Sarah Lawson

Sarah has lived in Charlottesville since 2002 - long enough to consider herself a local. In addition to graduating from UVa and co-founding The Bridge Film Series, she has worn a variety of hats including book designer, documentary film curator, animal caretaker, and popcorn maker. The opinions here are completely her own and unassociated with her work at Piedmont Council for the Arts (PCA). Sarah's interests include public art, experimental films, travel, and design.

Brice Morrison launched UVA’s Student Game Developers club before graduating and going on to form Bromoco Games. The company released an interactive choose-your-own adventure app, Buried, in January. Photo: Courtesy Bromoco

From UVA grad to Silicon Valley game developer

For some of the graduating UVA students who will walk the Lawn this weekend, it might be difficult to see any direct connections between a major and a future career. Many will receive a degree that provides an obvious path; others have chosen English or other courses of study that are, let’s say, a bit […]

The Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase features traditional crafts, music, Brunswick stew and more on Sunday at James Monroe’s Highland (formerly Ash Lawn-Highland). Photo: Courtesy of VFH

Traditions continue at Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase

“I see apprenticeships as a crucial part of keeping folk traditions alive,” says Jack Dunlap, a mandolin player who is part of the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase. In the program’s most recent class, Dunlap worked with master musician Danny Knicely. Together, they composed and recorded a bluegrass album titled Chop Shred and Split: A Mandolin Player’s […]

After a three-year creative stint in Portland, Greg Kelly returns to direct the Charlottesville Mural Project. Photo: Ézé Amos

A new boost for the Charlottesville Mural Project

If you walk or drive past the Corner in the next few weeks, you may be surprised to see people suspended from the top floor of the Graduate hotel. These aren’t aerialists or stunt doubles for a local action movie; they’re muralists painting the latest installation of the Charlottesville Mural Project. Using a swing stage, […]

The Firefly Charlottesville Pinball League’s first match of the season takes place on April 14. All skill levels are welcome. Photo: Martyn Kyle

Pinball league ramps up for second season

When Dan Purdy walks into his bank, the tellers know to pull out a couple stacks of rolled quarters. No nickels needed, and there’s certainly no cause for pennies. Purdy can tell the good rolls (government issued) from the bad (locally rolled, riddled with other coins), but he’ll make use of a change machine if […]

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph gears up for a full schedule in 2016, led by new executive director Mary Virginia Swanson (right). Photo: Riley Blanks

A closer LOOK3: New director brings new approach to photo fest

This year marks the 10th year of LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph but promises to bring a new approach to the popular programming, taking place June 13-19. The festival has continued to evolve throughout its decade of public programs to meet the interests of the field’s amateurs and professionals alike. While doing so, it has […]

Angela Flournoy’s critically acclaimed novel, The Turner House, is JMRL’s February Books on Tap selection. It will also be featured when Flournoy comes to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book in March. Photo: LaToya T. Duncan

Drink to that: Books meet beer in new series from JMRL

By boasting a statistically impossible number of local bookstores and authors, it’s clear that Charlottesville is a town with an ardent love for all things literary. It’s also a beer town, supporting more than a few local breweries and countless other watering holes that serve up brews from nearby ZIP codes. Inspired by these two […]

The first Throwdown to benefit the International Rescue Center took place at City Clay January 6. Members of City Clay and guest artists were invited to the studio to create handmade dishes for IRC refugees. Photo: Amanda Maglione

Thrown together: City Clay potters team up to help IRC refugees

“Creativity can make a positive and welcoming impact on families right here in Charlottesville,” says Katie Bercegeay, volunteer coordinator for Charlottesville’s International Rescue Committee. Though this applies to us all, she’s specifically referring to the refugees who are welcomed in Charlottesville through the ongoing efforts of IRC staff and volunteers. Since it was established in […]

Service Dogs of Virginia sells its dogs’ unique artwork to raise funds for the canines’ training to assist people with special needs. Photo: Courtesy service dogs of virginia

Give back, give art: Make it a philanthropic holiday with local nonprofits

“We know people are looking for creative ways to give. What we hear repeatedly is, ‘I don’t need anything, I don’t want anything,’” says Sally Day. As director of development for Service Dogs of Virginia, Day knows plenty about the importance of end-of-year philanthropy for local nonprofits. In response to this, the organization’s founder and […]

