Sarah Lawson

Sarah has lived in Charlottesville since 2002 - long enough to consider herself a local. In addition to graduating from UVa and co-founding The Bridge Film Series, she has worn a variety of hats including book designer, documentary film curator, animal caretaker, and popcorn maker. The opinions here are completely her own and unassociated with her work at Piedmont Council for the Arts (PCA). Sarah's interests include public art, experimental films, travel, and design.

Photo: Renee Reighart

Local author Emma Rathbone stays focused with Losing It

Writing a novel isn’t easy by most measures, but it’s said that your second novel is where the anxiety really kicks in. Pressure builds to craft a book that’s readable and critically embraced, without being too similar to its predecessor. Of course, this is even more true if your first was met with popular success. […]

With Salinger Songs, Chris Keup hopes to lend support to his artists so they can compete in the mainstream. “We have to be wary of creating a situation, across creative genres, where our art is only coming from the scions of privilege,” says Keup. Publicity photo

Chris Keup launches music publishing company Salinger Songs

It’s no secret that Chris Keup’s White Star Sound studio has a knack for producing stellar tracks for local as well as nationally known musicians. Now Keup is working to expand his purview with a new venture in music publishing: Salinger Songs. Related Links: White Star Sound offers musicians a full-service lift-off A musician and […]

Local mask maker Matthew Gatto is closing his in-home museum of horror until he can find a new location. Photo: Ryan Jones

Matthew Gatto’s Parlor of Horrors seeks new home

When was the last time you fell asleep thinking about monsters in the other room? For most of us, that thought fades after childhood. But Matthew Gatto knows there are monsters just 10 feet away from where he sleeps. They reside in his living room or, as it’s more commonly known, the Parlor of Horrors. […]

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph takes place June 13-19 with a schedule of free community events such as the screening of Syria’s Lost Generation, a documentary by Ed Kashi and Julie Winokur. Photo: Ed Kashi

Festival of the Photograph offers new slate of free events

“I began asking local residents if they’d heard of LOOK3. The vast majority said, ‘Oh, you mean the pictures in the trees!,’” says Mary Virginia Swanson, LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph executive director. “I knew then that we needed to reach out with community-based programs that would be free and open to all.” Indeed, as a […]

Brice Morrison launched UVA’s Student Game Developers club before graduating and going on to form Bromoco Games. The company released an interactive choose-your-own adventure app, Buried, in January. Photo: Courtesy Bromoco

From UVA grad to Silicon Valley game developer

For some of the graduating UVA students who will walk the Lawn this weekend, it might be difficult to see any direct connections between a major and a future career. Many will receive a degree that provides an obvious path; others have chosen English or other courses of study that are, let’s say, a bit […]

The Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase features traditional crafts, music, Brunswick stew and more on Sunday at James Monroe’s Highland (formerly Ash Lawn-Highland). Photo: Courtesy of VFH

Traditions continue at Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase

“I see apprenticeships as a crucial part of keeping folk traditions alive,” says Jack Dunlap, a mandolin player who is part of the Virginia Folklife Apprenticeship Showcase. In the program’s most recent class, Dunlap worked with master musician Danny Knicely. Together, they composed and recorded a bluegrass album titled Chop Shred and Split: A Mandolin Player’s […]

After a three-year creative stint in Portland, Greg Kelly returns to direct the Charlottesville Mural Project. Photo: Ézé Amos

A new boost for the Charlottesville Mural Project

If you walk or drive past the Corner in the next few weeks, you may be surprised to see people suspended from the top floor of the Graduate hotel. These aren’t aerialists or stunt doubles for a local action movie; they’re muralists painting the latest installation of the Charlottesville Mural Project. Using a swing stage, […]

The Firefly Charlottesville Pinball League’s first match of the season takes place on April 14. All skill levels are welcome. Photo: Martyn Kyle

Pinball league ramps up for second season

When Dan Purdy walks into his bank, the tellers know to pull out a couple stacks of rolled quarters. No nickels needed, and there’s certainly no cause for pennies. Purdy can tell the good rolls (government issued) from the bad (locally rolled, riddled with other coins), but he’ll make use of a change machine if […]

LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph gears up for a full schedule in 2016, led by new executive director Mary Virginia Swanson (right). Photo: Riley Blanks

A closer LOOK3: New director brings new approach to photo fest

This year marks the 10th year of LOOK3 Festival of the Photograph but promises to bring a new approach to the popular programming, taking place June 13-19. The festival has continued to evolve throughout its decade of public programs to meet the interests of the field’s amateurs and professionals alike. While doing so, it has […]

Angela Flournoy’s critically acclaimed novel, The Turner House, is JMRL’s February Books on Tap selection. It will also be featured when Flournoy comes to Charlottesville for the Virginia Festival of the Book in March. Photo: LaToya T. Duncan

Drink to that: Books meet beer in new series from JMRL

By boasting a statistically impossible number of local bookstores and authors, it’s clear that Charlottesville is a town with an ardent love for all things literary. It’s also a beer town, supporting more than a few local breweries and countless other watering holes that serve up brews from nearby ZIP codes. Inspired by these two […]

The first Throwdown to benefit the International Rescue Center took place at City Clay January 6. Members of City Clay and guest artists were invited to the studio to create handmade dishes for IRC refugees. Photo: Amanda Maglione

Thrown together: City Clay potters team up to help IRC refugees

“Creativity can make a positive and welcoming impact on families right here in Charlottesville,” says Katie Bercegeay, volunteer coordinator for Charlottesville’s International Rescue Committee. Though this applies to us all, she’s specifically referring to the refugees who are welcomed in Charlottesville through the ongoing efforts of IRC staff and volunteers. Since it was established in […]

Service Dogs of Virginia sells its dogs’ unique artwork to raise funds for the canines’ training to assist people with special needs. Photo: Courtesy service dogs of virginia

Give back, give art: Make it a philanthropic holiday with local nonprofits

“We know people are looking for creative ways to give. What we hear repeatedly is, ‘I don’t need anything, I don’t want anything,’” says Sally Day. As director of development for Service Dogs of Virginia, Day knows plenty about the importance of end-of-year philanthropy for local nonprofits. In response to this, the organization’s founder and […]

Jason Robinson saw beauty in the breakdown for his video Wastewater, inspired by a visit to Moore’s Creek Wastewater Treament Facility. The work is included along with lenticular prints in Second Street Gallery’s “Sustainablity” exhibition. Photo: Mina Pirasteh

Art on demand: Rally ’round at Second Street Gallery

“It’s a fascinating place. It’s in my neighborhood, within walking distance from my house, but I had no idea it was there,” says filmmaker Jason Robinson, describing Moore’s Creek Wastewater Treatment plant. This type of facility probably doesn’t top most people’s list of neighborhood places to explore, but the allure was quick to present itself […]

Grand Banks duo Davis Salisbury and Tyler Magill have been partners in drone music since 2001. Their first label release, QB4: 1877-1896, is due on cassette from Oxtail Recordings on December 5. Photo: Publicity photo

Inside the sound: Duo Grand Banks takes its improv to the masses

You can’t cover a Grand Banks song. Don’t even think about it. It’s not a question of chops or instrumental know-how. It’s about the unique relationship between the two musicians in the band, the growth of their friendship over the years and their approach to making sound together. “If somebody asks me what Grand Banks […]

Local musician Katie Wood launched the booking company Valence Shows to take on the duty of filling the Twisted Branch Tea Bazaar’s live music calendar. Photo: Rammelkamp Foto

Tune up: A new generation of concert bookers finds its niche

“A valence bond is when atoms are held together by the electrons they share. It seemed really fitting for how music events can bring community members together through the things they share,” says Katie Wood, describing her new endeavor, Valence Shows. Under this moniker, Wood is one of the newest live music bookers in town. Wood’s […]

Piedmont Council of the Arts announced Gram Slaton's departure earlier this week.  He joined the organization in January 2015.  Image: Martyn Kyle

PCA executive director exits after less than a year

On Tuesday, November 10, Piedmont Council for the Arts announced that executive director Gram Slaton will leave his current position effective November 15. The PCA Board of Directors hired Slaton in January. In May, Slaton was quoted in C-VILLE Weekly, saying that he hoped to avoid “constantly losing all institutional knowledge” through staff turnover at PCA. He also proposed a […]