Part of the excitement of swimming in the ocean is the terror of the unknown underneath the surface of our churning, murky Atlantic. When my sisters and I were kids mermaidlogo4color paddling in the waves, we would always end up singing a cheery, musical ditty we made up that goes “Swimming in the ocean, drowning in the sea”. To this day we sing our personal one-line melody when swimming. It innocently hints at the seductive mix of surreal beauty and dangerous grotesquery hidden below the water’s surface.

This inspired the new show “Mermaids: Urbane & Arcane” opening this Thursday at Firehouse 13 and running through August 1st. No cutesy Disney mermaids or tourist pleasing pretties here. It will showcase art work made for the show from Valerie Kitchin, Victoria Lockard and Jessie Lee Perry. My sisters are models in some of Valerie Kitchin’s luscious photographs. Expect an aquatic carnival vibe, with performance art by Awesome Science and a short film from Moira Brady and Brian Birch.

Party on from 9pm to 1am with electronic dance music and aquatic videography from DJs Christopher Wade (from LoveLife), Tim Howe and Danny Satori. The cover is $3 for those arriving after the opening show, cash bar.

6pm to 9pm, Thursday, Firehouse 13, contact; mermaids.providence@gmail.com

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