Raennah Lorne

Raennah Lorne

Devon Sproule performs at The Front Porch on May 20 for the release of The Gold String. Photo courtesy of subject

Devon Sproule shares her songwriting process

While singer-songwriter Devon Sproule’s sound has evolved over time, she continues to write thoughtful and compelling lyrics. This month her eighth album, The Gold String, will be released. The record is themed on the idea of an invisible string connecting all things, and the possibility of finding “spiritual togetherness in everyday life,” Sproule says. For […]

Brendan Wolfe is the managing editor for the Encyclopedia Virginia. His first book, Finding Bix: The Life and Afterlife of a Jazz Legend, hits stores on May 15. Courtesy of the subject

Brendan Wolfe delves into the world of a jazz legend

If you have never heard of Bix Beiderbecke, the unlikely jazz legend from a Midwestern, German-American family, listen to his tunes on YouTube or Spotify and you’ll want to know more. Dig deeper and you’ll learn that cornet soloist and pianist Leon Bismark “Bix” Beiderbecke was born in Davenport, Iowa, in 1903 and died in […]

During the Tom Tom Founders Festival, Roye Okupe is a panelist at the Founders Summit Luncheon on April 14 and talks at Telegraph Art & Comics on April 15. Courtesy of the artist

Graphic novelist Roye Okupe taps into his superpower

Every superhero has an origin story that explains how he or she obtained superpowers, and sometimes these powers lie dormant until a challenge arises. Tom Tom Founders Festival writer-in-residence Roye Okupe didn’t know he had the power to write until he had no choice but to try. With a background in animation and an important […]

Carmel Clavin curates the Shenandoah Fringe Festival at various locations in downtown Staunton April 9-10. A venue map is available at shenfringe.com. Photo: Pat Jarrett

Shenandoah Fringe Festival celebrates the wild, wondrous and weird

The second annual Shenandoah Fringe Festival—“a culmination of the wild, wondrous and weird of our region,” according to creative producer Carmel Clavin—is upon us. In a way, the festival, set in downtown Staunton, functions as the Island of Misfit Toys for the arts, by providing a platform for disparate artists not affiliated with a formal […]

Sharon Shapiro’s painting “Above Ground” serves as the title of her show opening on Friday at the Welcome Gallery. Shapiro will give a talk at the opening and on April 17. Courtesy the artist

Sharon Shapiro disrupts nostalgia in Welcome Gallery exhibition

Artist Sharon Shapiro has a unique history with the Welcome Gallery, where her exhibition “Above Ground” opens this week. Now operated by New City Arts Initiative, the space served as her art studio from 1996—when she first moved to Charlottesville from Atlanta—until 2001. Fittingly, her exhibition is themed on nostalgia—or the disruption of it—in an […]

Catch these highlights at the Virginia Festival of the Book

Catch these highlights at the Virginia Festival of the Book

The programming of the annual Virginia Festival of the Book—now in its 23rd year—always seems to strike a beautiful balance of gravity and levity, tragedy and comedy, difficult reality and the dream of a better future. The organizers draw from a vast array of writers with different lived experiences and this year is no exception. […]

Lorenzo Dickerson’s photo of Will Taylor is included in the exhibition #BlackOwnedCville and ties in with the NEA Big Read by focusing on African-American entrepreneurship. Courtesy of artist

#BlackOwnedCville and NEA Big Read connect the threads

Throughout this month, an exhibition titled #BlackOwnedCville by local photographer and filmmaker Lorenzo Dickerson is on display on the third floor of the Central Library. Dickerson says he was moved to pursue the project because, “I was curious myself about African-American businesses here locally. Growing up here I knew of some. Like Mel’s Café on […]

“Empowering Women of Color” runs through February 24 at the Bridge, with a music and performance event to benefit SARA on February 16. Photo by Emmanuel Ndenguebi

Multimedia show at the Bridge provides voice and vision

Using photography, film, oil, acrylics and embroidery, “Empowering Women of Color” showcases women both as creators of, and prominent subjects in, art. “It came together in a natural, organic way,” says artist and organizer Emma Brodeur who graduated from UVA in 2015. Six months ago she was embroidering a portrait on a friend’s jacket and […]

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Junot Díaz will make local appearances through February 11 as part of a UVA residency. Publicity photo

Junot Díaz visits Charlottesville as Kapnick Writer-in-Residence

At a reading on January 25, author Junot Díaz encouraged an open dialogue with the audience of mostly UVA faculty and students through two generous question-and-answer sessions. He advised students to read to become better writers, because “reading becomes your frame of reference that informs your own work.” Díaz, who won the Pulitzer Prize in […]

Diver and poet Greg Wrenn joins Matt MacFarland and Erica Cavanagh at The Bridge PAI on January 27 for the Charlottesville Reading Series. Publicity photo

Empathy, the environment and culture converge at reading series

Entering its fourth year, the Charlottesville Reading Series brings together three regional writers from disparate backgrounds to share poetry and memoir extracts: Matt MacFarland, Greg Wrenn and Erica Cavanagh. Like most writers, they all have an eye for detail, one that implores us to pay attention to our surroundings, whether to empathize with those unlike […]

A round-up of 2016’s C’ville scribes

A round-up of 2016’s C’ville scribes

There’s something about Charlottesville. Recently included in “The Ultimate 50-State Road Trip for Book Lovers,” this small city’s appeal to writers and bibliophiles can be attributed to the annual Festival of the Book, Edgar Allan Poe’s enshrined West Range room at UVA, Thomas Jefferson’s library at Monticello, the Rare Book School, the Virginia Art of […]

