"Simplified gestural figures continue to illustrate the wonder and the struggle of being human, and our hunger for validation.”– Intimacy Theories, by Polly Breckenridge
First Fridays. Walk around from gallery to gallery, have a little wine and cheese, see some friends you haven't seen in awhile, and enjoy some of the great art that is hanging around town. Truly, it's a monthly tradition not to be missed. Of course, first stop is always the McGuffey Art Center, the epicenter of the local art world, where over 45 local artists rent studio space. This month in the Sarah B. Smith Gallery, you'll find wonderful watercolors of birds by Salena Hitzeman alongside mesostic poems by Tracy Zeman. In the Lower Hall South is Polly Breckenridge's exhibit “Intimacy Theories,” a series of mixed media paintings, and in the upstairs galleries be sure to check out artwork from the Beverly Street Studio School of neighboring Staunton, Virginia. After that, well, there is a rich tapestry of local art galleries within a short walking distance.
McGuffey Art Center, 201 Second Street, 5:30-7:30pm
El Paso in Cville
About ten years ago, Carolyn Rathbun George decided to paint the house she was living in. She'd had no formal art training, but her parents were collectors, and she'd been surrounded by paintings in her youth. Born in Charlottesville in 1957, she later moved to Texas and spent her early years in El Paso.
"Two colorful, unique, and vibrant cultures thrive there and they had a profound impact on my young spirit," she says,"and how I would perceive and navigate the world."
It took her about three years to finish painting her house, but through the process she realized she had found her calling. She began to experiment with acrylic, gouache, color pencil, and mixed media, and slowly began to develop a style she describes as a "primitive, colorful, spiritual representation of the world."
"Beauty need not be defined by complexity, but by the simple gifts that surround us every day - a breathtaking view, a beautiful bird or a radiant sunset," she explains. "The art world might describe it as ‘naïf art’, or folk art, because of the childlike simplicity and quality about it."
George's work is alive with her memories of growing up in the Southwest. "Those colorful landscapes and icons have held a warm and comforting place in my soul for as long as I can remember," she says.
February 1-24, BozART Gallery, Friday reception 6-9pm
Innovative, passionate jazz
In 2002, reviewer Baul West called Patricia Barber's album "Verse" one of "unquestionable passion and power that would be foolish for any jazz fan to pass up." Indeed, Barber's repertoire seems to know no bounds, embracing classic rock standards like "A Taste of Honey," "Black Magic Woman," and "Norwegian Wood," as well as variations on Cole Porter and original songs based on Ovid's Metamorphoses. Creative covers of popular songs not usually associated with jazz became one of her calling cards. Now she's got a new album, "Smash," with a dozen new original compositions, and a new band: bassist Larry Kohut and drummer Jon Deitemyer, and John Kregor on guitar.
In addition to the concert at Old Cabell Hall, Barber will be conducting free workshops during her stay. You can also hear her talk about her music on WTJU, 91.1FM on Monday, February 4 at noon. See Cvillejazz.org or call 434-249-6191 for more information. Tickets are available through the UVA Arts Box Office at artsandsciences.virginia.edu/boxoffice.
February 5, UVA's Old Cabell Hall, 8pm, $10-20
Film of a new generation
Take your lunch break at CitySpace on the 7th and join Piedmont Council for the Arts for Art21’s screening and discussion series called Access 100 Artists—a year-long celebration of 100 artists featured by Art21 in the past 10 years. This is the first screening in a monthly “brown bag” event as part of Art21’s Peabody Award-winning Art in the Twenty-First Century documentary series. Each screening will feature one-hour documentaries about contemporary artists and will focus on one guiding topic, followed by a group discussion. The first film discussion is of Play and features artists Ellen Gallagher, Arturo Herrera, Oliver Herring, Teresa Hubbard, and Jessica Stockholder. The post-screening discussion will be led by PCA staff.
Art21 is a nonprofit organization dedicated to engaging audiences with contemporary visual art, with an aim to inspire creative thinking and educate a new generation about artists working today.
February 7, CitySpace, 12pm, Free.
Dance: Swing Swap, dancing for all levels. Murray High School. 7pm. Free.
Theater: American Shakespeare Center presents Julius Caesar. Blackfriars Playhouse. 7:30pm. $24-$35
Discussion: “Take Your Show to the Fringe,” guest panelists will show you what it takes to produce and perform your show at a Fringe Festival. Cityspace. 6pm. $0-$5
Reading: Cate Marvin Poetry Reading. UVa Bookstore. 8pm. Free
Theater: "Nunsense," revue packed with hilarious song and dance numbers. nTelos Theater in Staunton. 7pm. $10-$17
Dance: Basic Beginner Social Dance. Shergold Studio. 7pm. $10
Theater: "Speech and Debate," a sharp, funny, and challenging play. Live Arts. 8pm. $20-$25
Art: “We Bury Our Own” opening reception. Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum. 5:30pm. Free
Reading: Salman Ahktar, “From Delight to Wisdom: the Nature of Poetry and its Healing Effect.” Minor Hall at UVa. 2pm. Free
Reading: "Breaking The Chains" stage reading. V Earl Dickinson Building at PVCC. 7:30pm. Free
Dance: Fluvanna Flutterwheels, monthly square dance. Fluvanna High School. 7:30pm. Free
Sports: Blue Ridge Disc Golf Club Annual Frisbee Golf fundraiser to benefit First Tee Charlottesville and Blue Ridge Area Food Bank. McIntire Golf Course. 9am. $25
Art: Australian Aboriginal Art Tour. Kluge Ruhe Aboriginal Art Museum. 10:30am. Free
Sports: UVa Women’s Basketball vs. Georgia Tech. JPJ Arena. 1pm. $6-15
Sports: Charlottesville Derby Dames Fresh Meat Open Recruitment every Sunday. Charlottesville Key Center. 6pm. $5
Comedy: Improv Mondays with Hamner Improv Troupe. The Hamner Theater, Afton. 6pm. Free
Reading: Poetry Writing Contest. Milli Joe Coffee and Gelato. 6:30pm. Free
Games: The Price is Right Live. JPJ Arena. 7:30pm. $25-$55
Reading: Live Poets Society, the first Wednesday of every month. Gordon Avenue Library. 7pm. Free
Business: Tom Donaldson talk titled "Three Ethical Roots of the Financial Crisis." UVA Rouss and Robertson Hall 223, 6-7pm. Free
Failure to Yield at Wild Wolf
Anatomy of Frank, Bombadil, Lorenzo Sevilla the Magician at The Southern $8
Mercutio at the Whiskey Jar
Crawford Smith at Fellini’s #9
Blue Rock at Wild Wolf
Marty Stuart at The Paramount. $30-$40
Robert Earl Keen at The Jefferson. $25-$30
Chickenhead Blues Band at Fellini’s #9. $5
Louis Smith at Durty Nellys
Cleek Schrey, Brittany Haas, Jordan Tice and Nic Gareiss at Random Row Books
Diane Cluck and Blue O’Connell at C’ville Coffee
Lively piano and accordion music, Whiskey Jar, 6-8pm
Richmond Symphony LolliPops at The Paramount. $10.50-$15.5