Arts

Underground potential: Is your ‘hood home to Boston’s next break-out artist?

By 
Melissa Tabeek, Special to the Reporter
Mar. 22, 2012

Shea Rose performs on the Red Bull Soundstage at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas last week.: Photo courtesy Rox www.roxnrollin.comShea Rose performs on the Red Bull Soundstage at the SXSW festival in Austin, Texas last week.: Photo courtesy Rox www.roxnrollin.comBoston’s neighborhoods have launched their share of music superstars into orbit in past decades. Donna Summer, the original disco diva, hailed from Dot. Gang Starr’s legendary MC Guru (aka the late Keith Elam) honed his rap chops in Four Corners. And, of course, New Edition and New Kids on the Block served as the twin pillars of boy band stardom in the 1980s and 90s.

The landscape that spawned those artists has changed dramatically. Local artists are now able to utilize tools such as social media, pirate radio stations, and the Internet to market their music and create hype for themselves, rather than having to depend on a record company or promoter to do it.

This autonomy has made it easier not only for musicians to share their music and build a fan base, but to capitalize on opportunities also. Through a Twitter competition among Red Bull Soundstage artists, Shea Rose — an up-and-coming singer who has lived in Dorchester, Braintree, and now Mattapan — was able to rally her fans to help her win an all-expenses paid trip to Austin, Texas, to this year’s South by Southwest (SXSW) Festival. She performed at the Red Bull Soundstage at the Universal Music Group Showcase.  Read more

Liz Carney takes up DotArt challenge

By 
Meena Ramakrishnan Special to the Reporter
Mar. 8, 2012

Liz CarneyLiz CarneyComing back to Dorchester means a lot to Liz Carney and even more for the Dorchester Community Center for the Visual Arts, or DotArt, as its more commonly called. After a year-long search for the right match, the non-profit center has found the perfect fit in Carney as the new executive director.

Much of the youth-oriented programming has been scaled back since founding director Leslie MacWeeney stepped down. The organization was largely volunteer-driven with fewer classes being offered. But Carney is determined to get the center back on its feet with new classes in the spring, future partnerships and summer fundraising.  Read more

OFD actor gets star shine in action flick Safe

Jay Giannone: Stars as Detective Kolfax in new flick Safe, coming out next month.Jay Giannone: Stars as Detective Kolfax in new flick Safe, coming out next month.Heard the one about the rapper-turned-actor from the mean streets of Dorchester?

No, not Mark Wahlberg. Although you’re not far off.

We’re talking about Dot native Jay Giannone— who was one of Wahlberg’s true life entourage mates during his wilder days in the early 90s. Giannone — who scored small parts in “The Departed” and “Gone Baby Gone” — will hit the big screen next month in a new action-thriller flick called “Safe.”  Read more

Arts on the Point’s latest sculpture is the artist’s tribute to Van Gogh

Mark di Suvero’s sculpture “Sunflowers for Vincent” is the latest public art added to UMass-Boston’s Arts on the Point collection. The 7-ton piece was installed on the Columbia point campus on December 15. Mark di Suvero’s sculpture “Sunflowers for Vincent” is the latest public art added to UMass-Boston’s Arts on the Point collection. The 7-ton piece was installed on the Columbia point campus on December 15.

Dorchester’s impressive collection of public art recently got even more impressive. A bright yellow assemblage of reclaimed steel and aluminum, 30 feet long and 10 feet tall, was erected late last year on Columbia Point.

Thus UMass Boston added its second major sculpture by internationally acclaimed artist Mark di Suvero to Arts on the Point, the university’s public arts initiative. One of the largest and most important collections of modern sculpture at any American university, Arts on the Point also boasts pieces by such modern art luminaries as Dennis Oppenheim, Roy Lichtenstein, William Tucker, Luis Jiménez, and Willem de Kooning.  Read more

Local singers, dancers part of city’s MLK tributes

By 
Chris Harding, Special to the Reporter
Jan. 12, 2012

Dorchester's Khamari Barnes will be one of the featured singers at Monday’s MLK tribute concert at Jordan Hall.

