In the early hours of February 1, John Borden Evans was out for his regular run through Walnut Creek Park when he paused to memorize the landscape before him.
He noticed how the setting moon hung low and bright in the sky, how the moonlight radiated through striated clouds to bathe the mid-winter trees, grass, and distant mountains in a certain ether.
It was a singular scene—the moon in the sky was both a blue moon and a super moon, and it had gone through a total eclipse the night of January 31. Evans, a landscape painter, knew he wanted to capture it for a large piece he’d started with an “O” in the center. He figured it would eventually become some sort of celestial body.
Measuring seven feet wide and more than four feet tall, “Blue Moon” is one of the works currently on view in “John Borden Evans: Blue Moon” at Les Yeux du Monde art gallery.
Visitors to the gallery will see his “usual stuff,” says Evans, “paintings from the last three years that…go together because they’re a little bit wacky” in their incorporation of “imaginative elements” into central Virginia landscapes—things like imaginary stars, rainbow-coated woolly sheep, and whirls of light around a blue moon.
Evans, who lives on the border of Walnut Creek Park, usually starts a piece by writing something on the painting surface, then builds a picture with paint until it fits with one of the views he’s seen around the park. The views change constantly with the season, the time of day and quality of light, with new growths and recent deaths in the immediate flora and fauna—there’s always something new to see, or something familiar to see anew.
Most mornings, after his run, Evans loads his supplies into his truck, drives out to the view he’s working from, leans the painting against the parked truck, and gets to work.
“I paint like an abstract painter, worrying about texture and color and composition, and thick paint versus thin paint,” says Evans. “The landscape is just my means of exploring those same things.”
“All my paintings, almost all of them, are [set] just within walking distance of my house,” says Evans. “It’s endless, endless different landscapes and compositions. It’s amazing what’s there, right outside my back door.” —Erin O’Hare
First Fridays Openings
First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many downtown art galleries and additional exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions.
The Bridge PAI 209 Monticello Rd. “The People’s Portrait Project,” featuring Edward Miller’s portrait sculptures celebrating the individuality of Charlottesville residents. 5:30-9:30pm.
Chroma Projects 103 W. Water St. “Ruminant,” featuring prints of Tim Michel’s local and Maine landscapes that translate natural patterns into a consideration of the dynamic simultaneity of time; and “Documenting Fall and Winter,” featuring highly discerning, articulated botanical watercolors by Lara Call Gastinger. 5-7pm.
CitySpace Art Gallery 100 Fifth St. NE. An exhibition of work by BozART Fine Art Collective. 5:30-7:30pm.
C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery 118 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Spirit of the Blue Ridge,” featuring 2-D and 3-D works on canvas, paper, and sculpted paper by Flame Bilyue. 6-8pm.
Dovetail Design + Cabinetry 309 E. Water St. “The Doors of Our Future,” an exhibition of work by ACAC preschoolers on kitchen cabinet doors. 5-7pm.
Firefly Restaurant & Arcade 1304 E. Market St. An exhibition of oil and watercolor paintings of landscapes by Ryan Arnold. 4-7pm.
McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. In the Sarah B. Smith Gallery, “Mi Selva Natal,” an exhibition of wildlife photography by Manuel Sanchez, who grew up in the rainforest of the Osa Peninsula in Costa Rica; in the Downstairs North Hall Gallery, “Collected Works on Paper,” a layered collection of acrylic, collage paper, and mixed media that creates movement between what is concealed and what is seen, by Lisa Macchi; in the Downstairs South Hall Gallery, “Fired Earth,” Carol Grant’s ceramic vessels that evoke a sense of landscape in flux; in the Upstairs North and South Hall Gallery, “On the Threshold,” a group show of work by UVA sculpture and post baccalaureate students. 5:30-7:30pm.
Milli Coffee Roasters 400 Preston Ave. Ste. 150. “Memory and Place, A Study of Light and Color” featuring ink, watercolor, oil, and pastel works by Joey Laughlin. 7-10pm.
Roy Wheeler Realty Co. 404 Eighth St. NE. An exhibition of work by Susan Patrick. 5-7:30pm.
Second Street Gallery 115 Second St. SE. In the main gallery, “All The Time I Feel Like Crying,” an exhibition of work by Sandy Williams IV, including sculpture, film, and text that highlight the arbitrary nature of systems and explores the plurality that informs our concept of time; in the Dové Gallery, “siren x silence,” paintings by Madeleine Rhondeau. 5:30-7:30pm.
Spring Street Boutique 107 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Almost Realistic,” featuring acrylic and mixed media paintings by Philip Marlin. 6-8pm.
Studio IX 969 Second St. SE. “Home is a Foreign Place,” featuring work by Dymph de Wild, who asks questions about where one belongs. 5-8pm.
Top Knot Studio 103 Fifth St. SE. “Keep It Like A Secret,” mobile photography by Chelsea Hoyt. 5-8pm.
VMDO Architects 200 E. Market St. “Sketches,” a multimedia show of work by the firm’s architects. 5:30-7:30pm.
Welcome Gallery 114 Third St. NE. “Language of the Land,” featuring oil paintings by Anna Bryant that speak of regional symbols that are distinctive to our area. 5-7:30pm.
WriterHouse 508 Dale Ave. “World Horizons,” an exhibition of Judy McLeod’s paintings on paper that combine gouache, watercolor, cut papers, crystals, and wax. 5-7pm.
Other November Shows
Art Box 5784 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. A show of paintings by Amy Shawley Paquette and photography by Tom Paquette. Opens November 10.
Annie Gould Gallery 121B S. Main St., Gordonsville. A holiday show featuring paintings, jewelry, photography, sculpture, textiles, and other unique gift items from more than 25 artists and artisans. Opens November 9, 5-7pm.
Buck Mountain Episcopal Church 4133 Earlysville Rd., Earlysville. “Native Botanicals,” featuring Judy Rodgers’ watercolor and colored pencil works on hotpress paper.
Create Gallery at Indoor Biotechnologies 700 Harris St. “Faces at Work,” an exhibition of Blake Hurt’s 40 small oil-on-canvas portraits of people who work at 700 Harris St.
Crozet Artisan Depot 5791 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. “Light, Color, & Clear Space,” an exhibition of blown glass art by Pat Ryan. Opens November 10, 3-5pm.
Fellini’s Restaurant 200 Market St. “Italian Memories,” an exhibition of watercolors by Linda Abbey.
The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA 155 Rugby Rd. “Reflections: Native Art Across Generations”; “Excavations: The Prints of Julie Mehretu”; “Unexpected O’Keeffe: The Virginia Watercolors and Later Paintings”; “Camera Work: American Photography of the Early 20th Century”; “Highlights from the Collection of Heywood and Cynthia Fralin”; and “Oriforme” by Jean Arp.
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection 400 Worrell Dr. “Freshwater Saltwater Weave,” a series of glass works by contemporary urban-based Arrernte artist Jenni Kemarre Martiniello; “Beyond Dreamings: The Rise of Indigenous Australian Art in the United States,” revealing the ways in which, since 1988, Indigenous Australian artists have forged one of the most globally significant art movements of our time; and “Experimental Beds,” in which Judy Watson removes the whitewash from concealed histories.
Les Yeux du Monde 841 Wolf Trap Rd. “John Borden Evans: Blue Moon,” an exhibition of Evans’ otherworldly landscapes, through November 11; and “Annie Harris Massie: New Paintings,” opening November 17, 5-7pm.
Louisa Arts Center 212 Federicksburg Ave., Louisa. “Rhythm and Light,” featuring 2-D and 3-D works by amateur and professional artists. Through November 16.
Shenandoah Valley Art Center 122 S. Wayne Ave., Waynesboro. “A Photographic Aggregation,” an exhibition of work by Steve Ashby, who uses the medium of photography to examine chance. Opens November 3, 5-7pm.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian-Universalist 717 Rugby Rd. “Winneba, Ghana,” a show of photography by Alpha Barry, Sara Gondwe, Sarah Cargile, and Don and DeTeasa Gathers, who traveled to Winneba with the Charlottesville Sister Cities delegation earlier this year. Opens November 4, 12:30pm.