Made in C-VILLE | Summer 2022

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MADE IN C-VILLE

Ti Ames returns to the stage that shaped them, as Live Arts' new education director

Way to learn Four local DIY classes for wannabe artists You go, girl The Boss Babes prop up area business owners And, action Robert Myers' tiny 3-D artworks for fantasy-lovers

SUMMER 2022

MEET AND GREET Get to know the who, what, and where of Charlottesville's creative scene


Ambassador Limousine is a trusted name in the luxury transportation and service industry. No matter what the occasion, Ambassador Limousine’s dedicated and highly qualified Chauffeurs will ensure that your transportation will be a memorable experience. Please contact one of our reservation agents to start tailoring your special event

OUR FLEET:

EXECUTIVE SEDAN

CORPORATE SUV

We proudly feature late model Lincoln Sedans in our fleet. Any of our Executive Sedans will fit 3 Passengers with luggage comfortably. These meticulously maintained vehicles are the mainstay of the Chauffeured Transportation Industry.

Our Corporate SUV’s are all late model Chevrolet Suburban’s which are among the largest in the vehicle class. They can comfortably accommodate 6 Passengers with luggage and replace the need for two Sedans.

EXECUTIVE VAN This vehicle is the brand new Ford Transit Van, complete with Captain’s Chair seating and a high top roof for easy entry and exit. This versatile vehicle is able to accommodate 14 Passengers and luggage and is perfect for families going to an Airport or for a Wine Tour.

12 PASSENGER TRANSIT LIMOUSINE The Transit Limousine has all the luxury you have come to expect from a standard limousine, but with enough room for everyone. This is the perfect vehicle to enjoy Charlottesville’s many wineries and breweries with friends and family.

25 PASSENGER MINI BUS Our Mini Buses are great vehicles for medium sized groups. These 25 Passenger vehicles, with their large viewing windows and individual seating, are a great way to tour the local area or shuttle guests from one location to another.

47–55 PASSENGER MOTOR COACH The Motor Coach is the largest vehicle type in our fleet. We have two sizes of Motor Coach, 47 Passenger and 55 Passenger, both of which are ideal for large groups. These vehicles enable you to transport a significant number of passengers at one time

Call Us at:

(434) 973-5466 • (888) 725-5466 (LIMO) www.ambassadorlimos.com

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MADE IN C-VILLE


Pioneering Virginia’s first Estate Meritage Blanc and along with classic Bordeaux grapes, exciting Estate 2016-2020 plantings of Eastern European Saperavi and Garanoir of Switzerland. The Montifalco team, Justin Falco, Winemaker-Owner & Operator, and Vineyard Manager Dr. Denis Nekipelov are focused on the highest quality winegrowing and a winemaking craft reflecting both New & Old World techniques. Along with their friendly Montifalco Stewards, they offer a most welcoming boutique farm winery experience.

HOURS

Noon-5pm Friday through Sunday By Walk-In or Reservation Final seating is at 4pm We offer a wine tasting flight of 4 wines. Traditional tastings are offered in our Tasting Room Gallery by reservation.

434-989-9115 www.montifalcovineyard.com

1800 Fray Road • Ruckersville, VA 22968


Started by George Spathos who arrived to the United States from Greece at age eighteen, the Aberdeen Barn has been a family owned and operated business since 1965. Today, you’ll find George’s daughter Angela running the show, and his son Terry behind the scenes working to achieve that fine balance between honoring their father’s dream while providing the type of upscale experience that today’s fine dining customer requires. They work as a family, with their seasoned chefs and waitstaff, to bring you that classic dining experience that locals have come to expect over the last 57 years.

ABERDEEN BARN

2018 Holiday Drive 434.296.4630 | www.aberdeenbarn.com

The Jefferson Cup at The Jefferson Cup at

– on the Historic downtown mall – 319 east main street

Your Friendly Full Service Family Jewelry Store since 1945

434-295-4258

– on the– on Historic downtown the downtown mall – mall – 319 east main main street 319 east street “Your Friendly Jewelry Store Since 1945”

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Your Friendly Full Service Family Jewelry Store 434-295-4258 since 1945 – INon Historic downtown – on the downtown mall – mall MADE C-VILLEthe

434-295-4258 319 east main main street 319 east street

“Your Friendly Jewelry Store Since 1945”


WHAT’S INSIDE

SHOPPING LIST 9 FEATURES 30 09 All the essentials for you and your home. 10 Surface designer Emily Wool finds inspo in nature. 11 Locally made candles good enough to eat. 13 An on-the-go game board for wood-lovers. 13 A good look for good boys.

SKETCHBOOK 13 17 The leather man

Daniel Foytik is devoted to his medium.

21 DIY darlings

Three local spots to help you get crafty.

WHO

A decade and a half after first encountering Live Arts as an elementary schooler, lifelong thespian Ti Ames is returning to the theater as its new education director.

WHAT

Ralph Dammann studied double bass at American University, but when he realized he couldn’t practice the technique he wanted on the instrument he’d been using, well, he reinvented it.

22 New perspectives

A Q&A with multihyphenate Kori Price.

WHERE

For more than two decades, Janice Arone and Mary Ann Burke have worked to make The Barn Swallow a haven for local artists. “Once the artists come in, they tend to stay,” Burke says.

24 Groupthink

Boss Babes offers support for business owners.

26 Just a little

Robert Myers’ art is in the details.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE 46 Through the lens with Jen Fariello.

Cover photo by Anna Kariel. Comments? E-mail us at editor@c-ville.com.

