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.

Kirsten Miles of the Tupelo Press Teen Writing Center gives JMU student Mike Dozier a tour of the new collaborative Art On Ivy. Photo: Courtesy of VABC

Movable type: Virginia Arts of the Book Center makes a shift

If you only know one thing about the Virginia Arts of the Book Center, it’s probably that its tagline is “Beneath The Art Box.” This hints at the rich history of underground presses but also provides a literal reminder to help geolocate the community printmaking studio in its off-the-radar location. However, that motto needs an […]

Roanoke band Eternal Summers gets some couch time with “BottleWorks” host Jenn Lockwood (right). The band is featured in the fourth episode of WTJU’s new video series. Photo: Tom Daly

A face for radio: WTJU launches ‘BottleWorks’ video series

Since Nathan Moore joined WTJU 91.1FM as general manager in 2011, the community radio station has embraced change with new energy. His influence led the station to launch WXTJ 100.1FM, featuring solely UVA students as DJs. He was also instrumental in WTJU’s expansion into Richmond as 102.9FM and 1430AM. The most recent change under Nathan’s […]

Mark Tramontin closed the doors at Sneak Reviews (for real this time) in mid-July. A portion of the 45,000 title video collection will go to UVA and other universities. Photo: Christian Hommel

The last VHS tape: A eulogy for the Sneak Reviews experience

“I’m proud of what we’ve done for more than 21 years. It’s the little guys, the small business that really get to make an impact on the community,” says Mark Tramontin, owner of Sneak Reviews. This month, the local video store closes its doors, marking the end of one of Charlottesville’s most beloved experiences. Because […]

Light House Studio Executive Director Deanna Gould leads the filmmaking organization as it prepares to grow into a new home at Vinegar Hill Theatre. Photo: Amy Jackson

Marquee moments: Light House Studio moves in to Vinegar Hill Theatre

The popcorn machine remains silent and the box office window is still tightly closed, but signs of life are returning to Vinegar Hill Theatre this summer. After the arthouse cinema and adjacent restaurant closed in 2013, the building remained vacant for almost two years. In that time, someone stole the chalkboard by the front door; […]

From Monica Haller's Veterans Book Project (pictured) to Zanele Muholi's images of the South African LGBT community, the photographers featured at this year's LOOK3 Festival are turning their lenses into a force for activism. Photo courtesy of LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

Picture this: 2015 LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph

One of the telltale signs of summer in Charlottesville is already visible high above the bricks of the Downtown Mall. Strung between trunks and limbs of the willow oaks, larger-than-life animals and insects gaze down at diners and pedestrians as part of the 2015 LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph. Images like these appear each June, […]

Brendan Wolfe looks into the nuance of historical facts through his work as the managing editor of Encyclopedia Virginia. He will contribute a story about war in Virginia to the June issue of Obscure Histories, a quarterly online magazine. Photo: Martyn Kyle

More than facts: Brendan Wolfe reimagines Virginia history

“The thing about working for the encyclopedia is that you’re just surrounded by stories all the time. I never get tired of all the interesting stuff that you come into contact with.” As the managing editor of Encyclopedia Virginia, it’s no surprise that Brendan Wolfe feels this way. Where many would envision dull days of […]

Local artist Russ Warren’s exhibit at Les Yeux du Monde pays homage to Spanish masters with paintings like “El Perro de la Infanta." Photo: Eric Kelley Photography

Velázquez to Picasso: Russ Warren channels Spain in the Blue Ridge

“The landscape around my Charlottesville home is remarkably like that of Oaxaca, Mexico,” muses Charlottesville-based artist Russ Warren. It has “a spirituality emanating from the atmosphere and the mountainous landscape that seems magical.” To be honest, despite having spent much of my life in the Blue Ridge Mountains, this is not a comparison I’ve heard […]

Since leaving town in the ’70s, Charlottesville native Gram Slaton has fostered a solid track record heading up arts organizations around the country. He returned in January to lead the Piedmont Council for the Arts. Photo: Martin Kyle

