Posts Tagged ‘rhode island’

I find that I prefer taking photos in sunlight — there’s a better chance of getting the shadows I love.

Does the sun shine more in summer? Perhaps I’m just outdoors more. In any case, there seem to be more photo ops in summer. Here are several recent pictures from my travels back and forth between Rhode Island and Massachusetts.

Any favorites? I especially love the long, early-morning shadows behind the blue Lace-Cap Hydrangea. And I can never resist mysterious messages sent out onto the world as if by UFO.

That’s Suzanne’s son surveying the new section of the bike path as he learns to ride using training wheels first.




























































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Art: Neal Personeus
This humorous piece, exhibited in 2015 at the Block Island Airport, is called “Yeah … but the view.”

People know Rhode Island for its beaches, its cuisine — and, of course, its arts. Perhaps the cluster of arts activities started with the Rhode Island School of Design. Perhaps people who attended RISD stayed around after graduation. It’s hard to say.

But there is no doubt that the state saw what a treasure artists were and decided to create incentives to get them to stick around and contribute.

Dustin Waters has details in Charleston City Paper.

“Little Rhody has become a powerhouse when it comes to attracting artists and art lovers to its shores. And the method by which state leaders have leveraged Rhode Island’s tax code to benefit the creative community could serve as a model for other states looking to cultivate a stronger arts economy.

” ‘When artists populate an area, it tends to get energized,’ says Randall Rosenbaum, executive director of the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts.

“Targeting specific neighborhoods in need of revitalization, Rhode Island’s General Assembly realized that an excellent way to breathe life into these areas was to foster the growth of arts in these communities. Establishing designated arts districts throughout the state in 1996 with the goal of attracting and keeping talented artists, state leaders offered two tax incentives for artists who were willing to live and work in these districts, according to Rosenbaum.

“First, all works of art created in these districts could be purchased exempt from state sales tax. This tax break extended to dealers, galleries, and shops within each district. …

“The second benefit proved to be a major boon. [Income] received by artists from work produced and sold in a designated arts district was exempt from personal state income tax. B…

“Finally, in 2013, the Rhode Island General Assembly extended the sales tax incentive throughout the entire state. This decision came after a meeting between artists, politicians, and businesspeople who saw the plan as a way to turn the state’s creative community into an economic driver. …

“In a 2015 report to the Rhode Island General Assembly prepared by the Rhode Island State Council of the Arts, participating artists were surveyed to find out how they felt about the first year of business under the state’s new guidelines. Not surprisingly, the general consensus among the artistic community was positive.

“Almost 58 percent of artists surveyed reported that their sales increased from the previous year before the sales-tax exemption was instituted. …

“While Rhode Island hopes to spread the news about the state’s arts incentives, it wouldn’t be a bad idea for more states to start taking better care of their artists — before all the local creatives start heading up to Providence.”

More here.

Hat Tip: ArtsJournal.


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How did we get halfway through May already? It’s time to mention I’ll be taking my first break in six years between May 26 and June 6. We’ll be in Sweden. I’ll try to blog, but you never know.

It sure will feel strange not to post. I have put something up on this site every day since May 2011!

But before I leave, I have other things to share, including today’s photos. The first two are from the giant mural in Dewey Square, Boston — the latest in the Greenway’s ongoing series. The featured artist this time is Mehdi Ghadyanloo from Iran, where he is known for upbeat murals.

The next photo shows a WPA mural in the Arlington, Mass., post office. John pointed me to it after he saw my recent post “Hunting Down WPA Art.”

Then comes another of my shadow photos. Can’t resist shadows. That one is followed by tree-stump mushrooms and dogwood. Can’t resist mushrooms either.

The four Providence photos that follow attest to the fact that the city finally experienced a sunny Tuesday morning (the first since February). Blackstone Park is the location of the Indian shelter and the fallen birch tree with the mysterious yellow plastic strips (art?). Nearby was a wondrous carpet of pink petals and an early rower on the Seekonk River.

Finally, I wanted to show you my lilac progression. With muse.







































































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The New York Times headline about snowboarders in Rhode Island said the state was “powder poor.” Not this weekend! Rhode Island is snowed in.

Everything else about the article is probably true since the Times is known for pretty good fact checking.

Matt Ruby reports, “Five miles from the beaches of Narragansett, somewhere between Vail and Zermatt, there are 28 skiable acres. They don’t cover a mountain, just a modest hill that gets about 34 inches of snow a year. That slope is the unlikely canvas for a collection of snowboarders whose wild imaginations have earned them more cachet than many of the sport’s most accomplished athletes.

“The place is the Yawgoo Valley ski area, and the snowboarders call themselves the Yawgoons. They’re the equivalent of a world-beating beach volleyball team based in Saskatoon.

