STUNNING STRIPES Bridget Riley’s Gather (1981), from RISD’s “Made In the UK.”
The art season follows the school year. So with College Hill buzzing with art students again (welcome back!), Providence's exhibition scene returns to life. Autumn offerings include RISD's survey of five decades of British art, eccentric machines at Brown, and returning favorites like NetWorks' continuing hall of fame roundup of Rhody art and the Iron Guild's annual effort to make Halloween go up in flames.
"GOING HOME: SCULPTURE AND PRINTS BY FRANK POOR" | Newport Art Museum | Through October 30 | Based on a trip home to his native Georgia, Cranston's Frank Poor transfers photos of well-used barns, a boarded-up pawn shop, shotgun houses, and wooden churches onto stripped-down mini models of the buildings that speak of a rough-and-tumble, run-down America. | 76 Bellevue Avenue, Newport | $10 | 401.848.8200 | newportartmuseum.org
"MADE IN THE UK: CONTEMPORARY ART FROM THE RICHARD BROWN BAKER COLLECTION" | RISD Museum | September 23-January 8 | Baker, a Providence native and major New York art collector who died in 2002, bequeathed some 170 British works to the museum, as well as funds to continue to purchase the best stuff made by Redcoats today. This show offers about 100 works from the 1950s to now, including Ben Nicholson's cubist-flavored abstraction from 1955; an early painting by David Hockney of Los Angeles; one of Bridget Riley's op-art striped canvases; Damien Hirst's psychedelic mandala made of butterflies; and Yinka Shonibare's explorations of colonialism via 18th-century European fashions sewn from African fabrics. | 224 Benefit Street, Providence | $10 | 401.454.6500 | risdmuseum.org
"ELISA D'ARRIGO" | Rhode Island College's Bannister Gallery | October 6-November 2 | The New York artist turns paper and fabric into patchwork wall reliefs that look like mosaics stitched together by Dr. Frankenstein or the burned and battered surface of meteorites that have crashed down to the earth. | 600 Mount Pleasant Avenue, Providence | free | 401.456.9765 | ric.edu/bannister
"INDEPENDENTS" | West Side Arts | October 14-31 | This show assembles 11 artists working (mainly) in street art styles to celebrate independent spirit — from "all true artistic endeavors" to the crazy, lovable, radical outcasts who "went off on their own to unite and escape injustice and faded freedoms" and ended up founding Rhode Island. (Note: visits are by appointment only.) | 745 Westminster Street, Providence | Free | westsidearts.org
HALLOWEEN IRON POUR | The Steel Yard | October 28 | The Iron Guild presents its annual molten metal and hellfire spectacular featuring live iron pouring, casting, and gratuitous holiday pyromania. | 27 Sims Avenue, Providence | $10 | 401.273.7101 | thesteelyard.org
ROUGH AND TUMBLE Frank Poor’s River Oaks, at the Newport Art Museum.
"NOSTALGIA MACHINES" | Brown University's David Winton Bell Gallery | November 19-February 19 | Five artists explore the intersection of technology and nostalgia with a cloud-like contraption of spinning pink Styrofoam gears; a machine that seemingly smashes a beer bottle against a wall, only to repair it again; and a device that evokes the melancholy of moving by sounding like tape being stretched across packing boxes. | 64 College Street, Providence | Free | 401.863.2932 | brown.edu/ Facilities/David_Winton_Bell_Gallery