.
In 1999 Brent was able to purchase his home in Providence, one that he had been renting for 4 years. It had gone into
foreclosure and he was able to get the beautiful 1912 Dutch Colonial duplex. During the summer of 2000, Brent was
featured on the TV show "Home Again with Bob Vila", where he renovated his old third floor into the amazing and colorful
space it is today.
Soon, another unexpected job opportunity arouse when Brent interviewed for a postion as an art teacher for the elderly at
an assisted living facility, Whytebrook Terrace, in Johnston, RI. Though he interviewed for a job that was just a few hours
a week, they offered him a full-time job as activites director. He ran his program as he did for the kids, basically a great
variety of art programs, fun activities and trips. He loved it there but left when the company was acquired by a larger
After he left that job he also began creating artwork to show at art galleries like XOX Gallery and TseTse Gallery. He also
participated in a number of art shows and festivals, including a number of RISD Art Sales and Thayer Street Art Festivals.
He also began working with many area restaurants and night- clubs to redesign their establishments, most notably Club Pulse. Through that connection he again had a unique opportunity thrust upon him; running his own gallery and performance space.
That gallery was to be called Gallery I.N.S.A.N.E (International Network Supporting Artists Needing Exposure). That venture lasted for three years until the station fire tragedy, a nighclub fire that claimed 100 lives here in Rhode Island. After that fire suppression systems were mandated and the costs were too high. Sadly the last show was in the spring of 2003.
Eventually he would be tapped by the RISD Continuing Education Department to teach murals, sign painting and faux finishing. He did that for 8 years until the Decorative Painitng Certificate Program was disbanded. He also taught a number of programs at the East Side Art Center and The Learning Connection among others.
Brent continued on, teaching more and more and still creating artwork (both physcial and print materials) for dozens of clients. In 2008 Brent took a full-time position at Providence City Arts for Youth as the out-of-school-time director. Brent stayed for about a year there, realizing that by doing administration work, he could no longer teach. Being hands-on with students was important to him, so, although he was grateful for the opportunity and he learned a lot being on the "other side" of the education program, he decided to go back to his own teaching.
In 2009 Brent was hired to work with the City of Providence to create a series of mural with teen workers during the summer. He and six students painted a building at Fargnoli Park in Providence. The program was amazing. Brent also did a pair of youth murals with West Elmwood Housing.
Afterwards, Brent's business focus changed into primarily creating artwork and graphics for half a dozen roller skating rinks, most notably the Carousel Family Fun Center. His graphics have also won a number of awards from the Roller Skating Association.
Today, Brent still teaches a lot; currently he is working at the Met School in Providence and with Riverzedge Arts, as part of their mobile studio. He still has a number of steady clients and he still gets many new projects too. He specializes in murals, signs, print graphics, illustrations, websites, community art projects, food trucks, car wraps and lots more.
Brent has spent decades creating artwork with and for numerous schools, community groups, municipalities, organizations and businesses. He has worked tirelessly to improve the look (and bottom line) of his clients while also working to improve the look of the community as a whole, all by utilizing art. An archive of his artwork may be seen on his website: www.clubneopolsi.com.
In 2015, his business has been around for 26 years. So Brent has been in Rhode Island for 3o years. It is time for a new challenge and a new location. Brent wants to take his accumulated knowledge and use it to create the Western Maine Art Center.