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.

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 […]

Mi Ossa studio sources its craft materials from Haiti, El Salvador, Ethiopia and other countries, to create unique, fashionable jewelry and accessories in a thoughtful way. Photo: Mi Ossa Studio

Connecting the pieces: Haitian handicrafts meet high fashion at Mi Ossa

“There’s plenty of artisanal food in Charlottesville, so we were just trying to find out what was missing,” jokes Shannon Worrell. Together with Nora Brookfield, Worrell is co-founder of Mi Ossa, a design lab and fashion line that’s located in Charlottesville’s Tenth Street Warehouse. Their business model focuses on fair trade and environmentally friendly ways […]

McGuffey artists upcycle outdated books from UVA’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library in a collaborative show titled “Discarded." Photo: Courtesy the artist

A new leaf: UVA law library takes a bookish approach to art

As the school year gets underway, a group of artists from the McGuffey Art Center is hitting the books. Or rather, they’re cutting, sewing, painting and otherwise transforming books as part of a new exhibition at UVA’s Arthur J. Morris Law Library. Titled “Discarded,” the show draws its name quite literally from a common medium: […]

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 […]