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Alejandro Diaz’s funny money problems at RISD

‘Business’ as unusual
Outside the entrance to the RISD Museum, a sign — the sort of blinking arrow sign typical of used car dealerships — promises a "Naked artist inside."
By GREG COOK  |  January 08, 2013

RISD carves up history’s silent witnesses

Wood Shop
Dale Broholm was touring the Civil War battlefields at Gettysburg a few years ago when his friend, a former historian with the National Parks Service, described a landscape project that involved clearing trees.
By PHILIP EIL  |  September 05, 2012

Review: Plum Pt. Bistro

The Contes do it well again
Plum Pt., the new eatery in Saunderstown, is definitely designed as a bistro, as was emphasized by our server, who noted that such places are intended to be noisy to provide the kind of bustling "energy" that attracts hip, young diners.
By BILL RODRIGUEZ  |  September 04, 2012

The ‘2012 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition’

Stars on parade
The star, literally, of the "2012 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition," the school's annual showcase of its graduating graduate student talent at the Rhode Island Convention Center is James Franco.
By GREG COOK  |  May 23, 2012

Making the RISD Museum sizzle

Can new director John W. Smith polish Providence's hidden gem?
The Rhode Island School of Design Museum is one of New England's — and America's — most underappreciated and underperforming cultural treasures.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  May 02, 2012

Cirque de Ville will go over the top at the Dorrance

Three-Ring Dept.
It doesn't take a particularly agile imagination to step back in time at the Dorrance, the restaurant and bar that opened in the old Union Trust bank building downtown last fall. The marble floors, the high ceilings, the stained-glass windows — they all summon the structure's pre-Prohibition past.
By PHILIP EIL  |  February 22, 2012

Andre returns to College Hill

Propaganda Dept.
If you found yourself on Benefit Street this past Monday, you could have been forgiven for wondering if Providence's own rascal king had made a stunning return to politics: there, behind the First Baptist Church, was a large "Re-Elect Cianci" billboard.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 15, 2012

RISD’s hockey team turns the dick joke into high art — OK, low art

Go Nads!
The third period has just begun and the Nads, the Rhode Island School of Design's club hockey team, is losing 2-0 to a squad from Emerson College.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 15, 2012

‘Taoist Gods’ and ‘Immortals’ at Brown and RISD

The language of aesthetics
As China marked the beginning of the Year of the Dragon with lion and dragon dances and fireworks last week, Brown University's Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology was debuting "Taoist Gods from China: Ceremonial Paintings from the Mien".
By GREG COOK  |  January 31, 2012

Britannia rules at RISD’s “Made In the UK”

Top of the pops
"Made In the UK: Contemporary Art from the Richard Brown Baker Collection," a survey of post-World War II British art at the RISD Museum (224 Benefit Street, Providence, through January 8), arrives as British artists are the top of the pops.
By GREG COOK  |  October 04, 2011

A British invasion and the local hall of fame

Autumn offerings
The art season follows the school year.
By GREG COOK  |  September 14, 2011

Tips for young artists

Express your self; bus fumes; bands behind bars
This region of the country is, and always has been, a magnet for artists. If I spent some time thinking about why this is the case, I could probably conjure up a few convincing theories. But that's not my purpose today.
By RUDY CHEEKS  |  July 13, 2011

Review: ''Remember the Ladies'' at the Newport Art Museum

Women's work
Rhode Island is one of the preeminent places for art-making in America, thanks in great part to the Rhode Island School of Design, but what would it be without its pioneering women?  
By GREG COOK  |  July 07, 2011

Review: ''Among the Breakage'' scratches the surface at Bell Gallery

An incomplete picture
Over the past dec-ade, Providence art has been known for its visionary printmaking and graphics, crafty constructions, and funhouse installations, but local painting has tended to operate out of the limelight.
By GREG COOK  |  June 28, 2011

Do the funky pot roast! The triumphant (three-night only) return of the Young Adults

Still complex after all these years
The shorter gent was balding, hirsute, and on the plump side. While bellowing lyrics about Broderick Crawford's machismo and the joys of being a carnivore, he occasionally wore a "brain hat" and was dolled up in a form-fitting muumuu.
By JIM MACNIE  |  May 25, 2011

