These are a few of Ryan Trott’s favorite things
Cups, mugs, hands, feet, flowers, water drops—these are just some of the everyday objects that inspire Ryan Trott. Simplified shapes repeat throughout “Things,” the artist’s exhibition now on view through the month of September at the New City Arts Welcome Gallery.
The paintings, drawings, screen prints, books, t-shirts, and tote bags on display explore two main themes, says Trott: “Everyday objects and the idea of the multiple.”
Trott chooses objects for their shape and familiarity (“These particular things are comforting to me,” he says) and turns them into bold, graphic icons reminiscent of Henri Matisse’s technicolor cut-outs. There’s humor involved, too: “I find it funny and weird to draw these objects over and over and elevate them to art to be displayed and celebrated,” says Trott. “It’s unexpected and fun to think about people looking at this simplified toothbrush, possibly considering its deep meaning,” then choosing to wear it on a t-shirt, over their shoulder on a tote bag, or, even funnier, hang a framed print of it on their wall for contemplation.
He’s particularly excited about the “Big Drip” painting on canvas, how it “feels like a really successful representation of that funny shape, the water drop. I’m not a traditional painter, so it was a new experience for me to create a large canvas in full color,” says Trott. “It has an almost abstract color field feel to it, with such big blocks of color.”
Bright, colorful, familiar, funny, and a little quirky—Trott’s work appeals to adults and children alike. Perhaps in part because Trott himself is inspired by children’s artwork.
Trott teaches art at Burnley-Moran Elementary School in Charlottesville (follow his classes’ work on Instagram at @bmeopenstudio), and in his students, he sees “a spontaneity and willingness to just ‘go for it’ when it comes to showing things,” says Trott.
“I love my students’ drawings of lamps on tables, horses, people in weird positions and other things that any adult would struggle to represent,” he says. “It can be hard as an adult, and especially as a practicing artist, to channel that honesty and willingness to take risks.”
First Fridays: September 6
The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative “Divided Light,” a multi-media collaborative exhibition about a shift in perspective by resident artists Davis Eddy, Tobiah Mundt, and Katie Rice. 5:30-9:30pm.
Chroma Projects Inside Vault Virginia, Third Street SE. “Bio Diversity,” featuring Akiko Tanaka’s ceramics referencing the fantastic oddities in nature, and biology professor Jurgen Ziesmann’s paintings that share the dynamic masteries of life’s secrets. 5-7pm.
CitySpace 100 Fifth St. NE. The Access Arts Charlottesville/Albemarle annual visual arts exhibit. 5:30-7:30pm.
C’ville Arts Cooperative Gallery 118 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Carnival Cats,” featuring paintings and wood carvings by Lisa O. Woods about her lively relationships with her cats. 6-8pm.
Eichner Studios Gallery 2035 Bond St. #120. A show of work by Karen Schulz and a number of local artists working in a variety of media. 6-8pm.
The Garage 100 E. Jefferson St. “A Few Small Stones,” featuring works in watercolor and pencil by Amanda McMillen, inspired by collections of natural objects and the wonders of cell biology. 5-7pm.
IX Art Park 522 Second St. SE. “Five by Five,” an exhibit of photography by Virginia photographers Jyoti Sackett, Martyn Kyle, Brian Wimer, Benjamin Linden, and Jarod Kearney. 5-8pm.
Lynne Goldman Elements 407 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. Pop-up shop featuring hats by milliner Ignatius Creegan. Noon-7pm.
McGuffey Art Center 201 Second St. NW. In the Sarah B. Smith Gallery, “For Spare Parts, They Broke Us Up,” a solo show of found objects, kinetic sculpture, and installation by Nina Frances Burke, including a collaborative work with Andy Foster; and in the Upper and Lower Hall Galleries, a show of work by the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild. 5:30-7:30pm.
Mudhouse Coffee 213 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. “People Other Than This One,” a show of Greg Antrim Kelly’s smartphone photographs of friends, colleagues, and strangers. 5:30-7:30pm.
The Salad Maker 300 E. Market St. “Colors and Abstraction,” featuring digital art by J. Perry Folly. 5-7pm.
Second Street Gallery 115 Second St. SE. “Subculture Shock: Death, Punk, & the Occult in Contemporary Art,” featuring paintings, works on paper, sculpture, and mixed media by Jessicka Adams, Peter Benedetti, Paul Brainard, Eve Falci, Frodo Mikkelsen, Porkchop, and Tamara Santibañez; and in the Dové Gallery, “Teeny Tiny Trifecta 2,” featuring works in a variety of media by 87 mostly local and regional artists. 5:30-7:30pm.
