Thursday, December 31, 2009

First Fridays NEXT Friday, January 8th, 2010

Check out First Fridays website for details.

And if you want to do something, why not attend the unofficial/secret New Year's Eve party that may or may not happen in Carytown? Carytown vendors would probably be happy to get your business.

A safe and happy 2010 to you and yours, RVA!

Top 10 RVA Art News Stories of 2009 (?)

Tanja Softic's "Migrant Universe: The Map of What Happened"
60" x 120"

(In no particular order)

1. VMFA renovation and expansion

2. Culture Works replaces Arts Council of Richmond

3. Center Stage opens (Has anyone heard anything about what is going to be exhibited in Center Stage's gallery space? Is there anything there now?)

4. CAPS vs. RVA arts and culture, and Mayor Jones offers an olive branch.

5. Richmond Region Cultural Action Plan was unveiled.

6. On the gallery/art space front: Thanky Space ended their run, as did Tinderbox. Fortunately, the Whitley Gallery, Reference, and soon-to-be-opened Russell/Projects are all promising additions to Richmond's visual arts scene.

7. Some established Richmond art spaces also garnered attention, winning recognition in Virginia's Arts Build Communities Awards. Congratulations again to 1708 Gallery, Gallery 5, and the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and thank you for all you do for Richmond!

8. Lots of recent changes for Curated Culture/First Fridays, including their new website, new online sponsor, and new downtown location.

9. UR professor Tanja Softic wins big-time Pollock-Krasner grant.

10. Crumb's UR visit gets some Richmonders' bloods boiling.

Honorable Mentions:

*Ryan McGinness tapped for VMFA mural.

*VCU's new gallery debacle (Anybody heard the latest on this?)

What else? We might be kind of off-base here, as we only started attempting to keep up with the arts news this last June, so what'd we miss?

Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Top Ten Things RVA's Art Scene Needs

*Warning: few pictures ahead...

(In no particular order)

1. More web savvy organizations- posting about upcoming openings/events MORE than one week before they are set to occur would be nice.

2. More cheerleaders- is something coming up that you're excited about? A show, a film event, an artist talk? Spread the word! Fb, twitter- whatever- let people know! And if it was awesome, let people know about that afterwards, too.

3. More haters- haters serve an important purpose in every scene: they often get the action-oriented people fired up and working together. Think something's not so great in our little art world? Speak up! Your opinions might urge the powers-that-be towards change. (Note: We do not advocate for hostility or hateful behavior- voice your opinions with civility and respect, please. If you can do this, you will be more likely to be heard.)

4. More collaboration- the Carlyon retrospective forged connections between arts institutions in Richmond. So did Quirk's "Take A Chance On Me," benefiting the Visual Art Center. It would be nice to see our institutions, galleries, and spaces take more strides to support one another.

5. More upstart galleries- even temporary ones like Thanky Space. And by "gallery," we mean any space designated for the purpose of exhibiting art- these could be apartments, Stuffy's, or elsewhere...

6. More visual arts coverage- in general. Could be blogs, could be coverage in local publications- online links to said coverage are always nice, but twitter, fb- more Richmonders should be regularly talking and writing about what's going on here.

7. More art criticism- this may be a sub-category of #6, but in any vibrant art scene, there are people with some arts background critically discussing what's going on and how it compares with what's gone on in the past locally and in the context of art history as a whole. Where is this happening in Richmond?

8. More recognition of local artists. RVA Magazine does a great job of this, interviewing local artists both in print and via The Process/RVATV, but there are other publications/venues that could be doing more of this (ourselves included).

9. and 10. More divas and more gossip: The controversy stirred up by Crumb's UR visit back in October was not such a bad thing for Richmond. For one, it got people talking, which is something that needs to happen a lot more often around here.

What do you think RVA's visual art community needs? Feel free to share in the comments.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Top Ten RVA Art Things To Look Forward To In 2010

Helena Wurzel's "Do I Look Expensive?"
Wurzel will be featured in Russell/Projects first show, opening January 2010

(In no particular order)

1. Reopening of VMFA in May 2010

2. Opening of Russell/Projects January 22nd, 2010

3. Next issue of Daily Constitutional

4. News on what this is...

5. Loren Schwerd's "Mourning Portraits," April 9th at Visarts

6. Barbara Campbell Thomas's show at 1708, opening January 8th

7. Art Works conference free-for-everyone session January 26th (registration is necessary, though this day is free)

8. Steps toward establishing a Richmond arts and culture district

9. More shows at the Whitley Gallery, Reference, and at Transmission's new home (In addition to Russell/Projects, these are Richmond's newest art spaces.)

10. More new RVA artist collectives doin' it for themselves- like Last Month (RVA Mag reports here) and 7 Degrees of Separation

Honorable Mentions:

*Brick Weekly hopefully will get its current content back online

*RVA artist Jen Figg's exhibition at CACV opening January 2010 (CACV is a little bit of a hike, but we have a feeling this show will be well worth the trip.)

*Return of Belinda Haikes's blog "Life, the Universe, and Art": Okay, so maybe Haikes isn't currently an RVA artist, but she has interviewed some past and present Richmond artists on her blog, plus, it's a darn good blog.

Thursday, December 24, 2009

Holiday Arts Giving

If you are particularly moved by the giving spirit this holiday season, you might consider giving to an arts education program near you.

This website offers many options- from schools in different states, to programs in different content areas. There are quite a few in the Richmond area, and one of the nice things about the site is that you can see the progress your donation is making toward the program's goal.

Or you may want to check out the list of non-profit organizations at CultureWorks' website here- there may be ways to donate by contacting the cultural organization of your choice.

Merry Christmas and enjoy your holidays- see you next week!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The First Annual Milk & Trask Xmas Spectaculare

Check this out today at the Manchester Pie Factory, 612 Hull Street, from 4-8 pm.
More info here.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

If DC artists feel isolated, how do RVA artists feel?

Victor Epkup and Mera Rubell, photo by Jenny Yang

Over this last weekend Miami uber-collector Mera Rubell visited 36 DC artists' studios in 36 hours. There has been a lot of conversation spawned by this visit, ranging from how the 36 artists were selected, to the positive and negative aspects of DC's art scene- specifically how isolated DC artists feel as they are shunned by area museums and rarely written about by DC arts writers.

There is one account of the visit written by Jessica Dawson in the WaPo here, and there is another report by Kriston Capps for Art in America here. There are also several narratives of one artist's visit with Rubell at DC Art News.

It all just causes me to think about RVA's visual arts. Do we have a scene? Where is it? Who are the primary players? Do we have a collector base around here? Do they collect contemporary/emerging art?

Creative Change Center and Artists Anonymous are two artist groups in the area attempting to establish a sense of community for Richmond artists- how else is this happening?

What more would you like to see happening in Richmond?

*Addendum- Really great discussion re. DC arts on fb here. Aren't some of these issues relevant to Richmond arts, as well?

Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Wonderland '09 Link Monday

Josephine Durkin's "Relocation- 6M"

Grid on Chris Semtner at Visual Art Studio and Josephine Durkin at Metro Space

RAGE on Gallery 5's Sleight of Hand

RTD on Hauft's Counter Re-Formation at Anderson Gallery

A new home for Transmission

Artists Anonymous meeting January 9th at Cafe Gutenberg

ATR notes guerilla art downtown

New news on CultureWorks site: "CultureWorks Happenings" and more

Curated Culture news: now official online sponsor for First Fridays AND Curated Culture will have a new base of operations soon.

Elsewhere: The NYT on 94 year old Carmen Herrera's long-in-the-making success

Friday, December 18, 2009

We Want To See "Function Construnction" at ADA Gallery

Is that spelled correctly?

On view until the end of the month, "Function Construnction" includes work by Jaime Bennati, Vlad Smolkin, and Kirsten Kindler.

Jaime Bennati

More information at ADA's website here.

Thursday, December 17, 2009

A Few Pics from Small Wonder at 1708

Today is the last day to view Small Wonder.

Jeff Majer

Sarah Rebekah Byrd Mizer

Jennifer Rospert

Grace Teeples

Matt Lively

Jody Symula

Lauren Clay's gouache drawings on paper were our favorites in the show. Clay does amazing work- check out her website here.

Ann Peyton Hurt

Rob Tarbell- also has work up right now at Quirk.

Valerie Molnar

Judith Kowler

Nicole Bauman

Richmond legend/fixture David Freed was also viewing the show while we were checking it out.

Fiona Ross

Megan Mueller

There is lots more to see in this show- last chance to check it out is today.
More info at 1708's site here

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

At Quirk: Rob Tarbell, Sparkle Plenty 5, Pam Shelor, and Melody Gulick

Rob Tarbell's "The Struggles Think Not"
(on view until Dec. 30th)

Sparkle Plenty 5
(on view until Dec. 23rd)

Pam Shelor in The Vault
(on view until Dec. 23rd)

Melody Gulick's window installation

Find more info about these works and artists at Quirk's site.