As a painter, I’m always looking for the state of surprise and enchantment,” says Martha Saunders, whose “Transmutations” show is on view at Chroma Projects Gallery this month. Most of the paintings in the show will come from Saunders’ decade-long project Reading Series, a rumination on how the human system digests information. The series “started as a musing on the departure from words, slipping into a visual language,” Saunders says. “Later, the imaging or conjuring of the image-object-painting was involved with the concept of digesting printed information—this is when the figure of the page appeared as a recurring image.”
The paintings, rendered in beeswax and pigment, relate a constant state of flux, where the boundaries of space shift, dissolve, evaporate. “These materials allow for a suspended surface where the viewer is aware of matter which can change, creating a live surface,” says Saunders. “I work toward creating paintings that represent a verb, where the painting is in a state of becoming.”
First Fridays: January 5
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. Through January 8.
Art on the Trax 5784 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. “American Icons,” featuring acrylic paintings by Carrol Mallin. Artist reception January 13, 4-6pm.
The Bridge PAI 2019 Monticello Rd. “Coexist: A Prayer Flag Project,” featuring a creative participatory experience led by Jum Jirapan. Opening Friday, January 12 at 5:30pm.
FF Chroma Projects 103 W. Water St. “Transmutations,” an exhibition of Martha Saunders’ abstract paintings featuring her ongoing observation and interpretation of how information is processed and expressed. 5-7pm.
FF CitySpace Art Gallery 100 Fifth St. NE. “A VisionWest: Roadtripping Through American Nature,” a landscape photography exhibit. 5:30-7:30pm.
C’Ville Arts 118 E. Main St. Member artists slash prices on selective items; sale items will be marked with yellow “sale” stickers.
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. “Oriforme” by Jean Arp. 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; “Feminine Likeness: Portraits of Women by American Artists, 1809-1960,” featuring works from The Fralin Museum of Art collection, opening January 12; “A Painter’s Hand: The Monotypes of Adolph Gottlieb,” an exhibit of works from one of the original Abstract Expressionists, and “From the Grounds Up: Thomas Jefferson’s Architecture and Design” opening January 26.
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 233 Fourth St. NW. “Karma,” featuring work by Lisa Beane that addresses privileged racism. Through January 13.
Les Yeux du Monde 841 Wolf Trap Rd. “Cantos for the Anthropocene,” featuring Millicent Young’s work interested in altering perceptions and recognition in hopes of invoking change; and “Pelago d’Aria,” featuring work by Kris Iden inspired by recent travels abroad to places of personal significance.
FF McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. In the Sarah B. Smith Gallery, “Clay, Fiber, Wood,” an exhibit of collaborative work by Carol Grant, Jill Kerttula and Renee Balfour; in the upper and lower hallway galleries, a showing of work by new McGuffey artists; in the upper hallway gallery, “In the Shell: Midterm Works by McGuffey Incubator Artists,” featuring work by Alison Rose Berner, Daniella Chadwick, Jolene Dosa and others. 5:30-7:30pm.
FF Mudhouse Downtown 213 W. Main St. “siren x silence,” an exhibit of work by Madeleine Rhondeau inspired by the graphic nature of kabuki theater and the evanescent quality of memory. 6-8pm.
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. In the back room, an exhibit of work from Aaron Eichorst.
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.
St. Mark Lutheran Church 100 Alderman Rd. “Our Underwater World,” featuring underwater photography of sharks, anemone fish, nudibranches, seahorses, manatees, sea otters and more. Artist talk January 10, 7pm.
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.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian-Universalist 717 Rugby Rd. A show of photographs by Rebecca George. Opening January 7, 12:30pm.
FF VMDO Architects 200 E. Market St. “Memory and Place,” featuring Joey Laughlin’s watercolors that serve as remembrances of uniqueness of place. 5:30-7:30pm.
Welcome Gallery 114 Third St. NE. A pop-up exhibit of original works by Charlottesville artists, including Brittany Fan, Carol Barber, Ézé Amos, Greg Antrim Kelly, Juliana Daugherty, Maggie Stein and others. Opening January 12, 5-7:30pm.
FF First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many downtown art galleries and additional exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions.