Elizabeth Derby



Artist Alyssa Pheobus Mumtaz discusses her interdisciplinary textile work at an open studio in New City Arts Initiative’s Welcome Gallery on January 28. Photo: Courtesy the artist

Art as craft: The modern contemplation of ancient practices

Contemplation is having a resurgence in the popular consciousness these days, with mindfulness festival studios, pop-up meditation groups and even the University of Virginia’s own Contemplative Sciences Center. But for centuries, artists have practiced contemplation as a necessary companion of creation. “A lot of artists working today like to define contemplativity broadly as a means […]

Photographer Keith Alan Sprouse has been documenting the performers’ daily routine at Charlottesville Ballet and will be showing his images in 2016. Photo: Courtesy the artist

New year notions: Local artists look ahead at 2016

Ah, the new year. That time when thoughts turn to starry-eyed dreams, impossibly slim waistlines and the vague notion that if we could just pull away our bad habits like Clark Kent’s suit jacket, we’d find Super(wo)man underneath. After two years interviewing local artists (and 31 years living as one), I can officially say that […]

Multi-talented artist David Duchovny will perform songs from his album Hell or Highwater on Wednesday at The Inn at Willow Grove. Publicity image.

David Duchovny talks about performing in the moment

Confession: Without “The X-Files,” I wouldn’t be a professional writer. Way back in middle school, I thought I hated writing. At least, I hated writing dry, research-based essays for class. But every Sunday night I found inspiration in the form of Fox Mulder and Dana Scully, characters whose investigations into paranormal phenomenon inspired me so […]

Local artist Lily Erb has gained notice for her large steel rod sculptures which she calls “abstract organic.” Photo: Courtesy of the artist

Woman of steel: Lily Erb’s unyielding approach to modern sculpture

For Lily Erb, art mirrors life—but only to a certain extent. The Charlottesville-born and -based artist creates large steel sculptures, most lately composed of numerous steel rods bent into gentle, repetitive curves, then spray-painted in bright, jovial colors. She calls her style “abstract organic” because the pieces don’t resemble actual organic objects. Instead she starts […]

Executive director Kevin O’Halloran and hundreds of community members prepare for Ash Lawn Opera’s season opening with Madama Butterfly at the Paramount on Friday. Photo: Chris Pecoraro

In the wings: Ash Lawn Opera’s Madama Butterfly alights the Paramount stage

Every summer, Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall floods with a subtle siege: opera singers, orchestra members and technical crew members from all over the country. Unlike participants in traveling productions, they arrive to co-create a few gem-like original performances, shows that debut at The Paramount Theater under the direction (and extended logistical planning) of Ash Lawn Opera. […]