Elizabeth Derby

Local artist Lily Erb has gained notice for her large steel rod sculptures which she calls “abstract organic.” Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Woman of steel: Lily Erb’s unyielding approach to modern sculpture

For Lily Erb, art mirrors life—but only to a certain extent. The Charlottesville-born and -based artist creates large steel sculptures, most lately composed of numerous steel rods bent into gentle, repetitive curves, then spray-painted in bright, jovial colors. She calls her style “abstract organic” because the pieces don’t resemble actual organic objects. Instead she starts […]

More than 90 landscape paintings by local artist Hamid Karimi are on permanent display at UVA Health South Rehabilitation Hospital. Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Return on beauty: Hamid Karimi’s artistic stamina pays off

Hospitals aren’t exactly known as hubs of creative engagement. Yet the trend of visual art in hospitals is on the rise thanks to studies that show scientific links between patients, art and lowered stress levels. While Charlottesville may have yet to see the type of full-fledged contemporary art installations as Indiana University School of Medicine […]

Live Arts’ production of Xanadu pays homage to the 1980 cult classic film of the same name. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Film lampoon: Live Arts aims to ‘a muse’ with Xanadu

Most of us are born with a seedling of art in our hearts—the desire to create our dreams on paper, in space or on the stage. But we’re taught early on that the path of an artist is hard, one that requires dogged determination and gumption, the kind of commitment to take-no-prisoners passion that stalls […]

Executive director Kevin O’Halloran and hundreds of community members prepare for Ash Lawn Opera’s season opening with Madama Butterfly at the Paramount on Friday. Photo: Chris Pecoraro

In the wings: Ash Lawn Opera’s Madama Butterfly alights the Paramount stage

Every summer, Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall floods with a subtle siege: opera singers, orchestra members and technical crew members from all over the country. Unlike participants in traveling productions, they arrive to co-create a few gem-like original performances, shows that debut at The Paramount Theater under the direction (and extended logistical planning) of Ash Lawn Opera. […]

Stace Carter is one of two artists-in-residence at Shenandoah National Park. The filmmaker will spend two weeks capturing the allure and backstory of daily life in the park. Photo: Tate Grasse

Natural resources: Casting Shenandoah National Park in a starring role

As the newest artist-in-residence at Shenandoah National Park, documentary filmmaker Stace Carter sums up his outdoorsy side in one word: “Meh.” A former Boy Scout, Eagle Scout and decades-long Albemarle resident, Carter says he has “a great appreciation for comfort,” and his interest in this artistic residency comes not with the chance to shoehorn backcountry […]

As an artist working in a drama ministry, playwright Caruso Brown gets to witness the evolution of his work. “It’s a birthing experience. You see your inner soul come alive on stage,” he says. Photo: Eli Williams

Leading man: Caruso Brown takes his drama ministry to the edge

Once upon a time, Charlottesville-based playwright Caruso Brown was a terribly shy, introverted student at Virginia State College (now University). He grew up writing poems. That may have been the end of it, if a drama director at the school hadn’t read one of Brown’s poems and insisted that he perform it during the school’s […]

The Bridge PAI’s executive director Matthew Slaats hangs quilting work created through a unique program at the Beaumont Juvenile Correctional Center. Roy Mitchell’s students have made and given away over 100 quilts to groups in need, including members of the local homeless population, McGuire Veterans Hospital, and Culpeper and Richmond cancer centers. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Sewn together: Quilting fosters growth in the juvenile justice system

The vibrant color hits you first—long swaths of it—before your brain can synthesize the spectrum as quilts, bright fabrics cut and pieced together in geometric patterns and draped against high walls and room dividers. Then you notice the buzz—the palpable warmth of the gallery’s attendees. Three of the exhibited artists, young men in suit jackets […]

Brice Brown (right) designed the modular panels for the collaborative sculpture, “Glass and Bridle, Pomegranate and Pears: On the Viability and Transience of a Free and Perfect Union,” at Adventure Farm. Photo: Martyn Kyle

Hindsight and song: The Commission centerpiece captures a transient moment

On May 9, Brice Brown and Alan Shockley celebrated their 10th anniversary. And theirs was truly a perfect union, if only for one night. Their collaborative work, “Glass and Bridle, Pomegranate and Pears: On the Viability and Transience of a Free and Perfect Union,” unveiled at Adventure Farm on Saturday. The one-night-only exhibition was the centerpiece of The […]

Carolyn Demanelis, Alexandra Deglise-Umble, Maxine Gillespie and Kathleen Welch portray Iraqi and Iraqi-American women who connect through shared experiences in 9 Parts of Desire. Photo: Michael Bailey

Story sharing: UVA Drama’s 9 Parts of Desire breaks barriers

Actor, director and UVA Drama professor Kate Burke is on a mission to change American theater. “I’m very aware of how the American tradition has been influenced by Method acting,” Burke said in a recent interview. “There are some good things about it, but in distorted form it focuses on emotions and neuroses of both […]

“Reinventions,” a collection of Cary Oliva’s photographic work, is on display at Java Java through the month of March. Photo courtesy of the artist

Old is new: Cary Oliva’s unique images sustain a waning format

“I feel like an old soul in general. If I’m shopping, I’d rather buy something old and upcycle it or do something that appreciates the value of what it used to be,” said Charlottesville- based alternative photographer Cary Oliva. “Things were just more beautiful back in the day.” The intrigue of age surfaces in the majority […]