Elizabeth Derby

Charlottesville Mural Project artist Chicho Lorenzo’s recently completed work is located at Barracks Road near the 250 bypass. Photo by Eze Amos

Chicho Lorenzo paints through barriers at local exit

When painter and muralist Chicho Lorenzo saw the 7′ tall retaining wall along Barracks Road near the 250 bypass, he knew exactly what he wanted to paint. “Maybe two years ago, I was commissioned to paint a mural for a military school,” Lorenzo says. “I had an idea for an image of two teachers standing […]

Lorretta Goins was the first portrait Sarah Cramer Shields took after the events of August 11 and 12, launching the project “This Is Charlottesville,” on display at VMDO Architects now through the end of 2017, and on Instagram at @thisischarlottesville.  Photo by Sarah Cramer Shields

Photo project shows people through another lens

As the events of August 11 and 12 unfolded across Charlottesville, photojournalist Sarah Cramer Shields watched it happen on the news. “I was putting two small children down for naps when it happened,” Shields says in an interview with C-VILLE. “I wanted to be on the front lines telling the stories of what was happening, […]

See A Christmas Story: The Musical, with Matty Ward as Ralphie, at Four County Players through December 17. Publicity photo

A Christmas Story sings out at Four County Players

Whether you fell in love with the leg lamp, the pink bunny suit or the double-dog-dare to lick a frozen flagpole, you can’t help but wait in excited anticipation for A Christmas Story to hit the holiday airwaves. The story of Ralphie, an eager schoolboy on a desperate quest to get the most magical Christmas […]

Victory Hall Opera’s Sympathy, based on Jean-Philippe Rameau’s La Sympathie, took more than 250 years to come to the stage. L to R: Ted Schmitz (Acante), Rachelle Durkin (Céphise), Sarah Wolfson (Zirphile) and Jorell Williams (Génie) are surrounded by Michael Golez, Valdon Daniel and Ana Lorenza, members of the Forte Dance Crew. Photo by Martyn Kyle

VHO’s Sympathy was centuries in the making

I’ll be honest: I’m not really an opera person. Until this weekend, I assumed opera consisted of people in fancy outfits belting overwrought, angst-ridden songs in foreign languages before dying on stage. And while I’m terribly impressed by the skill and talent required to fine-tune the operatic “instrument,” I am not the most qualified person […]

Queens of the Damned organizer Madeline Iva penned the romance fantasy Wicked Apprentice and contributes to the blog Lady Smut. Courtesy of subject

Local women break through in fantasy and horror

‘‘My book came out last year a week before the presidential elections,” says Madeline Iva, author of the fantasy romance Wicked Apprentice. “What I came away with, standing in the blasted devastation of our liberal democratic psyche, was that I’d just written a book about a woman who ends up holding all the power—and people […]

Peter Benedetti’s “Solve et Coagula” is on display alongside Paul Brainard’s “My Body is a Grave” (above) at Second Street Gallery, now through November 17. Courtesy of the artist

Second Street Gallery flirts with the dark side

Peter Benedetti never planned to make a deck of tarot cards. Instead, you might argue, the cards found him. “It’s not something I would normally do,” says the Brooklyn-based artist, who points to the abstract expressionist influence on the style of his inventive drawings and paintings. But a few years ago, during his daily research […]

With a nod to her Miami roots, Lisa Parker Hyatt seamlessly combines whimsy, color and familiarity in “Fish Out of Water.” Courtesy artist

Lisa Parker Hyatt’s Miami imagery hits home

Even though she lives in the nation’s capital now, Lisa Parker Hyatt can’t leave Miami behind. “I spent most of my life in Miami,” explains the artist, whose richly colored paintings are included in collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York, the archives of the National Museum of Women in the Arts […]

Russell Richards, known for his edgy, erotic, fantasy paintings, is leaving the McGuffey Art Center after 17 years. “I’m on the verge of new things in life, and it’s time to move on,” Richards posted in a Facebook announcement. Photo by Amy Jackson

