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.
Charlottesville lost an icon November 18 when Kenneth Staples, owner of Staples Barber Shop, died at age 85. “I would describe Kenny as one of those guys who looked like a duck on water,” says Jim Carpenter, a local photographer and friend of Staples since the early ’70s. “He was so smooth, but
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For many families, an income of $100,000 pretty much means they’re living the American dream. And for many families, that dream came crashing down when they saw what their health care premiums are going to be for 2018. For Sara Stovall, premiums for her family of four will go from $940 a month
Two of three felony charges were thrown out in a more than six-hour-long preliminary hearing November 9 for “Crying Nazi” Chris Cantwell, the New Hampshire man accused of pepper spraying multiple people at the violent August 11 tiki-torch march across the University of Virginia. Hundreds of
Election night 2017 in Charlottesville had quite a different feel from 2016. Democrats swept statewide offices, with Ralph Northam winning the governor’s race by an even wider margin—9 percent—than pundits had predicted. And no one saw it coming that Dems would dislodge the hefty 66-34
About 1.4 million nature enthusiasts from near and far flock to the Shenandoah National Park each year, but they may soon be greeted by a different type of hike than they’re seeking—a price hike. The National Park Service announced plans October 24 to increase entrance fees in 17 of the
But her emails Independent City Council candidate Nikuyah Walker was the target of a November 4 story in the Daily Progress that she and her supporters called a “hit piece”—three days before the election—in which an anonymous source in City Hall questions her ability to “work collaboratively
Three days before the November 7 election, the Daily Progress ran a story on independent candidate Nikuyah Walker with the headline, “Emails show Walker’s aggressive approach.” Her supporters have gone ballistic on social media over the story. The article describes dozens of emails Walker has
Charlottesville’s legendary civil rights leader turned 90 November 6, and Vice-Mayor Wes Bellamy presented him with a proclamation declaring the day Eugene Williams Day at a birthday celebration November 4 at Boar’s Head Inn. Williams grew up on Dice Street in a house with no plumbing, unlike
Two men who were charged with punching two women in the face at unrelated August 12 Unite the Right rally events entered guilty pleas today in Charlottesville General District Court, and one, with a history of assault who was sentenced to eight months in jail, is appealing the
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