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slides: 12 Biggest Arts + Music Stories in RI in 2012

Friday, December 28, 2012

 

Rhode Island's arts and music scene was livelier than ever in 2012, and GoLocal was on hand with theater, art and music reviews, as well as coverage of cultural events and round-ups of great outlets for art. What grabbed the spotlight this year? From Viola to King Lear, find out here.




 

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#12 Foo Fest

It's a true Providence event, overflowing with a confluence of creative music, performance arts, food and even anarchy. It's Foo Fest, and GoLocalProv's Music Critic Rob Duguay was on hand to catch, and record, all the action.

"On a Saturday where the sun battled the dark clouds that refused to rain, Foo Fest invaded Empire Street in downtown Providence for a showcase of innovation, creativity, art & music that promised to be unlike any other festival in the world," Duguay wrote. 

Check out the whole review, here.

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#11 Finch at RISD Museum

Spencer Finch's "Painting Air" exhibit at the RISD Museum in February of 2012 caught the keen eye of Art Writer Renee Doucette. Her insightful review of the show was one of the highest-read arts pieces of the year.

"This drive to see, experience, and then recreate for an audience keeps Finch curious and always on the edge of another art experiment," Doucette wrote. "I just think we are lucky that he looped Providence back in on his never-ending quest to paint air."

Read the entire review, here.

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#10 Revival at Columbus

The reopening of Providence's Columbus Theater was a remarkable two-day celebration of music that felt a bit like an indoor Newport Folk Festival. On hand for it all, Rob Duguay reviewed the event with the infectious good feeling generated in the West End that weekend.

Bands featured included Sugar Honey Iced Tea, Vudu Sister, Alec K. Redfearn & The Eyesores, Brown Bird, The Rice Cakes, The Low Anthem, and a surprise appearance by Joe Fletcher & The Wrong Reasons.

For all the action, read the story, here.

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#9 Lear at Trinity

"As a nation's fate is tied to the strength of its sovereign, so a play about a king stands or falls on who plays him. And Trinity Rep's production of Shakespeare's tragic masterpiece King Lear stands tall indeed, borne on the sinewy shoulders of Brian McEleney, who turns in a moving, bravura performance in the leading role."

Features Editor Tracey Minkin's rave review of McEleney's performance in a strong production at Trinity topped the year's coverage of theater in the state, and made Shakespeare once again the most popular guy in local show business.

To read the review, go here.

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#8 Viola at the Oscars

When hometown girl Viola Davis received her second Oscar nomination, this time for her leading role in the film, The Help, GoLocal followed her to Hollywood, including checking the odds on the Best Actress in a Leading Role race.

While Davis didn't win the statue, she did make a firm friend in co-nominee (and winner) Meryl Streep, who would go on to follow Davis' philanthropic example and make her own Arts news in RI in 2012.

For a look at Davis' Oscar preview, go here.

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#7 Outdoor Movies

A summertime guide to the best outdoor films in Rhode Island showed two things. One, that some very creative programming is going on in the Ocean State--particularly in Newport, where NewportFILM presented sold-out documentary films in outdoor venues from nature preserves and sprawling ocean-front lawns to elegant mansion gardens, public parks and working farms.

Two, that Rhode Islanders love their films, making this guide to movies under the stars one of the biggest and most shared stories of the year in Arts.

Read the story here.

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#6 RI Art Under $500

Just in time for the holidays in 2012, Design Line columnist, Interior Designer Kelly Taylor, curated a selection of Rhode Island art that was purchasable for less than $500.

"I could fill my clients’ walls with exceptional art without ever crossing our state’s borders," Taylor wrote, and her championing of local art for a steal was one of the most viewed Arts pieces of the entire year.

See Taylor's choices and view the slideshow, here.

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#5 Arts + Crafts

The arts and crafts movement is more vibrant than ever in Rhode Island, and GoLocal's coverage of places to shop for crafts, festivals and fairs that feature local artists, was one of the most popular stories of the year.

With venues like Craftland in downtown Providence, not to mention the RISD Alumni and Foundry Sales, Rhode Island overflows with shopping of the highest caliber.

See where the artists were showing this year in the biggest arts and crafts story of the year, here.

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#4 Fairey + Cianci Film

When icons collide...

A RISD senior's student film about the colorful clash between street artist (and RISD grad) Shepard Fairey and then-Mayor Buddy Cianci became a media darling in 2012, and GoLocal's story about "Obey The Giant" was one of the most read and shared Arts stories of the year.

Filmmaker Julian Marshall filmed "Obey" on the streets of Providence much in the guerilla style of his main character, even erecting a faux Cianci billboard at the base of College Hill. To read the whole story, go here.

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#3 Meryl + Central Falls

One of the world's most famous actors took a keen interest in the well-being of Rhode Island's struggling Central Falls, and her gracious donations made huge Arts news in 2012.

None other than Meryl Streep, who was inspired by fellow Oscar nominee Viola Davis' support of the Segue Institute for Learning, gave $10,000 to the school in February, then donated 5,000 books to the school in August.

Streep, who was rumored to have spent Christmas in 2011 in Newport, and who posed for the cover of Vogue's January 2012 issue in Rhode Island, was often in the local spotlight. Come back soon, Meryl.

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#2 Fall Festivals

This year's #2 Arts story honored the culture and traditions of Rhode Island, as a round-up of the state's finest fall festivals was read by thousands of Rhode Islanders in 2012.

From RI Heritage Day to pumpkin fests, from apples to beer and local art festivals, our passion for getting out and about and sampling the best of RI's culture, was in full evidence this year.

Read the article here.

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#1 Top Hipster City

When you put arts and music together and maybe incubate it on Providence's West Side, what do you get? HIPSTERS, that's what, and Travel + Leisure named Providence among the Top 10 Cities for Hipsters in the United States.

Facebook lit up like the Steel Yard during the Iron Pour with shout-outs and shares, and the article describing Providence's #6 spot among the Hipster Cities in America went viral.

T+L named AS220 as the "artsy nerve center" of the city, which the magazine said boasts of stimulating Rhode Island’s “cultural mulch” through shows, a restaurant, a coffee bar, and a meeting space for the tech group Providence Geeks.

For the whole story, go here.

 
 

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