Russell Richards carves new place for himself

After 17 years with McGuffey Art Center, artist and filmmaker Russell Richards is moving on. Blame it on the windows. “The city renovated McGuffey and fixed the windows, so we had to be out for a certain period of time,” he says. “I couldn’t access my studio for a while, so I used that as […]

Raymond Bulumbula is one of two artists who will travel nearly 10,000 miles in September to reconnect with artworks in the Kluge-Ruhe Collection that were collected from their community in the 1960s. Courtesy Kluge-Ruhe

Kluge-Ruhe holds up the mirror

Following last month’s local violence by neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups, many people are speaking and acting out against racism for the first time. But becoming an effective activist and ally to people of color requires humility, curiosity and ongoing education—which is why locals are lucky that a small building, perched on a […]

New director and curator Matthew McLendon is assessing the role that UVA’s Fralin Museum will play beyond Grounds. “What I can say is that I want The Fralin to be a positive space where all feel welcome, heard and appreciated,” he says. “I want The Fralin to be a part of many communities. This is what I’m thinking about and this is what I’m working toward.” Photo by Amy Jackson

Matthew McLendon wants more at The Fralin

In January, The Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia welcomed a director and chief curator, Matthew McLendon, formerly with Tate Britain in London, the Cornell Fine Arts Museum at Rollins College and The Ringling Museum of Art, the state art museum of Florida. While McLendon worked at The Ringling, the art blogazine […]

Now through August 26, see “August Persons” at Chroma Projects, and view “Steampunk Ink Collages” at the PCA Gallery next door. Join Blake Hurt for an artist’s talk and reception on August 20. Courtesy of the artist

Blake Hurt plays with perspective in two collections

Charlottesville is a cozy little city. Most of the time, we know our neighbors—enough to recognize their kids or their pets, maybe catch snippets about their lives at work or play. But what if the guy down the street turned out to be the commander of an invading fleet of warships? Or the girl next […]

The Realistic Joneses relies on a cast that can convey the authenticity of human
interaction—ranging from hilarious one-liners and abrupt observations to the meaning behind half-formed compliments. Photo by Will Kerner

Theater Review: The Realistic Joneses at Live Arts

There’s something a bit off about The Realistic Joneses. “Maybe it’s me,” you think at first. You’re sitting so close to the middle-aged couple you’re practically on top of them. She’s talking about the beauty of the night air and the owl she can hear in the distance. He’s staring down at hands twisted together, […]

William Ferguson and Brenda Patterson and tackle traditional opera from a gay perspective in Ghost House, an updated version of Robert Schumann’s song cycles. Publicity photo

Victory Hall Opera vocalizes the gay experience in Ghost House

At Juilliard, up-and-coming opera singers learn the art of method acting: channeling their personal experience into the emotions they express on stage. But for mezzo-soprano Brenda Patterson, the acting never stopped. “As a gay person, that’s sort of what you feel like you are doing a lot of the time in real life. You are […]

Kevin Everson’s “Rough and Unequal” is on exhibit at The Fralin Museum of Art through April 16. His work is also featured in the Whitney Biennial 2017 that begins on March 17. Image courtesy of the artist

Kevin Everson looks to the night sky for comment on history

It’s a busy, blustery Tuesday on Grounds. Outside The Fralin Museum of Art, UVA students rush by in droves, pulling overcoats tight against the wind. Inside, I stand in darkness staring at craters on the moon. The air is hot and loud, filled by the whir and clank of unsteady projectors shining on gallery walls. […]

Explore The Art of Failure with Devon Sproule (pictured), Lulu Miller and David Zahl at Meade Hall on March 6. Photo by Amelia Schmid

Stories of how failures lead to successes

As consumers, we’re inundated by success. Hit records, blockbuster movies, the latest app. Creators, on the other hand, are surrounded by failures. They churn out ideas—some brilliant, some bad—and create until something sticks. How do they find the guts to fail their way to success? Three accomplished local artists are opening up in The Art […]

