Halfway through Grit Rhythm’s set at Three Sheets, singer Matt Rhone introduced the next song as “a cover of a cover” and was answered by laughs, cheers, and an audience member shouting back “covers on covers on covers” — which was also answered by laughter. It was a rare moment of speaking on a cold snowy night dedicated to creative endeavors, in the week before the spring semester begins and before the president elect becomes the president in charge, and the weather once again gifted us with a reason to hide away from it all.
However, it was the second Saturday of the month, which means it was time for Three Sheets’s monthly series, “Art in the Back, Music in the Front,” which features the work of one, two, or several local visual artists in the back room of the bar — which also houses the pool table — and music from bands in the front stage area.
Remember the fun you had as a kid, maybe early in the morning before your parents got up, and you grabbed that colorful cardboard tube, ran to the window, pointed it up toward the sky, and turned and turned the end piece, making sparkly pieces of glass, plastic, or crystal rearrange themselves, reflecting light and making new patterns?
Give it a shake or another turn, and the pieces would flow again?
In 1970s Rhode Island, and in a picture on the wall of the New Haven Museum, there’s a building shaped like an enormous milk can — a shape many adults now may not recognize immediately. In other photos, it’s hard to not notice the graceful, Art Deco-like curves on a gas station in Scranton, Pa., or the way the cupola on another gas station in Malden, Mass., makes it look like a temple to travel, and not just a place to buy beef jerky.
We’re looking over a stunning vista of rocky peaks, a few touched with snow, their outlines crisp under a blue sky rippling with clouds. A serene lake reflects those peaks, all the way from the distant shore to the one we’re standing on. A small dock, right at our feet, has six colorful kayaks on it. It couldn’t be more inviting. Except the sign says “Please Keep Off.”
And the way the picture’s taken, it could refer to the kayaks, or the dock — or to the entire landscape.
A controversial work of art by New Haven artist Gordon Skinner — a basketball hoop with a backstop that depicted a pig’s head with a police officer hat — was reinstalled on the grounds of the Goffe Street Armory on County Street, the site from which it had been removed earlier in the fall after complaints that it was offensive prompted its removal and placement in the Artspace Gallery on Orange Street.
When people come back from nature, they often have a hard time with adjectives. “It was incredible, it was awesome, it was beyond beautiful,” they say, before declaring, “it’s hard to describe.” Then they reach for their iPhone and swipe through pictures: a jagged peak and blue sky, a misty waterfall, a dark green valley. They shake their heads.
Do you want to see what Paul Klee means to third-graders at the Bishop Woods School? Or what Picasso means to kids at the Roberto Clemente Leadership Academy? Or what students learned of the meditative lines of Agnes Martin at the Columbus Family Academy in Fair Haven?