Showing posts from April, 2016

Newportal ~ A Collaborative Cultural Heritage Website Launches

Newportal: A Collaborative Cultural Heritage Website Launches
Newport, RINewportal, a free online collaborative database that brings together the art, objects, and manuscript collections of participating cultural heritage institutions in Newport, launched on April 27th, 2016. Made possible through the support of the Rhode Island Foundation, the database enables the public to access collections across institutional boundaries. It is available at .

Newportal was developed by a collaborative of five institutions: the Newport Art Museum, the Newport Historical Society, the Newport Restoration Foundation,
the Preservation Society of Newport County, and the Redwood Library and Athenaeum. By uniting access to collections across institutions, Newportal is a
unique resource that encourages scholarship and presents a holistic story of Newport County’s cultural and social history. The website will be useful to scholars and students of Rhode Island history and material cultu…

Oh what a night ~ Jersey Boys at PPAC

Jersey Boys
Providence Performing Arts Center
220 Weybosset St.
Providence, Rhode Island

I'm still humming the tunes from Jersey Boys. It's full of music that's probably familiar to most adults - top 10 hits from the 50's, 60's and 70's that are American standards now: the music of Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons.

This Tony-winning musical is basically a docu-concert. Each of the four members of the original Four Seasons (aka The Varietones, The Four Lovers, and others), tells part of the story of the band's history from their own perspective.

There's Tommy DeVito, the bull-headed, belligerent mook who first brought Frankie Valli into the band. Matthew Dailey brings just the right amount of swagger to the role, and has the accent down pat.

There's Frankie himself, born Francesco Stephen Castelluccio, the short man with a tall vocal range. Frankie is played by Aaron De Jesus, whose range could give Valli a run for his money, though he doesn't …

Makers ~ Richard Bradley ~ Providence

Artist’s name: Richard Bradley
Shop name: My Pink Planet
Instagram: My_Pink_Planet

1. Tell us about your work
I do handmade wearable art, mostly jewelry using many of the old and nearly lost industrial techniques. My pieces are diverse and for the most part, one of a kind.

2. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I’ve always had a fascination, as far back as I remember, with jewelry and all things sparkly. In my teenage years I started collecting vintage costume jewelry and my natural inclination was to explore how and where such beautiful objects were made. From working in design houses that opened in the 1930’s and 40’s I learned many of the old and lost techniques from some of the industries “old timers”. Today I’m a 10+ year veteran jewelry designer who enjoys inspiring others as well as exploring my …

Sights ~ Caesar Augustus ~ Providence

Tucked outside the Sharp refectory in the Wriston Quad at Brown University is a bronze statue of Caesar Augustus. It was first dedicated by Moses B. I. Goddard in 1906.

The statue is an exact replica of  the marble Augustus of Prima Porta statue, now in the Vatican Museum.

For those without the classical education experienced at Brown in 1906, Caesar Augustus was the first Roman emperor, and founder of the Roman Empire.

Augustus has had an adventurous existence at Brown. In 1938, his raised right arm was blown away by the Great Hurricane. It's still gone, exposing the wood support inside.

He's had a few tussles with local students, as well, who have bedecked him with shirts, necklaces, hats, sociopolitical ephemera, and graffiti. At one point his other arm was removed and replaced.

And although he's been moved during his long career, after 110 years, he still stands at Brown.

Rhody Bloggers ~ Jordan and Angela ~ Providence

Blogger’s name: Angela DiVeglia & Jordan Goffin
Blog name:Notes for Bibliophiles
Twitter: @TheSpecialest

1. Tell us about your blog.
Jordan: Like most people working with historical collections, we come across interesting stuff on a daily (hourly, really) basis. Now and then we find something we want to talk about that will take a little longer than 140 characters or a quick photograph. The Notes for Bibliophiles blog is the place for that.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your blog?
Jordan: Notes for Bibliophiles was the title of a newspaper column about books written by Lawrence Wroth (who was once the Librarian at the John Carter Brown Library here in Providence). There's a new book about Wroth by the person who started our blog back in 2007.

3. How did you get started?
Jordan: The blog was already running by the time I arrived (I'd been blogging at other pla…

Makers ~ Seth McCombs ~ Warwick

Artist’s name: Seth McCombs
Shop name: What's Out There?
Twitter: @oldsaltyseth
Facebook: Seth McCombs
Instagram: @old_salty_seth

1. Tell us about your work
I write and draw and I love both for different reasons. Art wise, I'm a cartoonist at heart. I like making these big nautical pieces but my main influences are probably Herge and Bill Watterson. With writing, I can dig into anything. I like weird concepts and genre trappings but I ultimately just wanna get into a character's head and write from there. Or if there's an excuse to write in a rhyme scheme I always have a great time with that.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
Well, I named my publishing company McAwesome Press because I was hoping my book would be awesome. When I filled out the tax forms for the business and had to say what my job title was I wrote "Captain". That's legal documentation, folks.

3. How did you come to be a profession…

Fundraiser ~ Doors Open Rhode Island

I just found out about this program today, and I'm so excited! What an awesome opportunity to get "behind the scenes" to places most people never get to see.

Mayor Elorza on Doors Open Rhode Island from Caroline Stevens on Vimeo.

Makers ~ Rachel Lessne ~ Newport

Artist’s name: Rachel Lessne
Shop name: Green Envy
Twitter: @greenenvy
Pinterest: @GreenEnvyGirl
Instagram: @greenenvyshop

1. Tell us about your work
I make jewelry and skin care products from natural and recycled materials. I also source locally made and Fair Trade items to sell at and at fairs and festivals. The products range from baby clothing to home decor, skin care to accessories. Each product benefits an environmental cause and/or a disadvantaged artisan.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
It was actually my mother who thought of the name... because mothers are always right, aren't they?! Green Envy can mean a variety of things. There's no right or wrong answer. You can purchase items that benefit the environment and are "green" and be the envy of all your friends because going "green" can be beautiful. When I first opened, most eco-fashion and …

Sights ~ The Annmary Brown Memorial ~ Providence

AnnMary Brown Memorial
21 Brown St.
Providence, Rhode Island

A couple of years ago, I took the Providence Ghost Tour on the East Side. It's an interesting and engaging tour, and one of the stops was the Annmary Brown Memorial. Our guide stood on the steps and regaled us with the tale of Rush Hawkins' love for his wife, Annmary, and how the two, who are entombed inside, were particular about the placement of objects in the museum, and would move them, or scatter them, as the mood struck.

Annmary was the granddaughter of Nicholas Brown, for whom Brown University was named. She was the sister of Carrie Brown Bajnotti - she of the Carrie Tower at Brown and Bajnotti fountain in Burnside Park.

Rush was a general in the Civil War, who raised the 9th New York "Hawkins' Zouaves" regiment in 1861. He had a fairly distinguished military service, and even advised President Lincoln and General McClellan, and served for a time under General Burnside. He went on to serve in the…

Shop local ~ Rhody Craft announces new RI t-shirts


Rhody Craft partners with local artists to create unique line of Rhode Island T-Shirts

Locally owned, Rhody Craft sells a carefully curated, eclectic collection of locally hand-made art & craft, and more.

Rhody Craft has teamed up with a variety of local artists and designers to create the most unique, not-your-airport-gift shop-quality Rhodycentric t-shirt line available. Rhody Craft is working with artists from other mediums to adapt their work to a fashion format, referring them to local screenprinters and walking them through the process of sourcing and printing shirts. Just as owner Kim Clark was generously walked through the process by local designer Courtney Church (Periodically Inspired). This pay it forward approach has had spectacular results.

Rhody Craft works with artists to bring successful designs to the marketplace in innovative ways. Some artists choose to have their own shirts printed in consultation w…

Makers ~ Mike Knives ~ Providence

Artist's name: Mike Knives
Shop Name: Mike Knives
Twitter @mikeknives
Instagram @mikeknives

1. Tell us about your work
I make screen printed embroidered layered fabric plush tentacles monsters as well as screen printed hoodies.

2. Is there a story behind the name of your business?
I used to have a DIY show space and the named The Box Of Knives. No one could pronounce my last name so everyone started calling me Mike Knives and then I decided to use it as the name of my etsy and how I credit myself as an artist.

3. How did you come to be a professional artist/crafter/designer?
I've always loved screen printing and sewing. As a kid I learned how to hand sew on my own later on at the age of 20 I learned how to use a sewing machine. I learned how to screen print in a middle school art class. Once I learned how easy and exciting it was to do. I started making tshirts of va…

Sights ~ La Pigna ~ Providence

As you approach Federal Hill on Atwells Avenue from Downcity, you pass under the Gateway Arch.

This marks the entrance to the Italian district called Federal Hill. Much more diverse now than it was in the early 1900s when the first immigrants came to the area, the Hill still holds fast to its Italian roots.

The pigna represents hospitality, quality and abundance in Italian culture.

The pigna is often mistaken for a pineapple, but in fact, it's a pine cone.

The arch, with its Corinthian column supports, and pigna were dedicated in 1981 to honor the cultural, economic and artistic contributions of Italo-Americans to the City of Providence, and to serve as a welcome to the community.

It's hard to believe it's only been standing for 35 years, which means it had only been around for a few months when my husband and I moved to Rhode Island (the first time) so he could attend college.