Jason Robinson saw beauty in the breakdown for his video Wastewater, inspired by a visit to Moore’s Creek Wastewater Treament Facility. The work is included along with lenticular prints in Second Street Gallery’s “Sustainablity” exhibition. Photo: Mina Pirasteh

Art on demand: Rally ’round at Second Street Gallery

“It’s a fascinating place. It’s in my neighborhood, within walking distance from my house, but I had no idea it was there,” says filmmaker Jason Robinson, describing Moore’s Creek Wastewater Treatment plant. This type of facility probably doesn’t top most people’s list of neighborhood places to explore, but the allure was quick to present itself […]

Grand Banks duo Davis Salisbury and Tyler Magill have been partners in drone music since 2001. Their first label release, QB4: 1877-1896, is due on cassette from Oxtail Recordings on December 5. Photo: Publicity photo

Inside the sound: Duo Grand Banks takes its improv to the masses

You can’t cover a Grand Banks song. Don’t even think about it. It’s not a question of chops or instrumental know-how. It’s about the unique relationship between the two musicians in the band, the growth of their friendship over the years and their approach to making sound together. “If somebody asks me what Grand Banks […]

Local musician Katie Wood launched the booking company Valence Shows to take on the duty of filling the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar’s live music calendar. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Tune up: A new generation of concert bookers finds its niche

“A valence bond is when atoms are held together by the electrons they share. It seemed really fitting for how music events can bring community members together through the things they share,” says Katie Wood, describing her new endeavor, Valence Shows. Under this moniker, Wood is one of the newest live music bookers in town. Wood’s […]

Piedmont Council of the Arts announced Gram Slaton's departure earlier this week.  He joined the organization in January 2015.  Image: Martyn Kyle

PCA executive director exits after less than a year

On Tuesday, November 10, Piedmont Council for the Arts announced that executive director Gram Slaton will leave his current position effective November 15. The PCA Board of Directors hired Slaton in January. In May, Slaton was quoted in C-VILLE Weekly, saying that he hoped to avoid “constantly losing all institutional knowledge” through staff turnover at PCA. He also proposed a […]

Second Street Gallery partners with the Afrikana Independent Film Festival for a series of screenings that begins with the documentary BaddDDD Sonia Sanchez (pictured) on October 30. Photo: Attie & Goldwater Productions

Screen scene: Afrikana Independent Film Festival comes to town

There’s a film festival coming to town, but it’s not the one you’re thinking of. Beginning on October 30, the Richmond- based Afrikana Independent Film Festival will launch a series of screenings at Second Street Gallery. “Afrikana started with the mission of showcasing cinematic works of art from people of color from around the world, […]

Composer and shakuhachi player Kojiro Umezaki is one of the guest artists who will collaborate at TechnoSonics XVI, a weeklong festival of sound at UVA. Photo: David O’Connor

All-nighter: UVA’s TechnoSonics festival returns for 16th year

“The connection between music and many people’s sense of their spiritual nature is one of the essential engines driving our mad (yet perfectly reasonable) devotion to music,” says Ted Coffey, associate professor in composition and computer technologies at UVA’s McIntire Department of Music. Each year, CCT faculty members lead the process of selecting a theme […]

The classes offered at City Clay run the gamut, from basic hand-building for beginners to intermediate wheel or workshops in glazing techniques. Photo: Courtesy City Clay

Fired up: New studios and upcoming exhibition at City Clay

When City Clay owner and artist Randy Bill started her business in 2011, she knew that her rented space on West Main Street wasn’t long for this world. Though the specter of the new Marriott loomed large, Bill refused to be daunted by it. “I knew it was the best location possible for visibility and […]

The McGuffey Art Center membership has grown to more than 170 members since its inception 40 years ago. The center kicks off a month of celebration events on Friday. Photo: Bill Moretz

On (not over) the hill: The McGuffey Art Center looks back at 40

With its stalwart presence atop the hill at the northwest end of downtown, there’s no doubt that the McGuffey Art Center is a defining part of the local arts community. Its sturdy brick exterior commands respect while its large sash windows hint at the building’s original use as a school. Built in 1916, McGuffey was […]