“In a sport where bigger, higher, longer, and more spinning and flipping define the boundaries, the Yawgoons get creative. They use the natural terrain (rocks, trees, grass) as well as the unnatural (buildings, snowcats, pipes) to construct landscapes with one I’ve-never-seen-that-before feature after another. Then they shoot video of their runs and let the snowboarding world watch in awe. …

“Everyone has seen video of snowboarders roaring down the steepest, snowiest descents in Alaska and Switzerland. Somehow, watching a Yawgoon land a backside 180 to switch 50/50 while gliding down six corrugated tubes is even more impressive. …

“I had seen their videos and wanted to see the terrain for myself and meet the Yawgoons — Brendan Gouin, Marcus Rand, Dylan Gamache and Brian Skorupski. … The ski area — the only one in the state — had been open for only a few days this season, but the group was eager to produce its next video. …

“ ‘We are just mad lucky to have that little place there,’ Rand [said]. ‘It’s so random, this far south in Rhode Island.’ Rand, a 29-year-old from Narragansett, has been coming here since he was 2. He works as a mason.”

Read more about him and the other Yawgoons at the New York Times, where you can also see some nice action videos.

Photo: Snowboarding

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Sam Lubbers, a veteran, was homeless off and on for many years. Today he is living in an efficiency apartment in a renovated mill and enjoying the stability and hope that comes with housing. I interviewed him for the 2015 Rhode Island Housing annual report. (Check out the pdf. I was the first writer on most of the other interviews, too.)

When Sam moved into his new quarters, G. Wayne Miller at the Providence Journal filed this report on Rhode Island’s long-term goal.

“Since Rhode Island was selected a year ago as one of just five states to participate in the Zero: 2016 program — a national initiative spearheaded by the New York-based non-profit Community Solutions — 163 homeless veterans have been housed, according to the Rhode Island Coalition for the Homeless. …

” ‘It’s really all about the collaboration, communication and advocacy for these men and women,’ said David Gendreau, a veterans’ case manager for The Providence Center, a partner in Zero: 2016 and operator of a comprehensive housing program for veterans.”

The goal unfortunately remains elusive. Sam told me how his heart hurts because whenever he walks into the city, he sees homeless people he recognizes as former military through their boots, hats or other identification. He always speaks to them, maybe buying a sandwich or suggesting where to get help or temporary housing. “I have a hole in my heart for the homeless,” he told me.

Fortunately, in Rhode Island at least, the passage this week of Question 7, means more funding for housing for veterans and low- and moderate-income families in the state. So three cheers for a state that is being both practical and caring.



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Among the sights I’ve wanted to photograph in the last few weeks is a sculpture outside the Umbrella Community Arts Center. It invites you to look through and focus on an aspect of the view.

Next up, the old house where Ephraim Bull developed the Concord Grape. Another sign there told me that there was a “Sale Pending.”

My friend Meredith is a featured artist at Concord Art’s new juried show. She has done several treatments of her fica plant, but the one in the show is a lovely collage of painted paper.

I recently discovered on a morning walk that the Providence Preservation Society has generously opened its multilevel garden to the public during certain hours of the day. What a peaceful place to just sit and think! Not far away is the What Cheer Garage (I like the name). Across Providence, you can discover a fine-looking hen on the wall of Olga’s Cup and Saucer, and a street art stencil recommending Speak no evil, See no evil, Hear no evil.

I also like the alley alongside the Providence Performing Arts Center and a hilly street that looks more like Europe than New England.
















































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Pat Zacks at the Camera Werks in Providence feels compassion for inner-city kids whose schools can’t offer many enrichment activities. That’s why she volunteers every year to mount and hang 500+ juried photos by Pawtucket, Rhode Island, fifth graders (and a few grownups).

On Wednesday I stopped off at the gallery where the “Calling All Cameras” photos are on display until the end of September. The theme this year,  submitted by Linda C. Dugas, is “Pawtucket’s Color Palette.” Winners of this, the 18th, annual photo contest also get their work featured in the city calendar.

An impressive slate of judges are responsible for choosing this year’s winning photos (Butch Adams, Richard Benjamin, Christy Christopoulos, Jesse Nemerofsky, and Aaron Usher). Winners will be announced September 25.

I wish my photo of a child’s box turtle entry had turned out well enough to post, but I’m sharing a couple other favorites here.

Stop by the Blackstone River Valley National Heritage Corridor visitor center, just off Interstate 95 in downtown Pawtucket, to find the box turtle. The visitor center is opposite the historic Slater Mill, birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution.

And if you are ever in Providence, please check out the Camera Werks on Hope Street. Pat’s Facebook page, here, has more information on the photo exhibit.












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