Raennah Lorne

Raennah Lorne

Read local: Our annual roundup of Charlottesville-area authors

Read local: Our annual roundup of Charlottesville-area authors

In 2018, over 50 authors living and working in the Charlottesville area published new books. They built fictional worlds populated by talking animals, anti-terrorist teenage space fighters, and ordinary humans trying to find the truth. They documented last year’s violent white supremacist rally in our city and dug into our history of racism. They redefined […]

Soraya Chemaly will read from Rage Becomes Her at New Dominion Bookshop on December 5. Publicity photo

Author Soraya Chemaly encourages women to own their anger

Ask Soraya Chemaly why she wrote Rage Becomes Her: The Power of Women’s Anger, and she will say with a laugh, “First, I was mad.” Chemaly works by day as director of the Women’s Media Center Speech Project in Washington, D.C., an initiative developed to “raise awareness about the way women’s freedom of expression, freedom […]

Eze Amos’ photography exhibit “Cville People Everyday” will be on display in the Welcome Gallery through August 31. Courtesy of the artist.

Eze Amos exhibits ‘Cville People Everyday’

By now you might know his name. You’ve seen it before in these very pages. Maybe you’ve started to put a face to the name. You see him on the Downtown Mall, holding a camera, watching. He is freelance photographer Eze Amos, whose first photography exhibition, “Cville People Everyday,” opens this month at New City […]

Author Celeste Ng praises Aja Gabel’s debut, saying, “In the tradition of The Interestings and The Secret History, The Ensemble teases apart the strands of an intense and long-lasting group friendship that both bolsters and binds its members.” Gabel will read at New Dominion Bookshop on May 19.

Aja Gabel strikes a chord with The Ensemble

Around the same time Aja Gabel began learning the alphabet, she began playing the violin. As she became more adept at writing, filling “notebooks with stories as kind of a way to play,” she became more skilled at reading and playing music. When she was 10 years old she traded the violin for the cello […]

As Charlottesville development races ahead, the documentary West Main Street gives us a reason to pause and evaluate how we define progress. Friday’s screening will be followed by a brief Q&A with filmmakers Reid Oechslin and Chris Farina (pictured during the making of the film in the ’90s). Courtesy  subject

Shared history: A portal to the past runs through West Main Street

From 1988 to 1992, two recent UVA graduates, Chris Farina and Reid Oechslin, set out with a camera, 16mm film, little money and no lighting equipment, to interview residents of Charlottesville’s West Main Street. They wanted to learn more about their newly adopted hometown by inquiring into the lives and histories of the people tethered […]

Melissa Cooke Benson depicts the realities of motherhood using graphite on paper. “TBONE (Bingo Babies Only)” (left) and “The Fringe” (right) are part of her exhibition 
“Mom Brain” at Second Street Gallery. Courtesy of the artist

Melissa Cooke Benson explores life and body changes

Artist Melissa Cooke Benson’s explorations in portraiture, long inspired by her daily life, have aligned with geographical moves, new and different cityscapes and cultures and alterations in her interior life, too. “With each life transition,” she says, “I’ve had to digest what’s going on around me and think of a way of incorporating what I […]

Pedro Lasch’s “Fire and Ice,” performed on April 1 at the Main Street Arena, recontextualized fire from tiki-torch invasion to positive force. It’s part of Art in Odd Places: MATTER, which continues April 5 on UVA Grounds and April 6 on the Downtown Mall. Photo by Eze Amos

Art in Odd Places explores matter and historical interpretation

This week, New York-based artist Ed Woodham brings his Art in Odd Places festival to Charlottesville in a two-day, intensely collaborative event with the theme of “matter.” Sponsored by the UVA Studio Arts Board, the mission of AiOP, Woodham writes in the program guide, “is to engage and activate the everyday places in our lives. […]

Themes of empathy define the 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book

Themes of empathy define the 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book

What makes literature distinct from other art forms is the opportunity it allows us to inhabit the space in someone else’s mind, to experience a life other than our own. This act of temporarily shedding our perspectives and concerns teaches us empathy and compassion. After a year in which Charlottesville suffered the effects of intolerance, […]

Beau LeBlond, Parker Nelson and Valery Duron confront modern issues through an updated
approach to the 1949 musical South Pacific. Photo by Eze Amos

CHS community explores South Pacific

Premiered on Broadway in 1949 and revived in 2008, South Pacific tells the story of American naval officers (both nurses and sailors) stationed on an island during World War II who are forced to confront their own racist attitudes amidst love and war. This month the musical comes to life on stage at Charlottesville High […]

Composer Matt Boehler combed through the notes from UVA’s Book Traces project to create Marginalia for Victory Hall Opera. The song cycle will be performed in the McGregor Room of Alderman Library on February 18. Publicity photo

Victory Hall Opera’s Marginalia reads between the lines

Imagine the thousands of hands that have held the spine of a library book, the fingers that have turned the pages. Imagine the moments in history that have intersected with the text through the lives of its readers. Beginning in 2015 and ending in June of 2017, a project called Book Traces @ UVA sought […]

Laura Lee Gulledge will launch Sketchbook Dares at The Bridge on February 10. Copies of the book are also available for purchase in the McGuffey Art Center gift shop. Supplied photo

Laura Lee Gulledge dares you to draw

With her new book, Sketchbook Dares: 24 Ways to Draw Out Your Inner Artist, artist, writer and teacher Laura Lee Gulledge challenges anyone of any skill level to draw. The former Louisa County art teacher says, “It’s the sort of book I wish I’d had starting off as a teacher but also as a creative […]

Signed copies of Warren Craghead’s Trump Trump, Volume 1: Nomination to Inauguration
are available at Telegraph Art & Comics. Courtesy of artist

Warren Craghead draws the campaign and presidency in Trump Trump

Every day since Donald J. Trump became the Republican presidential nominee on July 21, 2016, local artist Warren Craghead has drawn him, or someone in his administration. Now six months’ worth of Craghead’s daily drawings have been published in a collection titled Trump Trump, Volume 1: Nomination to Inauguration. “I thought when I started it […]

Murad Khan Mumtaz will teach a traditional Indian painting workshop at Second Street Gallery on January 13. Courtesy of the artist

Murad Khan Mumtaz transcends divisions with Musavvari paintings

Growing up in a family of artists and architects in Lahore, Pakistan, Murad Khan Mumtaz, a visual artist who practices the tradition of so-called Indian miniature painting, says the act of creating things came naturally. “My father, who is a practicing architect, has more or less single-handedly tried to revive local indigenous practices, which were […]

Book marks: A year of reading local authors

Book marks: A year of reading local authors

There’s no denying it: Charlottesville is a wordsmith-rich town. Whether you’re looking for a page-turner for the beach, autumnal meditations in the form of poetry, or a fireside companion for a winter’s night, there are enough local writers publishing books each year to keep your shelves well-stocked. Here are some of the titles published by […]

Andi Cumbo-Floyd will read from her book, Charlotte and the Twelve, at the Jefferson School African American Heritage Center on December 16. Courtesy of the artist

Andi Cumbo-Floyd addresses racism through YA historical fiction

Local author and historian Andi Cumbo-Floyd came of age on the Bremo Plantations in Fluvanna County. In central Virginia, “there are plantations everywhere, but we don’t call them that,” says Cumbo-Floyd. “We call them farms or estates.” While she knew “people had been enslaved there,” she says she “didn’t really have an awareness of what […]

Ann Randolph performs her show, Inappropriate in All the Right Ways, at Virginia Organizing’s benefit for racial and social justice at the Paramount on December 9. Publicity photo

Ann Randolph brings humor and truth to Charlottesville

Writer and performer Ann Randolph has lived an amazing life. In college, rather than paying to live in a dorm, she lived in the schizophrenic unit of a state mental hospital in exchange for writing plays with patients. She worked the graveyard shift at a homeless shelter for minimum wage for 10 years. And she […]

Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash collaborated on Lock and Load: Armed Fiction, which brings writers’ voices into the gun conversation. Courtesy of the artists

Short stories spark discussion of guns in American culture

Deirdra McAfee and BettyJoyce Nash first met 10 years ago as teacher and student (respectively) in a creative writing class in Richmond, where they both lived at the time. Nash, a journalist who had recently turned to fiction, was surprised when a gun turned up in a story she was writing. “My palms got sweaty, […]

Aaron Farrington’s portrait studio will open at McGuffey Art Center on November 29. Portraits from his “People of Charlottesville” series (like “Evan” above and “Rodney” below) will be on display during the Holiday Group Show at McGuffey in December. Courtesy of the artist

Aaron Farrington finds new magic in a bygone photo process

Aaron Farrington fell for photography in high school after his grandfather died. “My mom inherited his camera, so I inherited her camera and started taking pictures,” he says. Farrington became interested in making movies, too, and enrolled in a New York film school. But thanks to the expense, he dropped out and wrote a novel […]

Sean Rubin will sign copies of his graphic novel Bolivar at Telegraph on November 15 to benefit The Haven. Courtesy of the artist

Bolivar the dinosaur hides out in New York

Imagine you live in Manhattan on West 78th Street and your neighbor is a dinosaur. The problem is, no one believes you. This is the premise for Bolivar, Sean Rubin’s debut graphic novel in which a large gray dinosaur living in New York speaks English, reads the New Yorker, orders corned beef sandwiches and visits […]

Open-dialogue proponent Daryl Davis will speak about his work with the Ku Klux Klan, which has resulted in hundreds of members leaving the KKK. Courtesy of Daryl Davis

TEDxCharlottesville speakers challenge our way of thinking

Artists, educators and innovators take the stage on Friday at the Paramount’s TEDxCharlottesville event. Among them are blues musician Daryl Davis whose friendship with members of the Ku Klux Klan has caused many of them to question their membership, National Geographic photographer Ami Vitale, who finds connections between cultures, and entrepreneur and cartoonist Chic Thompson, […]

UVA visiting artist Ed Woodham will discuss art in public space on October 24 at UVA and on October 25 at Second Street Gallery as a launch for his AiOP: MATTER festival set for April. Woodham produces Art in Odd Places in collaboration with other artists to offer uniquely set works such as Crystal Gregory’s “Invasive Crochet.” Courtesy Ed Woodham

Ed Woodham reclaims public space with Art in Odd Places

Each year, UVA’s student-run Arts Board Committee invites an artist to the University of Virginia. This year, in collaboration with the visual studio arts program, the students have invited New York-based artist Ed Woodham, founder and director of Art in Odd Places, a collaborative arts festival. Woodham will give two talks this month on the […]

A Delicate Balance starring Jaime Virostko, Chris Baumer and Boomie Pedersen runs through November 11 at Live Arts. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Live Arts weighs love and dysfunction in season opener

This week Live Arts opens its season by inviting the public into an intimate theater in the round to observe the interior lives of family and friends in Edward Albee’s 1967 Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, A Delicate Balance. Director Fran Smith says it is an eloquent work that “centers around family dysfunction.” The setting is Westchester […]