Well, two things. I’m working on a play that’s based on a work of art I did several years ago called “Mapping the Dark: A Museum of Ambient Disorders.” Fran Smith and I are doing this together—she’s directing it and we are developing a stage presentation for the 10 characters that I created for the original work of art. So it will be a multimedia affair. I’ve enlisted 10 different writers to contribute an extended life to each of the characters I’ve developed, and we’re in the process of workshopping it.
Asked her guilty pleasure, Rosamond Casey, member artist at McGuffey Arts Center, says, “Eating pickled herring… I can’t stand looking at it, so I have to eat one piece a day out of the jar in a darkened room, so that I can’t see what it looks like.”
I’m also working on a science and art project that was launched about a year ago, with a psychologist named David Waters. We’re developing a set of images that will function as a card game, which can be used to stimulate verbal communication between two players with the minimum amount of emotional static. It’s a fun game; it takes people a little bit to the edge, but it also places people into kind of a pleasant state of interaction. It’ll be used in therapeutic environments, but also between any two people—friends, husband/wife, mother/child, and so on.
Tell us about your day job.
I go to the McGuffey Arts Center every day in the morning and come home in the afternoon. My whole life is there except for the life I have at home—which is a good life too. At McGuffey I’m pulled by a lot of different projects, both through the teaching that I do and McGuffey obligations, meetings and so on. But I pretty much hole up in there and get my work done.
When you’re in a creative mood, what is your favorite snack food?
Once a day, I take a walk down the hall to our executive secretary’s office. I sneak in there, reach my arm in, and pull out a mini-Mars bar from her candy bowl. That keeps me going for an hour or two.
Who is your favorite creative artist?
Francis Bacon, as a painter—something about the way he kind of hacks through the unknown with paint, so you never seem to have a clear idea of a destination, or as to where he’ll end up. His work seems more like a process than an outcome.
Tell us about a big idea that you’ve been carrying around with you.
There used to be a strange theme in my life, regarding psychological issues—the “Mapping the Dark” play is nothing but that, and so is this game, and working with David Waters has been very inspiring. But I’ve also created a class called “Art in Character,” in which I’ve asked people to develop a character over an eight-week period. I’ve taught this once already and it was really incredible…the extent to which people were really willing to shave off a little corner of what they know to be themselves, and to build a character from that. I gave them a series of exercises and things to do to activate that character’s creativity, to make things in the persona of this other character. I think it’s just endlessly fascinating, how this enlarges a person’s sense of who they are.
What would you say is inspiring about Charlottesville right now?
McGuffey Arts Center is inspiring to me right now. It’s kind of in its heyday, I think—I’ve never seen such good art emanating from that place. I think it’s alive through a lot of different programs and activities. Sometimes I see McGuffey through the eyes of someone who has never been to McGuffey, and it’s amazing how you have the opportunity to walk down the corridors and see artists at work in their open studios.
