One of my favorite summer events in Newport is the WET PAINT event Newport Art Museum puts on every year. I love the community-centric element of this particular Newport weekend and admire the people that work tirelessly to create the experiences. This evening, the benefit begins with the Art After Dark event, to include artist demos and art-making led by various instructors. Open to the public, you can join in with an instructor, or bring your own materials! You’ll be out on the museum’s lawn, creating alongside some of the Wet Paint committee members Rupert Nesbitt and Brooke Roberts. In anticipation of the big event, LKRE sat down with Rupert to discuss the cause and creative energy:

LKRE: Having moved from New York, what do you love about living in Newport? 

RN: My parents were artists and I grew up here, so I’m naturally tied to the landscape. I mostly admire how Newport is not intellectually isolated…there are so many interesting people here, from education, to the Navy to society… It’s energizing. 

LKRE: Tell us a little bit about WET PAINT and your involvement as a committee member.

RN: As an artist, I make things…I make events and have had a stint in organizing things. We don’t need to necessarily create the next thing, there are so many events in town that need your help. I would ask how one can help with what exists. Thus, WET PAINT was something that was successful, but on the brink of collapsing in the brink of its own success. It hadn’t significantly changed from when it started. I love my work with the event and museum. My favorite part of the event is the art auction – especially when I’m personally familiar with the artist and art piece. 

LKRE: What makes the event so special?

RN: WET PAINT really showcases creativity that is otherwise stuck in the studio. There is an element of accessibility and celebration. I love how much creativity is in our community and how visible it is at this event. 

LKRE: For an artist, what makes this event so enjoyable?

RN: As an art maker, there are so many eyeballs on your work, which can be inspiring and intimidating… it also kicks a lot of people into a deadline when they wouldn’t ordinarily make a lot….and conversely, an opportunity for art supporters to really dive into the art world, perhaps purchasing their first piece of art! 


Above, a part-whimsical “toy theater” in Rupert’s studio, a nod to the Victorian parlor entertainment. To see more of Rupert’s work, view his online portfolio.