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.

The Charlottesville Ballet presents the condensed classic The Nutcracker Suite on Saturday and Sunday at PVCC's Dickinson Theater. Publicity photo.

Return of the Sugar Plum Fairy: Charlottesville Ballet steps up in holiday tradition

When it comes to holiday traditions, some wait with bated breath for annual broadcasts of the 1964 stop motion animation classic, “Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.” Others prefer rom-coms with predictably heartwarming plots. However, no December is complete without The Nutcracker. And though I’m still entranced by the 1977 version featuring the great Mikhail Baryshnikov, I […]

The Crescent Halls quilting group has been meeting weekly for more than 10 years. Francine Payne and company will have quilts on display at CitySpace beginning on Friday. Staff photo.

Stitchin’ time: New quilt exhibit at CitySpace

Entering the room, two sounds compete for your attention: the steady hum of sewing machines and a Destiny’s Child song amplified by unseen speakers. It’s Friday at Crescent Halls, a housing facility operated by the Charlottesville Redevelopment and Housing Authority, and that means that a group of local quilters is hard at work in the […]

Kevin Everson followed the workers at a bowling alley equipment factory to make his eight-hour film Park Lanes, Spare. VFF moviegoers will be “spared” the long version and offered a 90-minute cut at the downtown Regal on Friday. Photo courtesy of the Virginia Film Festival.

Explore the Commonwealth: Navigating local cuts at the Virginia Film Festival

In anticipation of the Virginia Film Festival this weekend, I’ve been considering geographical predispositions when it comes to movies. Predictably, as a student, French New Wave films were guaranteed pleasers. These types of geographical tastes exist for many. French films carry a different prestige than Hollywood movies. India’s Bollywood and Nigeria’s Nollywood each have their […]

Doing his part to promote global harmony, Peyton Tochterman (second from left) took his band to Afghanistan in 2012, where he served as an official cultural ambassador.  Publicity photo

Diplomacy and drone: This week’s musical highlights

Does the name Peyton Tochterman ring any bells? It’s been three years since the local musician has performed in town but he’s certainly someone you should know. Tochterman’s last Charlottesville show celebrated the release of the full-length album, A New World. Since then, he’s been busy. “I was on the road almost constantly for two […]

The most effective way to be inspired by a TED or TEDx talk is to attend the event in person. Stuart A. Kessler spoke about technological innovations that assist with independent living for seniors at last year’s open mic. Photo by Jack Looney.

Can we talk? Making the most of your TEDx experience

This town is no stranger to open mic nights. We boast Big Blue Door storytelling and improv night; the musicians, poets, and comedians of Verbs & Vibes; and Olio, a pechakucha-style series that was popular until its untimely demise in 2011. So, how is the upcoming TEDxCharlottesville Open Mic Night different? In a word, glory. […]

Russ Warren’s “Blue Muse,” shows the strong influence that Picasso had on his work. It’s part of the “Picasso, Lydia, and Friends 2014” exhibition at Les Yeux du Monde gallery. Image courtesy of artist

The Gasman archives pay homage to artistic passion

“What inspires you?” For those with an interest in visual art, the question could elicit a response of Diane Arbus, Stan Brakhage, or Jean-Michel Basquiat. However, for many UVA alumni, the answer might very well be the University’s legendary art professor, Lydia Gasman. This month, an exhibit at Les Yeux du Monde gallery entitled “Picasso, […]

Kary Haun works with porcelain to create simple, functional pieces of pottery in her central Virginia home studio. Publicity photo

The simple art of a cup and other favorites

“I hear a lot of people say they bought one and reach for it every day, bypassing all of the others on the shelf.” This is how professional potter Kary Haun describes one of the proudest achievements in her work, her signature cup. “I have cups like that in my cupboard,” she said. “Some are mine, […]

Charlottesville-based dancer Katie Schetlick in “spritewood” (video projection on raw plywood), part of the “WoodEar” exhibit. “Pieces like ‘WoodEar’ try to
pull art into the idea that our relationship with technology can be critically considered and that it can generate new questions and new meanings,” said multimedia artist Peter Traub. Image courtesy of the artist

Multimedia exhibit brings the forest to Ruffin Gallery

What does it mean to digitally broadcast the ‘experience’ of a tree? Is satire inherent in such an act?” These are just a couple of the questions that Charlottesville-based artist Peter Traub hopes you’ll contemplate while viewing “WoodEar” at UVA’s Ruffin Gallery. The exhibit is a recent collaboration between composer and multimedia artist Traub; dance […]

Drawing on experience, Sheri Reynolds brings Southern culture to life on the pages of her novels. Publicity photo.

Author Sheri Reynolds lets her characters work it out

As C’ville residents, we often hear, “Charlottesville has changed so much since I moved here.” Some see this as a positive, others less so. Either way (and regardless of how long you’ve lived here) it’s likely that we all have indeed witnessed some evolution. Recent development has obviously changed the landscape of familiar areas including […]