Erin O'Hare



Sigrid Eilertson’s “Star Creatures: An Exploration of Astrological Signs in Mixed Media Collages” is at Studio IX this month. Photo by Martyn Kyle

First Fridays: February 2

Sigrid Eilertson likes to paint surrealistic images of creatures that straddle the line between the realistic and the fantastic, like larger-than-life goddesses and wild animals. She always works in a series, and she tends to work large—many of her paintings are 6 feet or taller. But for her most recent series, “Star Creatures: An Exploration […]

Waasi performs at New Year New Vibes Hip-hop Showcase Part 2: Grind Harder at the Ante Room on Thursday. Photo by Amy Jackson

Rapper Waasi breaks out with Betterdaze

Sitting in the living room of his mom’s house, Malcolm “Waasi” Wills, wearing a retro Looney Tunes T-shirt under a letterman sweater, leans over and lights a stick of incense. As a wisp of smoke curls into the air, Waasi waves it around, blending it into the afternoon light. “I almost cried when I got […]

The Kudzu Project has draped knitted vines over four local Confederate monuments including the Robert E. Lee High School sign in Staunton. Courtesy photo

Locals craft their own brand of activism

Editor’s note: The participants in the Kudzu Project act anonymously, and to protect their identities we refer to them by last names only throughout the article. Seven hours and 10 minutes into the new year, a Subaru station wagon pulls out of a Charlottesville driveway and sets out for Lovingston, exhaust billowing from the muffler […]

Want to write your own Solidarity Card? Destinee Wright’s next card-collecting event will be at Healing Through Art & Community with Candy Chang at The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on January 19. Photo by Eze Amos

Solidarity Cards Project promotes the power of sharing

On November 11 of last year, equipped with a small clipboard, some index cards and a handful of pens, Destinee Wright waited outside the Paramount Theater after a discussion with Spike Lee about race and racial injustice in America, followed by a screening of two Lee documentary films, I Can’t Breathe and 4 Little Girls. […]

Hassan Kaisoum has often thought about the space where Aromas Café first opened 20 years ago. This week, his restaurant returns to its roots, and reopens in the Virginia Department of Forestry Building at the Fontaine Research Park. Photo by Eze Amos

Aromas Café returns to its beginnings

When Hassan Kaisoum moved Aromas Café from its original location in the Virginia Department of Forestry building to Barracks Road Shopping Center in 2007, he returned often to Fontaine Research Park to walk the nature trails he’d come to know well since first opening the restaurant in 1998. On those walks, he thought about the […]

A new creative process brought Rita Dove, Matthew Burtner and the EcoSono Ensemble together to make The Ceiling Floats Away. Courtesy subjects

Matthew Burtner-Rita Dove collaboration takes flight

What was the last thing you made? Be honest with yourself. Perhaps you made dinner last night, but think hard about the last time you spent an afternoon knitting, strumming a guitar or doodling in a sketchbook. Maybe instead you’ve been reading, listening to albums, looking at paintings or watching “Stranger Things” on Netflix? Are […]

Martha Saunders at Chroma Projects Gallery. Photo by Eze Amos

First Fridays: January 5

As a painter, I’m always looking for the state of surprise and enchantment,” says Martha Saunders, whose “Transmutations” show is on view at Chroma Projects Gallery this month. Most of the paintings in the show will come from Saunders’ decade-long project Reading Series, a rumination on how the human system digests information. The series “started […]

Ryan Marley Grant, Sebastian Green and Will Ashby (aka Fanciful Animals) crank out their own form of musical brain candy at Magnolia House on Wednesday. Photo by Eze Amos

Clocking in with math rockers Fanciful Animals

Fanciful Animals songs often begin the same way most rock songs do: with a riff. While jamming during band practice a while back, Will Ashby picked out a riff on his guitar and it sounded unusually cool. “Play that again,” said bassist Ryan Marley Grant, and so Ashby did, over and over and over again, […]

