Art of the State 

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Mabel, Third from Left

The act of reminiscing is something done traditionally by storytelling or looking at pictures. Nowadays we do it with a Flickr account.
A new exhibition opening at the Library of Virginia, “Richmond by Rice,” features a selection of images taken by photographer Adolph B. Rice documenting life during the 1950s in Richmond. In addition to the exhibit, the Library of Virginia and other institutions have posted more than 200 photographs on the photo-sharing Web site Flickr.

The majority of individuals and places photographed in Rice's pictures are unknown, which leads to the notion of Flickr. “Richmond by Rice” is a call for help — to identify and provide captions for the anonymous photos.

“Everyone can contribute their individual knowledge about Richmond history,” says Dale Neighbors, coordinator of prints and photographs at the library. “Together we can accomplish something we would never do otherwise.”

The photos are on display in the lobby of the Library of Virginia through Jan. 3 and online at www.flickr.com/commons

— Alexander Chang


A Breath of Big Bull

Fight the Big Bull's debut recording, “Dying Will Be Easy,” received praise from jazz critic Kevin Whitehead on NPR's “Fresh Air” on Oct. 2.
“Leader Matt White has done a good job of analyzing his musicians' strengths. … so they can further his vision,” Whitehead says in his six-minute review.

The broadcast surprised local fans and band members alike.

“Two hours afterward, I found out friends in Maryland and Philly had heard our piece,” trumpeter Bob Miller says. “We were blowing up.”

— R.C.

When Voting Actually Works

Virginia Commonwealth University is fixing to turn 40 and it's throwing itself a party. A true midlife crisis, it wanted bands to play to prove it could still hang, so it ran an online poll to determine which of 273 bands people wanted to see play the Monroe Park festival Oct. 25, noon to 5 p.m. Ninety thousand votes later, we have our winners:

The Taters (roots rock), Unheard Concept (hard rock), Earthtone (acoustic hip-hop), Becky Taylor and Open Fire (bluegrass) and Antero (reggae).

Entertainment committee member Bryan Brown is happy with the selection. “We're a very diverse university and it's something we're very proud of,” he says.

— Roberto Curtis


Maybe he can Build us Some Better Schools Next

They'll use anything to save old Richmond buildings these days, even tiny plastic bricks.

The ongoing “Vacant Spaces = Artful Places” collective, which outfits abandoned storefronts with the works of local artists, features the artwork of Brian Korte of Brickworkz in a building at 728 E. Main St. Korte, known in the tiny-plastic-brick world for his LEGO mosaics, got into the Guinness Book of World Records in 2007 for the largest LEGO image. With Brickworkz, Korte creates LEGO images for customers based on pictures they give him. He does about three to four projects a month. His images are made of about 13,000 pieces; that'll cost you $1,200. He worked over the summer to erect his little Richmond — a three-piece mosaic that features the statues on Monument Avenue, row houses in the Fan, and Main Street Station. The panorama is called “City Scope of Richmond.”

“I like working where the total projects are bigger than its parts,” Korte says.

— A.C.

Tapping, Rapping on Virginia's Door

For an artist, being recognized premortem is probably much more satisfying than the alternative. Though who would know? Anyway, the Virginia authors and poets honored at the Library of Virginia Literary Awards are smiling twice as wide, as they're neither dead nor unknown.

This year's finalists for best fiction by a Virginia author include “The Rope Walk” by Carrie Brown, “Measuring Time” by Helon Habila, and “What the Thunder Said” by Janet Peery. The best nonfiction about Virginia or by a Virginia author are “Many Minds, One Heart: SNCC's Dream for a New America” by Wesley C. Hogan, “Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life” by Barbara Kingsolver with Steven L. Hopp and Camille Kingsolver, and “Cradle of America: Four Centuries of Virginia History” by Peter Wallenstein.

Poetry finalists include “Blessings and Inclemencies: Poems,” by Constance Merritt, “Outlaw Style: Poems” by R.T. Smith, and “Littlefoot” by Charles Wright. The 11th Annual Library of Virginia Literary Awards will be held Oct. 18 at 7 p.m. at the library. Tickets are $85. Visit www.lva.virginia.gov or call 692-3900.

— Valley Haggard

Further proof that running down the street screaming “We're all doomed!” doesn't seem so crazy anymore. …

7-Eleven, that bastion of taquitos and bipartisan wisdom, has once again thrown its hat in the ring with its fancy election cups. This will be the third election in which buying a cup of coffee casts a vote for one of the candidates. 7-Eleven claims that in the last two elections, the outcome was remarkably accurate, meaning that 7-Eleven's coffee-cup-calculating system is in fact more efficient than our own electoral college. I suggest a few additions: Buying a Slurpee casts a vote for Ron Paul. A Big Bite hot dog (with or without chili) votes for national health care. If you're at 7-Eleven, you'll probably need it.

— Brandon Reynolds





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