First Fridays: December 1
“Every artist starts with something inside themselves that feels true to them,” says sculptor and installation artist Ivy Naté. “I’m not sure what came first for me…balancing chaos and order, or reinventing the obvious.”
“I feel lucky that at times I am able to take some abstract shit in my head, interpret it and project it,” she says. Some artists work it out through song, through words, paint or clay. Naté works it out through stuffed animals.
For her large installations (the one she’s installed at Second Street Gallery this month is 13.3 feet long and 8.6 feet tall), she gathers stuffed animals of various shapes, sizes and personality that have been donated or discarded, and groups them together by color to create a massive wall hanging of furry, neon-colored, big-eyed nostalgia that Naté hopes will take viewers back to happier times, or to a past that has not yet been resolved.
Strawberry Shortcake, sock monkeys, Miss Piggy, Paddington Bear—they’re all there, with Minions, Bart Simpson, a nameless green seal and a plush banana with eyes on its peel. Naté likes the idea of giving these discarded toys a “chance at a new life and bringing a fresh perspective on what most considered garbage.”
But what really intrigues her is why some stuffed animals become beloved friends and keepers of childhood secrets (inanimate furry family members, or IFFMs, as Naté calls them), while others don’t even have the tags removed before they’re handed down, given, or even thrown, away. What is it, she wonders, that makes people connect? —Erin O’Hare
FF Angelo Jewelry 220 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. An exhibition of Cass Kawecki’s recent watercolor and mixed-media paintings of Italy, exploring architecture, seascapes and memory. 5:30-7:30pm.
Annie Gould Gallery 121B S. Main St., Gordonsville. An exhibition of work by Jane Angelhart, Jenifer Ansardi, Fax Ayres, Hallie Farley, Alex Gould, Jennifer Paxton and Peter Willard.
FF The Bridge PAI 2019 Monticello Rd. Eighth annual Gift Forest, featuring holiday gifts from more than 75 artists, designers and makers from all over Virginia. Open 11am-7pm weekdays, 10am-6pm weekends and 10am-4pm Christmas Eve.
FF Chroma Projects 103 W. Water St. “Various and Sundry Items,” featuring oil paintings of iconic objects on scrap metal by Michael Fitts, and fantastical hybrid characters made from scrap material by Aggie Zed. 5-7pm.
FF CitySpace Art Gallery 100 Fifth St. NE. “Memories from our Home Country,” a world art exhibit. 5:30-7:30pm.
Create Gallery at Indoor Biotechnologies 700 Harris St. An exhibition of work by the Fiber and Stitch Art Collective, which uses fiber and thread in a variety of ways to create two- and three-dimensional works.
Crozet Artisan Depot 5791 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. “Our Big Dream: Creating the Dandelion Seed’s Story & Art,” highlighting the creative process behind Cris Arbo and Joseph Patrick Anthony’s children’s books, The Dandelion Seed and The Dandelion Seed’s Big Dream. December 9, 3-5pm.
FF C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery 118 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Magical Patterns with Wood,” featuring patterned and ornamented wooden jewel boxes, backgammon sets, chess boards, decorated serving boards and marquetry pictures by Dave Heller. 6-8pm.
FF Dovetail Design + Cabinetry 309 E. Water St. “Aspen Series,” featuring oil paintings of aspens and landscapes by Melissa Malone. 5-7pm.
Farfields Farm & Center for Georgical Jubilism 40 Farfields Ln. “Mysterium Georgicus: The Inter-Dimensional Plow,” a multimedia installation by Masha Vasilkovsky and Ruah Edelstein, an artist duo known as Lumen Animae. For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FF Firefly 1304 E. Market St. An exhibition of watercolor and charcoal abstractions by Emma Brodeur. 5-8pm.
The Fralin Museum of Art 155 Rugby Rd. “Dealer’s Choice: The Samuel Kootz Gallery 1945-1966,” an exhibition that examines the critical role Kootz played in establishing modern American art as an international force (through December 17); “Oriforme” by Jean Arp; and in the Joanne B. Robinson Object Study Gallery, a set of objects including Chinese bronzes, ceramics and sculpture, ancient Mediterranean coins, African masks and figures and more.
The Gallery at Ebb & Flow 71 River Rd., Faber. “En Plein Air,” an exhibition of plein air landscape paintings by V-Anne Evans.
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 233 Fourth St. NW. “Karma,” featuring work by Lisa Beane that addresses privileged racism.
FF Kardinal Hall 722 Preston Ave. “[tran-sekt],” an exhibition of aerosol and acrylic works on cradled birch panel by Monty Montgomery. 6-9pm.
Les Yeux du Monde 841 Wolf Trap Rd. “New Paintings and Works on Paper,” featuring work by Dean Dass.
FF Malleable Studios 1304 E. Market St., Suites T and U. “New Work,” featuring jewelry by Mia van Beek, Tavia Brown, Nancy Hopkins and Rebecca Phalen, and paintings by Karen Eide and Martha Saunders. 5-8pm.
FF McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. McGuffey holiday members show and gallery of gifts, featuring art and small handmade gift items, such as blown glass ornaments and textiles, for purchase. 5:30-7:30pm.
Northside Library 705 Rio Rd. W. “Abstract Landscapes‒Somewhere You May Live,” acrylic paintings with collage by Judith Ely.
FF Second Street Gallery 115 Second St. SE. “Drawn to Charlottesville: A Group Exhibition of 12 Local Artists,” featuring work by Bolanle Adeboye, Chris Danger, Brielle DuFlon, Murad Khan Mumtaz, Clay Witt and other artists who moved to Charlottesville from elsewhere. 5:30-7:30pm.
Shenandoah Valley Art Center 122 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro. “Subversive/Domestic Textile and Fiber,” featuring cutting-edge textile and fiber pieces by American and Canadian artists; in the Members’ Gallery is “Small Works,” a show featuring work in a variety of media by SVAC member artists. December 9, 6-8pm.
FF Studio IX 969 Second St. SE. “Please Don’t Ask It Can’t Be Explained,” an exhibition of new collage works by Lisa A. Ryan. 5-7pm.
FF Telegraph Art & Comics 211 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Picture Show,” featuring ink and crayon originals and digital prints by Todd Webb. 5-7pm.
FF VMDO Architects 200 E. Market St. A show of plein air watercolor paintings by Janet Pearlman; and “This is Charlottesville,” a photographic and story-based project by Sarah Cramer Shields. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF Welcome Gallery 114 Third St. NE. “Transient Places” oil on canvas by Kristen Hemrich. 5-7:30pm.
FF The Women’s Initiative 1101 E. High St. A group multimedia exhibit featuring work from Terry Coffey, Julia Kindred and Carol Kirkham Martin of the BozART Fine Art Collective. 1-4pm.
FF Yellow Cardinal Gallery 301 E. Market St. “Postcards from Italy,” featuring petite watercolors by Jane Goodman, and an exhibit of oil paintings by Goodman and Elizabeth Dudley. 4:30-7pm.
FF First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many downtown art galleries and additional exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions.