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FREE UNIQUE SHOPS, PRODUCTS & GALLERIES | SUMMER 2008 | ISSUE #2| 90+

ONSTAGE: Accessing Opera | Richmond Symphony’s ‘Big Boom’ | Guys & Dolls

‘Try Something Different.’

DESIGN

Kat Liebschwager’s Fresh Takes on Contemporary Verve THE ELEMENTS OF STYLE Charles Luck Stone Center’s Fashion Show That Rocks

ALSO:

Eco-Smart Homes-To-Go Green Design, Efficiency, & Sustainability

Lofty Ambitions

Domesticating Downtown Industrial Space

GLITZ

& GLAM

DRESSING FOR A SUMMER ROMANCE with Heidi Story’s Inspired Selections

IMAGINE

‘MISSING RICHMOND’ Artist Caryl Burtner Finds Memory & Meaning in What Falls Away

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Angela Orrell Todd Hale Sol LeWitt Tatjana Beylotte Virgil Marti

SPLURGE Body Treats Strawberry Fields Flowers and Gifts A PEARL FOR YOUR THOUGHTS Katherine Benner’s Pearl Jewelry at Visual Arts Studio

SONGFEST Lost Satellites Dusty Ray Offering Farm Vegas Duchess of York Klezm’Or’Ami’m

Pick up URgE for FREE at these locations. Check URGEonline.com for new distribution locations. ASHLAND Ashland Coffee & Tea, 100 N. Railroad Ave. Ukrop’s, 253 N Washington Hwy

PETERSBURG Java Mio Coffeehouse & Bistro, 322 N Sycamore St Petersburg Art League, 7 Old St Petersburg Visitor Center, 15 West Bank St Purple Passion, 29 W Bank St Siege Museum, 15 W Bank St

RICHMOND

ALONG BROAD ST: SCOTT’S ADDITION

BOULEVARD AREA

Dairy Bar Restaurant, 1602 Roseneath Rd

Maymont Vistors Center, 1700 Hampton St

DOWNTOWN BROAD STREET AREA 1708 Gallery, 319 W Broad St Common Groundz Cafe, 734 W Broad St Ghostprint Gallery, 220 W Broad St Henry, 212 West Broad Street Lift Coffee Shop, 218 W Broad St Metro Sound, Music & Recording, 117 W Broad St Perly’s, 111 E. Grace St Quirk Gallery, 311 W Broad St Richmond Marriott, 500 East Broad St The Jefferson Hotel, 101 W Franklin St Turnstyle, 102 W Broad St Visual Art Studio, 208 W Broad St

BROAD ST. & LOMBARDY ST. AREA Kroger’s, 901 N Lombardy St

BROAD ST. & WESTWOOD AVE. AREA If It’s Paper, 2413 Westwood Ave Tinker’s, 2409 Westwood Ave

BROAD ST. & STAPLES MILL AVE. AREA Crossroads Art Center, 2016 Staples Mill Rd Ukrop’s, 7129 Staples Mill Rd

WEST END

Fountain Bookstore, 1312 E. Cary St Frame Nation, 11 S 15th St The Berkeley Hotel, 1200 E Cary St

Kroger’s, 9480 W Broad St Kroger’s, 1601 Willow Lawn Dr Suitable for Framing, 5800 Grove Ave Ukrop’s,7035 Three Chopt Rd Ukrop’s, 2250 John Rolfe Pkwy Ukrop’s, 9782 Gayton Rd Ukrop’s, 3460 Pump Rd Westbury Pharmacy, 8903 Three Chopt Rd

UPTOWN | FAN AREA

NORTHSIDE: BELLEVUE | LAKESIDE | BROOK RD. AREA

DOWNTOWN SHOCKOE SLIP | BOTTOM

Capital Mac, 1307 W Main St Crossroads, 26 N Morris St European Market, 2001 1/2 W Main St glave kocen gallery, 1620 W Main St Mezza, 1104 W. Main St Sticky Rice, 2232 W Main St The Common Cup, 1211 W Main St Visual Arts Center of Richmond, 1812 W Main St

Embellish, 5105 Lakeside Ave Nicola Flora, 1219 Bellevue Ave Stir Crazy Café, 4015 MacArthur Ave Ukrop’s, 10150 Brook Rd Ukrop’s, 5700 Brook Run Dr

GLEN ALLEN Kroger’s, 11280 W Broad St Ukrop’s, 10250 Staples Mill Rd Ukrop’s, 9645 W Broad St

CARYTOWN

SOUTH OF THE JAMES

All Fired Up, 3311 W Cary St Bang-On, 3035 W Cary St Glass and Powder, 3003 W Cary St Kroger’s, 3507 W Cary St Occasionally, 3407 W Cary St Pink, 3158 W Cary St ShirtFresh, 3037 W Cary St Soak, 3031 W Cary St Ukrop’s 3522 W Cary St YY Salon, 3222 W Cary St

43rd Street Gallery, 1412 W. 43rd St Art Works, 320 Hull St Bella Vino, 12010 Southshore Pointe Dr Crossroads Coffee & Ice Cream, 3600 Forest Hill Ave Plant Zero Art Center, 0 East 4th St Ukrop’s, 7045 Forrest Hill Ave Ukrop’s, 1220 Sycamore Square Ukrop’s, 3000 Stony Point Rd Ukrop’s, 11361 Midlothian Turnpike

URgE

ISSUE

QUARTER

YEAR

2

SUMMER

08

‘Try Something Different.’

8

12

49

41

13

31

32

14

26

24

46

18

From the Publisher ....................................4 Bright Ideas: People | Products | Pizzazz ................................5

DESIgN A Thoroughly Modern Mix Interior designer Kat Liebschwager’s fresh takes on contemporary verve..........................................10

36

45

ENTERTAININg

Gathering Moss Norie Burnet’s Eden Woods is a quiet oasis .................................................. 31 It’s Time for a Tea Party! Animals Run Wild at Leopard Park; Sip Something Cool; Add a Touch of Whimsy and Color; Green Gifts ..........32

SPLURgE

The Elements of Style Charles Luck Stone Center’s ELEMENTS 2008—a fashion show that rocks. ................................................12

Fresh Flowers & Ideas, in Full Bloom Strawberry Fields Flowers and Gifts, a Special Place for Special Occasions ..............................33

Eco-Smart Homes-To-Go Looking for green design, efficiency, and sustainability? Green Modern Kits delivers ..............................13

A Pearl For Your Thoughts ................................ 33

Lofty Ambitions Cozy Traditional to Edgy Contemporary: ‘Fresh Takes’ on Domesticating Downtown Industrial Space ..............................14

Shopping Spree ..................................................34

PLUS: Harrison Higgins Furniture; Rentz Reinvents the ‘Traditional’ Style; Palette Savvy ......17

IMAgINE ‘Missing Richmond’ Artist Caryl Burtner finds memory & meaning in what falls away....18 The Partners in the Arts Summer Institute The Arts Council of Richmond and the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts facilitate the art of teaching ................20 VagaBox 24 Feet of Rolling Aesthetics ......20 Virgil Marti Ah, Sunflower!....................22 Face Value The Essence & Intimacy of Louis Briel’s Portraiture................................................24 The Dixie A Petersburg Tradition Photographed by Angela Orrell. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 24 Todd Hale Blurring the Lines Between Art and Life ..............................................................26 VMFA adds milestone Sol LeWitt sculpture to its collection ....................27 1708 Names New Director After a national search, the Board of Directors of 1708 Gallery names Tatjana Beylotte Executive Director................................................................27 Gallery Reviews ..................................28 Paul Catanese at 1708 Gallery; University of Richmond 2008 Senior Honors Thesis Exhibition at ArtSpace; Chuck Scalin at Quirk; Peter Fowler at Ghostprint Gallery; Transformed Books at the Richmond Public Library

Body Treats: Go Green and Get Fit; Tan like a star at Nesbit ..................................................34

gLITZ & gLAM

Summer Dresses in the City: A Love Story Ah, the seductions of a season—romance reads, lazy evenings on the lanai and inspired selections from Heidi Story ..............................36 ALSO: My Closet Your Treasure; Summer dresses are the must-have summer wardrobe staple at Nicole Miller; C’mon, you can be this summer’s chic Fan gal ......................................39 With this Ring... Jewelry Artist Jay Sharpe launches new line of wedding bands................40

SONgFEST

Lost Satellites Worlds Collide, is the debut album of Lost Satellites, longtime musician Frank Scott’s newly created studio project...... 41 Inside Richmond Indie Dusty Ray; Offering; Farm Vegas; Duchess of York ............42 Klezm’Or’Ami’m Dance party music with a Jewish soul ..........................................................43 Music Trek: Bringing Richmond the Vibe of the African Diaspora ..........................................43

SCEENINg ROOM

Robert Mark For Richmond-based director Robert Mark, filmmaking is a matter of fact, not fiction ..................................................................44

ONSTAgE

Artistic Sustainability Amaranth Dance Company’s annual program re-seeds the dance field ....................................................45 Live Opera Lives in Richmond Thanks to the Virginia Opera, Opera Theatre VCU, and Virginia Center Stadium 20, Richmonders have never had so many chances to see live operas ....................46 Accessing Opera Melanie Day has been the director of Opera Theater VCU since 1983. She talked with Urge about what audiences can do to get the most out of seeing a live opera ..............46 Richmond Symph’s ‘Big Boom’ The Richmond Symphony’s Kennedy Center performance links its solid past to its bright future ......46 What Good is Sitting Alone in Your Room? Cabarets bring music, comedy & a bit of old Europe to Richmond and Petersburg ....48 Barksdale’s Guys and Dolls at the Empire Theatre ..........................................48 Minds in Motion Discipline, dedication and self-awareness through dance and choreography ............................................48

PAgES

RavenCon 2008 Fiction, fantasy, and fandom on Broad Street ................................49 Book Reviews Behind the Cane ................................................50 The Browser ........................................................50

gALLERIES

Downtown Broad Street Area ....................................19 Shockoe Slip; South of the James River & Manchester ................................21 Fan & Uptown ........................................22 West End Carytown; Staples Mill & Broad Street; Libbie & Grove Avenues; Short Pump Town Center ........................23 Petersburg ............................................25

WORK IN PROgRESS

28

J. Plunky Branch | P. Muzi Branch The multitalented brothers Branch discuss books, painting, jazz & Prince..............43 The Carpenter Theatre Re-opening in the fall of 2009 as Carpenter Theatre, it will be the largest venue in the Richmond CenterStage complex..........47 Julie McGuire A Novelist in the Making ......................50

SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

3

WANT

Our Readers to: Shop Your in Stores Tour Your Galleries Dance at Your Concerts Attend Your Plays Entertain Their Friends Decorate Their Homes

Staff Executive Publisher Ted Randler

Publisher|Senior Editor David Smitherman

Managing Editor Rebecca Jones

From the Publisher

‘Hello, I have an idea for Urge.’ Oh so much fun. Oh so little time.

G

osh, you’ve certainly kept us hopping here at The Work Factory where we produce Urge. Between your phone

Vice President of Marketing Dave Perry

Gallery Editors Rebecca Jones Christina Newton

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URgE ‘Try Something Different’

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©2008 by URGE MEDIA LLP a division of Palari Publishing LLP

dp@urgeonline.com

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March, June, September & November. Send all comments, queries, story suggestions to urge@urgeonline.com. Want to be an Urge distributor? Call Dave Perry at 804 252 3519 or email to dp@urgeonline.com

calls, emails and even—“Well, hello to you too!”—impromptu visits, the staff has furiously chased down leads and typed up stories to keep pace with your suggestions for documenting this town’s creative vibe. We’ve found ourselves all over the region.

First, we admired stunning cityscape views and the tony spaces of the Downtown Loft Tour (Lofty Ambitions, page 14), and then we rolled out to Manakin-Sabot to experience the chic and innovative launch of Elements 2008 (The Elements of Style, page 12)—an interior design show with a decidedly fashion flair. And of course, we wouldn’t miss a First Friday Artwalk. As usual, the evening tour was full of surprises and impressive exhibitions, including a snazzy rig of a gallery on wheels (VagaBox, page 20). We cruised down to Petersburg and were warmly welcomed into their creative community. You’ll note the expanded Gallery Guide as the arts in Old Town Petersburg are just bustling. Back on Broad Street, we were thrown in the midst of elves, wizards,“Filk” and “Larping” in the unlikely venue of the Crowne Plaza West at the inspired RavenCon 2008 (page 49). Don’t worry, I had no idea what the terms meant either (or if they were even legal). I was a little leery when I heard the guest speaker was called “Filthy Pierre.” But nonetheless, it was a real blast. Speaking of blasts, we launched Urge with a party at the glave kocen gallery in Uptown (Bright Ideas, page 8). Quite frankly, we were pleasantly startled by the huge turn out of folks. Much thanks goes out to R. David Ross, Jennifer Glave and BJ Kocen for their help in the occasion’s success. Don’t worry; somehow in this busy Spring, we’ve managed to shop and go to galleries, to the theater, the opera as well as see a lot of local music—and we have a loads of ideas for you to try. We spent time talking fashion with Heidi Story in Carytown (Summer Dresses in the City: A Love Story, page 36) and got Muzi and Plunky Branch’s take on local jazz, art and their creative process (Work in Progress, page 43). On the business side of publishing, our circulation has grown in leaps and bounds with over seventy distribution locations in Ashland, Richmond and Petersburg. If you have a business and would like to be a distributor of Urge drop us an email, call, or heck, just step into The Work Factory and say hello.

Ted Randler Executive Publisher

www.URGEonline.com 4|

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

PEOPLE | PRODUCTS | PIZZAZZ The Richmond Regional Cultural Action Plan takes shape

Amy George found her avocation— or it found her—at the intersection of Mulberry and Grace as the breeze changed direction. “There was just something in the air—the moment had a certain scent, and I could dissect in my head what the notes were,” she says. “That got me thinking about all the interesting scents of Richmond: the tobacco heritage, the FFV cookie factory, the Sauer’s factory, the smell of dogwoods in the spring, and so on.” George began researching perfumes and buying essential oils. In February of 2006, Modern Atelier, her line of handmade perfumes, was born. Its name describes her approach to perfumery. “I have a very modern sense of life. However, perfumery is a craft that fuses science and art. Atelier is French for ‘workshop.’ So I feel that the brand reflects the handmade character of the scents, yet also conveys the modern aesthetic.” Modern Atelier is sold online at www.etsy.com and includes a wide array of scents for women, men and even fragrances for the home. Twenty-four scents are inspired by Richmond places and have attracted

a clientele far beyond Broad Street and Bon Air. “I have a lot of customers in the Pacific Northwest and San Francisco areas. One of my very best customers is somewhere near London, but I've shipped to Finland, South Africa, and Singapore. Many visited Richmond, used to live here, or are ordering the scents as gifts for family who lived here,” she says. How does she make a perfume based on the Farmer’s Market or the Hippodrome? “The scents are inspired by firsthand experience of the places they are named after. I take a scent-snapshot of the moment in my mind, tease out the notes that I think might be able to recreate that moment, and then head back to my workshop.” George believes the Internet has fostered perfume connoisseurship, calling perfume collecting “the new wine-tasting.” Unlike wine, however, many historic perfumes can be recreated through modern science. “You may not be able to find a 1982 Bordeaux, but you can enjoy a reconstruction of Coty's L'Origan or Bourjois Soir de Paris every day,” she says.

Urge eau de parfum Amy George and Urge invite you to suggest a new scent based on a Richmond location or experience. Send the name, along with a brief description of the fragrances it should comprise, to urge@urgeonline.com. Amy will select a winner and create the new scent for Modern Atelier. Deadline for entries: August 15, 2008.

The development of a Regional Cultural Action Plan is a response to the dramatic changes in its cultural life that the Central Virginia region has witnessed over the last decade. This project has been endorsed by the leaders of Richmond’s cultural institutions, as well as the business and government sectors. The Regional Cultural Action Plan will seek to look broadly at the importance of arts and culture and to identify ways to improve the awareness and support for this essential element to our community. Cities across the nation have developed cultural plans that guide the promotion, planning, development, and funding of their community’s arts and cultural organizations. This plan begins to create a collective vision for the arts and culture of the Richmond region, in order to send a clear message to our supporters and to the community that the region’s cultural organizations are working together for a

common goal. In January the proposal for a Regional Cultural Action Plan was drafted by the Valentine Richmond History Center, the Richmond Symphony, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond and Theater IV/Barksdale. It was subsequently approved by the full membership of the Arts & Cultural Funding Consortium, Affiliates of the ArtsFund, the members of the Richmond area group of museums, the Board of the Arts Council and the Executive Committee of CenterStage Foundation. Since then, the following steps have been taken to move the initiative forward: •The board of the Partnership for Nonprofit Excellence of the Community Foundation has agreed to serve as the fiscal agent for the process. •Connect Richmond (www.connectrichmond.org) has agreed to serve as the clearinghouse for communications for the process.

Real Small Art League

“Random acts of kindness meets Banksy's public works—an art awareness campaign with ambush inspirations and no destructive element.” This is how founder Tiffany Glass Ferreria describes Real Small Art League, an ongoing public art project designed to inspire creative awareness. Since February a growing number of artists have been joining Real Small Art League to make, post, and give away tiny original artworks in surprise public locations. First, the miniature works of art, in a variety of media, are posted in public places. Each contains a message intended specifically for the finder. The artworks direct finders to a website. There, they may answer a series of ques-

tions and become members of an online community. In addition to Ferreria, participating artists include Mim Golub Scalin, Allison Compton, Sheila Gray, Bart Schultz, and Richard Garrett. The ongoing project welcomes new artists. Sammo, a painter from Kalamazoo, Michigan recently sent work to Richmond for this project, and RSAL artworks have been spotted at Crossroads Coffee and Tea, the Potomac Mills Ikea store, and around Washington, DC’s Artomatic event. The League uses Google maps to track free art works that have been found. The wide reach of this “small” initiative proves that its motto is entirely fitting: “A little work of art can go a long way.”

SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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Digital Threads

Heads & Tales Where can you stand face to face with a woman who inspired English poet Alexander Pope, a royal governor who was murdered by a mob, a robber baron who became a patron of the arts, and a Virginia suffragette and political radical? At Heads and Tales, a two-part portrait exhibition at the Virginia Historical Society. The Heads and Tales exhibit focuses on ten paintings, to be shown five at a time in 2008 and 2009. Each rotation includes paintings from the 1700s, 1800s, and 1900s. The stories accompanying each portrait are told through analysis of the art, such as props and clothing painted in the picture. “Heads and Tales is as much

about the reaction of the visitors as it is the tales about the sitters and artists,” says William Rasmussen, Curator of Art at the VHS. “We want to know how the person looking at the artwork feels about the people depicted— do they like or dislike the painting? The sitter? The story? What one word best sums up their reaction to each picture? What does the viewer think of the changing fashions? What do the accessories in the portrait tell about the sitter? Answering these questions might make people who see the exhibition think about what a portrait of themselves would look like and symbolize if they had one painted.”

The Jim Morrison of Comics

The Silver Award for Design at the Richmond Ad Club’s 2007 Richmond Show went to AdHouse Books’ PULPHOPE by Paul Pope.

