The new batch of McGuffey Art Center members have put together a solid show to introduce themselves, and the artists honor the building’s roots as an elementary school, with, among others, Peter Krebs’ skyscapes presenting views you might see at recess, and Amber Zavada’s earnest earthwork constructions lining the halls.
“Aquarian Woman” and “Soul Travelling” attempt to deify the female body. A rope construction by Sonja Weber Gilkey.
For science class, Bethany Pierce’s small, luminescent paintings beautifully explore a cellular universe. “Horizon IV” is like the most exquisite cataract you’ve ever seen, a star exploding from an eye. For all the delicacy of paint, there’s still a strong painterly quality to her work. Pierce doesn’t smooth out her brush strokes, using them instead to move the viewer through the depths of her pieces. In “Umbilicus,” which draws from scientific realism, the viewers’ eye follows the strokes that create the cord-like structure, which floats along the plane of the picture as delicately as if it were in a womb.
Social studies class takes place in front of Darrell Rose’s mixed-media paintings. His bright, chaotic panels seem at first approach to be pulsatingly cheerful, but the semi-abstract figures are so distorted and bruised that we’re forced to realize an undertone of violence and disaster to the chaos. These figures dwarf the urban settings that line works like “New York, New York,” and “On the Block,” making us wonder if we should fear them or pity them. Across the hall from Rose, Dan Hildt’s mixed-media works fill the gallery air with the smell of asphalt, an element in his sculptural images. Hildt replicates moments on a road or parking lot where painters miss their mark, asphalt cracks, and leaves run into oil patches, using, it appears, the same materials. The shift from horizontal street scene to vertical wall hanging confronts notions of what makes a work of art.
In the upstairs gallery, Sonja Weber Gilkey continues to question the idea of art’s construction. Her zany rope sculptures, made from found objects and crafted ropes, draw from the craft-becomes-art tradition of feminist artists of the 1970s and retain that interest in intimidation. Oversized, strangely and deliberately figural, works like “Aquarian Woman” and “Soul Travelling” attempt to deify the female body, with a strong central axis delineating breasts, pelvis and buttocks.
On the other side of the hallway, the mixed media works of Aaron Eichorst can best be described as the after-school drama class—perhaps the best part of the day. Eichorst draws from theater, mythology, ancient architecture, psychology and a deep appreciation of both aesthetics and wit. Giant figures peek from small stages, flowers replace heads and eyes emerge from leaves. A numbered series subtitled “Grotesque” is unfairly mingled in with other works, forcing the viewer to jump around between “The Temple,” “The Shrine,” and “The Theater” in order to absorb the progression of these Italianate expositions. “The Temple” is the most frantic of the three, as Eichorst plays with color theory, linear perspective and an intimate understanding of Italian iconography. Eichorst and his fellow new members have a lot to teach us, and this exhibition should make for eager pupils.
Victor Dandridge III had already admitted to swindling his dead friend’s widow. In a guilty plea entered July 19 in federal court in Richmond, Dandridge owned up to defrauding Blue Ridge Bank and the company that owns the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity house as well. Dandridge pleaded guilty to
Democrats in the only Southern state that voted for Hillary Clinton for president are now trying to wrap GOP gubernatorial candidate Ed Gillespie around President Donald Trump in hopes Gillespie will sink like a stone in the 2017 electoral waters. State Senator Creigh Deeds, House Minority
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Beetles on the brain As the invasive emerald ash tree borer creeps its way into Central Virginia, UVA groundskeepers are suiting up for battle—kind of. First discovered in the U.S. in 2002, this beetle has been detected in most of the eastern half of the country. After it lays its eggs inside
In the post-mortem of the July 8 KKK rally in Justice Park that resulted in 22 arrests and riot-garbed Virginia State Police tear-gassing protesters, widely diverging accounts of the event are playing out like a Kurosawa film. Police Chief Al Thomas says his force has gotten “hundreds and
City Council’s first meeting after the July 8 KKK rally had 57 people wanting to voice their concerns about police use of force and tear-gassing protesters. Legal organizations asked for investigations and multiple citizens wanted the permit for Jason Kessler’s August 12 Unite the Right
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Berkmar’s parallel path Governor Terry McAuliffe and Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne, along with about 70 other prominent guests, stood before the finally open (but not finished) Berkmar Drive extension on July 6. This is one of VDOT’s eight ventures included in its $230 million Route
Monday morning listeners expecting to hear the news on Virginia Public Radio’s WVTF got music instead July 10. This is a product of “the big switch,” a format change for the network, in which 89.7 FM will only play tunes in Charlottesville. RadioIQ, the public radio group’s all-talk station,
Charlottesvillians pulled out the unwelcome mat for the Loyal White Knights of the KKK July 8 in Justice Park. An estimated 1,000 people surrounded the park before the arrival of the 50 or so out-of-town Klansmen, and the event was loud, but aside from the arrests of protesters who refused to
The Loyal White Knights of the KKK made their showing in Justice Park July 8 to protest the removal of the statue of General Robert E. Lee. Hundreds of protesters surrounded the park, delaying the arrival of the 50 or so Klansmen. The brief 30-minute event was loud, but uneventful. Afterward,
Virginia traffic officials began discussing ways to make U.S. 29—a highway that carries 50,000 vehicles a day—flow more successfully about three decades ago, Secretary of Transportation Aubrey Layne says. When Governor Terry McAuliffe took office three-and-a-half years ago, he made it a top
For more than a week, Thomas Jefferson’s home has reverted back to a time when it didn’t have online ticketing and phone service. And despite the ransomware hack that hijacked its computer and phone systems, the 18th century estate has soldiered on during one of its busiest weeks of
Little more than 40 years ago, former Charlottesville mayor Nancy O’Brien received an unexpected letter. Sent from Poggio a Caiano, a tiny, two-square-mile municipality in the Italian province of Prato, the epistle recounted the tale of a very special—and very old—friendship. “We were preparing
Clean energy is on the rise, and Reston-based group SolUnesco is planning to build a 70-acre solar farm in Albemarle County, which would be the first of its kind in the area. One local nature enthusiast, however, says these “so-called green energy sources” aren’t as harmless to the environment
Last August, locals protested Dominion Virginia Power’s plans to rebuild area transmission lines with a much brighter material than their darker predecessors. Now a state commission has ruled that the power company must chemically darken its structures, and the group of people that worried new
Unstoppable Brogdon UVA alum Malcolm Brogdon was named NBA Rookie of the Year last week. He plays for the Milwaukee Bucks, and is the first second-round pick to receive the award. No word on how many rookies have two college degrees, including a master’s in public policy. Monticello hacked A
It’s the time of year C-VILLE editorial staffers dread most: landing on the final names for our Power Issue, followed by the inevitable complaints that the list contains a bunch of white men. Sure, there are powerful women and people of color in Charlottesville. But when it comes down to it,
The head of the Loyal White Knights of the KKK could decide to stay home from the rally he called in Charlottesville July 8 because his bond for a pending stabbing charge prohibits him from leaving North Carolina. Christopher Barker was arrested in December on the eve of a parade to celebrate