THE YEAR IN REVIEW
Big movement: Second Street Gallery celebrates its 30th anniversary by moving to the new Charlottesville Center for the Contemporary Arts.
Pet project: French multimedia artist and Hugo Boss award winner Pierre Hughye presents his installation, "Third Memory," at the University of Virginia Art Museum in conjunction with the Virginia Film Festival's showing of Dog Day Afternoon.
Cover couple: Locals Ludwig Kuttner and artist Beatrix Ost lounge in their cutting-edge NYC apartment on the May 18 cover of The New York Times Magazine celebrating futuristic architecture.
A first: Virginia's first-ever sculpture park, featuring pieces by Aaron Fein, Al Francis, and Mike Zavada, opens on the grounds of Baker-Butler Elementary School.
More TJ press: The University of Virginia Press releases Siting Jefferson: Contemporary Artists Interpret Thomas Jefferson's Legacy, featuring work by international as well as local artists.
Farewell: The Raven Gallery, Bullseye Gallery, Photo Arts, Gallery Neo, and the Nature Gallery. Hello CODG, Mountain Air Etc. Gallery, and the Gravity Lounge.
Peter Yarrow whistles in Dixie: In a free concert promoting his organization's character education curriculum for schools, the Peter part of Peter, Paul, and Mary performs at Western Albemarle High School, providing oldsters with a trip back in time on March 7.
Double shot for moonies: The moon stages a total eclipse in prime time twice this year. While clouds dim the view in May, the November 8 event is spectacular, with Ivy Creek Natural Area playing host to hordes of astronomers and plain folks who just want to watch.
Phoenix rising: Barnes & Noble hosts hundreds of Harry Potter fans at a party for the long-awaited release of the fifth book in the series, Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, at midnight on June 20.
Eeew, yuck!: The Science Museum of Virginia gets icky exploring our insides in a really big way. The exhibit "Grossology: The (Impolite) Science of the Human Body," opens September 27.
How big is big?: Our favorite museum for kids, the Virginia Discovery Museum, takes us on a "Magical Measurement History Tour" this fall with an exhibit that explores everything from cubits, digits, and paces to microchips and more. The interactive displays go up October 1 and can be viewed through January 18, 2004.
Outkast release "Hey Ya" in September: Probably the best pop single in the last 10 years, this tune has led to more kids (local and otherwise) shaking it than anything since 1997– the year of the infamous Pokemon "Seisure" episode.
Now you see them: Atsushi Miura and the Dirty Round Eyes finally release their debut CD, Cheap and Fake, in December. Years in the making, the long awaited release from Tokyo Rose owner Miura is worth the wait– indie-rock and more.
R2 opens at Rapture in November: The new dance club on the Downtown Mall had its opening night hosted by the amazing Bob Mould (Husker Du, Sugar), spinning what Hook reviewer Damani Harrison affectionately described as "soft beats and lame build-ups"– the point is there's now one more place to shake it in our little burg.
Built to Spill at Starr Hill: This would actually fit in the "best way to waste $15" category– Doug Martsch and the rest of indie-rockers Built to Spill morph from a tight pop-pistol to a jam-rock monster, almost right before the audience's eyes on October 5.
Opening of C3A: Hands down the biggest news in the Charlottesville performance world in 2003. The gleaming, $4 million behemoth at 123 E. Water St., has wowed artists and audiences alike. And they haven't even painted the walls yet. The new home of Live Arts (among others) proves that Charlottesville performance has finally hit the big time.
Big Love : Director Betsy Tucker strikes gold with Chuck Mee's adaptation of Euripedes' Trojan Women at the UVA Drama Department. One of the wildest, most dynamic shows to ever see the Culbreth Theater Stage– and not just because of the nude scene, I swear.
King Lear: Shenandoah Shakespeare takes another big step toward its goal of becoming the Shakespeare capital of America with this irreverent but deeply-felt Lear featuring standout performances by company members Craig Wallace (Lear) and Kate Eastwood Norris (Fool).
Bat Boy: Live Arts, never the place for safe choices, hits big with this Weekly World News-inspired musical about you guessed it Bat Boy. The dark, sweet, bloody fun story is directed by Live Arts Artistic Director John Gibson,
Group Motion Dance Theater: PVCC launches a dance juggernaut this year that included performances and master classes you'd be lucky to find in a city five times our size. Philadelphia's Group Motion stands out from the crowd with its ingenious integration of dance, video, and sound. Company founder Manfred Fischbeck stands out from the crowd with the coolest name ever.
Bicentennial of the Lewis & Clark expedition: The January anniversary involving two local heroes prompts a glut of thematic books including a handful of dueling versions of the journals themselves.
Convoluted reasoning: In an insider account of the Commander in Chief one day after the US declares war on Iraq, May 1, Bob Woodward says the President's decision was based on the fact that "no one could go to Bush and say there's a zero percent chance that Saddam Hussein will attack the United States."
Who would have guessed?: When President Mary McAleese of Ireland addresses attendees of Re-Imagining Ireland Conference in May and professes to enjoy a "wee bit of crack," [fun] amazingly, no drug or pornography scandal ensues.
Surprise, surprise: Henry Wiencek publishes An Imperfect God in November, raising eyebrows that a Charlottesville author would write a book about an American President and slavery that's not about Jefferson.
Bummer: The Great Fire by Shirley Hazzard, about some British officer, wins the National Book Award, shocking fans of The Known World, a stunning novel by UVA alum Edward Jones.
Red planet pays a call: August 27 marks earth's closest encounter with Mars in 60,000 years.
Show must go on: The Albemarle County Fair carries on even in the face of a tent-flattening windstorm.
Turkey trounce: Saturday, November 29 boosts local spirits as Virginia bests in-state nemesis Virginia Tech.
Skyrocketing costs: Local businesses ante up when the Charlottesville Downtown Foundation deems July 4 fireworks too pricey to fund.
Westward ho: Lewis and Clark mania culminates October 24 with the unveiling of the Lewis and Clark Exploratory Center at Darden Towe Park.