Thursday, September 25, 2008

Tea Party at Cryptic Providence Sat Sept 27th 3-5pm

Closing Events of Cryptic Providence: a summer-long program of site-specific sculpture, performances, and talks. Created and curated by Jay Critchley.

Footnotes: a tribute to Albert J. Jones the forgotten founder of R.I.'s first Art Museum
Performance and Installation by Nancy Austin (Newport, R.I.) and Caroline Woolard (Brooklyn, N.Y.)

Noon - 6pm. Tea Party from 3-5pm
At the Jones Family Plot in the North Burial Ground
Linden Avenue near Central Avenue
directions at the Welcome Tent, or follow the tea cup signs

Join us for this event, planned in dialogue with the opening of the new wing of the RISD Museum of Art. The RISD Museum, Rhode Island’s first, was founded as a direct result of a bequest to the people of Providence by native Albert J. Jones, the New York Times's neoclassical and public sculpture critic in Italy for twenty years. This still-timely, but sadly forgotten story of the Jones Bequest illuminates much about the ecology of culture in R.I., from past to present day.

Beginning at Noon, a cast sugar "neoclassical" bust of Albert J. Jones will be installed on a pedestal at the Jones Family plot in the North Burial Ground, amidst a "room" of mirrored tea tables spiked into the ground and at various heights, from 2-4 feet. Nineteenth-century shoes will be thrown into the tree branches spreading over the site, to mark the territory for Albert J. Jones, who started out as a shoe salesman at the Arcade. From 3-5pm we will conduct a tea party, in homage to RISD founder Helen Rowe Metcalf. The tea is the kind that was served at the bookstore/tea cafe run by Helen Rowe and her orphaned siblings after they moved to R.I. from N.Y. around 1850. A tea party was the first fundraiser of the women who put up the seed money to fund RISD. One of Mrs. Metcalf's teacups is buried in the cornerstone of a RISD building. These are a few of the associations we draw on for the collective performance of a tea party at the Jones site.

Between 3-5pm on Sept 27th, join us for a tea party among the graves. We invite you to add sugar to your tea from the cast sugar bust of Albert Jones. Thus, over the course of this performance, we will consume him in our tea.

Saturday, September 27th, 2008
North Burial Ground, Branch Ave. & No. Main St., Providence, R.I.
Enter at the intersection of Branch Ave. and N. Main St.,
1/3 mile north of Whole Foods Market.
All tours begin at the Welcome Tent at the cemetery entrance.

1-2:30 pm Final Passage/Final Repose: A Historical and Artistic Walking Tour

by Cryptic contributor & architectural historian Robert O. Jones

Explore the North Burial Ground (founded 1700), one of Providence's oldest surviving Euro-American artifacts and the city's oldest municipal facility. This tour will examine the complex interweave of natural and man-made elements in NBG, the cemetery's evolution in response to changing attitudes toward death and burial practices, and select historical and artistic features, including the graves of the famous and those-who-should-be-famous, and the aesthetic character and symbolism of funerary art. The latest edition of the self-guided tour flyer that Jones created for Cryptic Providence and NBG will be available for distribution. The tour will end at the Jones family plot in time for the Tea Party.

4-5 pm Cryptic Providence Art Site Walking Tour/
The Bells Ring for Thee (Take Away If You Please)

by participating artist Rebecca Siemering

Tour the Cryptic Providence art sites as Siemering discusses the installations, living in the neighborhood of the North Burial Ground, and the experience of making public and site-specific work. The tour will end at her installation, "The Bells Ring for Thee," where visitors will have the opportunity to take a piece of this installation with them on this closing day of Cryptic Providence. A suggested donation will go to the North Burial Ground. For more information on the artist and "The Bells Ring for Thee," please go to