All Hallows Eve Iron Pour

It's Halloween, and I'm not at all dressed to impress this year, I must admit. This old, New England house is drafty, and my costume chest is full of flimsy fare, so I'm just rattling my bones this all-hallows eve. If suffering the unseasonable chill in the great outdoors is more to your liking, The Steelyard is hosting its annual, Live Molten Metal Iron Pour tonight - with pre-pour, all-ages festivities to start at 6pm.

Iron Pour at the Steelyard, October 31st at 7pm

The denizens of the Iron Guild are promising to dump red hot, molten iron on various seasonally appropriate icons (like zombies!). I can see the sparks flying now! Hot cider and snacks will be available by donation, and live music by local rockers Animal Hospital will follow the pour, which is scheduled to run from 7-8pm. If you arrive early, be sure to peruse the ceramics sale - all proceeds from the sale go to benefit the ceramics department and resident artists.

The Steelyard is located 27 Sims Ave. Providence, RI 02909

Warren Weekend Wandering

What a week, folks. I've been home with the plague, it's supposed to rain buckets tonight, and I'm already wearing fingerless gloves in the house. Ah, well, maybe I'm just getting old...tomorrow is my birthday after all. Hopefully, "Sun-Day" means that the sun will reappear and dry things up to crackly autumn goodness.

Rain or shine, YES Gallery + Studio in Warren is one spot to check out. Artist Tom McAleer will be giving a plein air painting demonstration tomorrow, Sunday, October 26th, from 2-5pm. During the demo, Tom will be painting a portrait of the historic gallery building (which once housed renowned illustrator David Macauley's studio!)

Pure/Play at YES Gallery + Studio through November 2nd, 2008

While you are there, check out Pure/Play, the current exhibition featuring paintings by McAleer and Douglas Desjardins. As additional incentive, 5% of exhibition proceeds will go to benefit the John Hope Settlement House, which provides social services to families in Providence, RI. YES Gallery + Studio is a tax free zone.

YES Gallery + Studio is located at 146 Water Street, Warren, RI 02885

Weekly Wandering

Churning out several articles on deadline this week has me posting less frequently to the blog, but it hasn't stopped me from wandering about Providence in search of art happenings and crunchy October leaf drifts to stomp through.

One nice place for a foliage-rich stroll is the Moses Brown School campus on Lloyd Street. Nestled in the center of campus is the Krause Gallery, now showing the work of three New England artists in "Exploring Space", on view through October 24th. This show poses it's most literal question with the work of Laura Shirreff, a textile artist who translates the phenomenon of the solar eclipse into complex, jacquard woven fabric panels. (The devil is in the details, so my photograph certainly does not do this work justice - these merit close inspection.)

Jacquard woven fabric panels by Laura Shirreff at the Krause Gallery

Above: Jacquard-woven fabric works by Laura Shirreff on view at the Krause Gallery.

Another stop I like to make (especially on Gallery Night when the refreshments are flowing) is the secret gem of Above Providence Optical Gallery. Realizing that their digs are too luxurious to simply sell high-end spectacle frames, these nice folks invite the public up their spiral staircase to the well-lit second floor, where ~monthly art shows reign the walls.

Above Providence Optical Gallery

Above: Someday I'll own a fancy light fixture like the one at Above Providence Optical Gallery...

On view this month is textile work by Joanne Luongo of Pawtucket's Paper Girls Studio. Anyone who obsessively stitches thread into muslin for six months to achieve a square foot or so abstract thread drawing, or crochets panties out of plastic bags is someone whose work I can get into. The collection of panty alternatives on the entrance wall is a definite conversation piece...check out this detail of "Victoria's Real Secret". Now that's a thong with a nasty temper...

Joanne Luongo: Victoria's Real Secret - thong, pins

Above: Joanne Luongo - "Victoria's Real Secret", "Peek-a-Boo Panties", "Thread Panties" (installation shot): bikini, pins, tar gel, plastic bags, thread.


Make Noise, Not War: HONK! Fest Spans The Region

Perhaps you were one of the thousands of revelers who made it up to Somerville and Cambridge this holiday weekend to stomp and sweat to the collective din of brass, reed, percussion and activism that is the annual HONK! Fest. If you weren't, don't fret - Titubanda, the legendary 35-piece brass, percussion, reed and dance band hailing di Roma has one more day of local parade action in store for us.

Titubanda performs activist street band joy at Providence's Kennedy Plaza - October 13, 2008

Above: Titubanda performs with swirling, whirling audience participation at Providence's Kennedy Plaza - October 13, 2008.

While they may be swathed in woolen scarves and coats, as our crisp New England October climate feels like arctic ice to our Mediterranean friends; (case in point: my brother-in-law vacillated between the ubiquitous speedo and baffling winter garb while visiting us in AUGUST) however, cold fingers will not stop the hot music!

Join Titubanda today at 7pm for a joyous parade, beginning at Fulton Hall (corner of Hope and Benevolent), and heading down College Hill to RISD's Market House Square for an 8:30pm concert. From traditional popolo village songs, to "avant-guard jazz via Latin American rhythms and Arabic melodies", Titubanda will leave you crying "Bis!"

Seen and Felt

I need to stop listening to National Public Radio in the morning, it's giving me indigestion. The economic outlook has many of us wanting to crawl under a large, light-dampening blanket with a "wake me when it's over" sign pinned to the top. Speaking of blankets...

Large Scale Felt Banners by Wendy Mueller at RI Convention Center

I have long admired these huge felt banners by Wendy Mueller, commissioned for the Rhode Island Convention Center in Providence. They are so gnarly and the skins of an imaginary, prehistoric beast.

Large Scale Felt Banners by Wendy Mueller at RI Convention Center

Large Scale Felt Banners by Wendy Mueller at RI Convention Center

I see these as totems to the "percent for art" public art programs. Will funded public art go the way of the dinosaurs?

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