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.
The liquor store on West Main that sparked petitions both for and against its moving, as well as discussions on race and gentrification in the midtown corridor, will stay in its current location for another five years. ABC Chair Jeff Painter said in a January 28 statement that he signed the
You could call it Rolling Stone fallout, part two. Sorority women at UVA are furious over the collective decision of the leaders of their 16 national organizations to bar them from the Greek-wide party known as Boys’ Bid Night, scheduled for this Friday, January 31, and are speaking out
First there was Airbnb, which helped people rent out their abodes for extra cash. Then Uber made it possible to earn money using your car. Those businesses are examples of what’s known as a “sharing economy,” and the latest entrant is the Charlottesville-based Moonlighting mobile phone app,
When presented with a petition signed by more than 250 aggrieved residents calling for the closure of the West Main Street ABC store, City Council passed a resolution December 1 in support of the petition. Now that nearly 500 citizens have signed a petition urging that the store be kept in its
When Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding learned last week that Glenn Barker has been dead for six months, he said he slept well for the first time in decades. “It’s a relief, because he had threatened me and my family during the course of the investigation, and even in the courtroom,” said
About 20 years ago, the plan to open Second Street and have traffic cross the Downtown Mall brought dire predictions the pedestrian mall would be ruined. Two weeks ago, the street closed with virtually no notice, and restaurant owners are making dire predictions that they’ll be ruined. Martin
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Citing safety concerns, 16 national sorority organizations have banned their UVA chapters from participating in what is historically one of the biggest party nights for University Greeks. Sorority women at UVA are banned from attending parties scheduled for this coming Saturday, January 31. The
Nelson County Commonwealth’s Attorney Anthony Martin has for months maintained that there’s no credible link between accused Hannah Graham abductor Jesse Matthew and Alexis Murphy, another local teen who disappeared in August 2013 and whose convicted killer, Randy Taylor, is now
Albemarle Delegate Rob Bell has proposed a state budget amendment that would put plans for a major overhaul of Route 29’s Rio Road intersection on hold and subject them to further scrutiny. The $80 million stoplight-eliminating, grade-separated interchange is part of a package of improvements
A family member has said that the man killed early January 20 in a hit and run on U.S. 29 in Ruckersville is Damien Shifflett, 30, a father of four. State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller has since confirmed the ID, and said that Shifflett was from Stanardsville. Barely a month earlier,
Seriously, of all the General Assembly legislative sessions we’ve covered, this has got to be the weirdest one yet. And if there was one moment that perfectly encapsulated the off-kilter nature of the proceedings, it happened during the annual Commonwealth Prayer Breakfast, which is
Virginia State Police say they believe the man found dead on U.S. 29 in Ruckersville earlier this week was a victim of a hit-and-run, and are asking for help from the public in their investigation. The Greene County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at 3:51am Tuesday, January 20 of a body
Even before a police officer’s fatal encounter with an unarmed teen in Ferguson last summer, the Charlottesville Police Department had already budgeted for body-worn cameras for its officers, a move that has gained widespread support—except, perhaps, from the officers themselves. City Police
Two fraternities who threatened to make history by severing their ties to UVA over new party guidelines have given in, but not quite backed down, and are threatening legal action over a recent suspension. The additional rules were drawn up by student fraternity leaders during an eight-week
Dominion Resources has dropped 14 lawsuits against Nelson County landowners it says it sued in error, but dozens more suits over the company’s right to survey land for its proposed 550-mile Atlantic Coast Pipeline are going ahead as many residents continue to voice their opposition. Dominion
The Wells Fargo building on the Downtown Mall was evacuated around lunch time Monday because of smoke on the seventh floor. A locked-up motor in a mechanical room on that floor caused the alarm, according to Charlottesville Fire Department Battalion Chief W. A. Hogsten. Even though the ladder
Here’s look at upcoming public meetings in Charlottesville and Albemarle. Consider it a look into our datebook, and be sure to share newsworthy happenings in the comments section. The Charlottesville City Council will meet at 7pm on Tuesday, January 20 (the meeting is pushed back a day
Anton Largiader lives down the road from Treesdale Apartments on East Rio Road. He watched the 88-unit affordable housing being built in 2009, and when he saw a “freeze warning” sign in December—before temperatures plunged in January—advising tenants to leave their faucets dripping, “I was
The search for a new federal prosecutor to fill the seat recently vacated by Charlottesville-based U.S. attorney for the Western District of Virginia Timothy J. Heaphy has officially begun, but the process of getting a nominee cleared by a U.S. Senate whose powers of cooperation have yet to be