In France, Pope has been called the “Jim Morrison of comics” and “Comics’ Petit Prince.” His work is translated into a number of lanThe awards were handed out guages on three continents. at a gala event on April 18th, 2008 at the Virginia Historical He’s one of a handful of Society. young cartoonists to be con“We were very excited to hear sistently gaining critical praise about the win,” says pub- and media attention, appearlisher/designer Chris Pitzer. ing on the Sci-Fi Channel, “Richmond is a city that is full Much Music, and elsewhere. of big creative agencies like Martin, Elevation and Work Located in Richmond, AdLabs. To be recognized for House Books has published work that could be consid- an eclectic mix of illustrative ered part of that community novels and comic titles since 2002. is very rewarding.”

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The Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising at Virginia Commonwealth University hosted their 2008 Annual Juried Fashion Show, titled Digital Threads, on Friday May 2, 2008. It featured approximately 130 original garments by the fashion design students and chosen by a jury of fashion industry professionals.The show was held on VCU’s campus in the Student Commons, Ballroom A&B. Digital Threads consisted of eleven segments of student designed garments, ranging from evening

wear to denim and fabrications inspired from the Philippines. The show also featured a segment of children’s loungewear inspired by children with cancer. In the fall semester, the Computer Aided Design class created the fabrics for the loungewear. In the spring semester, the students designed garments that adapt to the needs of children and young adults going through chemotherapy. These garments will actually go into production through the sponsorship of Cotton Incorporated and all profits will go directly to ASK, the philanthropic arm of the Pediatric Cancer Unit at VCU Health System.

Leave the Kids at Home & Bring Your Munchies Running through June 29th at the Firehouse Theatre Project, Reefer Madness: The Musical by Kevin Murphy and Dan Studney is inspired by the original 1936 film of the same name. A raucous musical comedy, Reefer Madness takes a tongue-in-cheek look at the hysteria caused when clean-cut kids fall prey to marijuana, leading them on a hysterical downward spiral filled with evil jazz music, sex and violence. The highly stylized and satirical political commentary presses all the hot buttons (sex, drugs, and religious parody)—written for mature audiences, it may be inappropriate for younger viewers. Founded in 1993, the Firehouse produces important American contemporary theater pieces in an authentic urban space—the 102-year-old former Station House #10 of the Richmond Fire Department.

‘Must-Have’ Hand-painted Sparrows

Bare walls of your new Fan apartment getting you down? Add some character with original folk art. Lucretia Jones, owner of House of Lukaya (1717 E. Main St.), can’t get enough of the works she carries by Alabama artist James Snipes. Jones describes his work as “things made from scrap wood, vines, cans, etc.” In the past she only had high-dollar pieces, but she’s recently widened her selection to include items from $10 ranging up to about $300. Jones adores Snipes’ tiny handpainted sparrows that only cost about $10: “I want them all,” she says. Paintings on tin are framed with tree branches covered in recycled soda cans.

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

While you’re in the store you can also fill your closet with Jones’ handmade A-line skirts that feature colorful mixed fabrics and trims. “Everything’s one of a kind,” Jones says about her designs. There’s also a great selection of vintage dresses and shirts in a range of sizes and prints. For those of you who like getting a little crafty, House of Lukaya will also be selling fresh herbs including plantain that you can use to make your own body treatments. “[It’s] one of my favorite herbs for infused oils that I use in my skincare products,” Jones says. “Over 3 ounces of the herb will steep in 1 quart of olive oil for 6 weeks, making a potent oil that nourishes the skin and hair.”

Vacation with pocket panache

Before you take your next trip, stock up on LUG travel essentials at La Difference (125 S. 14th St.). “These people have thought of how to get more pockets into a bag than I can imagine,” coowner Sarah Paxton says of the line that includes laptop cases, overnight bags and other colorful, quilted travel essentials. Every piece in the LUG collection has a fun name like the Puddle Jumper Overnight/Gym Bag that comes complete with a back-ventilated pocket to hold stinky sneakers or cosmetic items you want to keep separated. “It’s equally fun for a carry-on bag or a beach bag,” Paxton says, adding that she loves the company’s attention to detail: “There are stands on the bottom so you can set the bags down and they won’t fall over.” While you’re at La Diff, check out the rest of their travel accessories including colorful Riesenthel pouches that convert into colorful bags for those souvenirs you pick up on vacation and can’t fit into your suitcase, and fun passport carrying cases.

Creativity & the Law Appropriating Art Joan Davis

Question: What constitutes “Fair Use” of another person’s work? Am I allowed to use another author’s material in my own work? Fair Use has long been used as a defense to an allegation of copyright infringement. Under the Fair Use statute, authors are permitted to make limited use of a prior author’s work without seeking permission. Copyright owners give their consent automatically to the “fair use” of a work by others. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use, the factors to be considered include: (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes; (2) the nature of the copyrighted work; (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market. The nature of the work will depend greatly upon whether it is factual (such as scientific reports or scholarly works) or fanciful (such as fictional stories). In general, less copyright protection is given to factual works. This is because there are only a few ways to express certain facts or

ideas in a factual work so extensive quotations are allowed when necessary. As for the factor addressing the amount and substantiality of the taken portion, the more material you take the more likely the courts could find that it is a substitute for the original work and not protected by the Fair Use statute. There is no absolute word limit. The test here is the more important the material is to the original work, the less likely your use will be deemed a fair use. The last factor to be considered is whether the harm caused by the copying would have a negative impact on the potential market of the original work. The infringer would have to prove that there is no harm to the potential market.

To learn more about the Artists’ Legal Clinic or to make an appointment, email Joan at joni@jdavisiplaw.com or call 804-264-8832. SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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Jennifer Glave & BJ Kocen

Greg Wingfield

Elli Morris

Keith Martin & Pam Reynolds

Billie Rees West & Khanh Duong

Urge Magazine Launch Party TUESDAY MARCH 25, 2008 You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect, summery evening for a gathering of Richmond’s who’s who in art, philanthropy, education and commerce. Hosted by Ted Randler & David Smitherman of Palari Publishing LLP, R. David Ross, Jennifer Glave & BJ Kocen in the glave kocen gallery at Uptown, the premiere cover couple opened the exhibit to other galleries to include art featured in the publication’s inaugural issue. It was a fabulous cross section of the business, education and arts communities. Artists, gallery owners, filmmakers, photographers, writers, dancers, musicians, designers, theater folk and other cre-

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www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

Casey Longyear & Lucretia Jones

Lucy Meade

ative bon vivants mingled with entrepreneurs, nonprofit professionals, and boutique owners. Guests included representatives from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, the Richmond Ballet, Theater IV, The Barksdale Theatre, Curated Culture, the Arts Council of Richmond, ArtsFund, Partners in the Arts, the Greater Richmond Partnership, Inc., Venture Richmond, Real Small Art League, OPUS, Richmond CenterStage, Richmond Shakespeare Theatre, Children’s Medical Services International, University of Richmond, and Refresh Richmond. g

Anthony Bryant

Tiffany Ferreira

Deanna King

Nan Miller, Phil Whiteway & Randee Humphrey Shannon O’Neill & Sandy Rusak

Michael Taylor

Bruce Miller

Christina Newton

Sharif Ewees & Patrick Bozeman

Wendy Wyne, Jake Crocker & Stacey Ricks

Paul Spicer & John Romeo

SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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A Thoroughly Modern Mix

For Tasha Tolliver and Raymond McKinney’s master bedroom, Kat Liebschwager mixed a statement-making upholstered headboard with a deep, slate blue/gray wall color. Accessories, such as the apple green throw pillow provide splashes of color, while drawers built into the walls give the room additional space.

INTERIOR DESIGNER KAT LIEBSCHWAGER’S FRESH TAKES ON CONTEMPORARY VERVE PHOTOS

BY

TASHA TOLLIVER

Kat Liebschwager’s rooms, like the journey that led her to the interior design business, possess the same quality: polished eclecticism. Liebschwager became a designer after many years in corporate marketing. She realized six years ago that her real love was beautiful spaces and helping people realize a creative vision. She opened Kat Liebschwager Interiors in 2004. She advocates mixing styles in ways that help the client make a personal statement and is inspired by designers whose visions brought about new ways of looking at spaces.

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www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

“David Hicks really took risks, like lacquering walls in a dark chocolate brown. He was also one of the first to throw out the rule book and pioneer the eclectic mixture of old and new, placing Lucite tables next to Louis XVI chairs. His style continues to be an influence today,” she says. Liebschwager encourages clients to start by selecting things they love. When Tasha Tolliver and Raymond McKinney contacted her, they were renovating their house. With two young children, it was important that their rooms function and reflect their style, but also be child-friendly at the same time. Their family room had to allow for family

Liebschwager achieved a comfortable but sophisticated look in the Tolliver-McKinney living room by restricting the palette to rich neutrals and emphasizing textured fabrics. The blue and brown geometric patterns on the throw pillows were created by interior design legend David Hicks.

activities and formal entertaining. Liebschwager rearranged the room to accommodate a large sofa, and focused on durable furnishings and fabrics in sophisticated colors. “We covered the sofa with a really pretty but durable cotton velvet corduroy fabric—very cushy. The rug is great for kids because it is wool so it is very sturdy and easy to clean, but the random pattern also hides dirt and spills. The leather chair is a recliner for Raymond. I love the modern look and the fact that it doesn’t look like a recliner. The industrial TV stand is very urban. I love the contrast of that with the silk draperies,” she says. For the master bedroom, Tolliver and McKinney wanted an upholstered headboard and gray or blue color scheme. Liebschwager wanted to make the room monochromatic, but not monotonous. “We started by selecting the wall color, a smoky gray/blue. Then, I married that with a crisp white headboard, linen draperies and bedding. The mirrored chest with silver leaf detail, the silver leaf tree branch console table and the mother-ofpearl mirror are some of my favorite elements in the room.” Because of the room’s angles and dormer windows, Liebschwager wanted to make sure that there would be sufficient storage and space.

“Tasha came up with the brilliant idea to have drawers recessed into the walls for more storage, which I think is great,” says Liebschwager. “We were able to give them everything they needed, but the room doesn't feel crowded.” In 2006, Kat’s husband joined her in the design industry. Mike Liebschwager, whose background is accounting and corporate finance, opened Ruth and Ollie, a home décor shop. The store is named for Mike’s grandmother Ruth, whose style was traditional and Kat’s Great-grandmother Ollie, whose style was not. Its July relocation to Carytown, after two years on Grove Avenue, gives four times more retail and work space. Kat’s office is on the second floor. In addition to furniture and home accessories, the shop features art by Richmonders including Inge Strack, Will Turner, Laura Loe, Diane Clemente,Vick Foster, and Sasha Krigsvold. Whether working with a designer or independently, Kat and Mike advise a playful approach. “Don’t be afraid to take risks. One of the biggest mistakes is buying things in sets. Plus, just because you purchased something for one room doesn’t mean it won’t look great in another. I moved some chairs from one client’s living room and made them the head chairs at her dining room table and it was an immediate update The master bath extends the color scheme of the bedroom and living room by placing the rich slate blue against glossy white surfaces. to the dining room,” says Kat. g SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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The Elements of Style

CHARLES LUCK STONE CENTER’S ELEMENTS 2008—

[Top] Mark Fernandes, President of Charles Luck Stone Center, introduces Elements. [Bottom Left] The evening featured fashions from Saks Fifth Avenue. [Center] Charles Luck IV, CEO and President of Luck Stone. [Right] New products and designs in the Charles Luck Stone Center showroom.

A FASHION SHOW THAT ROCKS

Why did designers, builders, sculptors, and landscape architects from throughout the region and around the world descend on Manakin-Sabot en masse in April? They were there to see the stones. Modeled on the Fashion Week events seen in NewYork,Paris and Milan,the Charles Luck Stone Center’s ELEMENTS 2008 used the format and aesthetic

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of a runway show to unveil their new lines of stone. At the kick-off soiree, staged under tents reminiscent of Bryant Park fashion shows, models wore Saks Fifth Avenue fashions in palettes from the new stone lines. The music, décor, and goodie bags for guests completed the effect. Guests could also watch Italian artist Francesca Cestarollo as she created an original

www.URg Eonline.com | SPRING 2008

mosaic using stone from the Charles Luck Stone Center. Mark Fernandes, President of Charles Luck Stone Center, sees fashion and décor coming together in a new way, across industries. He cited Vogue editor Anna Wintour’s observation that today people express themselves through their living spaces in ways that were once reserved for fashion.

Casati, founder of Copeland Casati Media and Green Modern Kits, was increasingly frustrated by the lack of affordable green housing.

Ecco-Smart Homes-To-Go

LOOKING FOR GREEN DESIGN, EFFICIENCY, AND SUSTAINABILITY? GREEN MODERN KITS DELIVERS.

[Top] New stone lines. [Middle] Luck Stone Chairman Charles S. Luck III, True F. Luck & VMFA Director Alex Nyerges [Bottom] Senior Product Manager Mark Whitfield

“ELEMENTS 2008 is designed to provide our customers, partners and industry as a whole with a new way of looking at stone—a way that’s never been done before in our industry,” says Fernandes. “Our goal is to make the week-long events in Richmond and Sterling memorable, to inspire our guests and to unveil distinctive lines of stone with style through the fusion of fashion, stone and design.” Together, the components of ELEMENTS 2008 juxtaposed the transience of high fashion with the permanence of stone. The contrast heightened the unique attributes of each, and the element of good design that unifies them. g

Copeland Casati’s idea was simple: going green should not cost a lot of green. Casati, founder of Green Modern Kits, was increasingly frustrated by the lack of affordable green housing. Two years ago, she collaborated with architect David Day on an affordable, energy-efficient house that can be delivered anywhere in the world and finished with a contractor according to local codes and client preferences. Day designed the Casa Ti, which is 1,200 square feet and has three bedrooms. Casati calls it “a green, gorgeous modern home for those with a practical bent.” Grace Street Residential Design partnered with Casati to develop a 2,000 square foot, 2-story option called the R1 Residential. Its optional garage and suite add-ons allow for additional design flexibility. A feature on the architecture and design website Materialicious.com brought Green Modern Kits hundreds of customers before the business officially launched last fall. Since then, Green Modern Kits have sold throughout the country, as well as in Canada, Portugal, and Ethiopia.

Copeland Casati’s favorite tips for going green painlessly: • Purchase green lightbulbs • Use cloth instead of paper napkins • Use cloth grocery bags • Invest in yogurt making supplies (most containers in stores are not recyclable) • Wash your clothes in cold water, line dry your clothes in summer • Don’t throw away coffee grounds and fruit peelings—compost them • And with that compost, enrich your dirt and grow more vegetables - less lawn! • Change home filters and clean the vents. This can save you 10% a year.

For clients with a different aesthetic, Casati developed the Green Modern Cottage. Although traditional in look, Green Modern Cottages, like the Casa Ti and the R1 Residential, have passive solar capability and structural insulated panels. Different in style, they all reflect Casati’s philosophy. “I wanted a green house that ordinary people can afford. It also has to be absolutely gorgeous,” she says. “And it has to be sustainable. I am against ‘starter houses’ on principle. I expect these houses to be loved by generations.” g

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[Above & Left] Mary Ann and Bill Chapman’s art collection complements the curvilinear lines

Lofty Ambitions

found in the throw pillows’ rose petal print and actual touches of nature from their houseplants.

Polished concrete, brushed aluminum, exposed ductwork—everyone knows what a loft looks like, right? Wrong. The fourteen residences on view in Venture Richmond’s Downtown Loft Tour proved that loft living can be industrial-chic, old world elegant, or warm and eclectic. This was Venture Richmond’s first loft tour, but it is unlikely to be the last.

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The hugely successful event attracted more than 750 visitors, who were treated to tours of lofts and condos in Shockoe Slip, Shockoe Bottom, Broad Street, Jackson Ward, and Manchester. The tour included lofts featured in Southern Living, Dream Lofts and Condos, R-Home Magazine, Creative Work Space, the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Boomer Life, and Style Weekly. A party celebrating the tour was

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

held the night before, in two lofts in the Manchester District’s Decatur Building. Although the homes of hosts Mary Ann and Bill Chapman and that of Robyn and Jeremy Connell are adjoining, a common wall is all that they share. Filled with contemporary art and sleek modern furniture, the Chapman loft represents the best in modern urban decor. The loft’s cool edge is tempered by beautiful natural wood floors and

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COZY TRADITIONAL TO EDGY CONTEMPORARY: DOMESTICATING DOWNTOWN INDUSTRIAL SPACE

The skyline as seen from a loft terrace at The Pohlig Paper Box Factory building.

Lofts in the Reserve bring the outdoors in, via huge windows and charming balconies.

Owner John Meara’s wraparound windows encircle an airy living and dining space in his Emrick Flats loft.

Although a contemporary addition, the spiral staircase at the Emrick Flats is true to the building’s industrial roots.

Got milk? This 401 Brook loft looks out on Richmond’s largest milk bottles. SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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Tiles and fittings in assorted aqua shades give this bathroom in 401 Brook a vintage and modern feel.

A galley kitchen spills over gracefully into a formal dining area in The Pohlig Paper Box Factory.

Polished surfaces of steel and glass define this kitchen at 401 Brook.

Michelle Kinney’s Popkin Loft living room is an elegant arrangeClassic meets whimsical in this Decatur bedroom. ment of ebony & ivory details.

cabinetry and sumptuous textiles in warm neutrals. The Connell loft next door showed how antiques, against a backdrop of richly colored walls and lush draperies, transform the same space. Accessorized with mementos from the couple’s travels, this loft is a warm and personal interpretation of grand apartment style.

