Artist Caroline Nilsson says she is “fascinated by the idea of Eden as a place that is happening now, instead of this locked-away place that we may never be able to access.” Perhaps the only barrier between ourselves and paradise is how we perceive things, she says.
In “Tides,” a series of semi-abstract paintings currently on view at VMDO Architects, Nilsson offers up what she says are “echoes of the American wild,” a representation of her own memories and dreams of some of the country’s protected landscapes.
One of the pieces, “Painting #3,” “is a memory of the way a canyon in northern Arizona felt in the early-morning sunrise fog light, catching triangles of color as it filtered through rocks and boroughs,” Nilsson says. Meandering lines of metallic mineral ink form soft geometric shapes over the acrylic paint, echoing the patterns that her eyes traced as she tried to memorize the landscape.
Nilsson hopes that viewers “find themselves surrounded by an atmosphere where awareness is amplified, both the small feelings and the immense. I hope they are drawn to explore more, open their eyes wider, step outside, go for a walk and realize that Eden is happening now.”
FF Chroma Projects Gallery 201 E. Main St. “Green Mind,” a collective show featuring Sharon Fishel, Sonja Weber Gilkey, Lotta Helleberg, Alan Box Levine, Beverly Ryan, Linda Wachtmeister and James Yates. 5-7pm.
Crozet Artisan Depot 5791 Three Notch’d Rd. New artists featured in January include Alex Pettigrew (wood accessories), Barbara Shenefield (graphic artist), Bill Mauzy (photography), Jane Freeman (journals), Leah Olivier (ceramics) and Oana Moore (photography). Reception from 3-5pm on January 14.
FF C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery 118 E. Main St. Mixed media and etching artist Marsha Heatwole’s travels to Africa form a whimsical representation of her gratitude for animals. 6-8pm.
The Fralin Museum at UVA 155 Rugby Rd. “The Gift of Knowing: The Art of Dorothea Rockburne”; “Ann Gale: Portraits”; “The Great War: Printmakers of World War I”; “New Acquisitions: Photography,” featuring work from Danny Lyon, Shirin Neshat and Eadweard Muybridge; and “Oriforme” by Jean Arp.
Kluge-Ruhe Collection 400 Worrell Dr. “Art and Country” is a diverse selection of works on canvas, paper and eucalyptus bark drawn from the Kluge-Ruhe permanent collection.
FF McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. “Emerge” featuring Ninni Baeckstrom, Carol Grant and Scott Smith. Three artists grapple with the notion of emergence. 5:30-7:30pm.
Mudhouse 213 W. Main St. Ten original works under the title of “Fractal” by Monty Montgomery. 6-8pm.
FF Second Street Gallery 115 Second St. SE. “Fly Away,” featuring works on paper by Rashaun Rucker; and “contested bodies,” a collaborative installation by Nikolai M. Noel and Matthew P. Shelton. 5:30-7:30pm.
Shenandoah Valley Art Center 26 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro. A juried exhibit of work from regional printmakers. Through January 28.
FF VMDO Architects 200 E. Market St. “Tides” features semi-abstract landscape paintings by Caroline Nilsson. 5:30-8pm.
First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many downtown art galleries and additional exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions.