Contemporary art Exhibitions

Hunting for unicorns—on Rhode Island

Camomile Hixon's Missing Unicorns

Glittery unicorns are galloping through the public spaces and venerable institutions of Providence, Rhode Island until May, thanks to the art project “Unicorns in Residence”. Helene Miller, Officer of Play for the Partnership for Providence Parks, who is serving as project curator, first learned of the artist Camomile Hixon’s fascination with the fantastical beasts after seeing her fliers for a “Missing Unicorn” around New York City in 2010. Similar fliers will be posted throughout 100 of Providence’s parks and public spaces in late February. Later in the spring, the Providence Children’s Museum will display Hixon’s sparkly one-horned ponies, complete with a glitter phone booth from which kids can report sightings. A related exhibition of historical objects and images of the mythical creature at Brown University (“Unicorn Project”, 26 January-5 May) is culled from its library and from the collections of the Providence Athenaeum (library and cultural centre), Providence Public Library and the Rhode Island School of Design’s library and museum. The best part, Miller says, is the transformation of some “stuffy” people who were first hesitant to get involved. “Now they smile and glow when they talk about the unicorns,” the curator says. “It’s been transformative.” —Laura van Straaten

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