Made in C-VILLE, a supplement to C-VILLE Weekly, is distributed in Charlottesville, Albemarle County and the Shenandoah Valley. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the publisher. Made in C-VILLE Editor Caite Hamilton. Copy Editor Susan Sorensen. Graphic Designer Tracy Federico.

Art Director Max March.

Account Executives Chloe Heimer, Lisa C. Hurdle, Gabby Kirk, Stephanie

Vogtman, Beth Wood. Production Coordinator Faith Gibson.

Publisher Anna Harrison. Chief Financial Officer

Debbie Miller. A/R Specialist Nanci Winter. Circulation Manager Billy Dempsey. ©2022 C-VILLE Weekly.

308 E. Main St. Charlottesville, VA 22902 (434) 817-2749 n c-ville.com c-ville.com/madeincville

MADE IN C-VILLE

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PHOTO BY SHENANDOAH IMAGERY

609 East Market St. 1 block north of the Downtown Mall www.tonic-cville.com 6

MADE IN C-VILLE

Vibrant Food Fun Cocktails Communal Patio


Making people happy with cheese and wine since 2017

406 East Main Street, on the Downtown Mall Look for the sheep! www.tilmanscheeseandwine.com MADE IN C-VILLE

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G

E

INT

TIN

W L A I N N O E I T T A AS N R

Enjoy a special tasting of at least three different Virginian and International wines, while guest speakers will guide you through your tastings and discuss the history of each grape! Charcuterie boards will be available for guests to purchase to go along with their tastings.

May 28 - Albarino Tickets Available by Phone: 540-832-7440 June 18 - Nebbiolo 35.00 for one seat - 65.00 for two seats October 8 - Pinotage Special pricing available for seats to the entire series December 3 - Touriga/Port 8

MADE IN C-VILLE


SHOPPING

SUPPLIED PHOTO

NATURE-LOVER

LLOREL ELDRIDGE WAS standing in a lavender field when she had the idea to start L’Essentials, her nature-inspired skincare and décor brand. “I always stayed at my grandparents’ house during the summer and we were always outside,” Eldridge says. “I’ve been inspired by nature my whole life.” She launched in 2020 with hand sanitizer, floral bath salts, and rose cuticle oil, all invoking her love of the outdoors. She quickly expanded to coffee bean facial scrubs and—her favorite product—flower preservations,

for which she presses anything—from forget-me-nots and baby’s breath to roses and marigolds—between two panes of glass and contains them in a gold or black frame. Those are her bestsellers and, coincidentally, her favorite things to make, especially custom orders. “I really enjoy creating pieces inspired by nature,” she says. “I hope my work gives you a sense of calm and happiness.”—CH

$35, lessentialsbyllorel.myshopify.com

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SHOPPING

MADE WITH LOVE

AFTER GRADUATING FROM Appalachian State University with a BFA in graphic design, Emily Wool was searching for her next step. “Towards the end of the program, I had become pretty disenchanted with what I saw as the rigid world of graphic design and wanted to explore a more expressive way of art-making,” she says. She had an a-ha moment thanks to the school’s art therapy program and, shortly after, came upon Innisfree Village, a Crozet lifesharing community with adults who have disabilities. She became a full-time caregiver, then worked in the gardens, and eventually started the community’s art program, which focused on block-printing. “While I was learning and teaching that, I decided to dabble on my own and began printing lots of fabric during evenings and weekends,” she says. Soon she started Emily Ruth Prints, a line of nature-inspired pieces from tea towels to Washi tape. We asked her to tell us more about her business and her work.—CH Made in C-VILLE: It’s obvious nature plays a big role in your work. What is it about nature that lends itself so easily to art, in your opinion? Emily Wool: Nature is absolutely everywhere, of course, so it’s easy to see why there are endless art forms dedicated to it. You could probably argue that most art is inspired by nature in one way or another, and my work is no different. Admittedly I’ve never been a very outdoorsy person, but taking pictures of plants and just slowing down to pay attention to shape and color became a soothing and deeply creative experience for me. Nature is also both ever-changing and cyclical, so we can see new colors and shapes every day as well as familiar flowers and leaves that bring up feelings of comfort and nostalgia—therefore great inspiration for art. What would you say is your specialty? I think I try to create work that’s approachable. And by that I mean, I hope the pieces I make both draw people closer to nature’s possibilities and feel functional. So I guess what I most like to do is join those forces—beauty and function. I think I specialize in simple prints that highlight shapes found in nature. What’s your bestseller? What’s your personal favorite thing to make? Tea towels are a big hit. I think because they’re easy to gift and use and you still get a piece of the artwork. I love making the weighted eye pillows because I like imagining someone using them and being soothed the same way I am by them. They’re also fun to play with with a new stamp if I don’t want to print lots of fabric since they’re a smaller surface.

SUPPLIED PHOTOS

How often do you come up with new prints and designs? Oh gosh. Daily! I always want to play with new patterns. I’ve had to develop a line of the more “tried and true” patterns to have available all the time but I’m always playing with new imagery and shapes. Prints and designs that see the light of day are less frequent, but I do put new patterns out there fairly often. $18, emilyruthprints.com

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FOR THE WIN

MATTHEW WINSTON WAS thisclose to shutting down the candle-making business he’d recently started. The VCU grad had a degree in creative advertising, but couldn’t picture himself settling in to a 9-5 job, so he turned his creative hobby into a business: The Win Candle. Hoping to drum up some extra attention (“I would get a few orders here and there, but it just wasn’t enough,” he says), he turned to TikTok. “I posted a video about my parents offering to buy me more inventory and how I wasn’t getting any sales or visitors on my website,” Winston says. “Not even an hour later I went viral.” From that video, more than 300 customers bought up the rest of his inventory. Winston designs the labels and concocts the scents himself. And he makes the candles—which have unique wooden wicks for a slower burn and wider fragrance throw—from his home with 100 percent virgin coconut soy. He releases a new collection every season, but our noses are on Honeysuckle for summer.—CH

SUPPLIED PHOTO

$22, thewincandle.com

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“Great to have a family owned jeweler that you can trust with fair pricing and answers to your questions.”