A slow tumble down the local music rabbit hole

A slow tumble down the local music rabbit hole

Unranked and surely incomplete, here’s an alphabetical list of what Charlottesville-area artists released this year. It’s longer than last year’s, and based on interviews and conversations with many of these artists, I suspect it’s because the past year hangs heavy in our hearts. And so, we have music to sustain us, whether we make it […]

Pearl Island Catering (owner Javier Figueroa-Ray, above) teamed up with Vu Noodles to serve lunch at the Jefferson School City Center Café. Photo by Amy Jackson

Local restaurants were on the rise in 2017

We’ll admit it: Last year’s end-of-year restaurant wrap-up was tough to write as we bid farewell to our beloved Spudnuts and to Brookville’s baked egg breakfasts. Little did we know that 2017 would be a boon for eatery openings. This might finally have been the year that convinced us that our eyes are, in fact, […]

Cherry Avenue Diner, run by Gordon Faulknier and his sons, Andrew and George, serves breakfast all day at affordable prices, as well as lunch and dinner offerings. Photo by John Robinson

Family ties: Fifeville diner feels like home

On a recent Tuesday morning, a frigid wind whipped through Charlottesville, but all was warm and cozy inside the Cherry Avenue Diner at 820 Cherry Ave. in Fifeville. Sparkly snowman decorations hung from the wall sconces lighting each wooden booth, and two waitresses bustled about behind the counter, one wearing a green elf apron and […]

Coffee expert Sara Goldsmith will serve coffee, mulled apple cider and other hot drinks from this converted van parked across from Feast! inside Main Street Market. Photo by Paul Whicheloe

Converted van is city’s newest coffee spot

Strung with holiday lights and equipped with an espresso machine and other warm drink-making accoutrements, a 1974 cherry red Citroën H Van parked inside Main Street Market will start serving early-morning beverages and snacks this week. Coffee expert and Feast! employee Sara Goldsmith will be running the show, selling locally roasted coffees and coffee drinks, […]

Phil “dogfuck” Green believes that music can start revolutions just as easily as it can lull a baby to sleep. Green incorporates as much socially conscious material into music as possible, in part because it’s what Green thinks about often, and in part because “as a white person in hip-hop, I have to pay rent on my space,” says Green. Courtesy subject

Right angle: dogfuck shapes music around realism

Sitting on a cushioned bench in the back room of the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar, Phil Green takes a drag from a hookah hose and exhales a stream of hazy smoke that hangs in the fading afternoon sunlight before recalling an early memory. In that memory, Green’s about 6 years old, riding around in their […]

Ivy Naté’s large installation of stuffed animals of various shapes and sizes is featured in “Drawn to Charlottesville,” a show on view this month at Second Street Gallery. Courtesy of the artist

First Fridays: December 1

First Fridays: December 1 “Every artist starts with something inside themselves that feels true to them,” says sculptor and installation artist Ivy Naté. “I’m not sure what came first for me…balancing chaos and order, or reinventing the obvious.” “I feel lucky that at times I am able to take some abstract shit in my head, interpret […]

Ned Oldham (above) and Jordan Perry perform songs from Oldham’s new EP, Dark Mountain, in the opening set for the Angel Olsen show at the Jefferson on November 28. Oldham also plays Sarah White’s Country Christmas show at The Southern on December 21. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Ned Oldham’s lyrics illuminate Dark Mountain

In the 20-odd years of Ned Oldham’s musical life, he’s been a pendulum, swinging back and forth between writing his own words and using those of others. “I get tired of the sound of my own lyrical voice,” says Oldham. And so since releasing the 7-inch record Hello My/The Free Web with The Anomoanon in […]

You can find Earl Vallery’s Bowerbird Bakeshop’s creations, including matcha mint chocolate chip cookies and macarons in interesting flavors like Thai coffee, at the City Market holiday market. Photos by Paul Whicheloe

