Elizabeth Derby



Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center students visit the Special Collections’ Rare Book Library at UVA to find inspiration for their own writing projects. Photo courtesy of Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center

Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center unites creative youth

It takes a village to raise a writer, or at least it did in my case. When I was in eighth grade my best friend applied to a local performing arts high school, where she was accepted as a creative writing major, and I—propelled by love of adjectives and X-Files fan fiction—did the same. Four […]

Visual artist Sarah Klein uses “hand-drawn images and stop-motion animation to create humorous and often dark narratives on domestic life and other related themes.” Photo courtesy of the artist

The Niche at UVA points media in a new direction

The flat screen is unassuming—a 60″ monitor mounted to the wall in UVA’s Fiske Kimball Fine Arts Library. Surrounded by chairs and headphones, The Niche currently plays a loop of video from the stop-motion animation program “Stop & Go: Made from Scratch.” Sounds benign, but associate professor of new media Lydia Moyer sees it as […]

“It’s intimidating for people to share, so I always talk some nonsense,” said Raven Mack, host of the bimonthly Rojonekku Word Fighting Arts haiku poetry slams. Photo courtesy of the artist

Raven Mack finds peace through word fights

“Who I am is not really defined. Most of the questions you asked I’d probably answer differently two weeks from now,” said Raven Mack, smiling under his long beard. “I always reserve the right to change suddenly.” Mack’s a poet without pretension, scribbling sonnets on his lunch break and supporting a wife, three children, and their […]

Author and publisher Deborah Prum decided to incorporate audio recordings of poets' work into the new anthology after she developed a YA audiobook for the blind and disabled.

Oh, God: Artists address spirituality in multisensory ebook

In a world increasingly dependent on text messages, two-sentence emails, and other abbreviated missives, why do artists do what they do? Why slave over word choice or perfect lighting, or attempt to sculpt poetry from the confusion of everyday experience? As she edited the new ebook anthology Back Talking on the Mountain of God, author […]

“Enjoy what you do,” said Saul Kaplan. “My favorite thing is to sit in my studio listening to Mozart, or Brahms and Beethoven, and work. To draw and do artwork and have that music waft in my ear while I struggle.” Saul Kaplan’s work is on view at Vivian’s Art for Living on the Downtown Mall.  Photo courtesy if the artist.

Saul Kaplan puts his legacy on paper

“I’ve been drawing for 65 years. That’s not an exaggeration. I have a pile of stuff. In the end, I know they’re gonna pull a dumpster up, and there goes the stuff.“ Saul Kaplan, artist and poet, paused as he opened his self-published volume of drawings, ceramics, and paintings. “The way I explain it is, […]

Collaborators Peter DeMartino and Julie Hamberg made the ambitious choice to stage an original adaptation of The Master and Margarita. Photo credit: Rammelkamp Foto

Live Arts adapts cult novel

Peter DeMartino might never have spent nine months translating a 1920s Russian novel about Jesus, the devil, and a nine-foot-tall cat into a full-scale theatrical production if not for one strange affinity. “I met Julie [Hamberg, artistic director at Live Arts] after I got to play Edna in Hairspray,” said DeMartino, who works as the […]

If you’re walking down the street on Saturday and see someone modeling a giant poncho, ask how to use your arms as knitting needles. It’ll actually be more common than you think. Publicity image

Knit stop: All you need is Two Arms!

Picture this: It’s a sunny day, and new leaves rustle overhead as you walk along the Downtown Mall. In the distance you see people moving their arms, loaded with cloud- or cocoon-like substances. As you approach, you realize they’re actually knitting, using their arms like needles to weave thick skeins of yarn made from old […]

Play along with The Cloak Mystery Players as they try to solve The Club Ritz Caper during an interactive dinner performance.
Publicity photo

Peter Ryan’s new dinner table drama

By turns a screenwriter, off-Broadway playwright, and local children’s theater author, Peter Ryan found his latest creative sweet spot at the Holiday Inn on Fifth Street. “This is theater for people who get restless during normal theater,” he said of his latest show, The Club Ritz Caper, which performs in the hotel restaurant during dinnertime. “It’s […]

Sketch cartoonist Warren Craghead’s Seed Toss, A Puzzle is available online as a DIY
printable book.

The abundant, accessible art of Warren Craghead

“I recently saw a book of Picasso’s work where they published everything he did, and between two awesome paintings were about a hundred that weren’t so great.” Warren Craghead laughed with what sounded like relief. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh, right. This is the real world. I shouldn’t feel so bad about myself.’” The Charlottesville-based cartoonist […]

P KAUFMANN, $26.95/YARD

Swatch watch: Brighten up

Need to take your home décor out of hibernation? We asked Second Yard’s Jon Floyd to recommend a few of the Downtown shop’s warmer prints now that spring has sprung. Here are our favorites from what he pulled.    

John McCarthy, “Easter Morning,” 2008, oil on linen, 10" x 10". Judy McCarthy referred to her late husband’s work as a translation of the joy we all feel when springtime finally arrives. “The colors were so glorious after the dark days of winter,” she wrote. “He would have epiphany moments that were then transformed into works of art, and we would both see the world with new eyes.”

Les Yeux du Monde welcomes color in ‘Visions of Spring’

If you’re tired of grey skies and slush, you might want to visit Les Yeux du Monde before the end of March. “When you walk in the gallery, you see a lot of color,” said Lyn Bolen Warren, the curator of the space’s current exhibit, Visions of Spring. “You see these big painted urns reaching upward, […]

Mission: Implausible! incorporates social media engagement in a "collaborative" one-woman show.  Publicity Image

One-woman show could possibly save the world

If you’re reading this on your smartphone, and you’ve got Facebook, Twitter, and an appreciation for live comedy and action/adventure, you’re needed at the Helms Theater. There’s a world that needs to be saved, and only you can save it. In her one-woman show, Mission: Implausible!, veteran actor, director, writer, and UVA MFA student Sandi […]

Avery Chenoweth, who published his fourth book through Amazon instead of traditional channels, will discuss Radical Doubt during the festival program “UVA MFA Graduates Present!” Photo: Elli Williams.