“I bought an engagement ring there last Spring. Andy was a pleasure to work with and took the time to help me make sure I made the right purchase. I had visited several other jewelers and there was a huge difference in customer service. I would recommend the store for any jewelry purchase without hesitation.”

FIRST PLACE: Best Jewelry Store Cville Weekly, Best of Cville, past winner

FIRST PLACE: Best Wedding Jewelry Cville Weekly, Best of Cville, past winner

andrewmintonjewelers.com 12

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434-979-7672

|

Seminole Square Shopping Center


SUPPLIED PHOTO

SHOPPING

XS AND OS CODY LESTER HAS been a woodworker since 2012, but one day on his way into work (he keeps a day job as quality improvement analyst for the UVA Transplant Center), inspiration struck: He’d been trying to dream up a new product for his business, The Fine Grainery, that would allow him to combine mediums and add a personalized touch, and he finally got an idea. He’d make tic-tac-toe—to go. “The thing I like most about it are the contrasting types of wood and the contrasting acrylic pieces,” Lester says. “I think the look just kind of brings everything together.”

Acrylic pieces nestle into a maple and walnut frame, with magnets to keep everything in place (good for bumpy car rides or chaotic restaurant tables). And while Lester’s 2-year-old daughter doesn’t quite understand the game yet, he hopes the pieces can become heirlooms—especially given that he can personalize them. “My favorite was an XOXO message from a grandparent to his grandchildren,” he says. “I think that is something that will be cherished for a long time.”—CH $35, thefinegrainery.com

SUPPLIED PHOTOS

DOGGIE TREAT

LONGTIME FIBER ARTIST (and communications consultant) Miriam Dickler knew her pit bull Frank was a big softy, but his serious face often said otherwise to strangers. “I started putting him in fun bandanas I made to try and help communicate his friendly, loveable personality,” she says. “It seemed to work!” Eventually, she began to make “Frankdanas,” reversible bandanas in complementary fabrics, and sell them through her Etsy shop, Frankly Fetching. “Obviously, we named it for Frank as he’s the inspiration and CEO (Chief Eating Officer),” she says. Find them online or at Animal Connection.—CH $13, franklyfetching.etsy.com

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DESIGN

Goldsmith Mia van Beek Master goldsmith Mia van Beek established Formia design Jewelry in 2004. A small, full-service jewelry studio located in the heart of Charlottesville, Virginia. Known worldwide for transforming your own child’s artwork into precious metal keepsakes (necklaces, charms, keychains and more). We design, redesign and repair fine jewelry (engagement rings, wedding bands, anniversary gifts and more).

formiadesi 420 e. charlottesville, v

434-9 info@formiadesig

“All our pieces are handmade with the goal of perfection. Providing excellent customer service, fast turn around time and full attention to detail in every stage of the process. Most of all, satisfied customers are our priority.” Recycle your old jewelry and I redesign just for YOU!! Goldsmith Master Mia van Beek will personally consult you in the process of your jewelry redesign. Mia makes this experience creative and fun while professionally guiding you with possibilities and ideas related to you existing jewelry and wishes of your dream jewelry. Repair can be things like, Prong work, stone setting or resetting, broken clasps, broken chains, ring sizings and MORE….

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esign.com e. main st. va 22902

COLLECTION

DESIGN L Ivan M I TBeek ED EDITION Goldsmith Mia

formiadesign.com 420 e. main st. charlottesville, va 22902 434-981-8389 info@formiadesign.com

-981-8389 sign.com

formiadesign.com 420 e. main st. charlottesville, va 22902 434-981-8389 info@formiadesign.com

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70 Local Artists and sweets makers

All In One Place 13652 James Madison Hwy, Palmyra,VA

www.stab.org

Your child deserves to

THR VE at school

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SKETCH

LO CA L M A K E R S , D O E R S , A N D C R E AT I V E T H I N K E R S

STRAPPING LAD EZE AMOS

LOCAL LEATHERWORKER FIGHTS BACK FROM COVID CLOSURE By Shea Gibbs

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eather goods designer Daniel Foytik has had his share of adversity. Raised in a remote town in Siberia, Russia, he was diagnosed in 2004 with ankylosing spondylitis, an inflammatory disease causing spinal fusion. About a year and a half ago, COVID-19 caused him to close his Charlottesville leather goods storefront on Second Street. Now, he’s going through an emotional divorce from his wife and business partner, Alisa. Still, Foytik says none of that is going to stop him from continuing to make handcrafted products under the Foytik Leather name. “I need to work hard,” he says. Foytik says he’s been fascinated with leather—“the smell, the touch, the pliability and durability”—since he was a child. Because of the remoteness of his birthplace, his family crafted homemade toys, instilling a DIY sensibility in him early on. Foytik began his leatherworking career making sheaths for his own artisan knives. He soon started creating belts and wallets, as well. In 2012, Foytik moved to

the United States and settled briefly in Rappahannock County. He and his wife wanted to buy a home and came across a list of the “10 happiest cities to raise a family.” Charlottesville was on the list. Foytik and his wife opened the brickand-mortar Foytik Leather shop in 2015. By then, he had expanded his product line, and today it includes dog collars (his most popular item), leashes, bags, camera straps, passport covers, smartphone covers, lanyards, and journals. He purchases most of his raw leather in half-hides from an Amish company in Ohio. Once in-house, Foytik stains, stamps, and finishes the leather, assembling his products and sending them to customers across the country. Foytik doesn’t blame COVID entirely for his storefront closure. He says he may have grown too fast pre-pandemic, adding too many employees and sacrificing efficiency. Plus, he never saw the foot traffic he’d hoped for, and “the design of the product wasn’t really fit for Charlottesville clientele,” he says.