Big mac attack: Pastry chef brings the baked goods

Pastry chef Earl Vallery is new to Charlottesville, and there are a few things you should know about him. 1) He loves bread. “I think it’s the most amazing food. I could eat it every day of my life,” says Vallery, who went to culinary school for bread-baking before turning to pastry (he helped launch […]

Courtenay Tyler and Derek Mansfield recently opened Tilman’s, a Downtown Mall cheese, wine and charcuterie-focused shop, which also offers sandwiches, salads and desserts. Photo by Amy Jackson

Say cheese: Tilman’s helps you make the right choices

Derek Mansfield and Courtenay Tyler know that shopping for the perfect wine and cheese can be tough. They’re hoping to take the intimidation factor down a few notches, though, with Tilman’s, their cheese shop and wine bar that opened last week on the Downtown Mall. Mansfield and Tyler met while working at Relay Foods, and […]

Susan Munson has been playing music in central Virginia for more than 20 years. She celebrates her latest release, Halfway to Anywhere, on Friday. Publicity photos

Susan Munson is one of the area’s most prolific musicians

When Susan Munson was a kid growing up in Charlottesville, any time she had something to tell somebody, she’d write them a poem. She’d give it to them too, either hand-delivering the written verse or reading it to them herself. It was the earliest manifestation of Munson’s songwriting impulse, which has her writing more songs […]

“Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966,” is on view at The Fralin Museum through December 17. Courtesy of The Fralin Museum at UVA

The Fralin recollects the influence of Samuel Kootz

It’s a bit chilly in the air-conditioned exhibition room at The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA, but the temperature isn’t what’s giving Rebecca Schoenthal goosebumps. It’s the art. Specifically, it’s William Baziotes’ cool-toned, blue-hued “Night Form” and Adolph Gottlieb’s earth-toned pictograph, “The Sorceress,” hanging on a Fralin gallery wall, together for the first time […]

The members of Little Graves, Luis Solar, Geoff Otis and Les Whittaker, take listeners on an emotional journey through noise-punk instrumentals strewn with samples of field recordings. Little Graves plays Magnolia House on Saturday at 7pm. Photo by Tristan Williams

Punk rock just comes natural to Little Graves

Luis Soler bought his first guitar for $30. It was a pawn shop find, “the worst possible guitar,” he says while nursing a pint of beer at Champion Brewing Company on Halloween eve. “Metallica,” “Slayer” and other metal band names were scratched into the guitar’s paint, says Soler, prompting throaty laughter from his Little Graves […]

Although Janet Dob and Cynthia Viejo are expanding their wholesale Bake’mmm bagel business to more than 400 Kroger and Earth Fare stores, you’ll still be able to satisfy your bagelini cravings at the City Market. Staff photo

The Bageladies zero in on expanded market

Not long after Janet Dob moved from Colorado to Free Union, Virginia, she received an unexpected email: “Are you the woman who made the bagels that my mom fed me every day before school?” it read. Email was still a relatively novel thing in the late 1990s, and Dob was touched that this college student […]

Ann Robertson is one of the artists whose work is featured in the Fiber and Stitch Art Collective show on view this month in the Create Gallery at Indoor Biotechnologies. Photo by Eze Amos

First Fridays: November 3

First Fridays: November 3 Ann Robertson made her first art quilt more than 20 years ago, as a way of working through her experience in the Great Hanshin earthquake that hit Kobe, Japan, in the wee hours of January 17, 1995. With no prior quilting experience and only one American quilting book and some Japanese quilting […]

Buckets of fake blood and no CGI give the locally produced Curse of the Slasher Nurse a classic vibe. By Dave Kerr

Group of friends brings on Curse of the Slasher Nurse

A group of friends goes out to a secluded cabin in the woods—no other cabins within screaming distance, one of the friends claims—for a weekend of laid-back partying. As night falls and the group gets to some slightly drunken, scary storytelling, a tale about a woman who’s broken out of a psychiatric hospital becomes a […]