slides: 12 Biggest Arts and Music Stories of 2012 in Central Mass
Friday, December 28, 2012
GoLocalWorcester wrote a number of stories involving Central Mass' thriving arts and music scene this year. Sometimes they were about locals making it big nationwide, sometimes they were about locals staying well, local, and contributing greatly to the city's ever expanding creative culture, and sometimes they were about Worcester getting recognized for this very important and essential part of its community. But, they all involved important connections to the area. Here are a few of the most important of those stories about people, places or things that made and still are making an imprint in our community.
Worcester's Sam James became a national star on NBC's popular television show "The Voice." He earned a spot on "Team Adam" after receiving much acclaim for his rendition of John Lennon's classic "Imagine", especially from judge Adam Levine of Maroon 5. The song quickly climbed the charts, ending up as high as number 11. James got his start at the Old Java Hut in Worcester and says his favorite place in Worcester to play is the Lucky Dog Music Hall.
The work of local jewelry artist and Clark University graduate Christine Lorenzo (aka Sariblue) has been worn by some of the world's most famous actors and actresses from the Academy Awards, Golden Globes and at the MTV Music Awards. Some of these celebrities include Drew Barrymore, Ryan Gosling, Tyra Banks and Jeremy Irons. She is part of the Artisan group, a group of artists chosen by the stars to be featured at the GBK luxury lounge. Her most famous contribution is the use of the "evil eye" in much of her work.
GoLocal featured the work of a number of local artists in our opening year, not the least of which was that of Frank Jansen, a photographic artist out of West Boylston. The article received much buzz and deservedly so. Originally from Rotterdam, Netherlands, where he initially became interested in art thanks to the famous art museum in town, he became interested in photography as a hobby in college. But, it soon became a passion thanks to the invention of digital photography which allowed the medium more than ever to be used to express the creative soul of the artist. His work has received much acclaim.
According to the new book, The Rise of the Creative Class, Revisited by Richard Florida, Worcester is the 14th most creative city in the United States thanks to its artists, innovators, and diversity. It was also named the second-best midsize city for young singles in Florida's book. Thanks to organizations like ArtsWorcester, the Worcester Art Museum, the Hanover Theatre and innovative colleges like WPI, Worcester has a robust creative scene that is only growing in scope and influence.
Worcester has a thriving hipster community, of all things, and GoLocal attempted to tap into that by discovering some local musical performers whose music may fit this label. The list includes a number of local musicians, singers and songwriters with a wide-range of different talents, from ukulele players to rock, alternative, pop, blues, soul, jazz, reggae, funk and punk artists.
GoLocal featured a number Central Mass musicians this year. Local singer/songwriter Cara Brindisi received more than a few mentions. The artist has become quite popular on the Worcester club and bar scene, playing an acoustic blend of alternative and pop originals and covers. Her voice announces her as a rare natural talent. She is an ideal woman to have a duel career of musical therapist and musician. You can check her out at her weekly Thursday night gig at Vincents.
"Let There Be Light"
Downtown Worcester has become a little more illuminated since November 30th thanks to the Community Gallery Program's "Let There Be Light" exhibition. The exhibition includes nine different artists using a varying away of mediums to interpret the theme of "light" in their own way. In addition, Worcester businesses have been invited to participate in the "Let there Be Light" Creative Display contest by decorating their windows in relation to the theme.
List of Artists
GoLocal has compiled many a list of local creative newsmakers. Here is a list of artists both old and new that we did back in May that are making an important imprint on the local artistic scene and are sure to continue their great work. They range from photographers to painters, sculptors, and those who draw, and they all show why Worcester is so respected among the greater art community.
West Boylston Rocks
This year West Boylston was rocked with its annual concert festival. The Arts Rock! Summer Concert Series included five shows at Goodale Park every two weeks through August. The series contained both local acts and wider-known acts including the only Steven Tyler approved Aerosmith cover band called Draw the Line. Other notable acts included Ayla Brown, The Alchemystics, and a Ton of Blues. The concert was sponsored by the West Boylston Arts Foundation.
Local boy Michael McGrath won a Tony Award this year for his performance in George Gershwin's Nice Work if you Can Get it. The award was for "Best Featured Actor". This was the second nomination of his career; he was also nominated in 2005 for his role in Spamalot. In honor of this prestigious award, GoLocal did a slideshow of his many performances honoring this proud son of the city who began his acting career in this very place before heading off to Broadway.
Joyful Concert Series
The Joyful Concert Series was held at the New England Dream Center in Worcester, and GoLocal did much to promote it, featuring a number of the musicians that performed in it. The concerts were held weekly on Fridays, and was intended to provide joy and encouragement to the clients at the Dream Center's Adult Day Program. The concerts lasted through August 31st.
Worcester Art Museum
The legendary Worcester Art Museum is one of the cities' greatest attractions, and has helped put Worcester on the map within the artistic and intellectual community. No visit to the city is complete without a trip through these acclaimed galleries. Early in the year we did a list of the top 10 things you may not know about this important gem of the city that have helped make it world-famous.