Daniel Foytik loves leather: "“the smell, the touch, the pliability and durability," he says.

With the shop closed for the time being, Foytik is focused on his online Etsy store. Most of his customers these days live outside Charlottesville. Foytik says he rarely works on commission due to the long lead times but is constantly looking for new items to add to his line, and designs every product himself. “I like the newer stuff better than the old, but it is not always that people agree,” Foytik says. “When I create something one-of-a-kind, I get into the groove and get inspired.” Foytik has also reworked his production approach and employs only two to three people at a time, depending on demand. He’s planning several pop-ups this summer and hopes to introduce a high-end product line. Perhaps most importantly, he’d like to reintroduce his passion to locals. “If you think about it, there is no synthetic material that could completely replace leather,” Foytik says. “It is a perfect product.”

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WEDDING PLANNERS

Champagne Wishes is a business built on friendship, loyalty, communication, and the determination to provide only the highest level of service to our clients. From day-of coordination, to twelve month full planning, we are proud to be a small business that pours all our attention and resources into each event. We are committed to resolving any question that may arise through our planning journey. WE ARE BASED IN WAYNESBORO, VA AND LOVE TO TRAVEL! www.champagnewisheswed.com (434) 962-3995 champagnewishes2020 champagnewishes_2020 Photos by Amanda Lauren Photography

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MAKER SPACES

MARTYN KYLE

FOUR DIY SPOTS TO UP YOUR CREATING GAME BY CAITE HAMILTON

So you wanna be able to say, “I made that!”? These four spots are helping you craft something brag-worthy, from floral arrangements to beaded earrings. Be Just

The Hive

The Scrappy Elephant

Pikasso Swig

407 Monticello Rd. bejustcville.com

1747 Allied St., Suite K thehivecville.com

165 Main St., Palmyra scrappyelephant.com

333 Second St. SE pikassoswig.com

What do pizza, pillows, and flowers have in common? They’re all workshops held by this Belmont home goods shop. The thoughtfully curated class list focuses on learning new ways to live well and cultivate your home.

The owners of The Hive (above) have a long list of artists and makers they admire—and many of them teach workshops and classes at the Allied Street studio. Learn the meditative art of Zentangles, or try your hand at sewing a child’s dress.

The Scrappy Elephant helps you do good and do good work. Its creative reuse program (you bring them your leftover art supplies to help keep them out of landfills) helps fuel the Palmyra shop’s events and workshops, from mosaics to macramé. (Plus: SE’s Camp Create gets young crafters started early.)

This downtown studio offers a class every Thursday. Look for things like sand art, pillow-making, and straight-up acrylic painting instruction, all supplies (and a beverage!) included for less than $50. Bonus: There’s a full menu available, with charcuterie, panini, and plates for the little ones.

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We are so lucky to work with these local makers: Cabell Stitchery Julias Needleworks Jeni Sandberg and Nightowl Needlepoint Please join us at Poppypointe to make your own work!

1747 Allied Street • Suite J Charlottesville 434.422.8174 Poppypointe.com 22

MADE IN C-VILLE

THE SPACES BETWEEN ARTIST KORI PRICE CHALLENGES VIEWERS TO TARRY WITH CONTRADICTION BY BRIAN D. HAMILTON

K

ori Price is one of those rare creatures with full control over both sides of her brain. By day, she is an electrical engineer educated at Virginia Tech. In her off hours, she is a writer and mixed-media artist. In January 2022, she put on her first solo exhibition, “You can’t compromise my joy,” at New City Arts. She is a founding member of the Black Artists Collective, a new board member at New City Arts, and the host of “Creative Mornings,” a breakfast series for local artists. We chatted about the past and future of her creative work. Made in C-VILLE: It’s unusual to meet someone with a talent for both the scientific and the artistic. How did that come about? Can you tell me about your self-discovery as a creative? Kori Price: I’ve always loved crafts and arts and that sort of thing, even as a kid. So, even as I found myself pursuing more technical things in school, I was still in band. I played the contra-alto clarinet for four or five years—a really tall, outrageous, low clarinet. I also loved art. My dad had cameras, so I would pick up his cameras and try to take pictures. I’m terrible at sketching, but I would try to sketch. I started writing a book in high school. I would just dabble in all of these different things. In college, as I pursued my electrical engineering degree, I just stayed around creative people. That’s what helped me journey closer to a life as a creative. I might have had more arts-focused friends in college than I had engineering friends.


You work in such a diversity of forms as an artist. Is there a central set of themes that holds your work together? There are a few themes that I really enjoy. One is Black womanhood. That’s a pretty central theme, and it’s something I want to keep exploring and expanding on. I also love making work that creates a liminal space. I love making work that’s ethereal, that sends shivers down your spine, that makes you feel like there’s a presence in the room, so to speak. A lot of it is rooted in conversations with folks about things as wild as particle physics and quantum mechanics as well as people’s experiences with their spirituality or their experiences with folks who have passed on, with their ancestors. I take two things that contrast—like hard science vs. spirituality—and try to show that they don’t have to be separate. There are places where they blend and they merge. You recently had your first solo exhibition, ‘You can’t compromise my joy,’ which we wrote about in C-VILLE Weekly. Tell me about that experience. What came out of that for you? The biggest thing for me is just the confidence that I gained. I don’t know who has put this in our minds, but it feels like you have to have a solo show in order to be an artist. I know in my head that’s not right, but this show still gave me that confidence. Look what I did! Look what I accomplished! I planned and executed on an idea that had just been images in my head. I translated those ideas into reality. But hearing people’s reaction was important, too. In my work, I want people to be part of the show. I want them to be present in it. I had this twisted hair fringe at the front, which I titled ‘Did you just touch my hair?’ I wanted to make it clear that once you come through those twists—you

EZE AMOS

While my engineering friends were off doing projects with Arduinos, microprocessors, or circuit design, I was writing short stories. I was in the concert band and the marching band. I bought my first DSLR and started taking photos for friends. So I think because I’ve always had this curiosity about art, as an adult, it just felt right to pursue a career as an artist alongside my career as an electrical engineer. I just want to explore the work that I can do, the things that I can make.

Writer and mixed-media artist Kori Price says a central theme in all of her work is Black womanhood.

couldn’t see through the gallery wall or the window, because there was a wall of hair there—you were in a Black woman’s headspace. You kind of intruded in, you parted through the hair. That resonated with people. They felt it. They left notes in the book that brought me to tears, because it had really translated. I think that’s the one of the most important things that an artist can do, to get people to feel. So, it was just good to know that I could do it. Now I’m challenging myself. What else can I do? What more can I do? What’s next? So what is next? I’m sort of in an exploratory mode. I’m focusing right now on finishing a book I’ve been writing. I don’t have a title yet, but it’s a fantasy/science fiction series that I’d like to write. I’ve written the first book; I’m in the process of editing it now. It’s a young adult book. I’ve been writing

it for a long time and things are finally solidifying, which is great. In the photography realm, I’m working with a couple of ideas. The first idea is about our relationship to our ancestors. That’s another liminal space. Just like night and day exist at the same time at dusk and dawn, why can’t life and death exist in the same place or the same space? That’s my core idea, the core metaphor that I’m working with. I’ve created a few images from that which were recently on display at Studio IX. I’ll post them on my website soon. I’m also going back to the theme of Black womanhood. I want to experiment with mixing weaving and photography to create personas of different Black women, and celebrating particular African-American names—your Keisha, your LaQuanda, your LaToya, those names that are so unique to African American culture. I want to find a way to bring those women to life.

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MAKING MAGIC COMMUNITY OF LOCAL BOSS BABES EXISTS TO EMPOWER AND SUPPORT BY SAMANTHA BAARS

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TRISTAN WILLIAMS

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omen supporting women isn’t just a hashtag or phrase pulled off a trendy graphic tee for members of Boss Babes Cville, an ever-growing support group of local female-identifying folks in all walks of their careers. Started by downtown business owner and stylist Linnea Revak in 2017, the group took shape with the help of co-director Jessica Norby, a local social media strategist. “I was a 27-year-old small business owner that needed community—to not feel like I was alone, but instead have camaraderie and support from others in my shoes,” says Revak, whom you’ve probably seen around town in flouncy pastels, or behind the counter of her stylish consignment shop, Darling Boutique, on the Downtown Mall. Revak just opened her second storefront, Dashing Boutique, right next door, and, in part, credits her entrepreneurial success to advice she received at one of the group’s meetups from fellow Boss Babe Destinee Wright, a local writer and marketing professional: Release the need to control everything. Letting go is powerful. And so much good has come from just releasing. That advice came from Wright in the summer of 2019, says Revak, when she was figuring out the next step for her


business. “I’d just moved into our new [Darling Boutique] location, needed to hire staff and delegate, but I was still trying to control everything. It was in letting go and delegating to a team that I trust that I saw my business truly flourish.” With a virtual Facebook group including almost 1,500 members and monthly in-person meetups, the local boss babe says she created the group to be an inclusive and safe space to exchange resources and insights, be vulnerable, to uplift, encourage, and learn from one another. “I’m a better small business owner because of Boss Babes Cville,” Revak says. “I’m wiser, stronger, more vulnerable, teachable. Each time we’ve had a meetup over the years with guest speakers, I’ve soaked it all up like a sponge.”

“IF THIS GROUP’S SHOWN ME ANYTHING, WE’RE CAPABLE OF ADAPTING, LEARNING, GROWING, AND BETTERING OURSELVES— TOGETHER.” LINNEA REVAK The collective wisdom of the group has helped her make important decisions about everything from growth, hiring needs, systems and processes, accounting, and marketing. “I would be googling so many things if it weren’t for this group!” she says. Much like the term girl boss, boss babe has seen a recent shift in connotation, sometimes carrying a non-serious tone reinforcing that women in positions of power often aren’t viewed as equal to their male counterparts. “I believe it’s still an empowering way to define our group, but I do think there’s room for growth in the language we use to talk about female-identifying individuals when it comes to entrepreneurship and business,” Revak says. “If this group’s shown me anything, we’re capable of adapting, learning, growing, and bettering ourselves—together.” And all are welcome to join. “The more engaged everyone is, the more sparks of magic fly in the group,” says Revak. “You get out of the group what you put into it. And we’ve seen so many beautiful things come out of it.”

VVino Professional Photography & Consulting info@vvinoc.com VVino Consulting vvinoc

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TINY FIGURE IN MY HAND

LOCAL ARTIST ROBERT MYERS FINDS HIS NICHE AMONG MINIATURISTS BY SHEA GIBBS

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PHOTOS: EZE AMOS

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rtists have been creating and decorating miniature models for hundreds—if not thousands—of years. But miniatures have exploded in the past half decade with the growing availability of 3-D printers and virtual gathering spaces for enthusiasts. For example, Warhammer, one of the world’s largest tabletop gaming franchises, has drawn an Instagram community of miniature enthusiasts and painters nearly 400,000 members strong. Charlottesville resident Robert Myers stumbled on miniature painting early during the COVID-19 pandemic, the ideal time to take up a painstaking hobby requiring skill and patience. A working artist who’s dabbled in various media, Myers quickly found himself drawn to the intricacies of miniatures. “I had just had knee replacement surgery and was laid up and looking for something to do. I got into the rabbit hole on YouTube,” Myers says. “I always liked building models, and for me, it’s the aesthetic. I liked the way everything looked

and wanted to apply the principles of 2-D painting to 3-D objects.” Most folks who charge into miniature painting are tabletop gamers. With their resin-packed 3-D printers at the ready, the self-styled nerds build their own tiny figures for deployment on the fantasy battlefield. Myers doesn’t play tabletop games. But he was drawn to comic book illustration in eighth grade and began studying

art in high school. He joined the Navy afterward and bounced around jobs, bartending and the like. In 2010, he went to art school, focusing on figure drawing, oil painting, sculpting, and other media. All told, he’d had nearly a decade of formal art schooling. Since going pro, Myers has done some commission work, but it wasn’t until he found miniature painting that his passion was finally piqued. He still struggles to


make ends meet selling finished models under his Red Right Hand Miniatures brand, but he’s hopeful about the future. “Everything artistic sounds corny, but the process for me is finding inspiration in the blank canvas of the miniature, the figure itself,” Myers says. “I ask myself, ‘how do I expand on this?’” Myers and other miniature painters typically start with an existing 3-D design, print the piece using their resin of choice,

then begin their creative process through paint application—priming, layering, creating lighting and transition effects. “If you’re going to paint a still life, like a bowl of fruit, you might think about whether you want to put your grapes in front or behind,” Myers says. “With miniatures, that’s decided for you. But there are so many techniques you can use to expand on it.” At some point, Myers might also like to move into the business of miniature

Formally trained artist Robert Myers finally found his niche in painting miniatures.

sculpture design. With the way the hobby’s growing, he figures it’s an artistic pursuit with serious upside. “With COVID and people having so much time, lots of people got involved in the hobby,” he says. “It’s an amazing, supportive community. It’s an open and progressive community. And I think more people are starting to realize there isn’t this stigma for being into it.”

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Welcome to Mineral


als & Mystics! Minerals & Mystics opened in August of 2020 in Seminole Square Shopping Center. Taking the place of the well-loved Crystal Connection which stood in the same place for 32 years before its owner, Kathy Campbell, retired, Minerals & Mystics is the reincarnation of the previous store bringing an updated twist to Charlottesville’s favorite rock and mineral store. Leah Williams worked for Kathy for almost 18 years before opening the new store bringing with her the history and knowledge of The Crystal Connection to Minerals & Mystics. While specializing in rocks and minerals and sterling silver jewelry, Minerals & Mystics aims to bridge the gap between science, religion, and metaphysics. A truly holistic approach to our spiritual path includes bringing in all the available information and blending what once was considered opposing forces. It is not for one group or ideology to dictate the exact process for every person; our goal is to focus on the individual and help guide each person on their path to becoming their best self. Wherever you are on your path, we can’t wait to meet you and help in whatever way you need us- a safe space away from the world, beautiful treasures to love and own, or a place to learn new things and ask questions. We look forward to seeing you at Minerals & Mystics today!

www.mineralsandmystics.com Facebook.com/MineralsMystics 345 Hillsdale Drive Charlottesville VA 22901 434-284-7709


ANNA KARIEL

Who

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Whe


ANNA KARIEL

What The creative people, places, and things that make our town tick

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ere?

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Stage fight TI AMES RETURNS TO THEATER THAT HELPED THEM THROUGH DIFFICULT TIMES

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ifelong thespian Ti Ames was never comfortable with their casting. First, as an African American, Ames was long frustrated never to be cast in Black roles. There just weren’t all that many to cast, Ames says, and “unless you are told otherwise, you are playing a white character.” Second, as a young person still learning who they were, Ames was uncomfortable in traditionally gendered casting. “I was always put in the position where I wasn’t an ingénue, because I wasn’t skinny and light,” they say. “There were a lot of roles I couldn’t play growing up. I was always put in the role of mother or servant—or man.” Still, while it was theater that brought Ames some discomfort, it was also theater that eventually helped them learn who they were. Now, a decade and a half after first encountering musical theater at Live Arts as an elementary schooler, Ames returns to the organization as its new education director. Ames takes over the role from Miller Susen and will oversee Live Arts’ education program for adults and youth. That includes programming classes, camps, and workshops, overseeing volunteer education, arranging student internships, and coordinating the theater’s mentor/apprentice program. “I’m 26 and still trying to figure out what I want to be, and this job is part of that,” Ames says. Ames has been involved with Live Arts, first attending summer camps and classes, later working as a camp counselor during college, and most recently directing shows and teaching in Susen’s education department, for 16 years.