Reimagined: PCA finds new direction under Gram Slaton

“I take broken things and fix them,” explained Gram Slaton. This conjures images of fixer-upper houses or rusted-out bikes, but he’s not a repairman in the traditional sense. In fact, one of the main things that Slaton fixes are non-profit organizations. And as the new executive director of Piedmont Council for the Arts (PCA), he is […]

New residents and artists-in-residency, Lowland Hum performs at a record release show on Saturday at The Haven. The performance will also feature an art installation and hand-bound lyric books designed by band member Lauren Goans (right). Publicity photo

New in town: Finding an artistic home through collaboration

The word home means different things to different people: A physical place you share with family and friends. A feeling of love and security. A group of people who share encouragement and acceptance. At different points in life, we all struggle to find home. For touring musicians, this can be an even trickier task. However, […]

John McCutcheon returns to Charlottesville on Saturday for a concert based on the life and work of labor activist Joe Hill. Publicity photo

Roots meets grassroots: John McCutcheon pays tribute to Joe Hill

John McCutcheon is equal parts musician and storyteller, skilled with a variety of instruments but also engaging when telling tales between tunes. He is a Wisconsin native who called Charlottesville home for years before moving to Smoke Rise, Georgia. He is also an avid community organizer and political figure in folk music. Given this multifaceted […]

The Honey Dewdrops return for a special preview of their new album on Friday at the Southern. Publicity photo

Eschew superstition: Local musicians worth a listen on Friday the 13th

For some, this weekend is a chance to get an early start on St. Patrick’s Day festivities, er, drinking. For others, it’s a trauma trigger for paraskevidekatriaphobia–the fear of Friday the 13th. But for those looking to eschew shamrocks and other nightmares, there’s a different option. On Friday, March 13, local musicians take the stage […]

Yeni Mao’s letterpress graphic “Genghis Khan 1965” is part of Second Street Gallery’s “The Conqueror” exhibition and serves as inspiration for Second Saturday Yoga Art Grooves. Photo courtesy of the artist.

Warrior pose: Genghis Khan and inner peace at Second Street Gallery

Aspiring yogis and curious connoisseurs of contemporary art, unite! Second Street Gallery is hosting another installment of the monthly Second Saturday Yoga Art Grooves series that launched in the fall of 2014. A collaboration between Opal Yoga and Second Street Gallery, each event in the series is “its own unique happening, a collusion of artist, […]

“Vines (A Collaboration)” by Pamela Pecchio is one of the prints included in the New City Artist Exchange, where artists shared work and inspiration with each other. Image courtesy of New City Arts.

Art handlers: How the New City Artist Exchange is connecting local artists

Paul Handler is difficult to shoehorn. Despite possessing uncommon creativity, he subscribes to no single genre in his pursuits. It is rare, if not impossible, to find work that is attributed solely to his particular genius. Rather, Handler’s name has been made through his behind-the-scenes work in support of artistic co-conspirator Mara Sprafkin—until recently. In […]

The Crescent Halls quilting group has been meeting weekly for more than 10 years. Francine Payne and company will have quilts on display at CitySpace beginning on Friday. Staff photo.

Stitchin’ time: New quilt exhibit at CitySpace

Entering the room, two sounds compete for your attention: the steady hum of sewing machines and a Destiny’s Child song amplified by unseen speakers. It’s Friday at Crescent Halls, a housing facility operated by the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and that means that a group of local quilters is hard at work in the […]

New Boss stacks up as a local supergroup with (L to R from top) Parker Smith, Chelsea Blakely, Scott Ritchie, Nick Rubin, Jordan Perry and Thomas Dean. Publicity photo.

Musical heirs: New Boss is reborn through old connections

More than once, my father has mentioned a desire to trace our family tree. I only understand this practice in abstract terms though. The closest concrete example I know of such a family tree comes not from any genetic kinship but rather attempts by friends to detail the shared ancestry of musicians in local bands. […]