Rolling around next Monday is the only national holiday to honor a former Dorchester resident. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. lived here while he pursued his doctoral studies at BU, and in 1952 even served as Interim Pastor at Dot’s Metropolitan Baptist Church.

Dorchester and the rest of Boston will host a variety of arts commemorations of the slain activist and Nobel Peace Prize honoree in addition to the usual prayer breakfasts and service opportunities.  Read more

First Night festivities are laden with fingerprints of Dot participants

The Dorchester based group Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys — the winner of the Boston Music Award 2010 Live Artist of the Year— will perform on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Hynes Convention Center as part of First Night Boston. Photo by Justin MThe Dorchester based group Walter Sickert & the Army of Broken Toys — the winner of the Boston Music Award 2010 Live Artist of the Year— will perform on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Hynes Convention Center as part of First Night Boston. Photo by Justin M

A SteamCRUNK extravaganza and a tap-dance showdown are just two presentations that will be led by Dorchester/Mattapan performers during the upcoming 36th annual First Night Boston. Local artists join national celebrities like soul and gospel singer Mavis Staples and folk icon Suzanne Vega in entertaining hundreds of thousands during the country’s oldest, largest and most-often-copied New Year’s Eve arts celebration.  Read more

Artists reveal Dot’s creative side in weekend’s Open Studios celebration

Photo collage by Scotland Huber: His work will be on exhibit at First Parish ChurchPhoto collage by Scotland Huber: His work will be on exhibit at First Parish ChurchThis weekend Dorchester Open Studios (DOS) marks its 10th anniversary by expanding from a temporary-gallery-hopping opportunity to a wide-ranging celebration of the visual and performing arts.

Ambitious new programming includes readings in a variety of languages in Uphams Corner, an eclectic mix of live music and dance performances in Codman Square, and screenings of works by Dot filmmakers in Lower Mills.  Read more

Dorchester scribes, poets unite for public reading on Labor Day

By 
Chris Harding, Special to the Reporter
Sep. 1, 2011

Next Monday, September 5 at 7 p.m., the Pearl Street Studios in Savin Hill will host a free evening of fiction and poetry readings by Dorchester and UMass authors as the second installment of the “Write on the DOT” series. Readers will include Dorchester poets Sandra Kohler and U-Meleni Mhlaba-Adebo along with UMass-Boston MFA candidates Danielle Fontaine, Nathaniel Forsythe, Calvin Hennick, and Mitch Manning.  Read more

Live performances start Tuesday in Franklin Park

By 
Ariel Elaine Bailey, Special to the Reporter
Jul. 11, 2011

The Elma Lewis Playhouse in Franklin Park opens for its seventh consecutive year of summer entertainment on Tuesday, July 12. The city's ParkARTS program helped re-establish this live performance summer tradition by bringing a new stage to Franklin Park and inviting musicians and performers to entertain the crowd.

This summer, July through August, there will be a series of performances every Tuesday morning and evening to entertain both young and old. In the mornings, shows will be geared towards children and in the evening there will be entertainment for everyone.  Read more

Dot native now tours with Alvin Ailey dance company

By 
Rachel Zarrell, Special to the Reporter
May. 26, 2011

Dorchester native Kirven James Boyd is now a principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company.Dorchester native Kirven James Boyd is now a principle dancer with the Alvin Ailey American Dance Company.

More than a decade after first joining Boston Youth Moves, Alvin Ailey American Dance Company member Kirven James Boyd will dance in his hometown once again, in two showcase performances hosted by the program.

Boyd will join ten other Alvin Ailey dancers for Boston Youth Moves’ annual fundraiser, “Swellegance 2011 - A Spark Ignites: A Celebration in Dance,” June 3 and 4 at the Boston University Tsai Performance Center. The event also serves to honor dance legend and artistic director of the Ailey company Judith Jamison with Boston Youth Moves’ Lifetime Achievement Award.

Tony-award winning actress and Honorary Chair Chita Rivera will also be in attendance.  Read more