BY SHEA GIBBS Before moving back to Charlottesville and taking the new job, Ames had earned a degree at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio and then completed a guest artist position there. “[They are] talented, gifted, and totally ready for this position,” Oberlin theater department chair Caroline Jackson Smith said when Live Arts named Ames its education director. “They are a brilliant actor/singer and an accomplished director. They are so clear, prepared, and organized.” After moving back to Charlottesville post-college, Ames designed and taught an African American History course at Renaissance High School and began giving vocal lessons at The Front Porch. They have also taught theater workshops and coached vocal students at Monticello and Charlottesville High schools. Ames served as Live Arts’ interim education director before moving into the position full-time, making them uniquely qualified. “Ti has a depth of experience that belies their years,” Live Arts Executive Director Anne Hunter says. “They are passionate about theater and kids and widely respected at Live Arts and in the community.” Ames says their family’s roots run deep in Charlottesville, with their mom’s paternal family being enslaved in the area. Ames’ great grandmother lived in Midway Manor when they were in elementary school, and their single mother would leave them at home on summer days. That’s when Ames, age 9, would walk down the hill to attend Live Arts camps, then head back up afterward to meet mom at the end of the day. Ames’ mother introduced them to singing and performing at an even earlier age.

A pastor who founded a church and a singer herself, Ames’ mom also had a public access show. She asked her to sing in church and perform in various ways on air. Ames joined the local chamber chorus, Virginia Consort, when they were 12. They won a Shakespeare competition at 16, earning a summer study program at the Royal Shakespeare Company in Stratford-upon-Avon, England. It wasn’t until Ames attended Oberlin, double majoring in theater and African studies, that they figured out they were non-binary. “I realized I was not very comfortable playing women anymore,” they say. “When I finally understood what it meant, it meant I wasn’t crazy, that I wasn’t necessarily born in the wrong body. It changed how I thought about myself in the world.” Ames says they gained confidence in their body. They knew many people wouldn’t understand them. They hoped some would. Still, Ames had more to learn about themself. Since returning to Charlottesville, they began doing productions with the Charlottesville Players Guild, and it wasn’t until then that Ames first played a black character on stage. They went on to direct the Macbeth adaptation Black Mac at CPG, and later staged an original radio play, See About the Girls. Ames says their new position at Live Arts stands to serve as a place for further growth. “My main thing as education director here is to expand on the process, not the product,” Ames says. “I think that kids deserve the process. And adults that were never given a chance deserve the process— to be heard, validated, and tell stories that make sense to them.”

“I’M 26 AND STILL TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHAT I WANT TO BE, AND THIS JOB IS PART OF THAT.” TI AMES ANNA KARIEL

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‘We do it the way we do it’ RALPH DAMMANN BUILDS INSTRUMENTS LIKE YOU’VE NEVER SEEN OR HEARD

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BY BRIAN D. HAMILTON

alph Dammann and Ray Varona make instruments you’ve probably never heard of. Their specialty is the mandocello, a bigger, baritone version of the mandolin. But while mandocellos traditionally have four courses of paired strings, their version has five, spanning an even wider range than a guitar (from a low C, a third below the lowest string on a guitar, to the same high E). And that’s only one of their many innovations. “We just don’t bother making anything that we don’t make significantly different from everybody else,” Dammann says. “Everything we do, we do it the way we do it.” Dammann made his first instrument, an electric bass, in 1969. He was playing professionally in and around Washington, D.C., and he was looking for guidance on good bass technique. “With every other instrument, there’s a technique that’s worked out over years and years and years,

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centuries a lot of times,” he says. But with electric bass there was nothing. The only real advice on offer at that point was transferred over from the electric guitar, and it didn’t travel well. Dammann finally found his foothold as he began studying double bass at American University, training under the principal of the Washington Symphony Orchestra. There he learned the technique he was looking for. But it was hard to put into practice on a standard electric bass, given the different orientation of the instruments. So, naturally, he reinvented the electric bass. His version, which Dammann Custom Instruments still makes today, was rebalanced to stand upright like a double bass. He kept playing that bass throughout the ’70s. The decades that followed took Dammann in different directions. He ran a CONTINUED ON PAGE 37

ANNA KARIEL


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successful construction company and built up a small cabinet shop. But he never abandoned the luthier’s art. He started making instruments for his son (who now plays bass professionally in Chicago), and Dammann’s cabinet shop slowly morphed into an instrument shop. Things really picked up when he met Ray Varona in 2007. Varona was working with AmeriCorps at the time, but had been making instruments on his own since 2001. Varona has the exceedingly rare combination of an engineer’s mind and a musician’s ear, so Dammann worked hard to convince him to come on as head luthier. “He’s a far better luthier than I ever was,” Dammann says. “He really understands a whole lot of the depth of it.” There are so many variables in the making of an acoustic instrument that affect the final sound. It can be almost

impossible to tell what minor adjustment is responsible for what you hear— the kind of wood and the weight of it, the positioning of the sound port, and many more subtle factors still. Varona meticulously tracks all of these things, making each instrument slightly different from the last. “He’s always experimenting, but he never produces a bad instrument.” Perhaps the most path-breaking of Varona’s experiments has been his “total control neck,” a now-patented mechanism for manually adjusting the action on an instrument—that is, for adjusting how far the strings are from the frets. If the action is too low, the strings will buzz against the frets. If it’s too high, fingering your chords becomes far more difficult. Over time, as the strings naturally pull on the joint between the body and the neck of an instrument, difficult and costly adjustments become necessary. Varona’s

invention is the first really successful solution to the problem. Dammann hopes that in 20 years, you’ll see it on every guitar in the country. Dammann and Varona have worked together now for 15 years, and the shop has grown tremendously from their partnership. They’ve made instruments for people all across the U.S.; they’ve made instruments for people in Britain and Turkey and France. Local musicians like Matthew O’Donnell (who plays Celtic music) and Jason Ring (who plays all varieties of Americana) can be heard playing Dammann instruments around town. The key to their continuity and success is their refusal to be like anyone else, their devotion to making instruments in a way that no one else makes them. “That’s the part I’ve never been able to figure it out,” Dammann says. “Why, why, do you want to do the same little thing that everybody does?”

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TRISTAN WILLIAMS

Gathering a nest TWENTY YEARS IN, THE BARN SWALLOW OWNERS CONTINUE GROWING THEIR ARTISTS’ HAVEN BY MATT DHILLON

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very day on fast-paced Route 250 between the towns of Ivy and Crozet, countless drivers may pass The Barn Swallow without even noticing. Only a small sign points it out. Shielded by a line of thick bamboo and tucked into a barn by a trickling creek, the boutique artisan gallery is an oasis from hurry next to the busy road.

Those who pull in to the gravel parking lot follow a path through a dense garden under a thriving apple tree. By the time they reach the broad porch with climbing akebia vines, the highway has already vanished, and the rush is replaced with rest. Owners Mary Ann Burke and Janice Arone say that the grounded, nature-ori-

ented atmosphere is something they’ve tried to cultivate as curators. “We had a vision about the antiquity of the barn.” Arone says. “It’s pre-Civil War and it just has this beautiful essence to it, so we try to comply with that.” In November 2000, the pair acquired the barn from former owner CONTINUED ON PAGE 40

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Bob Leiby, who had built it into an artisan space called The Crafter’s Gallery. Both Burke and Arone showed pottery there. When Leiby decided to move on, they bought the barn and set to work on its next iteration. “We’re bringing the outside of nature in,” says Arone about their aesthetic. That has been their general rubric for filling the gallery. Both potters make earthenware with watery or wooden textures and incorporate the figures of birds or leaves. Slowly, one by one, they started to gather the pieces of their nest. “John Grant was one of the first photographers,” says Burke. “And jewelers like Elizabeth Haines.” The curators always kept their eyes open for the qualities that fit their Barn Swallow ethos. “Once the artists come in, they tend to stay,” Burke says of the makers they show. More than 20 years later, some of the original contributors are still there, but the gallery has grown to have more than 75 artists on display. There is more than the eye can take in. The tall barn room with exposed tin roof is packed tight with canvases and images that seem to call back to the hay and animals that once occupied the space. Behind a partition wall, more crafts spread out on a landing, and down the stairs there is a stone and cement basement where the original foundation can be seen. Patrons can rummage endlessly and find unexpected treasures. The artists are all local and regional; The Barn Swallow is a rare venue for people to find their work. There are somber drawings from Charlottesville illustrator Tim O’Kane. There are morel-shaped candles, encaustics, and dyed fabric. Crozet-based painter Leslie Banta shows her skyward-looking paintings in which vast clouds dwarf tiny buildings. Laurie Gundersen is a folk artist whose bark-based creations can be found in the gallery. The vases made from cherry or poplar bark and handbags made from white pine have a rough, rustic, and raw appeal that opens new doors in how we use natural materials.

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Anne Scarpa McCauley’s intricate, hand-woven baskets hang on the wall. The tightly woven honeysuckle vines trained into astounding, sculptural patterns that can seem alive reveal why the award-winning artist is also displayed in the Smithsonian and nationally. Grant’s sublimation photography also hangs on the walls. The large, botanical arrangements are printed onto dark metal with dark tones that subvert the bright blush normally attributed to all things floral. The barn has hosted artists for Crozet’s Second Saturday exhibitions, workshops, and talks. Events can be a great way to interact with the space and its exhibitions. As much as the barn has to offer in the numerous pieces in the shop, it also has at least as much to offer as a place to be. The owners hope to open up the creekside meadow to events when it is safer to gather. Most people who visit The Barn Swallow have heard about it before and travel to see it. But some customers passing by come in off the road, and there is also an online store. But the gallery is really a destination venue. The barn and gardens are a joy to explore and you never know what you’re going to find tucked away as you browse the displays. As The Barn Swallow has grown, Burke and Arone have also grown in their craft. Like their barn, clay has the flexibility to be shaped into what you need it to be. “It’s so versatile, you could make a spoon out of clay or you could make a 6-foot sculpture out of clay,” Arone says. It fills the room in various forms. Pitchers, plates, bowels, vases, and teacups line the walls of the shop on shelves, each with an expressive personality. After two decades, Burke and Arone can look back over what they’ve made. The natural aesthetic of their shop makes it feel like a growing thing. Every year, The Barn Swallow has a little more within its walls, more artists, more work, more flowers in the garden. Every year, it comes back fuller, like a tree with more blossoms on its branches.

TRISTAN WILLIAMS


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crushed, but Bill Moretz at Pro Camera came to my rescue and sold me my very own. It was $1,500 in 1996 and that was the largest purchase I had ever made with my own money to date. …The negative is huge, which retains so much beautiful detail. It’s a slow camera so it requires the photographer to really compose and get everything just right before pushing the button.”

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Jen Fariello has been a photographer since graduating from UVA in 1996—and she’s owned this Pentax 67 medium format film camera just as long. “At UVA, the art department supplied the students with a variety of film cameras and the Pentax became my camera of choice. I almost always had it checked out. When I graduated, I wasn’t going to have access to the camera and I was a little


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