Review: ''The 2011 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition''

Hello, we must be going
Walking into the "2011 RISD Graduate Thesis Exhibition" at the Rhode Island Convention Center (1 Sabin Street, Providence, through June 4), you can't miss Laura Swanson's Homemade Bull .
By GREG COOK  |  May 24, 2011

Firehouse 13 gets a facelift

Rock Dept.
The walls of the Firehouse 13 cultural center are a deep red now, split by a long, white stripe on the northeast wall, with a bit of black below.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  April 20, 2011

Review: ''Tradition, Trauma, Transformation'' at Bell Gallery

Images of India
One of the medieval legends of India is the tale of the star-crossed lovers Sohni, the daughter of a potter, and Mahiwal, a traveling trader.
By GREG COOK  |  April 13, 2011

Using art to transform the Harvard Museum of Natural History — for one night

Animal house
While visiting Berlin's Museum Für Naturkunde, Boston architect Lisa Haber-Thomson felt a pang for a simpler era.
By EUGENIA WILLIAMSON  |  March 30, 2011

At RISD: Art, science, and what's wrong with ATMs

Among the most prominent solutions offered up for our present economic malaise and the broader decline of the republic: a robust investment in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  January 19, 2011

Angel Taveras on design, technology — and his theme song

Urban Affairs
With the New Year rapidly approaching, Providence's mayor-elect Angel Taveras has been busy assembling a ginormous transition team and fending off a small army of job-seekers.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  December 01, 2010

Review: Umberto Crenca's introspective retrospective at AS220

Trying to make sense of it all
If you've been around the Providence art scene very long, you've surely heard the story. In the early 1980s, Umberto Crenca exhibited at the Antonio Dattorro Studio Gallery and the Providence Journal panned his art as shallow and simplistic.
By GREG COOK  |  November 16, 2010

Celebration of sensation

RISD’s ‘2010 Annual Graduate Thesis Exhibition’  
The Rhode Island School of Design’s “Annual Graduate Thesis Exhibition” typically has too many people doing too many different things for any common themes to emerge. But prominent installations in this year’s showcase at the Rhode Island Convention Center of more than 170 students receiving graduate degrees give the shindig a carnival vibe.
By GREG COOK  |  May 27, 2010

Nature studies

New works by Catherine Hamilton and Susan Twaddell
“A bird feeder,” Hamilton writes in her artist statement, “creates an intensified microcosm of the trials and hardships of avian existence.”
By GREG COOK  |  May 05, 2010

Now playing — RISD: The Musical!

We all know RISD students like to paint and draw, but can they hoof it? Or belt out a show tune and carry a giant pencil at the same time? Well, yes, it turns out.
By ELIZABETH RAU  |  February 17, 2010

‘Wonderful Wickenden Street’ crumbles

Art Dept.
At the end of Wickenden Street, just off the roadway, construction equipment stood guard over piles of steel and rubble: remnants of an old Route 195 overpass taken down over the last month or so as part of a larger effort to shift the highway.
By DAVID SCHARFENBERG  |  February 10, 2010

Sexy and saucy

Glitter, body paint, and the burlesque revival
It's just before 9 pm on a frigid Saturday, and the basement-turned-green room of the Perishable Theatre in Providence is positively swarming.
By ELLEN CUSHING  |  January 13, 2010

More closings and a question: Can galleries survive here?

The Arts
More closings and a question: Can galleries survive here?
By GREG COOK  |  December 16, 2009

Wild about Harry

Trailblazing along a narrow path
What I want to do — what most photographers want to do — is write Harry Callahan a love letter. At the very least, he deserves an elaborate thank-you note for innovating or validating 80 percent of the successful photographs we ever took.
By CLIF GARBODEN  |  December 09, 2009

A ’stache grows in Providence

Sex Confident Dept.
Beards are easy. Almost any guy can grow some scruff, and in some circles, it's almost de rigueur. But a mustache — that takes work, and it takes guts. A mustache is bold.
By MARION DAVIS  |  November 18, 2009

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