Ruffin it!

Ruffin it!

On Friday afternoon, the University of Virginia brought aspiring artists and local creative types out in droves with a bit of barbecue, a little live music from the likes of Trees on Fire and John D’earth, and its Arts Grounds Open House. While Feedback wishes he could’ve stayed for the Architecture school’s rooftop dance party (it would’ve been his second of the weekend!), he spent most of his time in Ruffin Hall, where the UVA Faculty Art Exhibition opened to a crowd of a few hundred people.

Guests at Ruffin Hall stand in front of Kevin Everson’s 22’ billboard, “Ohio,” during the opening of the UVA Faculty Art Exhibition. For a slideshow, check the Feedback blog.

While studio art faculty members Kevin Everson and William Wylie held court near the main entrance, Feedback stepped into Ruffin’s exhibition space and completed a rewarding circle around the room, from Everson’s style-apropriating Volkswagen billboard, “Ohio,” around to “Omphalos,” a piece credited only to “Apollo” and composed of thousands of gilded fingerprints. There were stops along the way to take in a new image by Wylie, a glass head illuminated with color like the filament inside a lightbulb; Eric Schmidt’s pendulous, straining shovel sculpture, “The Old Mule”; and a trio of paintings on mylar by new faculty member Carolyn Capps, featuring bronze-fleshed figures disrupting the scale of their surroundings.

It’s a show that suggests not only a creative step forward for a few members of UVA’s studio arts faculty (you can read about Clay Witt and Dean Dass’ collaborative piece with UVA printshop students in Open Studio, page 31), but also functions as an amuse bouche as we approach the September 12 opening of the UVA Art Museum. Months after closing the gallery to expand the exhibition space and implement climate controlled rooms, the museum’s new director of development, Anna von Gehr, told Feedback that the final step is moving pieces from the upcoming Academical Village and Edgar Allan Poe exhibits, as well as selections from the Glenstone collection of modern abstract photos, into the new climate-stable rooms.

Speaking of steps forward, UVA’s Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection recently opened its doors after a few weeks of renovations and the installation of “What Will Last Beyond Today,” an overview of the collection of founder John Kluge. Erika Howsare stopped by the show to scope it out; read her review here.

Best face forward

The super-ego to Feedback’s id, Brendan Fitzgerald, spent a bit of time at last week’s Fiery Furnaces gig at Fry’s Spring Beach Club, a welcome rock venue since Starr Hill Presents began to book gigs there last year. (Read his review on page 38, and check out a slideshow on the Feedback blog at But the Beach Club isn’t the only thing in town showing the local arts scene a new face made of familiar features.

While he was at the Furnaces gig, Feedback—er, Fitzback?—ran into Matt Bierce, a member of the garage ’n’ scrap-rock act Drunk Tigers. Bierce’s former band, Gulf Coast Army, was a mainstay at Tokyo Rose for a few years, and he keeps good rock company in Tigers—bandmate Zach Carter wrecked his share of eardrums as part of the beloved (and sorely missed) Cataract Camp, and Mike Parisi spent his fair share of time as a DJ on WTJU. Word is that the Tigers may be at work on a demo, and have a show slated for September 26 at Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar—mark your calendars and buy your ear plugs in bulk.