The tour also featured lofts at Vistas on the James (301 Virginia St.), The Pohlig Paper Box Factory (2419 E. Franklin St.),The Reserve (2501 E. Franklin St.), 401 Brook Lofts (401 Brook Road), Emrick Flats (101 W. Marshall St.), Popkin Lofts (121 W. Broad St.),The Old Manchester Lofts (815 Porter St.), and Warehouse 201 (201 Hull St.). g

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Guests at the Pre-Loft Tour Reception: 1. Mychael Dickerson, Mary Ann Chapman, Sarah Jarvis; 2. Andy James, Sarah Barr Johnson, Robyn Connell, Suzanne Brickner; 3. Liza Cabell and Tiki Barber; 4. Terry Hampton, Sharon Bassard, Renee Gaines, Mavis Wynn; 5. Lisa Sims and Pamela Royal; 6. Erika Gay; 7. Amy and Rayford Harris

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www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

Harrison Higgins Furniture

After an apprenticeship with a German furniture maker thirty years ago, Harrison Higgins moved into his first workshop—a farm shed with no electricity. His current studio in the Scott’s Addition neighborhood has electricity, as did his former location on Broad Street in the original Pleasant’s Hardware building. Even so, he and his staff still make furniture largely by hand. His shop fills many orders for reproduction pieces, each of which not only has a period look but is also made with period tools and materials: dovetails are cut by saw, ball-and-claw feet are made with a chisel, and

Palette Savvy WORDS BY

finishes are applied by hand. Many of these items are commissions for historic sites, museums, churches, commercial establishments, as well as for private houses. Higgins’ commitment to furniture as a living tradition informs his shop’s design and manufacture of contemporary pieces. Higgins’ contemporary furniture is produced using traditional methods and, like the reproductions, synthesizes integration of form, materials, decoration, and function with impeccable workmanship. The result is a contemporary aesthetic that harmonizes with traditional pieces and interiors.g

Rentz Reinvents the ‘Traditional’ Style The sleekly understated and contemporary look of his gleaming Main Street studio has made it an Uptown landmark. Still, it would be a mistake to assume that Robert Rentz designs modern interiors. Rentz, who has been designing residences and commercial spaces from his Richmond office since 1983, believes it is his job to clarify and create what the client wants. “I try desperately to understand my clients’ vision and get their point of view,” he says. “Some of them are traditional, and some are contemporary. This goes for commercial projects as well.” Rentz always distinguishes between tradi-

tional and conservative. He notes that, in design, “conservative” often denotes an attitude that is resistant to change, while “traditional,” on the other hand, refers to a style—and one that can often be achieved in fresh, innovative ways. Rentz believes that many of the most successful interiors, whether traditional or modern, evolve in a way that allows for often surprising pairings. “I love the look of a contemporary abstract painting over an antique French chest,” he says. His large—and growing—client base, most of whom came to him by customer referrals, indicate that this approach is one that many others love, too.g

SALLY FRETWELL

THE POWER OF COLOR Color theory for interior design shouldn’t be a mysterious process. We all know how it feels to see the crocus push its way through the snow and bleakness of lingering winter. The color of this simple flower brings an instant reminder of life, renewal and the beginning of the season. Soon our yards, fields and forests will be full of blooming colors. We can see combinations of colors in nature that can be utilized in decorating and in fashion. Color has the power to rejuvenate and invigorate. It can affect our mood as the memories of colors past bring joy to colors present. The catalogues that fill your mailbox each day are bursting with color, much like the flowers in my yard. Companies use colors in many ways to bring new life to

Use nature—the color of a daffodil or lilac, a sunrise or sunset—as the basis for a color scheme. [Above] The warm glow of a sunset hue brings this residential landing to life.

old standards in the fashion, furniture and accessories industries. Original colors and color combinations in clothing, fabrics, slip covers, pillows, curtains, table wear, rugs and interior paint schemes are bringing new life to old surroundings. The multitudes of color choices allow you to individualize your sense of color. No longer are we handcuffed into designing a monotone room in varying shades of one color. The explosion of color in the design world now allows for wide combinations of complementary colors in varying hues, textures and shades that offer wide latitudes of both personal style and preference. You are your own best judge of what colors suit your psyche. Sometimes it takes a little bit of searching and a little bit of experimentation to get started. Make it fun. As you go through your day, slow down and notice the colors around you. Note those that make you smile or mentally bring forth a feeling of warmth and ease. These colors might be in nature—the color of a daffodil or lilac, a sunrise or sunset or a simple green pasture on a bright sunny day. They might be the colors on the wall of your favorite restaurant or your best friend’s kitchen. They might be colors from your past: a bedroom of your youth or the exotic colors of an island vacation you once took. Remember these colors. Write about them, save a picture of them, if possible. This will prepare you to use color in any form, and you will have a basis for what colors are viable to you. If you love a color, remember it. In future columns, you will learn how to take colors that make you happy and make them work for you.g F OR 25

YEARS , S ALLY F RETWELL HAS WORKED AS AN ARCHI TECTURAL PSYCHOLOGIST, CONSULTING WITH CLIENTS ON HOW TO MAKE THEIR HOME AND BUSINESS SPACES MORE FUNCTIONAL THROUGH EFFECTIVE USE OF COLOR . H ER BOOK T HE P OWER OF C OLOR , DETAILS HOW COLOR CHOICES AFFECT THE MOOD AND EFFECTIVENESS OF PUBLIC AND PRIVATE SPACES .

SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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‘Missing Richmond’ ARTIST CARYL BURTNER FINDS MEMORY AND MEANING IN WHAT FALLS AWAY. Caryl Burtner’s artwork is about the passage of time. “I explore ways that 1990 looks different from 2000, and 2000 looks different from 2008. I am interested in the precise moment when one thing becomes something else.” Her work often uses everyday objects to trace time’s passage—discarded toothbrushes, for example, or years’ worth of lipstick blots. Catalogued according to museum standards and exhibited as cultural relics, they take on new beauty and relevance. Burtner’s latest project,“Missing Richmond” is an assemblage that documents the transformation of Richmond buildings: Trailways Bus Station, St. Luke’s Hospital, Johnson’s Burger Bar,The Mosque, the old Scottish Rite Temple, and the Capitol Theater, Miller & Rhoads, Thalheimer’s, Woolworth’s, Murphy’s, and Philip Levy. It comprises photographs and even fragments of demolished buildings. “It’s called ‘Missing Richmond’ because the buildings are missing, and I miss them,” she says. “Old buildings enrich us by connecting us, and

reminding us where we came from.” The earliest fragment in “Missing Richmond” is a piece of stained glass window from the Scottish Rite Temple. When Burtner was a student, “The Temple” was home to VCU speech and theater classes, and her cafeteria of choice. Her favorite missing building is Woolworth’s, designed by Carneal and Johnston in 1954. “It was a fine example of the modern style, as well as the home of the photo booth I frequented in college, and my friends’ and my source for anklets and barrettes.” Burtner worries about other buildings that may become material for this project. “MCV’s West Hospital is the most controversial building currently slated for demolition—against the recommendation of the Crupi Plan. The hospital is an Art Deco gem that has been a distinctive landmark in our skyline for decades.” Some of her fragments were gifts from friends, but Burtner gets most of them the oldfashioned way. “I’m like a prospector, with my hammer,

“MISSING RICHMOND”

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Burtner is a visual artist whose installation sculptures, artist books, and assemblages investigate the form and meaning of everyday objects and experience. Her work has appeared in many galleries including Art6, Artspace, 1708, Second Street Gallery (Charlottesville), The Print Center (Philadelphia), and Washington Project for the Arts/The Corcoran Museum (Washington, D.C.). Her work has been widely reviewed in publications that include Style Weekly, Richmond Magazine, Harper’s, The New Art Examiner, The Washington Post, and Feedback.

pick, and Ziploc bags. I love [Richmond’s] architecture, the history, the community, and the ease of life. I love the twinkling Sauer’s Vanilla billboard. I love that Richmond doesn’t look like every other homogenous American town. At least not yet.” g

gALLERIES

Downtown Galleries: Broad Street Area

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5 5 blocks west of Belvidere

1708 Gallery

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319 West Broad Street: 804.643.1708 Tue–Fri 11am–5pm; Sat 1pm–5pm. Other hours by appointment only. June 6 - August 2 Squirrel o Rama Communal Art Event and Installation Art by James Busby, Melanie Christian, Sandra Luckett, and Katie Shaw Sweeney

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2 blocks north of Marshall 16 on 1st Street

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September 5 - September 6 InLight RICHMOND Modeled after Paris' Nuit Blanche, InLight Richmond is an all-night celebration exhibiting a spectacle of multi-media installations and performances.

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9 20 blocks east of 1st Street on Broad St.

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4 blocks south of Broad St. 10 on 1st Street

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312 Gallery

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A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

312 Brook Road: 804.339.2535 Thurs–Sat 1pm–7pm; Sun–Wed by appointment. Jun 6-28 VCU arts professor and renowned ceramist, Lydia Thompson, presents a new body of work. July 3-31 New Drawings by Denna Watson.

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ADA

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A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

228 West Broad Street: 804.644.0100 Mon–Tue by appointment only; Wed–Sat 12pm–6 pm. June 14 - July 26 The Skate Show Works of art inspired and produced by the New York, Virginia, and Los Angeles skateboard scenes.

Astra Design

3110 West Marshall Street: 804.257.5467 Mon–Fri 10am–5pm, or by appointment. Features hand-made contemporary furniture, lighting, sculpture, and jewelry. In 1991, Tom Chenoweth, Sculptor and Metal Worker, and Louise Ellis, Jeweler, formed a partnership and opened Astra Design.Each piece is fabricated by hand in their studios.

[7] Curated Culture’s Cornerstone Gallery

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

23 West Broad Street: 804.344.1508 Mon–Fri 8am–6pm and by appointment. June 6-July 25 Culture Vultures Members Juried Exhibition Professional and amateur artist members of Curated Culture Culture Vultures membership group are featured in this first annual juried, 2-D mixed media exhibition. Guest Juror is Gina Cavallo Collins, independent curator.

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Eric Schindler Gallery

2305 East Broad Street: 804.644. 5005 Tue–Fri 10am–3pm; Sat 11am–4pm. Other hours by appointment. Exhibits paintings, sculptures, drawings and prints in solo and group exhibitions that change monthly.

August 1 - 31 Group Show Works by Sharon Shapiro, Stephanie Serpick, Kirsten Kindler, and Barbara Weissberger.

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Art6

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

6 East Broad Street: 804.343.1406 Wed–Sun 12pm–4pm. June 6-22 Gallery 2: Harbor Sentinels: Gloria Blades, paintings; Skylight Gallery: Phillip Bowles, pen and ink drawings.

301 West Broad Street: 804.643.6858 Mon–Fri 10am–5pm; Sat by appointment. Showcases emerging Virginia artists with an emphasis on photography. Joseph Johnson, Certified Picture Framer, is the owner and designer, a member of The Virginia Association of Museums, The Virginia Conservation Association and The American Institute of Conservation.

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Elegba Folklore Society

101 East Broad Street: A FIRST 804.644.3900 FRIDAYS Mon–Fri 10am–6 pm; GALLERY Sat 12pm–4 pm. June 6 - August 31 International Art Warehouse: Experience an array of arts and crafts from across the globe. Find imported treasures such as textiles, instruments, jewlery, sculpture, wearable art, and much more.

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ForInstance Gallery|Museum

107 East Cary Street: A FIRST 757.574.4111 FRIDAYS Studio visits arranged GALLERY by appointment only. First Fridays hours: 7–10 pm June 6-22 Or the Ultimate Conclusion: Survey Works by Marty Johnson First Fridays opening features live jazz by the Kevin Johnson Group.

July 3-August 10 Galleries1 & 2: Annual Members Show Skylight Gallery: John Walters, prints SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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[6] Corporate & Museum Frame, Inc

The Partners in the Arts Summer Institute

THE ARTS COUNCIL OF RICHMOND AND THE UNIVERSITY OF RICHMOND’S MODLIN CENTER FOR THE ARTS FACILITATE THE ART OF TEACHING

At UNESCO’s first worldwide arts-in-education conference in 2006, Sir Ken Robinson cited creativity as an essential (and often missing) “basic” crucial to education. Robinson, a corporate innovation consultant and the senior advisor to the J. Paul Getty Trust, is not alone. In The World is Flat,Tom Friedman cites ten recent events that place a new premium on creative problem-solving skills in the marketplace. And Daniel Pink’s bestseller A Whole New Mind says that the Information Age is rapidly giving way to a “Conceptual Age” whose cutting edge

will be defined by creative thinking. According to Pink,“The MFA will be the new MBA.” All of these thinkers agree that for schools to prepare young people to succeed, the arts must be basic to education. For thirteen years, the Partners in the Arts Summer Institute has been showing teachers how the visual and performing arts can enhance mastery of academic content. Institute workshops take place in late June

at the University of Richmond’s Modlin Center for the Arts and are led by award-winning teachers and master teaching artists. Kennedy Center touring artist Dylan Pritchett shows teachers how storytelling can revitalize their classrooms. New York-based dancer and choreographer Susan Griss, author of Minds in Motion, leads dance experiences that inspire breakthrough understandings in multiple disciplines. Dr. Rosalind Flynn, co-author of A Dramatic Approach to Reading Comprehension, demonstrates how theatre techniques inspire dynamic, meaningful learning in all subjects. Teachers also explore the collections and galleries that make up Richmond’s vibrant visual art scene. Over the course of the Institute week, and for four weeks afterward, teachers collaborate to create innovative unit plans that use visual and performing arts to teach multiple core subjects. Graduates of the Institute say that its impact is long-term. In the words of a Chesterfield County middle school teacher, “I have attended many institutes, and this one is the best. It didn’t only change my instruction, it changed my life.”

Gallery 5

200 West Marshall Street: 804.644.0005 Tue–Sat 11am–4pm. All other hours by appointment only. June 6-17 Gallery5 Staff Exhibition Featuring collaborative works by the G5 staff, volunteers and interns! June 6 - 18 Lost Artists working in many media address themes of Lost and Found June 19-July 12 Turned for Use II The American Association of Wood Turners present the 22nd Annual American Association of Wood Turners Symposium. The exhibit focuses on usable items including bowls, platters, utensils, accessories, containers, tools, games, toys, musical instruments and small furniture. The show will open on June 19th at Gallery5, and then will travel to the AAW gallery in Landmark Center, St. Paul Minnesota.

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

Ghostprint Gallery

220 West Broad Street: 804.344.1557 Wed-Sat 1-7pm or by appointment June 6-28 Richmond Illustrators Club Regional Juried Show: Ghostprint Gallery is pleased to host the annual show juried by highly acclaimed illustrators Anita Kunz, Greg Swearingen, and Josh George and featuring the exceptional work of the selected local and regional artists.

24 FEET OF ROLLING AESTHETICS

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VagaBox

The idea for VagaBox, a 24’ moving truck converted for one night into an art gallery, was born in Derek Cote’s sculpture class at VCU. “We have a critique room, but that always puts the work in the same context. The students wanted to get the work out of the studio, but they didn’t just want to rent a space somewhere,” says Cote, who teaches intermediate and advanced sculpture at VCU. The twoday truck rental was underwritten by VCU. Lift Coffee Shop supplied electricity and allowed the truck to park in its loading zone. Signage was provided by the art collective Ink Tank. Although intended as a one-time event, Cote says that there may be a reprise next year. To visitors of a certain age, VagaBox conjured memories of the VMFA Art Mobiles, eighteen-wheelers that traveled the state as satellite museums from the 1940s through the ’80s. The idea of a truck as an exhibition space also prompts questions about the place of art and the

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

July 3-26 Skin Deep: A worldwide invitational show of tattoo artists’ work in media besides skin. This show aims to challenge the conventional view of this subculture's artistic style. August 1-30 Patricia Murphy: Cast a Clear Eye Patricia Murphy paints the world around her. She carries a camera as a sketchbook because the images that catch her eye are often fleeting: reflections, shadows, objects moving in and out of relationship with one another.

definition of a gallery. Cote was particularly interested in audience responses to climbing into the truck to see the art. “They seemed a little freaked out by it. People didn’t know if they should enter. Once they did, they were very quiet.”

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[13]

Ingalls Gallery

209 W Broad Street: 804.399.9333 Mon - Fri 12p m–7pm First Fridays: 12pm–10pm A lifetime of works by master painter Bill Kendrick Watercolors, oils, inks, and drawings that encompass 60+ years of the artist’s work from around the world.

gALLERIES Downtown: Shockoe Slip

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Jennifer Young Studio & Gallery

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

16 E. Main Street: 804-254-1008 Winter hours Wed-Friday 12-6, Sat. 11-2. Also open during the First Fridays art walk from 6 to 8:30, and by appointment. June 6-July 31 En Plein Air II: Second Annual show of new landscape paintings done on location by artist Jennifer Young.

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Metro Space Gallery

119 West Broad Street: 804.643.7125 Monday-Saturday 11am–6pm First Fridays hours: 6pm–10pm Metro Space Gallery provides a new gathering place for lovers of good art, music, film, and performance in Downtown Richmond.

Second Glances Photography

2104 East Main Street: 804.783.6121 Tue–Sat 10am–3pm; extended viewing hours by appointment. Richmond’s first and only gallery specializing in fine art photography. Fine portraiture by photographer, Nicholas K. Corey.

Studio/Gallery 6

101 East Leigh Street: 804.253.4053 By Appointment First Fridays hours: 6:00pm – 10:00 pm The Propaganda Gallery & Studio seeks to elevate the arts in the Historic Jackson Ward area while providing a realized atmosphere for patrons.

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Artspace

0 East 4th Street: 804.232.6464 Wed–Sun 12pm–4pm. May 23 – June 22 Paintings and prints by André Barnett; mixed media by Heidi Field-Alvarez; photography by Joseph Labate.

July 11 - August 6 New Work by Southern Virginia Folk Artist Eldridge Bagley

June 27 – July 20 Animal Farm Silkscreen Prints by Nathaniel Hester

South of the James River & Manchester

Main Gallery Mixing Metaphors Mixed Media by Mary Anne Hensley; Davis Gallery: Observations Photography by Catherine Johnson

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Propaganda Gallery & Studio

White Canvas Gallery

111 South 14th Street: 804.782.1776 Tue–Sat 10am–6pm; Sun 12pm–5pm. April 25 - June 4 Watercolor and Oil Landscapes by Eleanor Cox and Bill White June 6 - July 9 Paintings and Mixed Media byJudy Hintz Cox

6 East Broad Street: 252.207.4677 Hours: By appointment Only; First Fridays 7pm-12am June 6-27 Todd S. Hale - mixed media and guest artists.

June 6-July 1 Wood and Steel: Art throughout the Ages

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A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

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Transmission

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

321 Brook Road: 804.200.9985 Tues, Thr, Fri 11am-6pm. Sat 12pm-5pm or call for an appoinment. June 6-30 Stephen Vitiello: Nationally renowned video and sound installation artist Stephen Vitiello makes an exciting appearance at Transmisson. Vitiello will be exhibiting a sound installation and a selection of drawings. July 3-26 New paintings by Erik Gonzalez August 1-30 New paintings by Victor Vaughn and Ben Kehoe

12 East 12th Street: 804.233.9957 Thurs–Fri 12pm–4pm; Sat 11am–6pm; Sun 12pm–5pm or by appointment. May 9 -June 15 Paintings by Charles Philip Brooks; visual and literary works by Krishanna Spencer; photography by Veronica Smith-Hasenei; sculpture and installation by Sarah Mizer. June 20 July 27 The Human Form Gallery East: Paintings by Nancy Fairchild Gallery Centre: Drawings by Joelle Francht Gallery West: Photographs by Nancy McEntee Outdoor Gallery: Sculpture by Mike Keeling August 22 - September 28 Gallery East: Photographs by Alison Overton Gallery West: Watermedia by Marti Fann

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Art Works

320 Hull Street: 804.291.1400 Tue–Sun 12pm–6pm. June 27 - July 20 Art Quilts by Myrah Brown Green Windows to Richmond's Gay Community: Art by ROSMY Youth, Kathy Benham, Kerri Douthat, Collin Gladin, and others

June All-Media Show; Minds and Colors by Daniel Rettinger; The New Horizons by Janet Visser Marti Fann: Recent Works July 25 - August 17 Improvisations in Paint: Works by Elizabeth D. Schafer July All-Media Show; Faces of the Forest by Gordon Robertson Reflections on Nature by George Hughes Guy Chiazza: Recent Works August 22 - September 21 Art Works Members and Residents Exhibit

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Quirk Gallery

208 West Broad Street:804.644.1368 Tue–Fri 12pm–6pm; Sat 12pm–4pm. June 6-August 1 Shellion: New Oil Paintings by Dan Rhett A FIRST

311 West Broad Street: FRIDAYS GALLERY 804.644.5450 Mon–Sat 10am–6pm. May 2-June 21 Rush: Exploration in Glass Kiln-fired glass by Chuck Scalin. July 3 - August 15 Tango y Reencuentro Sculpture by Fabian Ramirez and Elie Piña.

Visual Art Studio

A FIRST FRIDAYS GALLERY

Scenes cast with coastal creatures and fenced lots. In this new collection, Rhett continues to explore interactions between shapes, colors, cafe goers, and mythic beings. First Fridays features: My Son the Doctor, performing Klezmer, Yiddish and Gypsy Music. Light refreshments to benefit United States Equine Rescue League. August 2 - September 1 Studio open by appointment.

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43rd Street Gallery

1412 West 43rd Street: 804.233.1758Tue–Thurs 10am–6pm; Fri–Sat 10am–4pm. Contemporary crafts, specializing in pottery, rustic furniture, jewelry and home accessories by a variety of artists. September 13 43 Street Festival This annual fine art and craft show features 70 of the artists. The show is a fund-raiser for Freedom House, the local homeless shelter.

[27]

The Birdland Sculpture Studio & Gardens

4094 Old River Trail Powhatan, Virginia 23139: 804.598.7512 Saturday and Sunday 9 - 4 Birdland is a work-in-progress venue of magical sculpture gardens, meandering pathways, and a working art studio. Sculpture, prints and paintings are available both for sale and for viewing.

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[21]

Virgil Marti: Ah, Sunflower!

Fan District

AT THE VISUAL ARTS CENTER OF RICHMOND

[28] Anderson Gallery

907 1/2 West Franklin Street: 804 . 828 . 1522 Mon–Fri 10am–5pm; Sat–Sun 1pm–5pm; Summer Hours Tue–Sat 1pm–5pm. June 20th - August 2nd Fiona Ross: The Thread in the Labyrinth

Rob Matthews: Knoxville Girl Portraits: More Than Just a Pretty Face

Uptown “Cloud” 2007 Silver-plated plastic and nickel-silver jump rings 96 x 96 x 1”

A groovy beaded room divider of silver-painted humerus bones . . . Circular banquettes upholstered in animal fur and wild prints. . . An epoxy

“Memorial Garden” (detail) 2008 Inkjet print on paper with rayon flock

“Large Chandelier (Red Stag and Anemones)” 2004 Epoxy resin, steel, electrical wiring 30 x 65 x 65”

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resin chandelier that resembles glass antlers exploding into flower. Just where is the line between art and decoration, beauty and decadence, life and death? The answer wasn’t at Virgil Marti: Ah, Sunflower!, on view at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond March 6 – May 11. And why answer those questions anyway, when they can be posed with this much force and whimsy? Marti, a master printer at Philadelphia’s Fabric Workshop and Museum and visiting professor in VCU’s Department of Painting and Printmaking in spring 2008, fuses Baroque sensibility with notions of opulence taken from 1970s shelter magazines. Many of his pieces pull life from death, and vice versa. The first room of this two-room installation presents a finely wrought bas-relief garden of mod flowers. On closer inspection, we see that its daisies and sunflowers are composed of cast jaws, hipbones, and vertebrae affixed to the walls and painted to match. The adjoining room’s illumination recalls a black-lighted basement party or a trip to Spencer’s Gifts. The facing wall’s flocked brocaded wallpaper feels dowdy and grandmotherish— so much so that it is a surprise to see that its pattern is a taken from repeating, kaleidoscopic, hyper-saturated color photographs of Elvis Presley’s Memorial Garden at Graceland. Vanitas, or the transience of life, is an ancient subject in art, but rarely is it explored with this kind of vigor. Far from a pensive meditation, Virgil Marti: Ah, Sunflower! is a passionate immersion into the dark nexus of fecundity and decay. We are taken there by an energetic sensualist, slightly concerned that the intensity might destroy us. Or, perhaps, that it won’t. VACR curator Ashley Kistler’s excellent text panels and brochure complemented this exhibition. g

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[29] Artemis Gallery

1601 West Main Street: 804 . 254 .1755 By appointment. Features fine hand-crafted objects, especially American crafts by nationally recognized artists.

[30] glave kocen gallery

1620 West Main Street: 1.888.358.1990 Tues-Fri 10am-6pm; Sat 11am-4pm June 6-28 What a Difference a Day Makes...Celebrate Each Day A group show featuring women artists including Sheep Jones, Barbara Duke Jones, Cyane Lowden, Vicki Bruner and many others. June 21 A Silent and Live Auction will be held from 6-10 pm (Silent Runs 6-7:30 Live will run 8 to 8:45) This auction will be all heart as many artists donating have ties to cancer victories and losses alike. In the laid back atmosphere of the glave kocen gallery, the auction will mainly focus on art with a peppering of other items in a creative vein for the silent and live component. Couple that with great food from some of the finest caterers and music from Susan Greenbaum we will celebrate together what a difference this day will make in the lives of so many.

Uptown is located along Main Street in the Fan District 7 blocks south of Broad Street and 5 blocks west of Belvidere Street

Uptown

37 38 39 Carytown is 12 blocks (1.6 miles)

gALLERIES Carytown

west of N Lombardy Street & 1 block south of Main Street

35 30 32

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[37] Brazier Fine Art

3401 West Cary Street: 804.359.2787 Tue–Sat 10am–5pm. June 6 - July 5 Land and Sea: New paintings by Loryn Brazier

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July 11 - August 30 Waterways: New Paintings by Gallery Artists

[38] Chasen Galleries

Main Art Gallery

[33]

Red Door Gallery

1537 West Main Street: 804.355.6151 Mon–Fri 9am–6pm; Sat 10am–5pm. Exhibits contemporary work by regional artists.

1607 West Main Street: 804.291.7728 Wed–Sun 12pm–6pm (open until 9pm on Fridays). May 16 - June 22 Moments of Imagination: Paintings by Barbara Mann Myers

May 2 through June 30 Paintings by Katherine Degaetani

Up from the Ashes: Ceramics by Lee Hazelgrove

July 11- August 31 Sculpture by University of Mary Washington students

June 27 - August 3 Sheila Giolitti: Solo Show

[35] Visual Arts Center of Richmond

1812 West Main Street: 804.353.0094 Mon-Fri 11am–7pm; Sat 10am–4pm; Sun 1pm–4pm. Presents contemporary art that models creative excellence featuring over 300 nationally recognized artists annually.

June 6 - 21h The Spirit of Haiti: Works by 35 Haitian artists

August 9 - 21 Faculty Art Show

August 8 - September 14 Group Show [39]

[32] Page Bond Gallery

[34] Reynolds Gallery

[36] Uptown Gallery

June 7 - July 5 Frederic Crist: Sculpture

Richard Carlyon: Selected Works on Paper and Paintings All proceeds from the sales of Carlyon's works benefit the Richard Carlyon catalogue and retrospective coming to Richmond in 2009.

Through June 28 Works by Meg Catlett & Roslyn Pruitt

1625 West Main Street: 804.359.3633 Tue–Sat 11am–6pm. Presents contemporary art by regional, national and international artists in a variety of media and disciplines.

Gray: In Celebration of the Photograph

1514 West Main Street: 804.355.6553 Tue–Sat 10am–5pm. May 9 - June 7 New Paintings by Philip Geiger

1305 West Main Street: 804.353.8343 Tue–Fri 11am–5pm; Sat 11am–4pm. The gallery has more than 32 juried artists with work in a varied palette of mediums and techniques.

The Gallery Art & Design

16 S Dooley Ave: 804.355.0102 2 pm-6 pm Wed & Fri through Sunday. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday by appointment only. First Fridays from 6 pm to 9 pm. Fashion First Thursdays from 6 pm to 8 pm. May 23 - June 29 Manifestations of Chaos and Serenity Four years ago Megan Wagner picked up a camera, just as a hobby, a break from her painting and drawing. Two years ago she made it her main focus, entering the VCU Department of Photography and Film. Her photographic-based work is so intriguing because, while it appears to depict reality with seemingly incredible accuracy, it is often quite deceptive. Manifestations of Chaos and Serenity plays with this deception while it questions the world we live in.

Generation of the Stage Erin Arnold

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[31]

3554 West Cary Street: 804.204.1048 Mon–Tues 10am–6pm; Wed 10am– 4pm; Thurs–Sat 10am–6pm. Represents more than 100 acclaimed artists, sculptors and glass artists from all over the world. Each month brings a new theme with a huge variety of styles and imagery.

The Dixie

A PETERSBURG TRADITION PHOTOGRAPHED BY ANGELA ORRELL

Face Value

Top Left: “Meeting David Hockney” 40X 30" Top Right: “Officer Brian Brown, LAPD” (1999) 28 x 22” Bottom Left: ‘Diana” 22X 28"

THE ESSENCE & INTIMACY OF LOUIS BRIEL’S PORTRAITURE WORDS BY

LISA O. MONROE

Louis Briel considers painting people to be his life’s calling. A nationally recognized American portraitist, Briel recently returned to his native Richmond after nearly a decade in L.A. He cites Virginia’s long tradition of portraiture as one of his main reasons for coming home. He has established a studio in his new home downtown in Emrick Flats. When Briel paints a portrait, it’s a personal experience. He believes he is not merely reproducing an image, but preserving history “recorded in the paint on the canvas.” He captures the history of the time period it takes to create the portrait along with its accompanying relationships. These include the developing intimacy between artist and subject, varying moods which surface in artist and subject during the process, plus interaction of the subject’s family and friends who become involved in the portrait’s creation. When the portrait is posthumous, Briel captures the essence of a person—image and personality—through the help of family, close friends and photographs. The portrait helps to fill a void left by the person, and its creation serves as a catalyst for healing. It can be both sad and joyous, he said.“It’s

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really been a very rewarding part of my career.” Briel has created many posthumous portraits, some for well-known persons. His first was a portrait of John F. Kennedy presented to Sen. Robert Kennedy at Hampden-Sydney College when Briel was a student. A portrait of Princess Diana traveled around the world in 1997-98 with Sir Elton John, and is now in his private collection. And Briel worked with Arthur Ashe on his portrait, now displayed at the National Portrait Gallery, shortly before the tennis legend’s death. Recently, Briel unveiled a portrait of actress and comedian Carol Burnett’s late daughter Carrie Hamilton [lower right photo] which hangs in the Pasadena Playhouse. Briel holds degrees from Hampden-Sydney and Harvard University, but is primarily a selftaught artist. He holds a certificate from the American Academy in Rome, studied in Boston with Ann Tabachnick and Morton Sacks, and credits British artist David Hockney for having a major influence on his style. In his Richmond studio, Briel fashions all types of portraits, from corporate and institutional to personal portraits to celebrate important milestones such as retirements, accomplishments, family and love. g

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Angela Orrell’s photographs document changing communities and ways of life in Petersburg and Southside Virginia. Her subjects include the Dixie Restaurant, Snow’s Barbershop, and the final tobacco auction in Dinwiddie County. Her photographs have been exhibited in many venues including Petersburg Area Art League, the Sol Cooper Gallery, and the Library of Virginia. VMFA acquired her series “From the Seed to the Hand,” as a statewide loan exhibition in 2006. The image [above] is from Orrell’s series on Petersburg’s Dixie Restaurant. It was taken in 2006, just before the building was renovated and reopened as the Dixie Diner. Also known over the years as the Dixie Lunch and the Dixie Quick Lunch, the Dixie has been a familiar spot to Petersburg natives since its opening in 1920. The restaurant had many regular patrons. Former proprietor Geneva Ramsay, pictureed above, usually knew what they wanted even if they did not. “If we didn't see someone for a few days, we would call them and make sure they were all right,” said Loretta, a waitress who worked at the Dixie for more than 40 years. She served enumerable orders of chicken and dumplings, meatloaf with two sides, beef stew, hotdogs with chili, grits, eggs, salted herring and more. Meals were prepared by recipes handed down for generations, with ingredients measured to taste. Customers came for the sense of family as much as for the food. “If your favorite waitress didn't wait on you, you didn't feel like you had a good meal,” says Loretta. Orrell’s silver gelatin prints feel historic and distinctly American. In their details we discover a bygone era and are surprised to learn that they are, in fact, contemporary documentations of a changing present. Orrell’s photographs are often exhibited in conjunction with oral histories, objects, and video footage that she collects. g

gALLERIES Staples Mill & Broad St.

Petersburg is located 28 miles South of Richmond’s Downtown financial district. Take I-95 S and takeExit 52 for Washington St.

Petersburg

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Exchange

[40] Crossroads Art Center

Alley

2016 Staples Mill Road: 804.278.8950 Mon–Thurs 10am–6pm; Fri–Sat 10am–6pm; Sun 12pm–6pm. June 20 - July 9 Featured Art Wall: George Buchannon Gallery 1: Gail Geer & Criss Chagnon Rhoda MacCallum Gallery: All Media Show Side Car Gallery: Pat Angevine Caboose Gallery: David Tanner

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July 18 – August 6 Featured Art Wall: TBA Gallery 1: Jan Hodges Rhoda MacCallum Gallery: All Media Show Side Car Gallery: Nina Rizzo Caboose Gallery: Nina Rizzo August 15 – September 10 Featured Art Wall: TBA Gallery 1: Marine Life All Media Show Rhoda MacCallum Gallery: John Gunther Side Car Gallery: All Media Show Caboose Gallery: Terry Smith

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PRAC is located between Franklin Street & E. Washington Street

Petersburg

Libbie & Grove Avenues

[41] Gallery 5800

Suitable for Framing

[45]

[43]

Bank Street Gallery

[44]

Friend House Gallery & Atelier

27 W. Bank Street: 804.733.6180 Open by appointment. Recent exhibiting artists include Kirsten Kindler (oils & cut paper hangings); Catherine Warnock (watercolors); Stephen Roebuck (oils).

Petersburg Area Art League

7 E. Old Street: 804.861-4611 Tue-Sat 10:30am-2:30pm; Sun 1-4pm The Petersburg Area Art League presents monthly exhibitions and classes with resident artists.

5800 Grove Avenue: 804.285.0774 Mon–Fri 10am–5:30pm; Sat 10am-4pm. Offers fine art and selected works by regional and national artists. Featuring paintings by Kiki Slaughter; David Tanner; Sue Morris; Lisa Neher

[47]

Sol Cooper Gallery

[48]

The Gallery at Enteros Design

306 North Sycamore Street: 804.240.6859; Open by appointment. This former department store space now features contemporary work by local and regional artists in a variety of media. Recent showings included work from Kate Duffy, Amie Oliver, Aimee Joyaux, Catherine Purvis and Susann Whittier.

Short Pump Town Center

[42]

Andrew’s Gallery

11800 W. Broad Street: 804.364.9377 Andrew’s Gallery in Richmond, Virginia offers an excellent selection original paintings and hand-embellished limited canvas art from the world’s leading artists. August 1-9th Dwayne Hickman Appearance Sat. Aug.9, 12-4 PM

27 Bollingbrook Street: 804.733.8200 Open Wed-Sat 10am-4pm Housed in the Nathaniel Friend House, built in 1816 by the then mayor of Petersburg, and listed in the National Historic Register. Artists in Residence: Carol Anna Meese Kathryn Hedgepeth June 10 - July 11 Glass & Steel Sculpture by SKYLER

[46] Petersburg Regional Art Center

132 N. Sycamore Street: 804.733.8200 After years as Shockoe Bottom Arts Center, this gallery and working studio collective moved to Petersburg in 2003, making it one of the first large galleries in Old Towne. The space features 70 artist studios, and a mezzanine gallery. The Center hosts eleven juried, allmedia shows a year.

314 Exchange Alley: 804.861.1200 Enteros Design is a full-service architecture firm dedicated to design excellence. Its gallery, open during business hours and on Fridays for the Arts, features rotating exhibitions.

This guide is produced in partnership with the Arts Council of Richmond and Curated Culture. Galleries should contact Rebecca Jones (rebecca@theworkfactory.com) regarding their listing information.

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Todd Hale

Detail of “Anthropomorphic Satellite” mixed media epoxy collage on panel 18x18”

BLURRING THE LINES BETWEEN ART AND LIFE

Many art lovers fantasize about living in a gallery. Artist Todd Hale actually does. Hale lives, works, and exhibits art in Studio/Gallery 6. The location itself is full of energies and creative influences. “I have been told [the building] has been a brothel/nip joint, hat store, and an African Art Gallery,” says Hale. “Downstairs, both Art 6, and Artspace before them, have hosted so many artists and musicians through the years, some quite well known. At times Broad Street can be one of the weirdest places on earth, crackling with a very unique energy that I feed off of.” Hale, who grew up in Richmond and holds

“Consensual Dreaming” (diptych) mixed media epoxy collage on panel 36x36”

degrees in painting/printmaking and sculpture from VCU, cites Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke, and Frida Kahlo among his influences. He is also inspired by explorers, scientists, shamans and prophets, and sees kinship between their roles and that of the artist. “In different times and cultures the artist has been called a magician, heretic, medicine man, witch, alchemist, and seeker. I hope to be a hybrid of them all,” he says. Hale’s films, like his paintings and mixed media work, develop ideas through still images combined in unusual ways. “I am interested in the travel of information through various states of being, and video is an ideal form to operate in,” he says. “I am fascinated with the idea that images can travel and then re-

solidify again—blowing something into pieces, then reassembling it elsewhere.” Hale credits RVA magazine and Gallery 5 with helping energize the downtown art scene. “If you have ever been involved with either the magazine or Gallery 5, then you know the crazy frenetic energy that floats around both. They don’t sleep much.” Judging from the sheer quantity and quality of his output, it is hard to imagine that Hale does, either. g Hale holds degrees in painting/printmaking and sculpture from VCU. He has exhibited his work in many Richmond galleries including Art6, Artspace, Plant Zero, and at the Contemporary Art Center of Virginia (Virginia Beach). He is also the founder of Studio/Gallery 6, a working studio, exhibition, and performance space.

“Tundra Smoke” (triptych) mixed media epoxy collage on panel 108x72”

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Board member Susan Ferrell, board president Travis Fullerton, and incoming executive director Tatjana Beylotte at the 1708’s April 3rd reception to celebrate Beylotte’s appointment.

1708 Names New Director

AFTER A NATIONAL SEARCH, THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS OF 1708 GALLERY NAMES TATJANA BEYLOTTE EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR.

VMFA Adds Milestone Sculpture to Its Collection

SOL LEWITT’S “SPLOTCH #22”

When the newly expanded VMFA opens late next year, visitors will be able to see “Splotch #22,” the final work by Sol LeWitt, one of the most important American artists of the Post-War period. “Splotch #22”was created in acrylic on fiberglass and stands just over 12 feet tall. “Its dense aggregate of pointed spires suggest a Gothic fantasy of alpine peaks or an overactive stalagmite formation,” says John Ravenal,VMFA’s Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art. “Much of today's art practice would be unthinkable without LeWitt's pioneering work in Conceptual Art in the 1960s and 1970s,” says Ravenal. LeWitt is often associated with straight lines and geometric forms, but he explored non-geometric forms from the beginning of his career. By 2000 he had begun a series of brightly colored, non-geometric sculptures that he called "splotches" in recognition of their eccentric contours and bright colors. The process of bringing this major new work into the VMFA collection started two years ago, when Ravenal began looking for a large gouache painting on paper by LeWitt.VMFA already had LeWitt’s 1978 Open Cube sculpture, which was a gift from the Lewises, as well as a four-part LeWitt wall drawing that Ravenal bought in

1999, shortly after arriving at VMFA. Ravenal was looking for a work that would compliment and deepen the LeWitt holdings. “During my conversations with LeWitt’s agent, in which I was able to acquire a large gouache from LeWitt’s own collection, she told me about a not-yetfabricated sculpture and asked if I was interested. I immediately said yes, and after that periodically kept tabs on its progress,” says Ravenal. “Along with the works already in our collection, it allows us to show our audiences a broad representation of LeWitt's career in various media and addressing a spectrum of his concepts.” VMFA also owns two preliminary drawings for the piece. These show the footprint of the sculpture, as if looking directly down from overhead. One indicates the colors for each part; the other indicates heights. Where will “Splotch #22,” which is the largest and most complex of LeWitt's nongeometric sculptures, be exhibited? “Given its size—over twelve feet tall and eight feet wide at its base—it calls out for a public space,” says Ravenal. “And fortunately, with our new wing, we’ll have just that kind of space available. Most likely, it will be one of the first pieces a visitor will see when entering the Atrium, which we envisage as the ‘Main Street’ of the new building.”g

1708 Gallery has been a catalyst for the growth of the Richmond art community. Tatjana Beylotte brings substantial educational, arts, and administrative experience to 1708. She holds a B.A. in arts management from the College of Charleston and a Master’s degree in museum studies from The George Washington University. She has worked for Arts and Artists, Inc, the Spoleto Festival, the Smithsonian Institution, and the Virginia Commission for the Arts. Beylotte will oversee the gallery’s strategic direction, development leadership, and operations. This fall, Beylotte and 1708 will take the lead in producing InLight RICHMOND, a celebration of the gallery’s 30th anniversary and a collaborative effort between local arts and community organizations in central Virginia to increase visibility and appreciation of the arts. Modeled after Paris' Nuit Blanche, InLight RICHMOND is an all-night celebration exhibiting a spectacle of multi-media installations and performances.g

Harry Kollatz with artists and board members Amie Oliver and Diego Sanchez

Celia Rafalko, chair of 1708’s 18th Art Auction, with artist and board member Brad Birchett

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Paul Catanese at 1708 Gallery There is an imbalance in Paul Catanese’s Forgotten Constellations (May 2-31) exhibit that is really quite striking. Often when an artist is developing a method of image creation the process of manifesting composition may overpower the final marriage of medium and subject. When encountering Catanese’s series of digital relief prints displayed in the front gallery, there’s an overwhelming sense of pat process and predictable form. Scattered white marks, broken patterns, scribbled lines and flecks are dispersed over rich black fields. The etchings—ranging in size from 11x15” to 15x22”— read like the mapping of stars without really committing to a rendered chart. Upon closer inspection, the binary arrangement of black and white appears to be tentatively made as opposed to artfully composed. The more successful pieces have a less haphazard disbursing and more

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of a conscientious consideration of Cy Twombly doodle-like compositions created with a digital twist. So in essence, we have an array of 13 panels that are constructed in very safe compositions of black squares centered on gorgeous white panels, secured to the walls by brushed silver tacks. As a series, the prints are handsome—their aesthetic tension coming from the contradictory reading in the immediacy of scribbled compositions produced through complex digital relief exactitude. But overall, and outside the consideration of the process, Cantanese’s final products are little too reliant on repetition over composition to be effective. Individually, they resonate simply as more of a documentation of an evolving process than as successful prints. But what is extremely effective is the subtle brilliance of the installation that employs found objects and overhead projectors. Further back in the gallery, facing large-scale

murals, present what seems like fossilized animal skeletons, arrayed squares and biomorphic forms in shadowy tonalities of charcoal or brushed ink. Unlike Catanese’s prints, the installation continues to expand with further scrutiny to reveal that the murals’ sophisticated compositions are comprised of found debris and small containers that actually create the shadowy landscape and floating forms through the lens of overhead projectors. The artist not only builds a spectacular primeval landscape of literal light and shadow, but his means of creation is just as intriguing. Part ready-made sculpture, part lightshow and employing a type of projected intaglio imaging, the shadowbox process of composition is unexpected and operates on multiple levels of intuition and artifice. As you walk down the center aisle of the projectors, your shadow is projected, animating the murals. The

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items on the beds of the projectors are interesting in a curio fashion and their arrangement to draw the mural is fascinating. The use of the overhead projectors seems retro and quaint in an arch way—the machines’ clunky design reads as a kind of nostalgic tipping of the hat to high tech of bygone days. Catanese even employs transparencies depicting cartographic elements that add to a sense of ancient cultures’ technological remnants. The black and white mural-size star map painted on the rear wall is gestured with dynamic brushstrokes, quirky with specific references to actual constellation maps and has far more energy than its sister prints. But truly, the star of the show is the masterful engineering of the projector drawing with its capacity to transform retro tech and the shadowing aura of household flotsam into a smart piece of viable art. Ted Randler

REVIEWS “That Afternoon” has an art-fair prettiness that is not seen in the more complex Hopper-esque interior, similarly titled “In the Afternoon.” It is in Oba’s etchings that we see the full range of her considerable talent. In these architectural studies, she uses the etching medium to achieve effects more commonly associated with painting: texture, depth, and modeling. In the two strongest pieces, “Sneak” and “Sprouting Alive,” tension comes from angular structures that struggle to reign in their light and motion. The peaks and valleys of this exhibition seem to ask, “How does the artist communicate in a visually saturated world?” Precisely. Rebecca Jones

University of Richmond 2008 Senior Honors Thesis Exhibition at ArtSpace Being precise, without being literal, presents the artist with a challenge. The most compelling works in Precisely That (April 25-May 18) navigate that edge with confidence by giving specific visual information, then stepping back to allow the viewer’s interpretation. The least successful pieces blink at the last minute. Failing to trust the viewer to draw a conclusion, they stop short to summarize—and abridge—themselves. Haley McCall’s haunting intaglio and inked polymer portraits mix contemporary spontaneity with a format and luminescence that recall 19th century glass-plate photography. Installed in a space that resembles a darkroom (itself almost a relic from another era), their clouded images appear both to disappear and come into view. Alicia McCarty’s painting “Her Cherry Blossoms,” renders, the nude and the floral still life with strong draftsmanship and an Old Masters palette. In “Her Face, Her Body” and “Nancy Is Her Name,” the artist appears to have traded the nude of Western art for that of the girly magazine. A flat, hasty execution adds to their pornographymade-dull aesthetic. Stephanie McBride’s photographs of tiny plastic baby dolls sprinkled onto frosted cupcakes, where they appear to fight for their lives, are sensual, menacing, and darkly humorous—three qualities lacking in the less dynamic and adolescently-titled “Phallic Clementines.” Natsumi Oba’s graphite study

Scalin: 2008 Untitled 9 panels of Kiln-fired glass, graphite

Chuck Scalin at Quirk Honest to goodness, what would contemporary artists do without the ever stalwart grid as a composition device? In his show Rush: Explorations in Glass (May 2-June 21) using kiln-fired glass, graphite, wood, mica, sand, oil and copper wire along with the occasional found object, Scalin offers 22 collages that orchestrate earthbound elements played against a grid motif. The 20” squares are built in layers of inscribed textures on sometimes bubbling translucent, and sometimes cake batter-dense coats of deep, rusty browns greens and grays. The show includes two diptychs, one triptych and a nine-panel piece. Pandering to the tactile sense as much as to color and form, the work is a catalog of man versus nature, or better to say man manipulating nature. There is a real competition in apprehending the images as formal compositions and not mere amalgamations of technical expertise. Scalin has to be careful that the fabrication of the piece doesn’t dominate the presence of the work. One interesting way he resolves this dilemma is by a textural trompe l'oeil in giving his glass a finish of rusted metal. This is used to strong effect in his 9 panel collage. Arrayed in a grid, the deep brown of squares meld into interesting units that play off the overall axis of the group’s design. Each square is uniquely resolved, some with horizontal or vertical stripes others employ diagonals. The largest work in the show, it looked iconic in the natural light emanating from the gallery skylights. It reads equally well as a composition and enjoys a hybrid state of being both drawing and sculpture as well as dis-

playing masterful manipulation of the difficult media. The muted tones of the other collages also played well in the natural light. For most of the pieces, resolving the hard compositional challenge of rectifying a square is handled matter-of-factly by symmetrical designs, equidistant rows or simply stabbing the collage in the center with a found object. Here again Scalin walks a fine line. The found objects begin to take on referential imagery. One resembles a Greek vase, another a tiny house and oddly one reads as a religious relic. When these items are set dead center of the squares, the formal power of the collages is diminished to that of ornate frames and while competently resolved, they lack the perfect balance he achieves in his other abstract pieces.

scuring parts of the base drawing in a monochromatic palette, Fowler leaves the work in a nascent stage. A couple of the paintings (“Sirena” and “Pink Sphynx and the Pyramid”) are presented as large unstretched canvases adding to the

Ted Randler

Peter Fowler at Ghostprint Gallery Oddly enough it’s the removed expression of Margarita in Velázquez’s “Las Meninas” (1656) that greets you at Fowler’s very punk and campy show Let the Paint Speak (May 231). The face is a deconstructed sardonic stamp that appears in many of the 16 works on display. Invariably, Fowler enmeshes the female form in a central goo of viscid, garish and metallic pigment. Like Velázquez, Fowler is a portraitist, but his motivations seem less about rendering a likeness than building and then destroying impastoed and agitated variations of his subject. That’s not to say the artist is a one-trick pony. At intervals, Fowler allows raw canvas to carry the majority of the compositions. In a subversively naïve and sketchy manner of barely fleshing out and then ob-

Fowler: “Cupcake Girl” oil on canvas 48x60”

impromptu feeling. There is self-consciousness or perhaps you could say an art-consciousness about the work. The paintings aren’t about specific persons or even classic nudes, rather the gallery is a hall of mirrors of painterly painters. As with Picasso, De Kooning and Balthus, Fowler uses the stamp of a female form as an excuse to hang sumptuous passages of oil pigment. In turns, the work has John Currin’s earmarks of caricaturing voluptuous females along with a fauvist-to-tacky election of colors. In other moments, the figure has been lost to pure gesture— sometimes the paintings suffer from this lack of structure. That on occasion Fowler looses a piece isn’t necessarily a bad thing. In light of his use of atypical metallics

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McCall: intaglio & inked polymer

REVIEWS and intentionally awkward drawing, the artist’s punkish take on the tradition of portraiture and nudes gives him license to hang the more successful executions next to his weaker work. But Fowler can’t be seen as true iconoclast or hip, street savant. Rather he is a classicist. His real dissertation is how to reconcile his efforts at rendering with verisimilitude and still build a robust composition of lush pigment. In this, he is closer to Velázquez than Basquiat. If anything, Fowler can be taken to task when he undersells his draftsmanship—as cited, he tends to stamp placeholder marks in lieu of braving any commitment to true rendering. When Fowler does risk drawing with paint (instead of painting around his drawing) in his better moments—as in “Beatrice” and “Poseidon’s Girl”—he belies his ironic or camp offerings, and reveals a more compelling evolution of a skilled and passionate painter. Ted Randler

Transformed Books at the Richmond Public Library It is hard to tell if Transformed Books, an exhibition of discarded library books made into works of art by VCU Art Foundation students, comes to praise the book or to bury it.

Topping: “Old Hollywood” mixed media

The pieces in this show capitalize on the sensual pleasures of the book as an object. In the hands of artists, volumes fished from a “discard” bin become sources of cloth, old paper, and vintage typefaces. On the other hand, they are no longer books, at least not as we

One of Richmond’s Premier Art Venues For just the right gift or perfect piece of original art for your home. • Original Paintings • Handmade Jewelry • Pottery • Unique Notecards • Photography Creations of over 40 juried artists. Open 11AM-5 PM Tue.-Fri. and 11AM-4 PM Sat. Opening Receptions the first Friday of every month from 5-9 PM Convenient, free parking on corner lot.

UpTown Gallery

UPTOWN GALLERY •1305 West Main Street, Richmond, Virginia 23220•804.353.8343 • www.uptownartgallery.com

know them. With the addition of wire and acrylic paint, The Wit and Wisdom of Hollywood becomes “Old Hollywood” by Rachel Topping. Four versions of the same starlet’s face, stenciled in black on colored backgrounds, look at us as if in a diptych altarpiece.

The reference to Warhol, who once said, “I love Hollywood. They’re beautiful. Everybody’s plastic, but I love plastic. I want to be plastic,” is unmistakable and apt. In transforming the Monterrey County Almanac, Seth Yitalo Ward’s “Bad Politics” takes a more sculptural approach. A likeness of George Washington is screened over its magenta-streaked cover. The book’s interior becomes a sort of trapdoor through which a human figure escapes. Which direction that escape takes—into the book, or outside and away from it—is difficult to determine. Perhaps the most dramatic piece in the show is Ameenah Yusef’s untitled alteration of Bellamy Partridge’s Excuse My Dust. The original text is a memoir about the arrival of the automobile to a small New York town. Reinvented by Yusef, the pages of the book act as a pedestal and are crumpled to suggest a car crash, or a sculpture by John Chamberlain. A leg and feet emerge from the wreckage. The piece plays on the idea of the violent beauty of wreckage, which is also one of the themes of this intriguing exhibition. Rebecca Jones

Embracing her soft and fuzzy enemy, Burnet created Eden Woods, a moss garden that soothes the soul, and respects the environment.

Gathering Moss NORIE BURNET’S EDEN WOODS IS A QUIET OASIS WORDS & PHOTOS BY ROSEMARY SMITH After three years of battling moss invading the planting areas surrounding her Bon Air home, Norie Burnet conceded. Embracing her soft and fuzzy enemy, she created Eden Woods, a moss garden that soothes the soul, respects the environment, and provides the perfect setting for her Japanese-influenced home. This is a subtle garden of tones and textures. Tones change as one walks through—preferably barefoot—encountering the different mosses. Seasonally, the browns of dormancy give way to bright greens as the mosses return to life. At times, change can occur overnight when rainfall breaks a drought. Textures, however, are timeless, as soft moss flows over hard clay and rock. Eden Woods is basic and primordial; these ancient plants establish themselves seemingly without human intervention as wind-blown seeds lodge in the moss which serves as an excellent incubator.

This beautiful space is also the perfect setting for its creator; or perhaps we should say, enabler.

Burnet is quietly but thoroughly inspiring. Although she had always enjoyed growing things (including four sons), when she started Eden Woods 27 years ago, she knew nothing of mosses

or garden design. Modestly, she credits the late Dr. Peter Nelson of the Brooklyn Botanical Garden with helping her identify the eight or nine local mosses that populate the garden, but her design has been featured in at least ten national magazines; seen on HGTV; and used in a “how to” book. Burnet lectures around the country; recently at Yale University where she designed a moss garden for its campus. A retired teacher, Norie feels her garden keeps her young. “Being a senior is the time to open up, not close down. Retirement [and the persistence of moss] has turned my life into a Renaissance.”g Rosemary T. Smith, Ph.D. is an art historian who specializes in the arts of Asia. Dr. Smith was a professor of art history at Virginia Commonwealth University for several years. She has written many articles-most recently one on Japanese influence at Maymont House in Richmond.

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It’s Time for a Tea Party!

Animals Run Wild at Leopard Park If simple white plates and basic stemware leave you feeling a bit blah, you must view the new selection of animal-inspired table décor at Leopard Park (3002 Stony Point Rd) “I’ve traveled quite a bit and think that helps me find unusual things,” owner Jennifer Taylor says of the selection in her 6-month-old store. Some of her favorite pieces for summer include her array of jungle-themed tableware. A sculptural salt and pepper set is made to look like a monkey perched atop an elephant. There is also a teapot to match. Taylor says martini glasses adorned with brilliant flamingos on the stems always draw attention: “They make great gifts. A lot of people buy one or two at a time. They can also be used as dessert cups.” Chunky napkin rings look like jungle animals and there are monkey ice cream dishes. You’d only expect to find such funky table adornments at a store named for a leopard: “Leopard is such a timeless, elegant print,” Taylor says of the name choice. “And the animal is so graceful.” The Park portion comes from Taylor’s maiden name. Stop in to Leopard Park to see these and plenty more animal prints, pillows, statues and furniture.

Add a Touch of Whimsy and Color Whether you’re seeking out the perfect decoration for your beach home or a funfilled centerpiece for your next barbecue, head to Tinker’s (2409 Westwood Ave.) and check out Stray Dog Designs. Owner Sharon Coleman says the colorful sculptural crabs, cows, pigs and other animals are handmade from recycled cement bags in Haiti with the goal of providing artisans with sustainable jobs. “It’s got a contemporary flair, but it’s really traditional,” Coleman says of the paper maché collection. You can just imagine a hot pink pig as the centerpiece attention-grabber at a summer barbecue. The pieces can be special-ordered in a range of colors from hot pink to simple white. To really draw attention to your next beach gathering, order the “Giant Crab” in Bahaman sea blue. At 5 feet long and more than 3 feet wide, it will certainly let guests know where the party is.

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Sip Something Cool Just because the thermometer keeps rising, it doesn’t mean you can’t indulge in a relaxing cup of tea. If the super sweet Southern stuff isn’t your style, there are plenty of other varieties that taste delectable when served chilled. TeaCo. (902 W Broad St.), one of the newest places to sip and purchase tea and tea accessories around town, sells a variety of blends that are both healthy and delicious. Owner Myra Caesar says fruity blends like pomegranate cherry and peach melba are always popular in the summer to drink hot or iced. One of her favorite ways to relax is with a Mo“tea”-to. Caesar prefers making it with the Moroccan mint green tea sold in her shop (you can buy it by-the-cup or in larger quantities to take home). Here’s her special recipe: Pour fresh lemon juice and pure cane sugar (if you like your tea sweet) into an 8-to-12 ounce glass. Steep 3 heaping tablespoons of loose leaf tea in 4to-6 ounces of boiled water for 2 minutes. Strain tea and stir liquid in with sugar and lemon juice. Pour mixture into a martini shaker and shake with 1/2 cup of ice. Pour blend over ice and enjoy. Or, if you don’t feel like being creative at home, grab a pal, head into TeaCo and let them blend one up for you. You can escape the summer heat while relaxing in a comfy leather chair. While you’re viewing the variety of brews, make sure you look for the boxes of “t-sacs” with all the tea-related inventory. We were so excited to spy these tiny stuff-yourself tea bags that allow us to enjoy our loose-leaf tea mess-free at work. All you do is put a pinch of your favorite blend in the paper pouch, steep it and then throw it away when you’re done. There’s no yucky attempt to clean a strainer in the office bathroom sink involved.

Green Gifts You may think of By Invitation Only (4017 Lauderdale Dr.) as your go-to spot for party invitations and custom printing, but the store also has an expansive selection of creative gift items. One of owner Monica Horsley’s favorite new ”green gifts” for spring is a little matchbox filled with 15 folded note cards and envelopes with an India-inspired print that comes in three different color combinations. The cards are printed on 100 percent post-consumer paper and come in an adorably patterned re-useable box. Horsley’s favorite feature is a little note that comes with the gift stating: “You have good taste in friends. The person who purchased this product is not only a thoughtful friend to you, but also a friend of the planet. This product is printed on FSC certified paper, and the re-useable box is perfect for storing paper clips, stamps and personal treasures long after you have shared your special sentiments. Green is good.” And at only $18, this is a feel-good, affordable gift set.

Fresh Flowers & Ideas, in Full Bloom

A SPECIAL PLACE FOR SPECIAL OCCASIONS

Deanna King does not want people to go without fresh flowers simply because they don’t have time to stop and smell the roses. To help busy clients remember dates they should not forget, Strawberry Fields Flowers and Gifts (423 Strawberry St.), offers a reminder service. Send King the birthdays, holidays, and anniversaries that you would like to acknowledge throughout the year, and she will send you email reminders in plenty of time.

In addition to flower arrangements and topiaries, Strawberry Fields offers housewares, bath and beauty lines, and gifts for babies and children. Organizing people and realizing creative projects comes naturally to King, who was an elementary and middle school art teacher before becoming a retailer. While making her transition into the business, she earned a floral design certificate and apprenticed under the shop’s previous owner. She purchased the store three years ago. In addition to flower arrangements and topiaries, Strawberry Fields offers housewares, bath and beauty lines, and gifts for babies and children. King stocks many nationally recognized luxury brands such as Votivo candles, whose devoted customers have attained cult status. The shop also carries merchandise by local artists including hip, hand-knit baby items by Shannon Gingras, stationery by Iron Gate Greetings and Poppy A, and vin-

tage fabric accessories by Modern June and Marty Mitchell. In the fall, King returns to her teaching roots by turning the back of the store into a workshop and classroom space for customers. She will offer classes, workshops, and space for DIY projects. g

CHANGE YOUR MIND

CHANGE YOUR LIFE

A Pearl For Your Thoughts As if owning her own psychotherapy practice and working as a successful artist creating “oshibana,” the Japanese of art of arranging fresh flowers weren’t enough, a few years ago Katherine Benner began designing and making her own jewelry line. “I honestly don’t know where she finds the time,” Visual Arts Studio (208 W. Broad St.) wner Anne Hart Chay says. “The stones are exquisite and the jewelry is dazzling.” Benner utilizes semi-precious stones like freshwater pearls, opal, citrine, quartz and sterling silver. All Benner’s pieces are one of a kind and her mixture of bead shapes and sizes definitely has an artistic, free-spirited feel. One of Hart Chay’s favorite sets is made with white iridescent disc-shaped coin pearls creatively combined with more traditional pearls. The unique mix of stones makes for an out-of-the-ordinary design that would work with a suit at the office or to top off a flowy, floral summer dress. Hart Chay has several of Benner’s freshwater pearl necklaces in stock and is eagerly anticipating the arrival of even more summer jewelry on July 3.

Hypnosis is a safe and effective intervention for life change. It is recognized and accepted as a complementary treatment for many conditions, often requiring only a few sessions.

Deborah H. Smith, M.A., CH Certifications in Complementary Medical Hypnosis and Pain Management Richmond The Wellness Village at Starling, and Referral Staff for Dr. James Cook, MD VA Beach Health & Rejuvenation Center

804.747.3419 www.mindingyourlife.com

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Body Treats Go Green and Get Fit Trying to get a slim figure for summer pool parties? You might feel more inspired to hit the gym if you’re working up a sweat in a chic, coordinated ensemble. Mike Tyler, owner of YeRen Outdoor Adventure (1912 E. Main St.), says the new collection from prAna is just the ticket with its efficient sweat absorption and attractive styling. Plus, the company focuses on using sustainable materials and reducing its impact on our natural resources. “Everything’s done with organic cotton and it’s all with comfort in mind,” Tyler says of the summer collection, which includes a lot of espresso-brown and burnt-orange tones. “prAna started out as a rock climbing and yoga company so these clothes are made to work,” Tyler says. “The clothes really move and stretch with you.” prAna makes active apparel for women and men.

Shopping Spree

Miki Aalseth is an award-winning artist active with the local art community; her work has shown in Florida and Hawaii as well as several venues in Richmond, including her studio at Crossroads Art Center. Miki’s ever-changing work reflects her love of color and this can be seen in her more traditional oil landscapes as well as in her playful acrylic pieces and collage art.Contact Miki via e-mail: Mikiall@hotmail.com

Dransfield Jewelers-From the moment you step from the cobblestones into Dransfield jewelers' intimate setting in Richmond’s Shockoe Slip, it looks and feels different. For seventeen years, owner Don Dransfield and his on-site staff of designer goldmiths have provided not only beautiful handcrafted jewelry,diamonds,pearls,and gemstones that will last a lifetime, but the kind of hands-on personal service that is as unique as their dazzling creations. Browse our site WWW.Dransfield Jewelers.com, visit at 1308 East Cary St. Call (804) 643-0171

Jacob Jamile King fine art & illustration. Formally trained in textiles and interior design, works by Jacob show definitive love for color, line and pattern. Rich hues and geometric shapes push detailed and soulful subject matter into the foreground to meet the viewer. Custom designs are tailored to fit home and work environments through color, media, & size. View more at www.myspace.com/jacobjamile For commissioned work & illustration contact: jacobjamile@hotmail.com All other sales contact Saadia in Queens, NY: boroughartnyc@live.com

Straw and Feathers focuses on sustainability with style.We feature home decor and gifts fairly made from natural and recycled materials, and we're very excited to have a growing number of products that are locally made! 5520-A Lakeside Avenue (between Bryan Park and Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden) 804-262-7234.

Tan like a star at Nesbit Your last attempt at self tanner resulted in people asking you if you had a skin disease every time you appeared in shorts for the next week, yet you still crave that golden skin tone without hours of sun exposure. Make an appointment at Nesbit (2311 W. Main St.), for their new hand-applied airbrush tanning. “It’s the kind of tans the movie stars get,” salon and spa director Melissa Bryant says about the newest addition to Nesbit’s menu of services. Bryant explains that when a person comes in for the new treatment an esthetician runs an airbrush filled with self-tanner over their entire body so there’s no concern about streaking or uneven application. When the tanner is applied it has a light tint and develops into a full-blown bronze within the next several hours. The tan lasts about 8 days, and Nesbit also sells a line of products called Extended Vacation that are designed to draw it out even longer: “The products smell scrumptious, like pina coladas,” Bryant says. Scent is also one of her favorite features of the airbrush tan process: “It doesn’t have that odor to it like regular self tanners.”

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2 Friends is an experience you don’t want to miss. Walk through the door and you are suddenly enveloped by the most amazing and subtle fragrances which include aroma beads, candles, lotions and potpourri. Once inside you will find everything from jewelry, handbags, wine accessories, furniture, and baby items. 2 Friends will become your new best friend as you shop for fun and unique gifts that are sure to please everyone! Visit us at 6920-D Lakeside Ave. Tues – Sat 10 – 5. 261-9870

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Shopping S p r e e

Put it on your calendar! The 43rd Street Festival of the Arts will be held Saturday, September 13th, 2008. This fine art and craft event features 65 of the region’s finest artisans, great music, and food. For more info call (804)233-1758 or visit www.43rdstgallery.com.

Brenda Bickerstaff-Stanley “I believe in Red.” Using red in my paintings creates excitement. I hope the viewer feels the same as they experience the painting for the first and every time they see the artwork. I have chosen painting as my life’s passion. I paint en plein air, from photographs and from whatever life puts in front of me. My paintings in watercolors, acrylics and oils may be seen at Crossroads Art Center and at www.bickerstaffstanley.com

Garry-Lou Upton is an artist who loves to work with bold colors, different mediums and diverse subject matter. I have had some wonderful teachers who have given me permission to do the mundane, to experiment, and to fly. Each has been instrumental in helping me take that next step. Pushing “my” envelope is my way of keeping my paintings fresh, alive and meaningful. See more of Garry-Lou’s works at Crossroads Art Center. www.crossroadsartcenter.com

Embellish offers an eclectic selection of gift ideas as well as fabulous accessories for your home and garden. The shop mixes different styles and colors to create a unique and individualized look. Offerings include table top, wall accessories, lighting, frames, planters, garden art, body care products from Zents and Panier des Sens, and jewelry. Select regional artists enhance the mix.

“I can’t believe how many beautiful frames you have!” “How did you find this amazing selection?” Those are some of the comments our clients say after stepping into our design showroom. FRAME NATION is metro Richmond’s source for contemporary and international frame design. Featuring acrylic and welded steel to carved cedar, we have the frames and experience to compliment your art and unique interiors. Design global. Frame local. Award winning framing by a Master Framer and Richmond’s only Guild Commended Framer. www.FrameNation.net 11 South 15th St. River district 804.643.7263

HENRY 212 West Broad Street Richmond, VA 23220 804-344-5315 Mon-Sat 11am-7pm; Sun 12-6 www.thehenrygallery.com HENRY is the go-to spot for the latest in men's and women’s streetwear, sneakers and accessories. Brands include: Adidas Originals, Keep Shoes, Reebok, Vans, Stussy, Staple Design, Cheap Monday, MHI and much more! First Fridays showcase mixed media works by local and national emerging artists. Step your game up!

Four years ago Megan Wagner picked up a camera, just as a hobby, a break from her painting and drawing.Two years ago she made it her main focus, entering the VCU Department of Photography and Film. Her photographic-based work is so intriguing because, while it appears to depict reality with seemingly incredible accuracy, it is often quite deceptive. “Manifestations of Chaos and Serenity” plays with this deception while it questions the world we live in. May 23-June 29 at The Gallery Art & Design, 16 S Dooley Ave., Richmond VA 23221. Tel. 804 355.0102 www.the-gallery.it

CREATIONS BY VIENNA Imagine yourself in an original CREATION BY VIENNA. This unique piece, along with others may be purchased at the Silver Vault in Williamsburg, VA, or at Monkey’s or La Grand Dame in the Westhampton area of Richmond. You may contact Vienna directly at (804) 355.2535 or go to her web site at WienIII.com to see other examples of her work.

elegant * eclectic * fun * funky * fabulous Located at 5105 Lakeside Ave.

Create a unique environment at home or in the office with unusual, colorful and beautiful photographs from Art-To-Die-For. Each historic black and white photo is carefully hand-tinted using a special process to bring new life and vitality to each image! The collection includes historic photographs of Richmond, rural Virginia, a Celebration of Women series and more. View the collection at The Crossroads Art Center in Richmond or visit our website at www.art2die4.net or call (804) 457-2455 for more information.

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F. SCOTT FITZGERALD

“The practical thing was to find rooms in the city...And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer...”

THE GREAT GATSBY

BY

Chapter 1

Carytown at 6:15 PM: Teal blue strapless dress by Susana Monaco; Necklace by local artist Meg Phillips of Magpie Jewelry.

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Summer Dresses in the City: A Love Story Ah the seductions of a season— romance reads, lazy evenings on the lanai and inspired selections from Heidi Story. WORDS BY

REBECCA JONES

Just beyond the racks of fashion-forward clothes at Carytown’s Heidi Story (3112 W. Cary St.), you are likely to hear excited voices, mingled with a slightly industrial sound. Keep walking toward the back, and you find its source: a dozen girls learning to sew. Heidi Story has been offering Richmonders wearable trends, and teaching them the skills to create their own, for almost three years. Story, who studied design at Parsons, opened her first store in Brooklyn’s Park Slope. Prior to that, she worked for Norma Kamali and Liz Claiborne and created a flattering line of bridesmaids’ dresses—a garment that strikes fear in the hearts of many. She relocated to Richmond because she felt that it offered her more options.

Story worked for Norma Kamali and Liz Claiborne and created a flattering line of bridesmaids’ dresses—a garment that strikes fear in the hearts of many. “I wanted to be able to expand my business and offer classes, and I couldn’t do that in NYC, due to space constraints. People always ask me if I miss New York. I tell them I am inspired by New York, but I find myself more creative here. I can think better here,” she says. Story sees Richmond style as eclectic and evolving. “You have the cute, preppy mom who shops at Talbot’s and Lily Pulitzer and the funky, tattooed art student at VCU. That is why I love Carytown. It’s where all the groups meet.” And many of them meet in Story’s sewing classes, which are offered to students age 8 through adult. Some of her students designed their own prom dresses. “They turned out fabulous. No one else will have anything like it, and they tailored the dresses to their body type and personal style.” This aligns with Story’s vision for the store. “My goal is to make everyone feel welcome and walk out pretty. I love educating my customers on the designers they are wearing. I try to take into consideration people’s lifestyles, budgets, and body types when recommending clothing. I love helping people feel good about themselves. I also love helping people pick something they would never have chosen for themselves. I think what keeps me going is my customers. They rock!!”g

The Fan at 8:20 PM: Ice blue cocktail dress by Saja; Earrings by local jewelry artist Rebecca Warner.

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Manchester at noon: Plaid shift by Harajuku Lovers Earrings by local jewelry artist Meg Allen.

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Vanita Braugh has a degree in social work, but throughout her career she kept ending up in retail jobs, even if it was a part-time position on top of her regular career. “Fashion is where my passion is,” she laughs. “It’s always been a dream of mine to open my own store.” After about 16 years working in retail, she decided it was time to take the plunge and start her own shop and My Closet Your Treasures (5524 Lakeside Ave.), opened in October. Braugh’s store has a feminine boutique feel with pink walls, plenty of clothes racks and accessories appealingly displayed throughout the shop. Braugh says that the style and brands of clothes vary, but when we stopped in we spied a range of crave-worthy designer goods including Louis Vuitton purses, Chanel sunglasses and Gucci shoes. Sizes include regular and plus, and the wide array of purses, jewelry, shoes and other accessories all in almost-new or new condition is quite large for a consignment store. Jones’ focus on new items keeps the selection current. “People try to bring me their kitchen sink,” Braugh says. She’s got so much inventory already with about 200 consigners that she’s only accepting new items every other week for the time being. If you stop in, make sure you don’t miss the glass cases near the cash register where designer accessories and jewelry can be found, as well as the shelves behind the register where many of the smaller designer bags are tucked.

C’MON, YOU CAN BE THIS SUMMER’S CHIC FAN GAL WITH THE HAPPENIN’ TATS, BEACH-BUNNY RETRO TWO-PIECE AND A FIRE ENGINE-RED PEDICURE!

Summer dresses are the must-have summer wardrobe staple at Nicole Miller (11800 W. Broad St), according to store manager Blair Baxter: “There are lots of really neat patterns that are bright,” she says. The newest patterns include flowers, geometric polka dots and “cathedral prints” that look like stained glass windows reproduced in natural tones. Styles range from strapless to cropped with three-quarter sleeves to trapeze. All are perfect for that effortless put-together look that only the perfect dress can provide. Colors range from delicate white with bohemian influence to strong blues and purples that channel more mod vibes. Baxter says her favorite summer styles are cropped and casual, but they can be dressed up with accessories for summer nights.

If you’ve been pining after the vintage swimsuit styles that are so chic all of a sudden, why not head into Halcyon (117 N. Robinson St.), and pick up an original? Who wants a reproduction when you can have a beautiful oneof-a-kind original? Owner Connie Carroll has just pulled out her special selection of suits from the 1940s and ’50s. “They just don’t make clothes the way they used to,” Carroll says, noting the high-quality workmanship on her original designs. One of her favorite suits is a black-and-white one piece that’s adorned with a pink-and-black starfish, coral and a net. Halcyon’s accessory cases are overflowing with rhinestone baubles to dress up any summer outfit. Some of Carroll’s favorites are brooches and earrings by Eisenberg, the German company whose jewelry comes from the Rhine River and is the originator of the term “rhinestone.” “You look at the case and the Eisenberg’s just pop,” Carroll says. “They’re amazing.”

MAZZA beach.

goes to the

With this Ring...

JEWELRY ARTIST JAY SHARPE

LAUNCHES NEW LINE OF WEDDING BANDS

Jay Sharpe had a practical reason for designing his new line of wedding bands: he was about to propose. Sharpe has been designing jewelry professionally ever since his 1990 graduation from VCU School of the Arts. In addition to his Carytown storefront (3405 W. Cary St.), his pieces have also been carried by national retailers including Nordstrom and Henri Bendel. He has sold bridal jewelry to hundred of customers, but when it was time for him to pop the question, he wanted something different. “I saw a need for a different kind of engagement ring and wedding band, one that is creative and modern,” says Sharpe. His new rings are carried in the shop and can also be made to order according to customer specifications. They come with or without stones. A custom band takes 3 – 4 weeks to create. Who are his wedding bands designed for? “I think my customers appreciate simplicity and clean lines. I design for a person who respects tra-

dition but whose style is non-traditional, someone who enjoys art and loves life,” he says. Sharpe hastens to add that modern does not mean mass-produced. His rings are individually designed and carved by hand. “In today's world of mass production, we believe that something that is going to be with you forever should be special. You will see definite attention to detail, fluent cuts, smooth transitional depths and uniqueness of each ring,” says Sharpe. “Wedding rings should be carved by hand. It is the hand of a confident carver that sets apart each wedding ring, thus creating a one-of-a-kind masterpiece.” g

Since she began selling Karyn Shonk’s jewelry designs in her store, Deanna King, owner of Strawberry Fields(423 Strawberry St.) has acquired quite a collection of the Richmond-based artists’ jewelry. “Anyone can string a bead on a piece of wire, but her stuff really has an artistic element to it,” King says of Shonk’s necklaces and earrings, which are made with wire carefully coiled to represent swirly flowers and other shapes alongside beads and found items. If King isn’t wearing a piece of the designer’s jewelry that she already owns, she’s often got one of the pieces in the store on. “There’s this one necklace right now that I wear all day and put back at night,” she laughs, adding “It sells like crazy.” If you stop in to view Shonk’s standout designs, make sure you also peruse Strawberry Fields’ new beach-themed home décor items. King describes them as a more upscale take on the beach theme with lots of silver and sea shells: “It’s just so simple and classic…It’s stuff that you could give to anyone.”

Be Punctual in Platinum

5707 Grove Ave #200 Richmond, VA 23226 804.285.4666 www.victoriacharles.com

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Schwarzschild Jewelers (11800 W. Broad St.), knows the ultimate men’s wearable status symbol is a watch. The latest way to show off is with the limited edition IWC Portuguese Regulateur. Only 500 of this platinum watch with a black crocodile band were produced by the northeastern Switzerland-based company IWC. The watch is designed to have the high-tech precision of a marine navigator, but with the chic styling of a modern timepiece manufacturer. Men will also like the see-through sapphire glass back that allows them to see all the gears turning. The watch costs $31,000, but, hey, you’ll be one of 500 people worldwide who owns one.

Lost Satellites WORDS BY

DAVE PERRY

PHOTO BY DAVID SCHROTT [left to right] Chris Mitchell, drums; John Hein, keyboards; Frank Scott, vocals, guitar, keyboards; Mark Henderson, drums, percussion

Which song to release on the radio is the hot con- of creating quality music and stimulating songs.” versation point at the listening party for Worlds Col- Having written, engineered, and produced Worlds lide, the debut album of Lost Satellites; longtime Collide, Scott believes that the role of producer is musician Frank Scott’s newly created studio project. one that “really forces you to take a more objective Scott is no stranger to the music scene and in- look as to the big picture.” dustry. He has played in rock bands for over a He realizes the importance of acquiring “exdecade, and most recently with local Richmond fa- perienced people’s ears on your project.” The mavorite, The McGuffin. jority of collaborators are from the Mid-Atlantic “A lot of the material on Worlds Collide was region and include Peter Holsapple (R.E.M., Hootie written while I played with those guys, that influ- and the Blowfish, The Db’s), who rocks the Hamence is certainly there,” Scott says. mond organ on song 4,“Not for Profit.” Chris Stamey, Scott characterizes The Lost Satellites as a “col- (Whiskeytown, Caitin Cary, The Db’s) mixed the lection of musicians who share the common goal album and offered a synthesizer track on “Hole.” Check out Urgeonline.com for more on the Lost Satellites.

“The best collaborations,” says Scott,“are those that develop organically between people who have good or interesting chemistry.” Spend ten minutes with Scott, and you will soon be privy to the fact that he is one to provoke the endless, natural struggles of life. His lyrics serve as a life-line to break free from the mixed emotions of love, self-evaluation and affliction. Combine this lyrical base with a strong musical presence influenced by ’60s rock, ’90s grunge and an indie style orchestration and you have one solid album that, according to Scott, remains “truer to the art of indie rock, than commercialism.” g

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Inside Richmond Indie WORDS

&

PHOTOS BY

CATHY THOMAS

Dusty Ray is the drummer for two of Richmond’s most essential bands—DJ Williams Projekt, Oregon Hill Funk All Stars or Big Payback. Ray recently stepped out on his own with a solo project he has been working on for over two years. Ray’s first recording is a combination of funky, rhythmic, hip hop beats, and voice. This project is a collaboration with his brother, Jeremy Simmons, as well as Daniel Clarke, whom Dusty tags “the best piano player in Richmond.” Influenced by James Brown, Steeley Dan, his own father, and “anything else that grooved,” Ray was musically inclined from a young age. He taught himself to play drums by playing along to vinyl records on his dad’s drum kit in the garage. Ray co-owns Low Blow Music Company and Elephant Ear Studio with his brother Jeremy. There, he creates beats for other musicians, advertising jingles, and his own original music.

Visually and lyrically compelling, this Richmond-based indie rock band has a future. Farm Vegas consists of five friends who started playing music together in a basement while attending Hampton-Sydney College in Farmville. Their first CD, On a Wire, came out in the winter of 2007. Farm Vegas draws on a range of influences including the Allman Brothers and Widespread Panic. Their original music is written by James Lloyd Hodges, who sings lead vocals, and Justin Paciocce, who plays keyboard. Recently graduating with degrees in English, economics, and biology, the band members have diverse day jobs. They stay inspired by watching other artists playing live music at one of their favorite hang outs—Cary St. Café, where they used to perform. The band’s name is an oxymoron the guys came up with while living in Farmville. If their name catches your interest, be sure to check them out live —and definitely wear your dancing shoes!

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Velvety, dynamic lead vocals of Amsterdam-born Jeanine Guidry highlight this nine-piece Richmond band called Offering. Guitar- and piano-driven sounds, along with strings, flute and world-beat percussion give them a full, multifarious vibe. Influenced by U2, Iona, Evanescence, Sarah McLachlan and the Beatles, they describe their music as their lifeline. Since the band got their start in 1999, Offering’s desire has been to make music that “moves listeners to action.” Their community service efforts are numerous and in-

novative. They organize an annual Christmas concert in July that doubles as a food drive for Central Virginia Foodbank. They also play at benefits for MCV’s Hospitality House, Thomas Dale High School, and for the soldiers at Ft. Lee. Currently, they are working on a project called, “Arts in the Alley.” Following an alley cleanup day, they will take part in an arts celebration featuring music, visual art, and dance. Offering also plays live at Positive Vibe Café and at Common Groundz.

They have the look of an upscale, progressive garage band, and a sound described as fusion ’60s acid rock, with African soul beats. “It’s high-energy, vicious rock ‘n roll,”says Michael York, front man for one of Richmond’s youngest bands, Duchess of York. Formerly known as Rising Sons, the edgy musicians have had an amazing start, already headlining and selling out Toad’s Place, Alley Katz and other Richmond venues.

Michael York, sole writer for the band, takes listeners back to old school roots of jazz, blues and rock. His music is inspired by Otis Redding and Kings of Leon. His lyrical influences are literary and include Dickinson and Frost. Three of the band membersMichael York, Constantine Giavos and Jacob Shank, are in high school. The fourth, Austin York, is 21. Although all are primarily self taught musicians, their sophisticated style indicates a bright future.g

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

Klezm’Or’Ami’m

DANCE PARTY MUSIC WITH A JEWISH SOUL SPECIAL

THANKS TO CONTRIBUTING WRITER

In the 19th century, no Eastern European Jewish celebration was complete without the music of wandering musicians called Klezmorim, a Yiddish term drawn from the Hebrew words for "instrument" and "song." Traditionally Klezmer was played by small groups of wandering musicians—often clarinetists, trumpet players and violinists—who traveled from village to village. Today, it is prized by audiences from all cultures

MARCY HORWITZ

and traditions. Klezm’Or’Ami’m means “Klezmer musicians from Congregation Or Ami,” the only Reform Jewish congregation south of the James. The late Alan Smith founded the ensemble around 1994 as a study group, but according to accordionist and manager Marcy Horwitz,“We just couldn’t keep such a good thing to ourselves.” Klezm’Or’Ami’m is comprised

of Henri Maizels (flute), Bill Moskowitz and Malik Riley (clarinet), Jeff Hanzel (trumpet), Steve Shapiro (piano, Melodica, & keyboards), Marcy Horwitz (piano, accordion & keyboards), Bruce Gould and Mike Gordon (drums), and Art Todras (vocals and brass). The full ensemble plays frequently, at a range of venues including the Children’s Museum of Richmond, Lewis Ginter Botanical Garden, the ValentineRichmond History Center, and the Virginia Holocaust Museum. When they play private parties such as weddings or bar mitzvahs, it is usually in groups of only three or four musicians—

WORK IN PROGRESS

an option they like to call “Klezm’Or’or’Less.” Their music may sound familiar—even if you are hearing Klezmer for the first time. Klezmer arrived in America in the early 1900s and greatly influenced twentieth-century American popular music, particularly jazz and show tunes. The opening strains of Gershwin’s “Rhapsody in Blue” and Leonard Bernstein’s overture to Candide, as well as the Andrews Sisters’ hit song “Bei Mir Bist Du Schoen,” are taken straight from the Klezmer tradition. But chances are good that you will not be thinking about that when you hear Klezm’Or’Ami’m. You’ll be too busy dancing. g

COMPILED BY

BJ KOCEN

J. Plunky Branch|P. Muzi Branch

Music Trek

BRINGING RICHMOND THE VIBE OF THE AFRICAN DIASPORA DAVID NOYES

In early June of 1998, I received a phone call from a man I hardly knew. Charles Williams had an opportunity to fulfill his long-standing dream of bringing “the other black music” to the airwaves in Richmond. His call was an invitation to help him in realize that dream. Africans and people of African descent have made an incredible contribution to music that extends far beyond the hip-hop, R&B, blues, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll played on mainstream American radio. Charles's dream was to fill the void in left in our cultural experience and to try to fill that void. I was honored to accept this invitation and on June 10, 1998, The Motherland Influence first hit Richmond’s airwaves, broadcast at that time on WDCE from the University of Richmond. In the course of the next year, Charles and I became good friends and expanded our original idea to include two other programs: The Other Black Music and Ambiance Congo.

These programs have been on the air on Sunday evenings in Richmond ever since moving to WRIR 97.3 FM at the station’s inception some three years ago. Every Sunday from 3:00- 7:00 PM, we host these programs live on the WRIR airwaves, and over the internet, to a local and global audience.We spin the latest hits and classic greats of African, Latin and Caribbean music from Senegal to Surinam, Belize to Benin, Congo to Colombia, Angola to the Antilles, New York to Nigeria. We work hard to bring find and play the best of African Diaspora music —music that you don’t usually get to hear on commercial American radio. Our programs are archived. If you hear something that you like, check the track lists, seek out the music, and support African and African-influenced music. When he is not playing music at WRIR, David Noyes can be found at VMFA, where he is Director of Exhibition Design and Production.g

Tired of same old-same old? Tune us in on Sundays or sample past programs at: http://wrir.org/x/modules/news/index.php?storytopic=42 for The Motherland Influence. http://wrir.org/x/modules/news/index.php?storytopic=72 for The Other Black Music http://wrir.org/x/modules/news/index.php?storytopic=41 for Ambiance Congo

Saxophonist J. Plunky Branch fronts Plunky and Oneness. Rooted in Jazz, Plunky delves into soul,funk,gospel and hip-hop territory. Among many numerous accomplishments he is a songwriter, a film producer, and president of N.A.M.E. Brand Records, through which he has released 21 albums. His latest single “Drop,” from the album Cold Heat, is getting heavy rotation on the national air waves. For more on Plunky check out www.plunkyone.com. Artist & Musician P. Muzi Branch divides his time as Director of Cultural Programs for VCU Health Systems, as a respected painter and band mate of his brother in Plunky and Oneness. Muzi plays bass in the band and has toured and recorded with them. His painting “Real Jazz Trio” is on display in the home office of ChildSavers at 200 N. 22cnd Street and his studio (located in the rear of 312 Gallery at 312 Brook Road) is open by appointment by calling 240-4019.

Muzi: Who influenced you as an artist? Plunky: I'll just name names, John Coltrane, Maceo Parker, Santana, (because he was born on my birthday), Ornette Coleman, Pharaoh Sanders, and Sun Ra. People who stretched themselves to be themselves against all odds and people like Martin Luther King even though he might not have been an artist in that he picked up a paint brush or a saxophone, he was an artist with words. Herman Hesse

from Germany, Fela RansomeKutie out of Nigeria and the list goes on and on. Muzi: What book are you reading now? Plunky: I’m reading a book right now called Follow Your Heart. It’s written by Joe Evans with Christopher Brooks. Joe is an ex-saxophonist who resides in Richmond, he’s 91 years old and I bought his book at the Richmond Jazz Society. He played with everybody who's anybody and I’m currently

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continued on next page

WORDS BY

David Noyes and Charles Williams in the studio at WRIR 97.3 FM

being inspired by his life...a 91-year-old man who played with everybody from Louie Armstrong, Billy Holliday, Cab Calloway—all the greats in jazz in New York so you caught me at the right time. I am reading a book! Muzi: You played in Europe and Africa, where would you like to perform or visit? Plunky: I want to revisit every place I have ever been. I love going to Europe, Africa. Tremendous. I’ve been to Cuba, I’ve been to Brazil. I want to go back to all those places, but I also want to go to the far east. I’ve never been to Japan, to Thailand, to China, I want to see the whole globe. Muzi: Who do you listen to and what was the “Real Jazz Trio” last album you purchased? Plunky: Mostly, I listen to my own music. 90% of Plunky: You paint, play music, and administrate. the time I listen to something I'm working on or Are they compartmentalized or do they all flow something that I have recorded myself. When I kinda from you in the same way? purchase albums most of the time it’s for work Muzi: Well, they all work together.The arts and purposes; some song I have to learn for some gig. making music come out of the creative side of me. Recently I bought the latest Jill Scott record, Mary I like making art. I like creating music and making J Blige’s recent record, and a record by Maceo people dance when we’re in the clubs.The arts administration part is more of the right brain activity Parker his latest double album. Muzi: Where do you like to go out for the evening? which for an artist is difficult because we are free Plunky: I rarely go out for the evening. If I go out, thinkers and free spirits so I use both sides of the it’s usually work related. I go to a club to see what brain and that’s a good thing. other musicians are doing or to see about the pos- Plunky: What is it about the creative process that sibility of a gig and usually I don’t stay more than really gets you going? Muzi: The incubation stage, whether it’s music or ten minutes. art, what message am I going to convey? What Muzi: And what’s next for you? Plunky: Well, I’m releasing a new CD by mid- content do I want to have in my work? And then summer. I’m continuing to tour and so what's the end for sure, the finished product. next for me? More of the same only bigger, bet- Plunky: What do you listen to on your iPod or in the car and why? ter, more, faster.

Muzi: Wow, I’m very eclectic when it comes to music. I listen to old school. I like a lot of Sly Stone. I even have Phil Collins, jazz, all types of music. Isley Brothers, a lot of gospel because I play bass in church so I listen to learn the music. Plunky: Well, I’m going to comment because you’ve changed a lot then because it used to be all..... Plunky & Muzi in unison: PRINCE! Muzi: That’s right! Oh, Prince is on there! I have every Prince song on there, but yeah what can I say? I have changed a little bit. BUT! Prince is still my man! Plunky: What things and places are on your bucket list? Muzi: I would say, I would love to go to Egypt. I do not want to jump out of any plane or jump off of anything. There is nothing I want to jump off of. So I would say just travel, go to all the places that I studied in my art history classes to see the original works, to see the natural wonders, and see the one left manmade seven wonders of the world. Plunky: With whom would you love to work or collaborate? Muzi: Hmmm..Prince if I could play on one of his songs or get him to do one of my songs. Also I would love to work with some of the new hip-hop artists. Someone like Common or Mary J Blige. Any of the new artists and then if I were to collaborate with anyone form the visual arts I would have to say someone like William T. Williams who is an abstract African American artist.g

Robert Mark

FOR RICHMOND-BASED DIRECTOR ROBERT MARK, FILMMAKING IS A MATTER OF FACT, NOT FICTION

WORDS BY

MIKE FONSECA

If you are a cable channel surfer, chances are you have seen Richmond filmmaker Bob Mark’s work, which has appeared on A&E, the History Channel, PAX-TV, CBS, and others. Mark has also worked for Steven Spielberg, documenting Holocaust victims’ stories for Survivors of the Shoah. Mark considers himself more a documentarian than a filmmaker, but he didn’t set out to be in film at all. Though he has been in the television industry for over 25 years, his college degree is not in communications. “There are many people in television with a degree in psychology, and I’m one of them,” Mark says. “There are quite a few of us ‘psych grads’ in production work.” Mark’s documentary Discovering Archaeology: the Curles Neck Project was recently seen in the first annual Virginia Independent Film Festival at the Byrd. “I wanted to enlighten the public about Virginia’s amazing historical sites and how they are in jeopardy of being destroyed,” he says. Mark shot 8mm film as teenager, but started his career as a recording studio engineer. This job combined his knowledge of music and electronics, which he gained as a guitarist and ham radio op-

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erator. He arrived in television through work for PBS and eventually founded Richmond-based Avalar Productions. Mark’s work for documentaries and news magazines has taken him places that are usually off-limits. While working for Discovery Channel Canada, he was part of the first television crew permitted to film Chief Powhatan’s “lost village.” Work for the US Navy on the documentary Aircraft Carriers of the Future also led to excitement. “We arrived on board Mark’s documentary Discovering Archaeology: the Curles Neck Project was recently seen in the first annual Virginia Independent Film Festival. an aircraft carrier in the North Atlantic by tail hook landing. We interviewed These were incredible oral histories and several the captain and many senior officers. After two times at the end of the interview, survivors told days of production we were catapulted off the ship me they had never told their story before, not even to their family. I think it was a great catharfor our return. Quite a ride!” tic experience for many of these incredible and What’s the work that Mark is most proud of? “I would say the Holocaust survivor interviews. brave individuals.”g

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

Artistic Sustainability

AMARANTH DANCE COMPANY’S ANNUAL PROGRAM RE-SEEDS THE DANCE FIELD

Amaranth is named for a flower that the ancient Greeks saw as a symbol of beauty and immortality. It is therefore fitting that its annual showcase of new work by emerging choreographers is titled Planting the Seeds. Through this project, Artistic Di-

rector Scott Putman and Associate Artistic Director Jill Brammer-Ware turn their attention to the talent pool within the company and facilitate the dancers’ development as choreographers. Since its 2006 premier, Ama-

ranth Contemporary Dance has been committed to dance that fuses artistic expression, intellectual content, and community involvement. Putman believes that nurturing dancers as creators is fundamental to the growth of the dancers, and of his company. “If the dancers are working in ways that are not developing rigid patterns, they will continue to find stimulation and inspiration within their involvement in Amaranth, the community and within this city. It is imperative to create this kind of supportive environment that teaches internal reflection and growth,” he says. Putman and Brammer-Ware bring a wealth of artistic and teaching experience to their mentorship of new choreographers. Putman is an Associate Professor of dance and choreography at Virginia Commonwealth University and has performed throughout the country. Also an active choreographer, his work is commissioned by ballet and modern dance companies alike. Brammer-Ware has toured inter-

nationally with the Purchase Dance Corps, performing works by Mark Morris, Kevin Jeff and Kevin Wynn. Her choreography has been commissioned and performed in venues throughout Virginia, Delaware, and New York. Both Putman and BrammerWare see Planting the Seeds as a project that nourishes the creative community. “It is not just good enough to promote sustainability, you must live it. You must create an environment in which you train the dancers to sustain themselves as technicians, performers and creative artists.” Planting the Seeds, presented at Dogwood Dell on Friday, June 27, is a free performance, sponsored by the City of Richmond. Its choreographers are Susie Izzie, Damion Bond, Kat Legault, Lauren B. Morris, Paige Horton. Amaranth will also offer a lecture-demonstration of their current repertory and the new works from the Planting the Seeds project to students in the Richmond Ballet Company on July 11. g

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Opera Theatre VCU performers: Chase Peak (Pooh Bah) and John Tyndall (Pish Tush) in Gilbert & Sullivan’s The Mikado.

Live Opera Lives in Richmond Thanks to the Virginia Opera, Opera Theatre VCU, and Virginia Center Stadium 20, Richmonders have never had so many chances to see live operas. Virginia Opera’s 34th Season is an italophile’s dream, featuring titles straight from Opera’s Top 20 Hit List. The season begins in October at the Landmark Theater with a new production of Giuseppe Verdi’s actionpacked Il Trovatore. This sweeping tragedy’s universally popular Anvil Chorus is one of the most recognizable melodies in the repertoire. In November, Virginia Opera toasts the holidays with Gaetano Donizetti’s intoxicating romantic comedy, The Elixir of Love. In this sparkling opera, a young farmer attempts to win the girl of his dreams by

drinking a “love potion” that turns out to be cheap wine. In January 2009, Virginia Opera rings in the New Year with a quintessential production from the Italian repertoire: Giacomo Puccini’s Tosca, the tale of fiery soprano Floria Tosca, whose lover’s life is jeopardized when he is captured by the malicious police chief who lusts after her. The season concludes with The Barber of Seville, Gioachino Rossini’s hilarious comedy that follows the madcap adventures of an outrageous barber with matchmaking on the mind. Founded in 1950 by L.W. Batty, Opera Theatre VCU has the longestrunning tradition of annual full-scale productions in the state of Virginia. The company produces a program of fully-staged opera scenes in the fall, as well as a Gala Evening of arias and performances in area public schools. Every spring Opera Theater VCU mounts a full-scale production in collaboration with the VCU Symphony Orchestra. This vibrant program is building new audiences for opera. Last spring’s production of Gilbert and Sullivan’s The Mikado played to standing-room-only audiences and received lengthy standing ovations, as did 2007’s production of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. The Metropolitan Opera: Live in HD will present its third season of matinee performances broadcast live in from the Met stage into select movie theaters. Glen Allen’s Virginia Center Stadium 20 is Richmond’s venue for these performances, about which the Los Angeles Times said, “The Met’s experiment of merging film with live performance has created a new art form.” g

ACCESSING OPERA Melanie Day has been the director of Opera Theater VCU since 1983. She talked with Urge about what audiences can do to get the most out of seeing a live opera. Urge: How have you gone about cultivating younger opera audiences? Day: I’m not so sure that I could honestly say that cultivating a ‘young audience’ is a goal. Perhaps it would be fairer to say that creating an appreciation among first-time opera attendees is a goal. We often choose comic operas for that reason (and, in part, because they are more easily managed by young voices). In addition, we sing our full-scale productions in the spring in English translation due to the fact that we do not have the set-up for super-titles

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and because we hope to establish a connection with the audience by singing ‘in the vernacular.’ Urge: What kind of experience with opera do your incoming music students have? Day: Many of our freshmen have never heard of opera and are completely unfamiliar with the great recording artists in today’s classical vocal idiom. At the time of their audition, they often tell us that they are interested in musical theatre because their school produces an annual Broadway show or that they liked Show Choir. The next logical step for these students is to take a semester of Opera Theatre. After one semester of this class, they are ALWAYS ‘hooked!’ Seriously, opera is, after all, musical theatre.

Richmond Symph’s ‘Big Boom’ THE RICHMOND SYMPHONY’S KENNEDY CENTER PERFORMANCE LINKS ITS SOLID PAST TO ITS BRIGHT FUTURE.

COMPILED BY

BOB HALBRUNER

Having just successfully celebrated its half-century mark, the Richmond Symphony is poised to re-invent itself as it searches for a new music director and tunes up for its eventual move back downtown as the anchor tenant at Richmond CenterStage. Executive Director David Fisk views May’s performance at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. as the “perfect window to the Symphony’s next 50 years.” Urge: How did the Richmond Symphony’s performance at the Kennedy Center come about? Fisk: We submitted a competitive application and were so pleased to have been offered this exciting opportunity to play in one of America’s most celebrated performance halls. This effort includes the whole organization: from our musicians and our symphony chorus to our youth orchestra conducted by Associate Conductor Erin Freeman. It will be one of the unforgettable events in the Symphony’s history. Mark Russell Smith has crafted a superb program that includes the music of Ravel, Mahler and Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto performed by internationally known pianist, Christopher O’Riley. I think we have secured every available bus in Richmond to transport our musicians as well as hundreds of our local supporters to D.C for an incredible night of music making on May 27th! This concert is actually two concerts— just prior to the Symphony’s performance, the Youth Orchestra will take the Kennedy Center stage as well for its own showcase concert. These events cap a

year-long celebration of our 50th Anniversary. Urge: Mark Russell Smith has done amazing things with the Richmond Symphony since arriving on the Richmond arts scene in 1999. With a new music director search facing the Symphony, what can music lovers expect next season? Fisk: Mark has masterfully led the orchestra through an unprecedented era while the Carpenter Theater has been closed. His tenure will be remembered for its high level of musicianship and the spectacular sound he draws from the players. It’s important to note Mark will lead the final two Masterworks next season—monumental performances of Bach’s St. Matthew Passion and Mahler’s Ninth Symphony. Looking ahead to the rest of next season, six of the nine music director candidates poised to succeed Mark will lead performances that they themselves have programmed. The variety of programming is spectacular and makes for a season that should not be missed. Every candidate has the opportunity to put their unique stamp on the Richmond Symphony. It is

Urge: Which operas do you think are particularly good choices for audiences who are unfamiliar with opera?

when they observe the live performance. Opera is the only art form which coalesces all of the arts: music-vocal & orchestral, dancing, visual arts, theatre, architecture, and stage craft. It requires an unbelievable amount of work from so many people to make the magic happen! And opera is somehow ‘epic’—in normal everyday life, it is not customary to burst into song. Opera—well-much of it—is not intended to replicate reality. Instead, it offers us an opportunity to step out of our mundane spheres of turmoil and trouble and to ‘escape’ into the super-reality of fantasy. We all need that escape desperately in today’s world. We have a desperate need to experience beauty and heightened emotion, don’t we? g

Day: The Barber of Seville, The Marriage of Figaro, Carmen, The Magic Flute, The Merry Widow, Die Fledermaus, Hansel and Gretel, The Elixir of Love . . . Urge: What can people who are new to opera do to make their experience more enjoyable? Day: Simply avail themselves of a $15.00 paperback book available in any bookstore containing synopses of the plots, such as: 100 Great Operas and their Stories by Henry W. Simon. They could also borrow a video from a library and enjoy comparing the vast conceptual differences they are bound to experience

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

Freeman

Smith

also an exciting opportunity for our audiences to experience each conductor and be part of this important decision the orchestra must make. After 50 years, the next music director will be only the fifth in the organization’s history. Urge: What are the implications for the Orchestra’s future as the eventual completion of CenterStage comes to pass in fall of 2009? Fisk: Huge. After five seasons of embracing new audiences and the complexities of putting on performances in close to 30 different venues annually, the Richmond Symphony is coming HOME to the Carpenter Theater. The experience will astound the

audience and I know that the musicians are ready to have a home base. An expanded stage house, improved acoustics, more comfortable seating, convenient parking and topnotch amenities will make the concert experience world-class. I promise it will be worth the wait and will enable us to mount the sort of big orchestral works that require the space and acoustic that Richmond CenterStage promises us. Our internal planning process for the first season back in the Carpenter is calling for each concert experience to deliver, in a phrase we have coined, the “Big Boom.” So get ready, we assure you, it’s coming.g

WORK IN PROGRESS

The Carpenter Theatre WORDS

BY

ERIN RODMAN

On April 9th, the Carpenter Theatre ushered in the big 8-0, having opened in 1928—the same year both bubble-gum and pre-cut bread were invented. Could it be that Richmond entertainment really is the coolest thing since sliced bread? For eight decades the area around Sixth and Grace Streets has entertained Richmond audiences for the silver screen and the stage. When the building first opened its doors on April 9, 1928, it was a Loews film theatre, which it remained until 1979. It reopened in 1983 as the Carpenter Center. Closed in 2004 for renovations and construction, it will re-open in fall of 2009 as Carpenter Theatre, the largest venue in the Richmond CenterStage complex. When you take your seat at the new CenterStage and the lights dim before the show begins, you might wonder what audiences before you saw. Every day, as we build toward the future of Richmond CenterStage, we also encounter some of its history. Several relics of the past have been unearthed during reconstruction, among them cardboard lightbulb containers from the 1920s,

polio-prevention leaflets, and entertainment ephemera. A construction worker recently found a publicity piece for the 1941 MGM film “A Woman’s Face” starring Joan Crawford and Melvyn Douglas. The still features a portrait. If its face turned red when touched, its owner received free movie tickets. Movie tickets today are more than twelve dollars—a sharp contrast to 80 cent price stamped on the remnant of a Loews theatre ticket from the 1960s. One of the more intriguing finds thus far is a pay envelope for an usher at the Colonial Theatre, located at 8th and Broad Streets and a neighbor of the Loews Theatre. Who was this usher? Did he work at both the Colonial and the Loews? The opening of the renovated Carpenter Theatre will continue a long performing arts tradition in a unique Richmond neighborhood. Performers from around the corner and around the world will bring the stage to life, and audiences to their feet, night after night—just like it used to be.g Erin Rodman is Marketing Manager for the CenterStage Foundation

Check out Urgeonline.com for photos of the Carpenter Theatre relics. SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

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What Good is Sitting Alone in Your Room?

CABARETS BRING MUSIC, COMEDY, AND A BIT OF OLD EUROPE TO RICHMOND AND PETERSBURG.

WORDS BY BILLY CHRISTOPHER MAUPIN Maupin is an actor and director who works in the publicity and marketing offices of the Barksdale & Theatre IV.

Cabaret is back—but what is it? It’s hard to define—even Bob Harrington, author of A Cabaret Artist’s Handbook, is stumped. “A truly concise and accurate description has always eluded me…Every working definition I’ve come up with either excludes something that obviously is cabaret or includes something that just as obviously isn’t.” Cabaret began in late 19th century France, presenting live entertainment—poetry, songs, and even circus acts—in a relaxed social atmosphere. Germany picked up on cabaret, but it was soon squelched by the Nazi regime. Cabaret took hold in America during prohibition and hit its peak in the 1940s and ’50s before the rock concert dealt the art form a major blow. Larger cities have seen a resurgence of Cabaret in recent years, and Richmond is rarely one to be left too far behind. Comedy Sportz Improv Theatre has played host to many cabarets in the last several years, taking over for Richmond Ensemble Theatre, which began the series. The Firehouse Theatre Project has presented several cabarets, most recently a four-week run in April and May. It featured four performers and a jazz trio performing ten-minute plays, songs, poetry, and even a dramatic reading of the lyrics of Diff’rent Strokes. Barksdale Theatre will present its third annual

Home for the Holidays cabaret this December as a fundraiser for the Richmond Theatre Artists’ Fund. It features award-winning performer Debra Wagoner and the songs of Harold Arlen. Petersburg’s Sycamore Rouge features cabaret in an authentic setting that seems to have been inspired at least in part by one of the first

cabarets in Paris, the Moulin Rouge (which is still in existence). What can audiences expect as cabaret, the art form that resists definition, finds a comfortable foothold in Richmond? It’s an art form that’s never the same twice; the possibilities are endless. Why not attend and discover for yourself? g

Barksdale’s Guys and Dolls at the Empire Theatre When it first opened on Broadway, Guys and Dolls was a tough, gritty show. Fifty-eight years later, we yearn for Frank Loesser and Damon Runyon’s splashy, nocturnal New York of gamblers, chorus girls, and mission workers—a world considerably more romantic and less tough than today’s city of hedge fund managers, upper-brackets condos, and cutthroat admissions to the top preschools. The Barksdale Theater brings this landmark production to Richmond’s historic Empire Theatre June 13 – August 17. Once a Vaudeville house and later a grand movie palace, the Empire, like Guys and Dolls itself, stands as a living artifact of the golden age of American performing arts. Called “the perfect musical comedy” by the New York Daily News, the original production of Guys and Dolls opened at the 46th Street Theater (renamed the Richard Rodgers in 1990) on No-

vember 24, 1950 and ran for 1,200 performances. It was followed by a 1976 revival, featuring Robert Guillaume and an all-black cast. A second revival in1992 with Peter Gallagher, Nathan Lane and Faith Prince ran almost as long the original. The film version, with Marlon Brando and Frank Sinatra, had the highest box-office gross of 1955. In the Barksdale’s production, Broadway veteran and VCU theater professor Patti D’Beck directs more than 20 performers, including Richmond favorites Scott Wichman (Nathan Detroit), Rachel Abrams (Miss Adelaide), Rita Markova (Sarah Brown), Jason Marks (Nicely Nicely Johnson), and Jackie Jones (General Cartwright). Songs from the score that have become standards include “A Bushel and a Peck,”“Sit Down, You’re Rocking the Boat,”“Adelaide’s Lament,” and “Luck Be a Lady.” g

The curriculum enhances memorization skills as the students repeat choreographic patterns in different combinations throughout each class. They are required to remember this choreography and expand upon it during subsequent classes. The development of these skills can help strengthen mathematical abilities and physical fitness. It also requires each student to develop focus and self-control. Team XL/XXL is an after-school scholarship class for selected Minds In Motion students from each of the 19 participating schools. This program

has helped many students to transition to classes at the School of Richmond Ballet. Selected Team XXL students also participate in the Ballet's production of The Nutcracker. In May 2001, the City of Richmond presented Minds In Motion with a certificate of recognition for the outstanding service Minds In Motion provides to the community, and a certificate of appreciation to Brett Bonda, the director of the Minds In Motion program. Bonda also received the 2002 Richmond Magazine Teresa Pollack Award for Excellence in the Arts for his contributions to dance. g

Minds in Motion

DISCIPLINE, DEDICATION AND SELF-AWARENESS

THROUGH DANCE AND CHOREOGRAPHY

Minds In Motion is a year-long program that teaches discipline, dedication and self-awareness through dance and choreography. It is not a ballet class, but a way to teach students the benefits of applying themselves to a task involving both mental and physical challenges. It requires no special clothing, shoes or equipment.

The program focuses on fourth-grade students because they have both the physical coordination and the concentration skills necessary to benefit each week from the one-hour classes. This age group is generally uninhibited and willing to try new things with enthusiasm.

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www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

The costume Masquerade was won this year by a regal pair of Tolkienesque elves (costumes designed by Charlottesville seamstress Debra Weidman of Lady-Faire Designs).

RavenCon 2008

Erwin S. Strauss, aka Filthy Pierre, is a filk musician, author and creator of the Voodoo board message system used at science fiction conventions such as WorldCons and Arisia.

FICTION, FANTASY, AND FANDOM ON BROAD STREET WORDS BY CHRISTOPHER HOWARD

This year the aliens landed on Broad Street. In its third year of growth, Richmond’s science fiction convention RavenCon moved from its original home near the airport to the Crowne Plaza West on Broad (April 25-27). The smoothly run convention largely revolved around the Dealers Room (stacked high with vintage books, comics, games and costumes) and the 20-table gaming room, open and seldom empty for the entire three days and nights of the convention. While not heavily industry trafficked like the national cons, RavenCon has drawn a respectable complement of known artists and writers (a full list available at the Con website: http://www.ravencon.com). “A good place to meet fellow creators,” noted local author Bud Webster. A full itinerary of workshops included fan discussions of favorite shows and movies, along with more practical creative

panels on blogging, creative writing, web comics, crafts and self-marketing (as well as the usual filking and LARPing that one might expect to see at any con). The program also allowed opportunities to meet this year’s con guests of honor: Celia S. Friedman (author In Conquest Born, The Coldfire Trilogy), 20-year fantasy and science fiction art veteran (Stephen Hickman) and fan guest musician Filthy Pierre. Enter tainment included a late night showing of the Universal and Hammer horror-camp homage Frankenstein vs. the Creature from Blood Cove, as well as live entertainment performed by the vaudeville style sci-fi comedy troupe LunaC. The cast used costumes, effects and puppetry to satirize a mish-mash of fan favorites ranging from anime to Star Trek,

Firefly and Harry Potter. The cast comedy was performed during the costume Masquerade, won this year by a regal pair of Tolkienesque elves (costumes designed by Charlottesvillebased Lady-Faire Designs). Along with science fiction and fantasy, the convention welcomed mystery fans, celebrating “unhappy hour” with the Poe Museum. Next year’s convention is scheduled to return to the Crowne Plaza. g

RavenCon Parlance Filk is a musical culture, genre, and community tied to science fiction/fantasy fandom. The musical styles and topics of filk music are eclectic. While a plurality of filk is rooted firmly in acoustic-instrument folk music, other pieces and artists draw inspiration from rock, a cappella, vocal groups. A live action roleplaying (LARP) is a form of role-playing game where the participants physically act out some or all of their characters’ actions.

Christopher Howard is a veteran RPG and short story writer for White Wolf Games and Holistic Design Inc. His books include: Project Twilight, Nobles: The Shining Host, Kithbook: Nockers and The Giovanni Chronicles. SUMMER 2008 | www.URg Eonline.com |

49

WORK IN PROGRESS

Julie McGuire

I am a writer. When I roll the word on my tongue—W-R-I-T-E-R—it stirs inside, as definitive as “mother,” and “wife,” “daughter,” and “friend.” I am enthralled with words: pandemonium, catharsis, tender, majestic, serendipitous, recalcitrant. Through poems, essays, short stories, and journal entries, I have employed words to rise above chaos, to find solitude and serenity, to give meaning to those moments—war ts and all—that make the sum of my experience. Seeing my words in print, touching the sleek magazines or gritty newspapers, I have a voice. I am an aspiring novelist. It delights me to watch the page count of my manuscript Lucky Numbers grow; to observe the unfolding story, and to become intimate with its characters. The complete outline of Lucky Numbers is safely stored—in my head. I have written the first and last chapter and several in between. I’m not sure what order they will be in when I’m complete. I don’t get up early in the mornings, write for a specified period of time, or aim for a daily word count, although I admire writers with that kind of discipline. I belong to the Internet Writing Workshop, where I am currently submitting Lucky Numbers for critique. I have developed a thick skin, just as grateful to those who tell me I’m on the wrong track, as those who cheer me for nailing a chapter. I am an aspiring novelist writing not just for myself, but for an audience. It is sometimes painful to know I have not connected with a reader. Yet I am stronger for knowing my weaknesses. When I am finished with Lucky Numbers, my wish is for an anonymous reader to pick up the book and find sentences that take their breath away. Words are that magical. I am completely at the whim of my muse. Sometimes she leaves me alone —I don't pick up a pen, or sit down to the keyboard. And then she comes storming in, and I’m frantically looking for the closest object resembling a piece of paper—often sticky notes stuffed in my purse. I have many notebooks, but they are never in the right place when I need them. When my muse calls, I have no choice but to answer. I can't hit the snooze button, or turn down the volume like a television, or ask her to return at a more convenient time. She is persistent, nosy, and stubborn.g Julie McGuire is a litigation paralegal. Her personal essays & poems have appeared in the Christian Science Monitor & several small periodicals. She is also a fiction editor for the Internet Review of Books.

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Book Reviews BY

DAVID SMITHERMAN

The Browser Making My Own Laugh Track by Marcia Strassman

Behind the Cane is an admirable collection of poetry and art that may initially confuse readers because it is something of a hybrid. Artist/poet Sorcha Duncan has produced a book that showcases some of her favorite poetry, but also features various artists, brief biographies and their works. Duncan attempts to associate the various paintings, photographs, sketches, and even caricatures with corresponding poems to create a make a cohesive statement. So what is it? Poetry? Artist showcase?

To be sure, Duncan does provide solid, accessible poems in Behind the Cane. Her strongest works are those that expose genuine, relatable feelings. Standouts include the title work and “The Possession: Type 2i.”

Making My Own Laugh Track: Lessons on Living, Acting, & Beating Cancer is a heartwarming and interesting look at Hollywood from the inside as well as an honest portrayal of Marcia Strassman’s (Welcome Back, Kotter) current battle with cancer. Her positive outlook and determination will inspire anyone who is affected by this disease. Forword by Penny Marshall (Laverne & Shirley)

ISBN: 9781928662150

Pre-order now and you'll be one of the first to receive this book when it comes out this fall!

Implied Consent: A Novel by Cody Fowler Davis Renowned trial lawyer and awardwinning author Cody Fowler Davis follows up his debut novel Green 61 with a new legal suspense tale entitled Implied Consent that once again pits optimistic, good-natured attorney Anderson Parker against the ruthless Justin Cartwright III. This time around, Justin enlists the help of an attractive paralegal named Nicole to infiltrate Anderson’s firm and wreak havoc on his personal and professional life.

ISBN: 9781928662136

Virginia Colleges 101 by Christina Couch The Ultimate Guide for Students of All Ages

To be sure, Duncan does provide solid, accessible poems in Behind the Cane. Her strongest works are those that expose genuine, relatable feelings. Standouts include the title work and “The Possession: Type 2i.” Other entries are almost childlike in their simplicity, such as “Eternal Me.” Birth is a beginning/Death is a beginning/If both are beginnings/ there is no end. Spoken word/poetry author Eric L. Farrell provides a heartfelt, moving foreword and helps set the tone for Duncan’s work. He classifies her book as “artistic literature,” and maybe that’s the best way to summarize this work. The book largely focuses on the fact that the author has Muscular Dystrophy (as a matter of fact, a portion of the proceeds benefit the charity). While that is certainly a worthy venture, Duncan would do well to trust her writing and allow her most personal poems to speak for themselves. Without the distraction of randomly placed artwork, the words are allowed to shine through, and if the author trusts her voice, her next book could speak volumes. g

THE WRITERS’ RESOURCE: Publishing Tip When querying a publisher, do your research. Review their submission requirements and follow them closely. Don't send a manuscript or sample chapters unless they are accepted or requested. Make your query stand out from the rest. Be creative and get their attention. Otherwise, you'll automatically end up in the slush pile, and nobody wants that! Urge is currently accepting books by local authors or with subject matter that pertains to the Richmond area for reviews that will be posted online and printed in the quarterly. Subjects for consideration include fiction, nonfiction, comics, graphic novels and volumes of poetry. Submissions should be sent to: Urge Book Reviews 1113 West Main Street Richmond, VA 23220

www.URg Eonline.com | SUMMER 2008

Business writer Christina Couch makes it easy for students to locate financial aid in this easy-to-use resource that also provides summaries of all colleges in Virginia. .

ISBN: 9781928662112

The Switch Effect by Mike Gilbert The Switch Effect: A Real-Life Example of How to Become an Entrepreneur by Richmond author Mike Gilbert offers a revolutionary approach in revealing the nuances of how to take a dream and turn it into reality. This book provides a captivating, yet authentic working example of the entrepreneurial process by explaining how to generate an innovative idea and then how to marshal the resources to make it happen.

ISBN: 978-1928662105 Visit Palaribooks.com for more information on these and other titles. Authors and publishers, promote your title in the region’s premier arts quarterly. List your title, ISBN, 75 words of promotional copy with a thumbnail of your cover for $150 per quarter. Additional advertising space is available contact: Dave Perry at 804.252.3519 or email dp@urgeonline.com

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Urge Summer 2008