ARTIST JAY CRITCHLEY CREATES CRYPTIC PROVIDENCE, A SUMMER LONG ART AND PERFORMANCE PROJECT HOSTED BY NORTH BURIAL GROUND IN PROVIDENCE, RHODE ISLAND. FIFTEEN VISUAL ARTISTS AND PERFORMERS SELECTED BY THE ARTIST CREATE ORIGINAL, SITE-SPECIFIC PIECES FOR THIS HISTORIC CEMETERY. OPENS FRIDAY, JUNE 13, 2008.
Breathing life into an old burial ground
Cemetery sets the stage for reflective show
Globe Correspondent / August 14, 2008
By Cate McQuaid
Providence, Rhode Island. The historic North Burial Ground in Providence, Rhode Island will host a summer long art and performance project by Provincetown artist Jay Critchley, entitled Cryptic Providence. Fifteen projects from visual artists and performers from Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Michigan, Oregon, Ontario, Canada and New York City were invited by Critchley to create original, site-specific installations and performances throughout the cemetery.
Cryptic Providence opens Friday the 13th of with performances on the first two weekends. The cemetery is located at 5 Branch Avenue (at North Main Street) and is open to the public seven days a week from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm daily. All events are free and open to the public. For more information contact ArtTix at www.arttixri.com, 401 621-6123.
Visual artists creating summer long, site-specific installations include: Critchley’s Final Passage- a vintage Chevy “mummified” and installed in the abandoned mausoleum; from Brooklyn, Joseph Burwell’s archeological mausoleum installation, The Purity of the Vikings; Justin Pollmann’s disintegrating text installation, We Live, Brooklyn; artists and designers from Michigan and Ontario, Canada: Rochelle Martin, Valentine Mancini & Jay McGuire who construct a place of repose, Message Board; filmmakers Sandrine Silverman & Alfred Schoeninger, Quincy, MA, Our Stones Last Beyond Our Years.
Rhode Island artists include: installation artist Rebecca Siemering, Pawtucket, The Bells Ring for Thee, activates Potter’s Field with handmade bells; Erik Carlson & Erik Gould, new media artists from Pawtucket and Providence with the web-based, geo-tagged, Strange Loop: An Ethereal Walking Tour of the North Burial Ground; visual artist Jae Willard, Barrington, constructs an eight-foot, mixed media Tree of Life; installation artist Jen Raimondi, East Greenwich, creates a flock of turkey vultures with Big Hair; and from Providence; historian and project consultant Robert O. Jones creates an historic guide; Nancy Austin, Newport, & Caroline Woolard, NYC, Footnotes- a tribute to Albert J. Jones (1821-1887), The forgotten founder of RI’s first “Art Museum”.
Cryptic Providence performances are scheduled for Friday, June 13, the opening, from 5:00 to 10:00 pm; Saturday, June 14 from 11:00 am to 10:00 pm; June 21 from 3:00 pm to 10:00 pm; and the closing weekend, Saturday, Setember 27. Performances include: dancer/choreographer Wanda Gala, Brooklyn, & sound artist Bob Bellerue, Oregon, collaborate on a durational movement/sound piece in the mausoleum, The Blue Storm; Hannah Verlin, Boston, Nest Eggs, an installation of burning ceramic eggs; JUMP! Dance with Mary Paula Hunter, A Grave Dance; musicians Arvid Tomayko-Peters & Christie Lee Gibson from Brown perform a voice and electroacoustic Requiem Mass; Constance Crawford directing the Coalition of Perishable Goods from Perishable Theatre, presenting a multi-site narrative, Otherworldly Voices.
Cryptic Providence is funded by a New Works grant from the Rhode Island Foundation and sponsored by the City of Providence Parks Department and the Department of Art, Culture & Tourism, with support from AS220. The Rhode Island Foundation’s New Works program was established to support artists in the creation of original art and exploration of new artistic directions. The program awarded grants from 2000 to 2005 to artists partnering with nonprofit arts and community-based organizations to expand the state’s cultural richness, develop new audiences and strengthen community connections to the arts.
Selected artists will examine and interpret the history of North Burial Ground, established in 1700, and burial practices in relation to the rich history of Rhode Island. The project also hopes to create new ideas, perspectives and images about our relationship to death, dying and burial customs, and bring increased visitation and use of the cemetery by highlighting the historical and cultural resources of North Burial Ground.
Critchley is a multi-media artist who lives in Provincetown, MA and is represented by artSTRAND. From performances, rituals and Boston State House legislation to his Big Dig BigTwig project and award-winning Martucket Eyeland Resort & Theme Park, his eco-activist art goes back to the early 1980s with his Provincetown “sand car” series. Last summer he created the public art project, Beige Motel, on Route 6, North Truro, MA encrusting a 1955 A-frame structure- soon to be demolished- with sand.
His work has been shown throughout the world- last year he performed at the Hemispheric Institute in Buenos Aires, Argentina and exhibited at the Andy Warhol Museum and The LAB in San Francisco. His project GLOBAL YAWNING for a small planet was recently launched and exhibited at the Boston Center for the Arts. He was an artist in residence at AS220 in 2000, producing his first movie: Providence Dirt Newsreel. Other recent residencies include Harvard University and Harvestworks in New York City. He directs the annual benefit, the Provincetown Swim for Life & Paddler Flotilla, set this year for September 6.