There’s no reason that, after over 35 years, Casa Diablo should close up, shutter the doors and windows, and clean out our lockers. So here we are, in the pages of Motif. We think you all know what happened to The Providence Phoenix and while we mourn the loss of our longtime home, your superior correspondents were fortunate enough to run into Michael Ryan, Head Ramrod of Motif magazine, who told us that the Cool, Cool World could have a new home in its pages.
Phillipe & Jorge’s Cool, Cool World: Hello Again
And why not? Now that we don’t have the Phoenix, it’s clear that Motif is the best source around for news and information about what’s going on in the arts, entertainment and cultural world of the Biggest Little. We hope that the people who have been depending on their P&J fix every week will able to open up (or check out online) the latest copy of Motif and find out what is on our devious minds. From the Providence Eagle to the NewPaper to the The Phoenix, that “long, strange trip” that the Grateful Dead so memorably celebrated in their classic tune “Truckin’, ” now continues in he pages of Motif. And, you can get even more P&J each week on the WHJJ/WHJY website. In fact, it looks like we will be able to pollute your minds with even more “vital” information than in the past as these two fine organizations have opened their doors to us.
And you know that there is going to be a whole lot more going on in the coming months. There’s going to be a new administration in Providence City Hall and, well, who knows what the hell is going to happen. We’ve been down before but we are a resilient city with some of the most talented artists in the country. Phillipe & Jorge believe in Providence and we believe in Vo Dilun. Let’s all hoist a Gansett (and for you non-imbibers, a glass of coffee milk) and get back to work. Get ready for the continuation of this long, strange trip.
Get out of the house
If there’s anything that Motif stands for, it’s getting out of the house and enjoying all of the great art and entertainment happenings and events that are minutes away. We’ve got a flourishing music scene, fantastic art galleries and tons of community and neighborhood events happening all the time. Go to some of these and meet your neighbors. There’s nothing wrong with a sausage and pepper “sangwich” but there is such a plethora of diverse ethnic foods available that you are cheating yourself to not try everything and discover new tastes and cuisines. So many great restaurants and now, food trucks. Eat it all up. We are so fortunate to have it all right here.
Speaking of getting out of the house, there is a truly epic art show debuting at Van Vessem Gallery (that’s the art gallery at Sandywoods at 63 Muse Way in Tiverton). It’s called “Two Painters” and the opening reception is Saturday, November 8 from 5 to 8pm. The two painters in question are Marc Kehoe and Dan Gosch.
Back in the 1970s, Kehoe and Gosch were two of the most influential and ubiquitous creators in the Providence art world that centered around the Rhode Island School of Design. These were the days when the emergence of the original Met Cafe, Lupo’s, Living Room and Leo’s changed the face of a formerly forlorn area of downtown (known as “the Jewelry District”) and served notice that Providence was a city teeming with important artists. Before there was AS220 or any inkling of a Providence “Renaissance” where the arts would be a central element, people like Dale Chihuly (the now world famous glass artist), David Byrne, Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz (who were soon among those to change the face of rock ‘n’ roll), the painter Richard Merkin and Scott Hamilton (the great jazz saxophonist) were all living and here in Our Little Towne. Some were just starting their creative careers while others (like Merkin) were already well-known. Among the major figures of that era were RISD-ites Dan Gosch and Marc Kehoe.
Dan Gosch is probably best known as the painter whose work graced the walls of Leo’s, the legendary restaurant/bar at 99 Chestnut Street. His mural in the main dining room of Leo’s and gallery of portraits in the corner area of the restaurant were primary attractions. He also produced the large paintings of rock stars that were featured in the windows of the original Lupo’s at 385 Westminster Street and can now be seen at the all-new Met in Pawtucket at Hope Artiste Village. The originality and humor inherent in these works inspired at least a couple of generations of Providence painters.
Marc Kehoe is not as well-known in these parts because he left Providence for New York City near the end of the ’70s decade. While in Providence, Marc was a pioneer in the field of independent film, and old Providence art fans will remember the screening of his classic film Dead City at another long-gone restaurant, Joe’s Downtown. Although Marc produced a slew of original films, he was primarily a painter and, while in New York, he continued to paint. His large works created for a refurbished Coney Island a few decades ago were a sensation.
Both of these iconic Providence artists have continued producing their unique paintings over the years and you will be able to see a small sampling of their large output at this show. If you know their work, we know you are already planning to attend the opening reception for this show. If you are not familiar with their work, then your superior correspondents strongly urge that you come and see what will be one of the celebrated art shows of the year. Dan Gosch and Marc Kehoe are among that select group of great artists who were responsible for creating the vital art scene that Providence currently boasts about. It is guaranteed that people will talk about this show for years to come and you do not want to miss it.
A few final thoughts about the election
By the time you read this, perhaps the weirdest election season in recent memory will finally be over. Although a number of important statewide and municipal elections took place, it is obvious that the Providence mayoral contest took most of the media’s attention because, let’s face it, it’s way out front in the “strangeness” category. When the Republican candidate decides to make a thousand dollar contribution to the Democratic candidate, that’s strange. When the campaign geniuses working on the mighty Bud-I’s behalf decide to create the largest (and, apparently, illegal) campaign signs in city history and then plaster them all over town, that’s strange. And when when the two leading candidates vie to outdo each other in ballot tampering operations, that’s strange.
However, we are happy to report that the Providence Journal, a newspaper that has been unrelenting in its campaign to convince voters that the Bud-I is a bad, bad man (not like we don’t already know he’s got a few, shall we say, “character flaws”) has not decided to blame the massive power outage that occurred in downtown Providence, reportedly caused by a “squirrel that got tangled up in the equipment at the South Street substation,” on a casually discarded toupee formerly owned by you-know-who.
Like the rest of you, we’re glad to get back to the standard weirdness that is Vo Dilun.