Creep year

Ace: I was driving down Market Street the other day and noticed that the creepy sculpture on the corner of Market and High streets is missing! Any idea what might have happened to it?—Shirley Holmes

Shirley: When taking a spin in the Acemobile, your trusty reporter tries not to let his eyes avert from the road ahead of him (safety first, kiddies). Of course, that being said, he does think that a certain degree of risk-taking is good for the soul, and in a moment of sheer lunacy one afternoon this past summer, his eyes wandered to the corner of Market and High streets. What did he see, you ask? A freaking creepy sculpture!

Compelled by his natural curiosity and partial concern that guerilla sculptors were dropping sinister art all over town, he found out that the piece, entitled “Itinerant Man,” is just one in a 10-piece exhibit for ArtInPlace, the nonprofit responsible for many different sculptures you may have seen around Charlottesville.

O.K. Ace is sorry, Shirley, but before he continues, he has to ask: Don’t you think the irony in the “Itinerant Man” sculpture being removed from the place it has lived for a year is just divine? Even without any prior knowledge of art history (Ace is sure there are a few out there who have little to none) or capacity for analysis, the sculpture’s title is rich with absurdity, given its station on Market Street. 

Back to the task at hand (and away from Ace’s waxing artistic). “Itinerant Man” and the other installations in the 2007-2008 exhibit have all been removed from their respective spots. The sculptures only stay up for a year—they’re put in their place (get it? ArtInPlace? Heh heh) in October and taken down the following September. Since we’re approaching October, the foundation is currently getting organized to put up new works of art.

Until then, though, there is a permanent exhibit of seven (eight after the city purchases a sculpture from this year’s exhibit) other pieces you mind find a little less intimidating. In fact, Ace scoped them out—not a creepy one in the bunch!

You can ask Ace yourself. Intrepid investigative reporter Ace Atkins has been chasing readers’ leads for 19 years. If you have a question for Ace, e-mail it to

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