Local authors turn to self-publishing with mixed emotions, success

When a heart attack left Avery Chenoweth wondering how much time he had left, the author decided to self-publish for the first time. A Charlottesville resident since 1990, Chenoweth had already published Albemarle: A Story of Landscape and American Identity, Empires in the Forest: Jamestown and the Making of America, and the short story collection […]

Author Jane Alison, the newest faculty member of UVA’s MFA in Creative Writing program, will guest judge the finalists in WriterHouse’s non-fiction contest. Photo: Elli Williams.

WriterHouse sponsors new creative nonfiction contest

For many years, The Hook ran a writing contest in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book that was judged by John Grisham. With the newspaper’s closure last summer, it looked like local writers were out of luck if they wanted to compete for cash and readers. But WriterHouse, the local nonprofit dedicated to […]

Frank Riccio's piece is one of the visual works
produced for the interpretation of the short story “This is How
You Open a Pomegranate.”

Ten locals interpret written work through visual art

When FIREFISH Gallery co-curators Araxe Hajian and Sigrid Eilertson brainstormed concepts for their next collaborative project, they decided to flip the script. Rather than host a visual art show that invited verbal interpretation, they decided to ask visual artists to interpret Hajian’s short story “This is How You Open a Pomegranate.” “I didn’t see this […]

Artist and organizer Kate Daughdrill hosts weekly meals in her community. “Eating food with other people is one of the most natural ways to be together,” she said.

Kate Daughdrill on the power of social sculpture

“Social sculpture is the idea that whenever we’re shaping our own lives to be more beautiful, it’s an intentional act to bring more beauty or well-being into the world,” said Kate Daughdrill, a Detroit-based artist, farmer, and teacher who graduated from UVA. Daughdrill is one of 20-plus presenters slated to bring social sculpture to Charlottesville’s […]

Andy Friedman performs his “Art Stories” at Miller’s on Tuesday, followed by The Suitcase Junket.

Taking the story off the page

When Andy Friedman enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, he devoted himself to Venetian oil painting, a skill so intricate that each work takes an average of three years to finish. “I knew that after college I would have to get a job, and I wanted to know the feeling of complete and […]

Second Street Gallery’s “Threesome” exhibition challenges the viewer to explore gender bias. “You don’t have to be compelled to like something,” Tosha Grantham said. “It’s more important to be open. Response is contingent to what you bring to it.” Photo: Elli Williams.

“Threesome” holds the ideal woman in a new light

“When people think of the word threesome, they think of one man and two women, and they think of the man getting pleasured by the women,” said Tif Robinette, a self-declared feminist. “But here we have three really strong female artists from the state of Virginia reacting to and tearing apart ideas of the ideal […]

Lord Huron frontman Ben Schneider transcends self-reflection when its time to perform.
“On stage it’s all about communal experience and play with the audience,” he said.

Lord Huron’s existential sonic pursuit

Have you ever driven through the desert? Flown across dry, red earth while mammoth spires of stone and humps of rock pin back the wide blue horizon? Maybe you stopped in the shadow of a peak and began to climb through wiry brush and sandy succulents, picking a forgotten trail up the monolith’s face. Dust […]

Insufficient Funds: Can public money grow Charlottesville’s arts scene?

Insufficient Funds: Can public money grow Charlottesville’s arts scene?

It seems like an absurd plan to grow a city’s art scene: take the cultural community, run it through two years of focus groups and surveys, and publish six long-range goals (diversity and inclusion, arts education, cultural destination, creative workers, creative placemaking, and cultural infrastructure). It’s a wonky, almost anti-artistic approach. Doesn’t such an effort […]

The Charlottesville Ballet strives to promote health and well-being in the professional ballet world. The company will perform The Nutcracker Suite this weekend. Photo: Martyn Kyle.

Charlottesville Ballet puts a new twist on the art of dance

“When I was 3, my parents took me to see The Nutcracker, and I remember telling them, ‘I want to be the Sugar Plum Fairy,’” said Caitlin Lennon. “They were like ‘O.K., sure, we’ll sign you up for ballet classes.’ But in my mind I thought, ‘No, I’m gonna do that. I’ll take classes for a […]

Lee Fitzpatrick in the lead role of the scheming Miss Hardcastle in She Stoops to Conquer at the American Shakespeare Center.

ASC’s She Stoops To Conquer stands on comic timing

With a tilt of her head and a cascade of red curls, Kate Hardcastle considered her suitor across stage. “You’re so great a favorite there, you say?” “Yes, my dear,” Young Charles Marlow grinned, determined to prove to this beautiful barmaid his popularity at the Ladies Club. Swaggering toward the stage right audience, he looked […]

Andy Davis (left) and Rivers Upchurch play the lead characters in PVCC’s production of the absurdist riff on Shakespeare, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead.

PVCC reaches out to the community for Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead

When Tom Stoppard wrote Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, an absurdist comedy about two minor characters from Shakespeare’s Hamlet, he was only 27 years old. Trapped in a nebulous otherworld, courtiers Rosencrantz and Guildenstern debate the nature of freedom and fate from lives pre-scripted to death. Comic dialogue coupled with philosophical themes, including the use […]