Three Sisters - CODAworx

Three Sisters

Submitted by Allison Newsome

Client: Historic New England and City of Providence RI Dept of Art Culture and Tourism

Location: Providence , RI, United States

Completion date: 2021

Artwork budget: $100,000

Project Team

Sculptor, innovator and fabricator

Allison Newsome


drawings of Eastern Woodlands 'Origins' story Skywoman

Deborah Spears Moorehead

Painted Arrow


The museum collection of Historic New England at the Casey farm Community garden. RainKeep’ Three Sisters’ is a rain collecting utility sculpture that provides the community with a ‘PlaceMaker’ much like a communities water well in a village is a place to gather and exchange ideas. It is not only a sculpture but as a water harvesting utility that is a solution to the problem. The RainKeep’s 8’ vertical rain-chains are a natural system for kinetic imagery and storytelling. I.e., we are presently telling the Iroquoian ‘Origins’ story using the ancient technique of Repousse ( hammered) recycled aluminum. I am honored to collaborate with artist Deborah Spears Moorehead, RI Pokanoket, Wampanoag, visual artist, and traditional storyteller. We collaborated on a ‘Three Sisters’ garden and Deborah created drawings that we transformed into ‘Repousse’, hammered recycled aluminum imagery inspired by the Iroquoian creation ‘Origins’ story, the story of Sky Woman and how she fell to earth giving us the gift of ‘Three Sisters’, which is the interplanting of squash corn and beans.


Historic New England purchased this work to be permanently installed June, 10, 2021 for Casey Farm Museum's community garden where 'Three Sisters' will be used for educational programing on native American studies and sustainability water use. goals were to create a small pocket urban farm in the City of Providence that the community can help maintain and learn about water conservation by watering the 'Three 'Sisters Garden', a traditional indigenous interplanting of squash, corn, and beans, by using rainwater that is collected and stored with the 'Three Sisters' RainKeep/Utility sculpture sited adjacent to the garden. Our goal is also to educate visitors about the 'origins' story of the Eastern Woodlands , the story of Sky Woman and how she fell to earth, bringing and giving the gift of squash, beans, and corn. The story is told through the aluminum 8' vertical rain chains, offering a kinetic framework. Our goals were met over the course of 6 months in downtown Providence.


The collaboration between myself and Native American artist Deborah Spears Moorehead began with her drawings of the Eastern Woodlands Origins story and continued in the process of translating these drawings into Repousse aluminum. Our next collaboration was the May planting of the 'Three Sisters' garden, a traditional interplanting of squash, corn, and beans. We are starting by catching pogies ( small saltwater fish) in the Narragansett Bay to bury under the soil as fertilizer in the same way Deborah was taught by her grandmother. Historic New England at Casey Farm has purchased this work to be installed in their community garden where Deborah and I have been asked to work with them in their educational programing.

Additional Information

Historic New England, Casey Farm Museum, purchased this work to be permanently installed in their community garden to be used for watering the garden as well as Native American educational programing . 'Three Sisters' public sculpture will be having a dedication ceremony this month, June 25th and featured as the FIRST contemporary work of art purchased at all 37 properties owned by Historic new England.