It’s a very Charlottesville story: Megan Read first saw Michael Fitts’ work hanging in the Mudhouse when she was 16, and just learning to paint. “Holy shit—that’s what I want to do!” she recalls thinking.
Years later, her own work was displayed there, and Fitts saw her piece “Resistance/Resilience” as he got his morning coffee with his wife. It stopped him in his tracks. “I was like, ‘What the hell is this?!’” he told us. “I hadn’t ever seen anyone in Charlottesville doing anything like what she was doing.”
He reached out to Read, and now the two have a joint show opening at Second Street Gallery this week. It’s the kind of serendipitous exchange that can happen in a small city like ours, but both artists, who use a “New Precisionist” style, in a very different ways, are producing work that’s “equal to what’s currently being shown in top galleries in New York,” says Second Street’s curator Kristen Chiacchia.
For a small city, Charlottesville has a lively arts scene, and one of the best ways to enjoy it is on First Fridays, when galleries and other venues around town open their doors for a free evening of art (and snacks!). This Friday, in addition to the Second Street show, you can catch Andy Faith’s politically oriented work, made out of found materials, at McGuffey, or Marion Roberts’ photo manipulations at New Dominion Bookshop (see our complete listings here). With more than a dozen openings this weekend, there’s plenty to keep you busy until game time.—Laura Longhine