Love Letters starring Linda Poser and Kenneth H. Waller runs through February 12 at Four County Players. Photo by Linda Hogan

Romance grows through correspondence at Four County Players

Hollywood tells us that romance unfolds in a montage, in sparkling date nights and lazy Sunday mornings and in the inescapable gravity of consistent, insistent closeness. But as a veteran of long-distance relationships (I’m talking 10,000-mile commutes), I can attest that sometimes love grows in our absence from each other. The space that separates two […]

James Yates, Beryl Solla and Polly Tarbell were part of the Charlottesville contingent that marched in Washington, D.C.

Stacey Evans

From the front lines at the Women’s March

At 4:49am on Saturday morning, I woke up just south of Washington, D.C., my eyes wide open and my stomach flipping. My friend Abigail and I had driven up the night before, to join the Women’s March on Washington. Per the organizers’ instructions, we packed clear plastic bags, loading up on wet wipes and fancy […]

Broocks Willich stars as Esmerelda Scrooge in Gorilla Theater Productions' twist on the Dickens' classic.  An Xmas Carol plays at the special events space at IX Art Park through January 15.

Gorilla Theater puts a final twist on the holidays

Last year was exhausting, right? No wonder people pushed themselves to have the merriest holiday of their lives in 2016. Online sales hit the highest mark ever during Black Friday weekend. Consumers wanted, more than ever, to escape real life and celebrate in tinsel wonderlands. Now that you’ve digested plenty of fa-la-las and other family […]

Charlottesville artist Matthew P. Shelton and Trinidadian artist Nikolai M. Noel’s (above)collaboration “contested bodies” is at Second Street Gallery through January 19. Courtesy Second Street Gallery

Observations on privilege and amnesia at Second Street Gallery

Despite living 2,100 miles apart, Charlottesville artist Matthew P. Shelton and Trinidadian artist Nikolai M. Noel are close friends. They met in Virginia Commonwealth University’s MFA program, where they studied painting and printmaking, and were interested in the influence of colonialism and its aftermath on the creation of human identity. “We were both making work […]

A sketch by Bishnu Maya Tamang from Bhutan is part of the “World Art Exhibit” on display at downtown’s Central Library (second floor) now through the end of the year. Image courtesy of the artist

Refugees make new connections through art

Rarely do so many Americans feel divided, separated and isolated from one another as they have during this political season. Our inability to communicate and connect with one another as countrymen feels like an affront. For the thousands of refugees who flee violence, persecution, human trafficking or torture in their native countries in crisis, then […]

Artist-in-residence Damien Shen’s “Self-Portrait #2” is on display at Kluge-Ruhe through December 18. Courtesy of the artist

Artist Damien Shen finds motivation in his past

Like many creatives, Damien Shen spent most of his adult life focused on building a career instead of a formal art practice. But in 2013, the South Australia native and current Kluge-Ruhe artist-in-residence realized he had a calling. He just needed to work out what it was. “I did this journey down the east coast […]

The Hart App aims to take modern dating beyond the surface and connect people through their art. Photo courtesy of Scott Webb

Dating app for creative types makes a C’ville debut

The last time I went on an online date, I found myself at Buffalo Wild Wings with a guy named Tony. It was 2010, and I was living on the New Jersey shore at the time. (He was actually the second Tony I’d gone out with, it being the Jersey shore.) I remember feeling…underwhelmed. Missing […]

Victory Hall Opera’s Miriam Gordon-Stewart plays the Marschallin in Der Rosenkavalier for the show’s first performances in Virginia, at PVCC on August 14, 17 and 20. Photo: Publicity photo

Found letters put C’ville at the heart of a German opera

Since its debut in 1911, opera-lovers have considered Der Rosenkavalier a masterpiece of the repertoire. The German comedy follows the story of the Marschallin (Princess Marie Thérèse von Werdenberg) as she decides to end her affair with a younger man and save another woman from an unhappy marriage. More than a century later, on the […]