In the early days of Gallery Night Providence you could browse as many as nine art galleries, then sit down to a leisurely dinner at one of the city's ethnic eateries. But this year -- the event's 10th -- the meal might have to wait. The exhibits have expanded to 23, and organizers are pulling out all the stops.
Gallery Night has become a key event in a revitalized Providence that boasts a redesigned downtown, waterfront, and harbor area. It's part of the renaissance that has transformed this historic seaport from edgy backwater to cultural hub.
On Thursday, and again on Nov. 16, the Providence art scene will come alive with music performances, refreshments, and roaming art specialists to give perspective on the works on display. All of it is free.
The art ranges from costumes to pastels, carved spoons to abstract oils. Some exhibit locations are as stunning as their displays, such as the Providence Athenaeum, the country's fourth oldest library and an architectural gem.
If there's a single showstopper, it might be ``Wunderground," a massive sculptural installation along with 2,000 prints by members of the city's radical art underground on display at The RISD Museum .
Gallery Night Providence, Oct. 19 and Nov. 16, 5-9 p.m. 401-490-2042. gallerynight.info . Free. Four buses run every 25 minutes (until 8:40 p.m.) and can be boarded at each venue. Guided walking tours start at Citizens Plaza at 6 and 6:30 and last about an hour. Parking is free in eight lots around the city. Directions: From Boston, take Interstate 95 south to exit 22 and follow the signs for downtown Providence. Go straight at the light, turn left at the second light onto Exchange Street, and take two more rights to get to the Metro Park parking lot behind Citizens Plaza. DIANE FOULDS