This Sunday, after you've given most of your Saturday over to margaritas and mint juleps, make up for it by getting out on the Boulevard to promote healthy lifestyles. Shape Up RI and the India Association of RI are hosting their annual 5k walk/run on Blackstone Boulevard on May 6 at 1pm. The event goes off rain or shine, so gather at Lippitt Park, where Blackstone meets Hope Street, to register. The first 100 people to do so will receive free Shape Up RI pedometers. There will also be fresh fruit, healthy snacks and, of course, plenty of water. Check Shape Up RI's website for more info.
Woonsock-it-to-me, RiverzEdge Arts Project! I had the pleasure of receiving a guided tour of the Woonsocket-based nonprofit's studio, which is bustling with creative, happy energy. The RiverzEdge Arts Project is is a social enterprise that provides talented, underserved teens with hands-on work experience in graphic design, digital photography, screen-printing and visual arts. They are doing good things for the community and creating compelling artwork in the process — no wonder why everyone at the studio is in a good mood. I got the chance to watch the artists screen-printing on installation pieces involving the history of the Blackstone Valley, as well as watching the process of t-shirts being screen-printed by hand. And for somebody who collects t-shirts with ferocious great white sharks on them, I was beyond pleased to find out that they do custom orders.
Reality television is so much better when you have someone local to root for. You've seen Sabrina Blaze's sequined fabulousness downtown at the Dark Lady (where she hosts Tuesday night karaoke) and performing in her one-woman cabaret act at Theatre by the Sea in Matunuck (which is returning this summer for another season). Now you'll be able to see her on RuPaul's Drag Race — that is, if you vote her on the show. One vote per person per day. Let's show her some PVD love. Click here to vote.
As any successful businessperson will tell you, networking will get you everywhere. PVD Lady Project founders Julie Sygiel (of lingerie company Sexy Period), Folu Akinkuotu and Sierra Barter (of event design company Clementine Lime) envisioned an “old boy’s club” for women, where the city’s driven divas could come together to share ideas and connect with like-minded ladies over a glass of champagne.
Boutique owner and fashion designer Karen Beebe
The project’s second event took place on April 26 at Bravo Brasserie and featured three-minute talks by three amazing women, followed by a Q&A session. First up was the ever-stylish Karen Beebe, fashion designer and owner of Downcity’s Queen of Hearts and Modern Love. Next in line was Martha Sheridan, who – in addition to knowing how to rock a “fierce” polka-dotted blazer – is the president and CEO of the Providence Warwick Convention and Visitors Bureau. Last, but not least, was Hannah Mellion, food system activator at Farm Fresh RI.
Karen Beebe and Hannah Mellion
The take-away message was clear: work hard, earn your stripes, make good connections and never burn your bridges. The evening was capped off by a musical performance by the Sugar Honey Iced Tea. All ticket proceeds were donated to the Sojourner House.
If you haven’t heard of her, you soon will. One of the hottest photographers on the scene is Corey Grayhorse, who in addition to shooting for us, captures not so everyday people in studio and on location, in her signature fantastical style. Last night she hosted Cocktails and Cupcakes, an event in which Grayhorse aficionados could enjoy being painted by makeup artists Jessica Berndt and Kate Richard, styled by Lizzy Colley and photographed by Ms. Grayhorse herself. The makeup was wild, the jewelry was large… The Cupcakerie’s cupcakes were delish. And yes, the cocktails were flowing freely.
Who can forget all the buzz last summer regarding a movie being filmed in our area starring powerhouse celebrities Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Tilda Swinton? The time has finally come to see our beloved state and its beautiful scenery up on the big screen in acclaimed director Wes Anderson’s Moonrise Kingdom. The film is set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965 and tells the story of two 12-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact and run away together in the wilderness. You may have heard rumors of Bruce Willis and Bill Murray spottings at Tiverton’s Standish Boatyard. (The boatyard was just one of the many staging areas for the film.) The Hollywood stars were said to have been very friendly and down to earth. Be sure to look for the much-anticipated motion picture, set to premiere as the opening film of the 2012 Cannes Film Festival on May 16. It’s scheduled for an American release on May 25.
