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FRIDAY & SATURDAY
Call it Christo lite. Instead of wrapping buildings in foil or plastic like so many oversized Christmas presents, three 20-something Providence, R.I., artists—Erica Duthie, Michael Townsend, and Struan Ashby—have pared down civic decor to appropriately ’90s minimalism: They sheath structures in ribbons of bright blue tape. The group’s cerulean creations—figurative murals using their special brand of paper-based, environmentally friendly sticky stuff—are specific to each site: A jailhouse mural decorated the walls of Graceland; a mural made for a Massachusetts school depicted its senior class parting ways with its teacher; a piece created for the Voices & Faces of Iowa Diversity Conference in Des Moines included portraits of all conference attendees. (Elephant, from the Trails West Festival in Saint Joseph, Mo., is pictured.) Tape Art got its start at the Rhode Island School of Design, where founding member Townsend and a rogue band of RISD undergrads taped murals to the school’s brick quad under cover of darkness. Now in its 10th year, the group has expanded Tape Art’s educational component with programs in schools, hospitals, and arts festivals nationwide, hoping to tap the inner creativity of the meek of art. Tape Art’s planned two-story mural at Arlington’s Courthouse Plaza should come down as quickly as it goes up: Most murals have only a 24-hour life span. Lucky passers-by can indulge their inner Shiva when they’re invited to join in the tear-down at the end of the weekendlong extravaganza. From 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Friday, July 9, and Saturday, July 10, at Courthouse Plaza’s East Wall, 14th & Courthouse Road, Arlington. Free. (703) 228-6960. (Jessica Dawson)