Art of the State 

Skirts for trees, pink rockers, tales of Sticky Rice, airport art and more.

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Dressing Trees: First, Find the Crotch
Perhaps for every tired bad idea — marrying your backup dancer, nation building — there's a new good idea, like putting a skirt on a tree. And yes, as you've no doubt guessed by now, undergraduates are involved with this one. For the fourth year, 33 Virginia Commonwealth University sophomore design majors were given a peculiar challenge: Make a skirt for a tree. Something tasteful, not showing too much trunk. The trick is to figure out how to get the skirt to stay on the tree, sans staples or nails, which are so last planting season. Come to Maymont Park to decide whether making trees wear clothes is a step toward further conservation or a much more enlightened mindset. The skirts will be on the trees until April 14.

My Loser Bassist Boyfriend, for All to See
A new Web site, Richmondrampage.com, aims to cover all things local and musical: big shows, sure, but also the smaller, often better, shows at venues that double as the Triple or, say, a sushi place. Most importantly, it'll have a message board on which to anonymously avenge yourself on your lousy Fender-strumming, singing-songwriting ex, a feature that underscores the Internet as the most important technological advancement of all time.

From Miami Beach to Your Porch
Maybe you, like me, have been looking for the right sort of venue in which to display your normal heterosexual values which have been the foundation of families in our society. Here, at last, it is: a flamingo-pink rocking chair. Grits 'n' scented candles joint Cracker Barrel has just 1,350 of these Dolly Parton Special Edition rockers for sale. In your haste to reserve one on the restaurant's Web site, it may cross your mind that this is exactly the sort of item cleaners find in abandoned foreclosed homes. But it's also exactly the kind of thing you'd place on your porch to sit back, listen to “Jolene” and await the flamingo-pink end of the world. www.crackerbarrel.com.

Tater-Tot Tattling
Sticky Rice wants your Sticky Rice stories — say, the one about that ill-advised double date with you, your husband, his boss and the girl the boss liked but who, just maybe, liked your husband a lot better. … Geez, there were too many hands in the tater-tot bucket that night for sure. The Main Street sushi 'n' PBR institution wants to collect these kinds of sordid tales into a book to celebrate its 10th anniversary, so e-mail them and any corroborating photos to stickyyearbook@gmail.com. Deadline June 1. 358-7870.

Night School of Rock
So many of us aren't getting the drugs that we deserve or the applause, bouquets and groupies that are our due. Just imagine how much more you could get away with if your friends and family were forced to attribute your destructive behaviors to your tortured, tortuous talent! That is why, this spring, you ought to join one of the two new instrumental ensembles — guitar and strings — organized by the Da Capo Institute. These aptitude-optional groups will accommodate all ability levels, including beginners, so it's cool to refer to all this as your “art” even if those three-chord Tom Petty numbers are still out of reach. Late March to mid-May. 432-3446 or www.dacapova.com.

Spy the Friendly Skies
Because of widespread recognition that there's no longer much pleasure in checking out stewardesses (these days they look even more pissed and weary than the folks in coach); and because they had to do something with all that wall space once used to list corporations headquartered here (Circuit City, LandAmerica, Qimonda), the Richmond International Airport has announced an exhibition of photographs of national parks by Virginia artists called “Art at the Airport,” reminding you that you are, sadly, flying to West Bunkbed, Iowa, for a business meeting and not to a tom-tom-banging, naked-man-on-a-mountain event in Yellowstone. Exhibits change every four months. www.flyrichmond.com

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