First Friday: In-like-a-lion edition

Andrei Molotiu, "Ruins."

Admittedly, this winter was a bit of a slog, what with all the gallery closings and some decidedly ho-hum shows. But, baby, spring is in the air! Not only is the weather on the upswing, but stellar art is busting out all over the 'ville this month. Slip on some comfortable shoes and prepare to walk (and eat some carrots while you're at it to make sure your eyes are in top viewing condition).

Without question, the must-see show tonight is Second Street Gallery's "Impera et Divide," co-curated by Warren Craghead III and Pedro Moura (who, along with artist Andr© Lemos, flew in from Portugal for the opening, so be sure to say hello). The exhibition features work by seven international artists who are interested in the use of sequence in art (think comics but more open-ended). In addition to the pieces hanging in the Dov© Gallery, the show includes numerous books that offer a chance to further explore the topic. Plus, Craghead and Moura have created several works to accompany the exhibition, including a content-rich catalog that's really more of a stand-alone book.

Speaking of books, another can't-miss show tonight is "The Arts and Innards of Russell U. Richards," a collection of images from Richards' just-published book of the same name, which is on view in the downstairs hall gallery at the McGuffey Art Center. Meanwhile, at Angelo, popular McGuffey painter Jim Henry presents "The Landscapes," an exhibition of exquisite small works that mark an interesting departure from Henry's better-known abstracts. At the Garage–which has quickly become a favorite First Friday destination– McGuffey artist Lindsey Mears offers an installation entitled, "Whistling in the Dark," which showcases her interesting approach to nostalgia-inducing found objects.

Let's hope you're not tired because I've got three more drop-bys to recommend. Painter Sharon Shapiro gets sensual with her latest show, "Painting Sexy," at Derriere de Soie. Not exactly saucy but still worthy of attention, the Building Goodness Foundation shows photographs at the Charlottesville Community Design Center that document its community construction projects at home and abroad (BGF's members are architects, builders, and volunteers with hearts and muscles of gold). Finally, the Bridge presents a collaborative installation, "Empty Nest," by Sebastijan Jemec and Jocelyn Spaar, who use photography, projection, and sound to explore memory.

And if you're juiced up on caffeine with energy to spare, there's still more art out there to see. Here's the full rundown of what's up tonight:

First Friday, March 6

Angelo celebrates "The Landscapes," an exhibit of new paintings by local fave J.M. Henry, with an opening reception, 5:30-7:30pm. 220 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 971-9256.

Second Street Gallery opens "XO," an exhibition of fluid abstract paintings by local artist Lisa Beane in the main gallery, and the group show, "Impera Et Divide," curated by Warren Craghead III and Pedro Moura, in the Dov© Gallery. 6-8pm, with artists' talks at 6:30. 115 Second St. SE. 977-7284.

Spring Street celebrates the animal-centered paintings of Beate Casati, with a reception, 6-8pm. 107 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 975-1200.

Derriere de Soie opens the exhibition, "Painting Sexy: Work by Sharon Shapiro," featuring provocative paintings by one of C'ville's favorite artists, 5:30-8pm. 105 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 977-7455.

The Bridge celebrates the opening of Sebastijan Jemec and Jocelyn Spaar's collaborative installation, "Empty Nest," 6-8pm.209 Monticello Road (across from Spudnuts). 984-5669.

The Garage holds an opening for "Whistling in the Dark," an installation by McGuffey artist Lindsey Mears, 6-8pm. 1st St. (across from Lee Park). For more information, visit

Sage Moon Gallery opens its three March exhibitions at Siips: photographer Nathan Beck's "Images from the Southwest"; surrealist John Lynch's "Time and Space"; and Yale Landsberg and John Lynch's collaborative, "First Hour of the Day/Last Hour of the Night.” 6-8pm. 212 E. Main St. 977-9997.

Fellini's #9 welcomes painter Sarah Hasty Williams' exhibit, "Mixed Water Media," with a reception, 5:30-7pm. 200 W. Market St. 979-4279.

The McGuffey Art Center hosts an opening reception for four exhibitions: Diane Siebels shows "731 Days: Works from the Past Two Years" Russell U. Richards' "The Arts and Innards of Russell U. Richards," Jessie Coles' "Day Dream, and ArtinPlace’s annual exhibition of artwork about C'ville, "C2D 2009." 5:30-7:30pm. 201 Second St. NW. 295-7973.

La Galeria welcomes mixed-media artist Patricia Travers' exhibition, "Somewhere Else," with a reception, 5-8pm. 218 W. Market St., Ste. 1. 293-7003.

BozART Gallery celebrates Carolyn McPherson's "New Orleans on My Mind," an exhibition of "digital paintings, with a reception, 5-9pm. 211 W. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 973-4321.

C'ville Arts opens "Bone Sigh Arts: Finding the Real," an exhibition of Terri St. Cloud's work that combines watercolor and verse, 6-9pm. 118 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall. 972-9500.

Art Upstairs celebrates Anne de Latour Hopper’sexhibition, "Real or Faux," with an opening featuring live music by harpist Virginia Schweninger. 6-8:30pm. 112 W. Main St. (York Place) on the Downtown Mall. 923-9300.

Virginia Artists in Action gallery opens its exhibition of paintings by John Trippel, 5:30-8pm. The reception will also feature a guitar performance by Wendy Repass and a short film by Eric Hurt. 112 W. Main St. (York Place) on the Downtown Mall. 295-4080.

The Charlottesville Community Design Center opens its exhibit of photographs celebrating the various charitable building projects sponsored by Building Goodness Foundation, a local nonprofit organization that utilizes the skills of architects, builders, and volunteers to help communities throughout the world. 5:30-6:30pm. 100 5th St. NE (beneath the Market St. parking garage). 984-2232.

The Gallery @ 5th & Water welcomes Meg West’s "2nd Edition of Barns & Farms," 5:30-8pm. 107 5th St. SE (in the upstairs foyer of Henderson & Everett and Stoneking/von Storch). 979-9825.

Sidetracks Music hosts an opening for "Vibrant Simplicity," an exhibition of acrylic paintings by Marcia Renton Grove, 5:30-7:30pm. 218 W. Water St. 295-3080.

The ART Life Studio hosts an open house for "Art and Soul," an exhibition by eight women artists: Cary Oliva, Anina Macchia, Christine Gyovai, Michelle, Nevarr, Charlie Palumbo, Casey Williams, Jane Belisle, and Mi Re La. 5:30-7:30pm, with artists' talks at 6:30pm. 313 Second St. SE, Suite 208 (The Glass Building). 996-8087.

The Paramount Theater opens its display of drawings and paintings by students at the Charlottesville Waldorf School with the theme, "The Earth, Our Home." 5-6:45pm. 215 E. Main St. on the Downtown Mall.979-1922.


One of the visiting Portuguese artists was busy today painting a wonderful mural on the side of The Bridge Gallery. This IS the best art weekend ever!

That artist painting was Andr© Lemos - and the mural is great!