Though Oklahoma Lottery is Karen Jonas’ debut recording, the album has been touted by critics as refined, polished, and sophisticated—a rare combination for an artist’s freshman effort. Jones is a native of Fredericksburg, Virginia, but her tone and approach are straight out of Nashville,
Four years and three installments into the Expendables series and we’ve reached what is typically the nail in the coffin for action franchises: the PG-13 sequel. While the rating is essentially meaningless in this age of bloodless gun battles and cramming in as many “shits” as you can but using
Communitas is a Latin term that signifies the coming together of various mediums in the spirit of equality, which makes it the perfect name for an event that joins music and dance. From around the country, violinists and dancers come gather for a celebration of the human spirit through sound
The wonderful tunes of Tina and Her Pony prove that not everything needs to be modernized in the 21st century. The Ohio duo sticks to the basics, producing amazing folk music from simple guitars, banjos, and cellos. Each song tells the story of a true experience and explores the themes and
The intimate energy and raw emotion of Jolie Holland’s experimental live sets have recently garnered the attention of musical purists, the press, and even artists like Tom Waits and Sage Francis. Her permutation of folk, country, rock, jazz, and blues is meticulously blended and though her
From the first note, Bella Morte is an all-out assault on the senses, with gothic metal as its weapon of choice. With a nod to Evanescence and Linkin Park, the local-born rockers continue the tradition of combining explosive sounds with brooding rhythms. An original mix of powerful guitars
The fact that Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles isn’t as bad as it could have been is a small miracle, given the reverse Midas touch of producer (and not director, another miracle) Michael Bay on preexisting franchises. Considering the film’s primary problems are only that it’s basically a
There’s no metaphor or comparison that can illuminate the splendor of Kishi Bashi’s music. It’s beautiful and there’s no better way to describe it. Brandishing his violin, the Norfolk-based musician creates lush melodies that are soft and dream-like, accentuated by Asian undertones and
If there’s one thing that Clairy Browne and the Bangin’ Rackettes prove, it’s that music always benefits from a little attitude. Their sound captures a swanky sense of fun from the blues era, delivering a healthy kick that wakes the soul to an experience beyond clichés and catchy hooks.
Legendary guitarist and composer Pat Metheny has been on the scene since 1976’s Bright Size Life (his seminal debut with bassist Jaco Pastorious and drummer Bob Moses) and has toured continuously for decades. His is a rich, fluid, and conceptually ambitious tone, colored by influences as
The Morning Birds Bloom/Funky Island House Releases based around a song, a theme, or a tribute are generally boring, or feel schizophrenic because it is almost impossible to shape the creative instincts of various artists into a cohesive musical narrative. Bloom is a rare exception because it
Rap lovers know that the best beats come from hard-hitting rhythms coupled with solid flows of raw lyrics. That’s why Project Pat remains a standout of the genre. The brother of Three 6 Mafia member Juicy J, Pat gives fans exactly what they want; a steady roll of unabashed rap glory.
Get On Up is the best possible film of an inherently mediocre genre: the biopic. Most biopics render themselves obsolete by failing to admit that when a person is famous, we almost always know the most interesting thing about them because that thing is the reason they’re famous in the first
Everybody’s an amateur photographer these days, using smartphone cameras and Instagram filters to create quick, easy, and brighter-than-life ‘art’. But in curator June Collmer’s latest exhibit, “The World of Printmaking,” she’s going to bat for a different aesthetic. “It’s the lines,” the local
It’s time to get your evil on, or at least enjoy the sound of evil as your favorite Broadway baddies and Disney villains display their wickedness through song. Play On’s musical revue Now That’s What I Call Evil brings together the most vile characters from the screen and stage for a single
You don’t often see sculptors in the library at work on invisible projects, but Justin Poe is an exception. “When I started out, I did these 2″ x 3″ wide sculptures, and I carried everything around in my backpack,” said the Charlottesville-based artist. “I worked in public, in
Begin Again Music from and Inspired by the Original Motion Picture/222 Records John Carney, who gave us the classic music-focused film Once, returns with another music-based film, Begin Again, and the soundtrack is predictably loaded with fun moments that will appeal to a variety of listeners.
It may seem nitpicky in this era of movies about radioactive spider bites and ancient alien stud-gods to take issue with a premise that is basically an excuse for inventive set pieces, but there’s something so incredibly lazy and pointless about the way Luc Besson plays with the old (and false)
Now in its 50th year of production, Fiddler on the Roof has seen eight consecutive seasons on Broadway, nine Tony Awards, and countless audiences. In the capable hands of Ash Lawn Opera, the classic musical continues to deliver an iconic score, a well-loved story and timeless depictions of
If laughter is truly the best medicine, then the L.Y.A.O. Comedy Showcase is sure to heal all of your ailments with three doses of the area’s top comedic talents. Headliner Louis Katz doesn’t mind diving into the cruder side of the human experience, and joining him is the quick-witted and