Did you know that May is National Bike Month? Whether you commute to work or school on your bike, or ride for distance and endurance, you should know the basics of bike maintenance: how to lube a chain, fix a flat tire and make other minor adjustments. Cranston REI is offering a free Bike Maintenance Basics class on Tuesday, May 22 from 6:30 to 7:30pm. It is open to all, but space is limited, so call ahead to reserve your place. 22 Chapel View Boulevard, Cranston. 275-5250, rei. com/cranston. (For more information about National Bike Month events in Rhode Island, go to ribike.org.)
Rhode Runner has moved to a bigger space and is now located at 657 North Main Street in Providence. The store is hosting yoga classes in its new community room on Mondays and Fridays from 5:30pm to 6:30pm. Improve your flexibility for running – or just in general – with instructor Jenn Vargas, who teaches poses focused mainly on stretching. The cost is $6/class or $20/ month. Reserve your spot by leaving a comment on Rhode Runner’s Facebook wall, calling the store or stopping by. 831-6346, rhoderunner.com.
Jennfier Luxmoore of Sin Desserts – sort of like Providence’s version of Charm City Cakes from Food Network fame – has won our hearts over the years by making creative, delicious sweets like oatmeal cream pies with maple buttercream and bacon or chili pepper peanut butter cookies – and then periodically surprising us with a tray of them at our office. However, up until now, her business was almost exclusively special order out of her kitchen space on Allens Avenue. Well, she’s finally opened a proper retail/ café space on the street level of the Conley’s Wharf building (200 Allens Ave.) where she’ll be open daily selling more than just the custom cakes on which she made her reputation. The new café features coffee, cupcakes and “cupcake shots” (mini-cupcakes), bacon and cheddar scones and more.
As a conspicuously tattooed gal, I feel qualified to make this assertion: most moderately to heavily tattooed individuals are loyal to one shop. For all extensive purposes, “moderately” will describe those who can no longer count their tattoos and “heavily” shall describe all whom appear to disappear when placed in front of a graffiti laden wall. (I don’t yet vanish – at least I don’t think I do – but I have long since lost count.)
And yes, while I’m loyal to one PVD shop in particular, I have much respect for many of my friends that tattoo at shops throughout the city. You can meet some of the cool cats under whose skilled - and steady - hands I placed my trusting, (then) bare skin next weekend at the Rhode Island Tattoo Convention. It’s a three-day affair, running Friday April 27 to Sunday April 29.
I’ll see you there. You may or may not “see” me, however. That all depends on which wall I’ll be standing by.
Who: Debralee Elizabeth Marianna Iacobucci (aka DEMI)
What: Conceptual artist, painter and illustrator
When: 6pm, Tuesday March 20
Where: Pawtucket Armory, Exchange Street, Pawtucket
Why: This creative spirit isn’t afraid to be “appropriately inappropriate”
As I climbed the spiral stairs to Deb’s new studio space (which is housed inside a turret – or small tower – at the Pawtucket Armory building), I was met by a cool breeze on my face and the sound of global music infused with laughter. She greeted me at the top, barefoot, in flowing white pants, a fitted tank and one long feather earring. Her smile was huge… and contagious. Months of labor had culminated in this event: her DEMI Artistic Studios reveal party.
A small crowd of invited guests nibbled on appetizers and sipped champagne atop the roof, on to which her studio doors open. Although it was only the first day of spring, the sun shone bright and warm: The combination of the unseasonable weather and the breathtaking studio space was intoxicating. Breezy curtains flitted this way and that, tossed by gentle wind; white lights warmed the painted brick; the incandescent sunshine soon transformed to an ambient sunset.
When Deb took possession of the space in December, the turret was drab and unfinished — worlds away from its chic reincarnation. It’s her second studio, as the first is in her home. “My home studio is much more private,” she explained, as she climbed a tall ladder leading to the tower’s upper roof. I followed. “The turret is a public space for exposure, portfolio meetings and entertaining.” After taking in the view with a few other brave souls, we made our way back down.
Once we completed our (near) death-defying descent, we took time to peruse through myriad paintings and illustrations that were displayed in an antique trunk. “There’s a delicate line between illustration and fine …