Photographer Matt Eich’s “Duct Tape” is an example of how he approaches his work, offering lessons in empathy and our responsibility to each other. Courtesy the artist

The power of photography in Matt Eich’s Carry Me Ohio

Ten years before they were blamed and credited with helping to elect Donald Trump the 45th president of the United States, the white working class in post-industrial southeastern Ohio was documented by Matt Eich. A 19-year-old student of photojournalism at Ohio University at the time, Eich, now a Charlottesville resident, had grown tired of what […]

John Borden Evans’ “Dead Oak at Night” is part of Les Yeux du Monde’s holiday offerings. Courtesy of the artist

Where to buy local gifts for art-lovers

Because of its resonance, giving the gift of art may be one of the most personal gestures you can make. Perhaps a painting or photograph reminds you of someone, aligning with their style, spirit or personality. Or perhaps it is a functional piece of ceramic that they can use in their daily life. We scoped […]

The “Manger Scene” exhibition at Chroma Projects offers a comforting art break through December 24. Courtesy the artist

Artists gather their animals for Chroma exhibition

There is something about the scene of animals gathered in a manger to greet a newborn that offers a bit of relief to the anxieties of our human world. “Animals are so pure of heart,” says Chroma Projects director Deborah McLeod. “They have no political agenda. And in the manger scenes, the clusters of animals […]

The Women’s Initiative provides opportunities for underserved women to write about their experiences. Entries are being accepted through December 15. Courtesy The Women’s Initiative

Challenge Into Change writing contest allows for healing

Just two weeks after the most divisive presidential election in American history, many people are concerned that their interests and welfare will be ignored, or worse, targeted, by the incoming administration. The Women’s Initiative, which has provided mental health services to underserved populations for almost 10 years, wants people to know that they are here […]

Big Blue Door’s shy guy Joel Jones hosts improv at McGuffey Art Center on November 4 and 5. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Big Blue Door’s Joel Jones is making it up as he goes

  Less than two weeks before their final showcase, members of Joel Jones’ Improv III class warms up by standing in a circle, eyes closed, counting to 20 as a group. Only one voice can speak at a time and if someone interrupts another, they have to start again. It’s a practice in awareness, a […]

The Bridge exhibition “Looking Forward While Looking Back” will run until October 29. Photo by Martyn Kyle

The Bridge PAI celebrates 10 years with a retrospective show

In the beginning there were two artists, Zack Worrell and Greg Antrim Kelly. They were moved by street art, graffiti, hip-hop, punk, philanthropy and community organizing as art. Then Worrell bought a building. “It was pretty raw,” Kelly says, remembering those first days in the space now known as The Bridge. It had unpainted concrete […]

In her own home, Fralin Museum of Art curator Rebecca Schoenthal hangs a collection of works from well-known, unknown and local artists alike. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Art at home: The Fralin’s Rebecca Schoenthal on acquisition and display

As the curator for the Fralin Museum of Art, Rebecca Schoenthal is responsible for creating exhibitions for the approximately 10,000-square-foot space. Sometimes she turns to the permanent collection—more than 14,000 objects—in order to expand upon an idea. Other times, the catalyst for an exhibit might be an object within the collection, around which she then […]

Joan Z. Rough will read from her memoir, Scattering Ashes, at New Dominion Bookshop on Friday. Publicity photo

Joan Z. Rough pens emotional memoir about elder care

In the epilogue of her book, Scattering Ashes: A Memoir of Letting Go, Charlottesville-based author Joan Z. Rough describes the process of writing about her aging alcoholic and emotionally abusive mother as “the day-by-day knitting together of a broken bone.” In this way, she says, “The writing of the book was probably the most healing […]

Hannah Pittard will read from her latest book, Listen to Me, at New Dominion Bookshop on Thursday. Publicity photo

Hannah Pittard’s third novel ratchets up marital tension

Even under ordinary conditions, a road trip can be the ultimate test of a relationship. But when torrential rain and tornado warnings cross the path of an already tense couple, it creates the perfect storm. Hannah Pittard’s third novel, Listen to Me, explores the interior of a marriage that has been shaken by recent trauma. […]

Recovered and reconstructed Virginia slave dwellings are featured on the Downtown Mall as part of an installation by Encyclopedia Virginia.

Human/Ties exhibit: ‘Landscapes of Slavery and Segregation’

Throughout the month of September, an audio-visual exhibition called “Landscapes of Slavery and Segregation” provides historical context to Charlottesville in three different locations: the Downtown Mall, the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and UVA Grounds. Curated by Encyclopedia Virginia, a branch of The Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, each site is paired with multimedia components of […]

Alice Waters will participate in a Farming the Earth, Cultivating Humanity panel discussion on Friday. Photo by Amanda Marsalis

Human/Ties celebration brings renowned speakers to Charlottesville

This week Sir Salman Rushdie, Junot Díaz and Alice Waters are among the impressive group of literary figures, activists and scholars assembling in Charlottesville for Human/Ties, a free, four-day celebration of the 50th anniversary of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Rushdie, the author and free speech advocate perhaps best known for his novel The […]

Fenella Belle and Stacey Evans’ “Allee of Dreams” is part of the “Yard Dreams” art installation displayed in the front yards of Belmont Avenue homes on Saturday and Sunday. Courtesy of the artist

PVCC’s ‘Yard Dreams’ installations take over Belmont Avenue

During the second weekend in September, members of the community will have the opportunity to view and contemplate art while enjoying the outdoors and mingling with neighbors in what local artist James Yates calls an “out of gallery” experience. “Yard Dreams” is a collective of installations in the front yards of select homes along Belmont […]