About a decade ago, Rich Tarbell sold a guitar to pay for his first camera.
Frustrated with his own music, Tarbell decided instead to document local music on film. And while live concert photography is fun, it all starts to look the same after a while, says Tarbell, who likes the behind-the-scenes stuff that most of us don’t get to see.
Last fall, in the middle of a creative slump, Tarbell decided to work on a project that would celebrate the local music scene in a new way. Instead of choosing his own subjects, Tarbell asked the musicians themselves who he should photograph. He started with Terri Allard and Jamie Dyer (the matriarch and patriarch of local music, according to Tarbell) as well as Sally Rose Monnes and Koda Kerl, asking each of them to pick two artists he should shoot next.
He photographed the musicians in their creative spaces—for many, it was a studio, a bedroom or basement practice room. For others, it was the steps outside the old Prism Coffeehouse, a rock near the river, or, in one case, wearing a chicken costume and standing at a desk in the river.
Tarbell soon realized that the photo shoots led to valuable discussions of Charlottesville music past and present, so he started recording the conversations. Together, the photographs of more than 100 local musicians, plus the oral histories, make up re: Charlottesville Music, Tarbell’s printed-and-bound ode to the local music scene, to be released later this year.
Until then, about 20 of the book’s photographs will be on display at Studio IX in July. “It’s worth documenting,” Tarbell says of the stories contained in the book, “to celebrate what we have, and have had, here.”—Erin O’Hare
First Fridays: July 6
Annie Gould Gallery 121B S. Main St., Gordonsville. An exhibition of industrial and marine wooden sculpture by Alex Gould; and a show of work from more than 25 artists, including Donna Ernest and Barbara Venerus.
Art on the Trax 5784 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. “SUMMER018,” collage by William H. Atwood. Opens July 14.
FF Chroma Projects 103 W. Water St. “Synonyms & Antonyms,” gestural drawings by Nym Pedersen; and “Personal Truths,” lithographs and mixed-media sculptures by Akemi Ohira and Chuxin Zhang. 5-7pm.
FF CitySpace Art Gallery 100 Fifth St. NE. “Eclectic, Clever, Composed & Collective,” a photography exhibit. 5:30-7:30pm.
Common House 206 W. Market St. “Motherland,” a pop-up exhibition of paintings by Jum Jirapan. 4-8pm.
Crozet Artisan Depot 5791 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. “Useful by Design” pottery by Nan Rothwell. Opens July 14.
FF C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery 118 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Virginia’s Best—Retro Style Posters,” featuring graphic designs by Barbara Shenefield. 6-8pm.
FF Dovetail Design & Cabinetry 309 E. Water St. Alaina Clarke displays her metalsmith with original jewelry pieces. 5-7pm.
The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA 155 Rugby Rd. “In My Room: Artists Paint the Interior 1950-Now”; “20th Century Still Lifes from the Permanent Collection,” featuring the work of Picasso, Braque and Carrie Mae Weems, among others; “The Art of Protest”; “Reflections: Native Art Across Generations”; and “Oriforme” by Jean Arp.
FF The Garage 100 W. Jefferson St. “Learn how to farm, the end is near,” an exhibition of walnut ink and pigment paintings from Allyson Mellberg-Taylor and Jeremy Taylor. 5:30-7:30pm.
Java Java 421 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. Kris Bowmaster exhibits a new, five- panel work.
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 233 Fourth St. NW. An exhibition of new work by Frank Walker that addresses the notion that black bodies are disposable and easily erased.
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection 400 Worrell Dr. “Beyond Dreaming: The Rise of Indigenous Australian Art in the United States”; and “Ngunguni: Old Techniques Remain Strong,” an exhibition of paintings on eucalyptus bark from northern Australia.
Les Yeux du Monde 841 Wolf Trap Rd. “The Livestock Marker Show,” featuring paintings by Gwyn Kohr, Kathy Kuhlmann and Russ Warren that use livestock markers as the medium.
FF McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. “Gaean Reveries,” a multimedia, surrealistic exhibition from Sam Gray, in the Sarah B. Smith Gallery; “McGuffey Members’ Summer Group Show,” colorful multimedia works from members of the gallery, in the Downstairs South Hall Gallery and Upstairs North and South Hall Galleries; and Heather Owens’ “Safety” in the Downstairs North Hall Gallery. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF Milli Coffee Roasters 400 Preston Ave. “The Sea Change Series,” an exhibition from Tina Curtis. 6-8pm.
FF Music Resource Center 105 Ridge St. “Women in Color,” a mixed-media exhibition from Sri Kodakalla. 5-7pm.
FF Roy Wheeler Downtown Office 404 Eighth St. NE. Ceramic arts exhibition from Angela Gleeson. 5-7pm.
FF The Salad Maker 300 E. Market St. “Exploring the Bounds of Digital Art,” an exhibition of richly colored work by Martin Phillips. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF Second Street Gallery 115 Second St. SE. In the main gallery, “Ngerringkrrety: One Voice, Many Stories,” an exhibition of paintings and weaving by Australian Aboriginal artist Regina Pilawuk Wilson; and in the backroom, a mixed-media exhibition by Sahara Clemons. 5:30-7:30pm.
Shenandoah Valley Art Center 122 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro. A members’ anniversary show judged by Leah Stoddard.
FF Spring Street Boutique 107 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Scrapes,” an exhibition of oil paintings by Lizzie Dudley. 6-8pm.
FF Studio IX 969 Second St. SE. “re: Charlottesville Music,” an exhibition of photographs taken by Rich Tarbell related to the local music scene. 5-8pm.
FF VMDO Architects 200 E. Market St. An exhibition of oil paintings by Bettie Dexter. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many downtown art galleries and additional exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions.