Fall Arts Preview: Getting to the art of the matter

Fall Arts Preview: Getting to the art of the matter

The power of art is strong in our town. Before, and in reaction to the events of August 12, our community circled a heavy “piece of art” that carries a shameful history littered with atrocities on its back. Whether or not it remains intact—and what it represents to whom—it’s become an inflammatory icon that provoked a long overdue conversation about heritage. And while making deals is not an art form, making art can help you deal—with love, with pain, with life’s complexities, triumphs and tragedies.

This week we cram as many fall art events into the paper as possible, in a show of our collective creative strength and abundance, with a desire to prove we have the artistic merit to dig into our own place in history, tell more stories and raise the consciousness about our responsibility to each other. —Tami Keaveny

More stories in this week’s Arts Guide:

The Festy balances male and female talent

ARTS Picks: Cville Pride Festival

Russell Richards carves new place for himself

Kluge-Ruhe holds up the mirror

Jitney is fueled by authenticity and emotion

Matthew McLendon wants more at The Fralin

Local DJs put their spin on the music scene

Charlottesville Ballet kicks it up for 10th anniversary

Mark your calendars now with fall arts events

What’s going on

Along with our seasoned pros, we have new titles and fresh faces in the local arts scene. Here’s what they are up to in—and outside of— their organizations.

Bree Luck. Photo by Martyn Kyle

Live Arts

Bree Luck, producing artistic director

October 28: Around the World in 80 Plays, annual Live Arts gala and fundraiser.

October 13-November 11: A Delicate Balance

December 1-January 6: Sweet Charity

February 2-24: Top Girls

“We’re also hosting our first community panel discussion (open to all) on October 15 with a focus on cultivating diversity in the American Theater.”

Looking forward to: “One of my favorite events every year is the Youth Film Festival at Light House Studio. I take my whole family and revel in the creative efforts of the young artists in our community.”


The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative

Alan Goffinski, director

October: Parlor of Horrors is a carefully curated collection of handcrafted monster masks, life-size terrors and vintage movie posters. It also includes horror film screenings, spooky live music and a Halloween party.

October: Barracks Road Mural is a call for regional artists to participate in the design and creation of a mural to be completed in partnership with The Charlottesville Mural Project, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative, the County of Albemarle, the Virginia Department of Transportation and local residents.

December 1: Gift Forest pop-up market features more than 80 artists, makers and collectors from across the region.


Benjamin Rous. Photo courtesy Charlottesville Symphony

Charlottesville Symphony

Benjamin Rous, music director

September 23 & 24: Opening program begins with John Adams’ Short Ride in a Fast Machine, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto and Beethoven’s Symphony No. 7.

Looking forward to: “This is my first fall as music director of the Charlottesville Symphony, and I am overjoyed to embark on this journey with such a wonderful orchestra. We begin with a turbo-charged program of rhythmically driven music, including my personal favorite work by Beethoven, the exuberant Symphony No. 7. We will also feature one of our own, professor Shawn Earle, on the pinnacle of the repertoire for his instrument, Mozart’s Clarinet Concerto.”

The Oratorio Society of Virginia

Rowena Zimmermann, executive director

December 16: Music Director Michael Slon conducts Christmas at the Paramount featuring a holiday piece by J.A.C. Redford called “Welcome All Wonders: A Christmas Celebration,” plus “The Snowman“ and other festive songs.

Looking forward to: “The Oratorio commissioned Adolphus Hailstork, a renowned composer, to create an original piece for our chorus to perform at the [50th Anniversary Gala Concert] concert. It will be based on the poem ‘Testimonial’ by Rita Dove, and will be accompanied by a full orchestra. To put it mildly, there has been a lot of unease and discord regarding specific monuments in Charlottesville. Oratorio would like to present a musical monument that unambiguously celebrates the racial diversity of our town and of Virginia. We’re proud to have an African-American composer write our 50th anniversary piece. This will be a legacy that we will build on for our next 50 years.”

Second Street Gallery

Kristen Chiacchia, executive and chief curator

September 15: The Outreach Exhibition opens with a reception presenting artworks taken from sessions of the previous season’s student workshops, and will close with the September 23 Family Art Day, which welcomes hundreds to the gallery to celebrate the shared creative enterprise.

Looking forward to: “‘Paul Brainard: My Body is a Grave’ (Main Gallery) and ‘Peter Alexander Benedetti: Solve et Coagula’ (Dové Gallery) are two exhibitions marking my curatorial debut at Second Street Gallery, opening on October 6 and featuring two spectacular artists from New York City.”


Studio IX

Greg Antrim Kelly, curator

Fall: Three exhibitions by local women artists. Sarah Boyts Yoder paintings in October, Annie Dunkel photography in November and Lisa Ryan collage in December.

Looking forward to: Second Street Gallery’s Outreach Exhibition.


Kendall Stewart. Courtesy subject

Gorilla Theater Productions

Kendall Stewart, public relations

October 5-8, 19-22, 26-28: The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged), a three-person comedy that parodies all of Shakespeare’s works

October 13-14: Conor McPherson’s St. Nicholas

December 1-3, 8-10: Arsenic and Old Lace

Looking forward to: “Cville Pride Festival. Our company frequently works with their organization, they even certified us as a safe space. I’m really looking forward to going out and supporting our collaborators as well as watching all the live performers.”


Virginia Center for the Book

Sarah Lawson, assistant director

The 2018 Virginia Festival of the Book headlining authors will be announced on September 20 and tickets go on sale September 21.

“We see our annual book festival as a unique opportunity to prompt and provide a venue for civil discourse on topics like social justice and equality, while also offering up some of today’s best fiction and poetry, among many other genres.”

Looking forward to: “Think & Drink on October 22, which features not one but two of my favorite creative people in Charlottesville, writer Lulu Miller and musician Wes Swing.”


Neal Guma Fine Art

Neal Guma, owner

Through October 28: Work by Elger Esser, Chris McCaw, Sally Mann and William Wylie.

Looking forward to: “Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966” at the The Fralin Museum.


New City Arts Initiative

Maureen Brondyke, executive director

“This fall and winter, New City Arts is focused on community. A new project we’re launching this fall is a community singing event. In addition to working on her own projects, Juliana Daugherty (our fall artist-in-residence) will be working with other local musicians to loosely compose community hymns to be sung by community members (no choir training required) and recorded at New City Arts.”

Looking forward to: “A new season of shows at Live Arts.”


Miriam Gordon-Stewart, artistic director with Victory Hall Opera. Courtesy subject

Victory Hall Opera

Miriam Gordon-Stewart, artistic director

October 28, November 1 and 3: American premiere of Rameau’s “Sympathy” in French, with English supertitles. The opera is conducted by Christine Brandes, choreographed by Maria
Daniel and features a resident ensemble from Early Music Access Project, led by David McCormick. “VHO unites the driving pulse of the Baroque with high-octane hip-hop dance in an opera by the first guy to drop the bass.”

Looking forward to: Jitney at the Jefferson School in September.


Virginia Film Festival

Wesley Harris, programmer and operations manager

November 9-12: Celebrating its 30th year, the Virginia Film Festival made an early announcement that Spike Lee will appear at a special keystone event. A full program of titles and guests will be announced on September 26, and tickets go on sale September 29.

Looking forward to: “After the marathon of the VFF winds down in November, I’m looking forward to enjoying some of the other amazing arts offerings in town this fall. I’m particularly excited to see Kamasi Washington perform his improvisational jazz from another planet at the Jefferson on November 30. Good for when you want to feel politically active, but also have your face melted.”

Fall all over

Charlottesville Chamber Music Festival Through September 15. The 18th annual festival continues its tradition of presenting a wide variety of chamber music styles and instrumentations. Venues vary. cvillechambermusic.org

#TexasStrong Film Series Through September 17. A showcase of films set in or around Houston, Texas, to benefit victims of Hurricane Harvey, including Urban Cowboy, Boyhood, Reality Bites and more. Violet Crown Cinema. charlottesville.violetcrown.com

INTOLERABLE: Reflections of Bigotry and Hatred in Cinema Through September 21. A 10-film series that explores the opposing tension of discrimination and resistance through the lens of the world’s greatest filmmakers. Alamo Drafthouse Charlottesville. drafthouse.com/charlottesville

SipFilmFest 2017: Female Voices From the South Through September 21-24. Movies from a variety of countries and latitudes that bring women’s experiences to the forefront, shown in their original languages with English subtitles. University of Virginia. spanitalport.as.virginia.edu

Printer’s Ball 2017 September 22. A celebration of the publication and unveiling of “Speaking in Faces,” the commonwealth’s largest publicly accessible collection of movable type. Virginia Arts of the Book Center. virginiabookarts.org

Tom Tom Founders Festival September 22-23. A two-day festival featuring three massive block parties, 67 bands, pop-up art performances and a whole lot of fun. tomtomfest.com

The Best of Barboursville: A 45th Anniversary Musical Revue!
September 22-24. Central Virginia’s longest-running community theater celebrates its 45th anniversary season with an all-star cast of singers reliving musical memories. Four County Players Mainstage. fourcp.org

ARTCHO September 23. An art festival exhibiting high quality artwork at affordable prices. Pantops Mountain Scenic Overlook. artcho.org

A Concert for Charlottesville September 24. Dave Matthews Band, Pharrell Williams, Justin Timberlake, Chris Stapleton, Ariana Grande, Brittany Howard of Alabama Shakes, The Roots, Cage the Elephant and special guests perform at a free evening of music and unity. UVA’s Scott Stadium. concertforcharlottesville.com

Manhattan Film Festival September 29. More than 100,000 film-lovers
will gather in over 300 cinemas, universities and museums spanning six continents for one purpose—to view and vote on 10 short films. The Paramount Theater. theparamount.net

Hoopla Festival September 29-October 1. A festival featuring days full of adventures and activities as well as a live music lineup showcasing local bands such as Chamomile & Whiskey, Lord Nelson and Disco Risque. Devils Backbone Basecamp Brewpub and Meadows. dbbrewingcompany.com

FLOW: The Rivanna River Art Festival. September 30. A celebration of the river through visual art and performance, featuring sculptures made of vines, art installations over the river and a variety of musical acts. Free Bridge, Rivanna River. 202-0269.

The Festy Experience October 5-8. The annual festival blends national and local roots music acts, including The Infamous Stringdusters, The Travelin’ McCourys and Ani DiFranco, plus a “festival inside of the festival” called Chickapig Farm. Infinity Downs Farm. thefesty.com

Crozet Fall Arts and Crafts Festival October 7 and 8. Featuring more than 100 juried exhibitors in a wide range of media and styles, plus food, beverages and live entertainment. Claudius Crozet Park. crozetfestival.com

Party Like a Rockstar October 20. A night of disco beats, live “band-a-oke” with guest performers, house band E3 and food and drink—all to benefit the Music Resource Center. musicresourcecenter.org

Freefall Music and Art Festival Through October 28. WTJU, UVA’s public radio station, presents a  series of musical acts in an unmatched range of genres. IX Art Park. freefallcville.com

Live Arts Gala October 28. Around the World in 80 Plays is the theme for the annual fundraiser for Live Arts featuring theater, food and fun. livearts.org

Best of Both Worlds Dance and Step Competition November 4. The top dance and step teams in the region compete for $2,500 in cash and prizes. The Paramount Theater. theparamount.net

United Nations of Comedy Tour November 4. The seventh annual tour promotes diversity through laughter, featuring an eclectic mix of nationally recognized comedians. The Paramount Theater. unitednationsofcomedy.com

Virginia Film Festival November 9-12. The 30th annual Virginia Film Festival includes more than 130 films and 150 industry guests from around the world. Venues vary. virginiafilmfestival.org

Artisans Studio Tour. November 11 and 12. Forty-five artisans from 24 Virginia studios display their crafts, featuring emerging artists Adam McNeil, Sherri Raffaele and Adam Childress. artisanstudiotour.com

Let There Be Light December 8. Artists of various mediums present work at this annual evening of light-centered art installations. Piedmont Virginia Community College. 977-3900.

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