Worth another look

By GREG COOK  |  December 23, 2008

Other notable Stairwell shows included paintings, prints, and "primitive toys for modern times" by Leif Goldberg and Erin Rosenthal of Providence, and the resplendent everything-but-the-kitchen-sink "Dead and Gong" installation by Muffy Brandt and Ali Dennig of Providence, Ryan Riehle and Keith Waters of Boston, and Miles Huston of New York. The year's theme seemed to be: seeking hopeful ways forward in a warped and trashed world.

In the '60s, Sister Corita Kent, of LA and then Boston, transformed advertising imagery into incandescent flower-powered screenprints ecstatic for peace, love, and Jesus. Largely overlooked since her death in 1986, a show of her art at Beslin Fine Arts in East Greenwich was part of a growing, well-deserved, and necessary rediscovery.

Iron Guild's 6th Annual Halloween Pour at the Steel Yard featured moody electronic music, molten metal cast as bats and skulls, and bloody zombie attacks. In the finale, a giant skull-cart exploded in a shower of sparks and fire. The event's mix of badass and slapstick, spectacle, invention and, liquid energy epitomized a spirit that burns bright in Providence art — and draws us ever to its flame.

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