Spring Street Boutique 107 W. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Kid’s Art: The Joy of the Kid’s World.” 6-8pm.
Studio IX 969 Second St. SE. “Corner Quotes: Recollections of a Corporate Scribe,” featuring poetry by Hannah Corbin. 5:30-7:30pm.
Top Knot Studio 103 Fifth St. SE. “Luminosity,” an exhibition of works in acrylic and oil on canvas by John Russell. 5-8pm.
Virginia Book Arts at the Jefferson School, 233 Fourth St. NW. A show of book arts by Lyall Harris, Keri Cushman, and Amy Arnold. 5-7pm.
Welcome Gallery 114 Third St. NE. “Things,” featuring new paintings, drawings, prints, and objects by Ryan Trott. 5-7:30pm.
WVTF Radio IQ 216 W. Water St. An exhibit of paintings by Nym Pedersen. 5-7pm.
Other September shows
Albemarle County Circuit Court 501 E. Jefferson St. An exhibition of work by members of the Central Virginia Watercolor Guild.
Annie Gould Gallery 109 S. Main St., Gordonsville. “Evening Boaters,” featuring work by Linda Verdery; and “T’Hat Lady,” Frances Dowdy’s images of Susan Mansfield Myers.
Buck Mountain Episcopal Church 4133 Earlysville Rd., Earlysville. “War Stories: Lament for Refugees,” works in oil on canvas and paper by Susan Fleischmann.
Carpediem Exhibit 1429 E. High St. A perpetual group exhibit showing works by more than 25 artists, including paper and mixed-media works from Aziza Claudia Gibson-Hunter’s “POTENCHA” series.
Crozet Artisan Depot 5791 Three Notch’d Rd., Crozet. A show of felted, wearable art by Karen Shapcott.
The Center 491 Hillsdale Dr. “Close to Home: Painting What We Love,” an exhibit of oil paintings by Randy Baskerville.
The Fralin Museum of Art at UVA 155 Rugby Rd. “Asian Art from the Permanent and Select Private Collections”; “Otherwise,” exploring the influence of LGBTQ+ artists; “Time to Get Ready: Fotografia Social”; and “Oriforme” by Jean Arp.
Jefferson School African American Heritage Center 233 Fourth St. NW. “Ernest Withers: Picturing the Civil Rights Movement 1957-1968,” a show of 13 works from the African American photojournalist best known for capturing 60 years of African American history in the segregated South.
Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection 400 Worrell Dr. “Shane Pickett: Djinong Djina Boodja (Look At the Land that I Have Traveled),” featuring work by one of western Australia’s most significant contemporary Aboriginal artists, through September 8; “Ngayulu Nguraku Ninti: The Country I Know,” featuring the work of Sharon Adamson and Barbara Moore, opening September 19; and “With Her Hands: Women’s Fiber Art from Gapuwiyak: The Louise Hamby Gift.”
Les Yeux du Monde 841 Wolf Trap Rd. “Arrivals,” by Sanda Iliescu.
McIntire School of Commerce Connaughton Gallery Rouss and Robertson Halls, UVA. “Woodland and Sky,” featuring oil paintings by Kendall Cox and Linda Staiger.
New Dominion Bookshop 404 E. Main St., Downtown Mall. “Poetry in Color,” an exhibition of watercolor calligraphy and oil and acrylic paintings by Terry M. Coffey.
Piedmont Place 2025 Library Ave., Crozet. “Sunrises and Sunsets of Virginia,” a show of oil paintings by Randy Baskerville.
Random Row Brewery 608 Preston Ave. “In the Mood,” a selection of Charlottesville- and musical-themed acrylic paintings by Matalie Deane.
Thomas Jefferson Memorial Church Unitarian-Universalist 717 Rugby Rd. An exhibition of mixed-media works and oil paintings by Adrienne Allyn Dent.
University of Virginia Hospital Main Lobby 1215 Lee St. Landscape and wildlife photographs by George A. Beller.
The Women’s Initiative 1101 E. High St. “Serenity,” a show of work by members of the BozART Fine Art Collective.
First Fridays is a monthly art event featuring exhibit openings at many area art galleries and exhibition venues. Several spaces offer receptions. To list an exhibit, email email@example.com.