C-ville Arts in the Summer Highlights: Part 1

C-ville Arts in the Summer Highlights: Part 1

Besides being home to Mr. Jefferson’s university, Charlottesville prides itself for its arts and music scene. Between taking classes and working that internship, make sure to check out what the city has to offer this summer.

Free Friday Finds

First Fridays

On the first Friday of every month, Charlottesville art galleries open up their exhibits to showcase a featured artist of the month. These gallery openings often include food, drinks, music and an appearance or live performance by the artist whose work is being shown. Galleries are generally open from 5- 9 p.m. Best part? All gallery events are free! Check out the July and August First Friday guides here.

Fridays After 5

During the summer months, the nTelos Wireless Pavillion hosts Fridays After 5, a free concert every Friday, including First Fridays.  

FridaysAfterFivePhoto by Agnes Filipowski
Take in the view of the band and crowd at Fridays after Five in the Downtown Mall.

Head to the Downtown Mall on a summer night, take in a few art exhibits, watch some live music, and bring your own picnic or try one of the food trucks that regularly attend the event. What more could a broke culture-seeking college student ask for!  

Charlottesville art exhibits

Second Street Gallery:
Can’t Shake It

Did you see a polar bear wandering around the Downtown Mall between June 2-6?

No you did not overindulge on the beer you drank at Fridays After 5. That was artist Avery Lawrence making a role reversal statement about climate change and the possible effects of human’s “encroaching on” (or expanding into) animal’s habitats.

In his multimedia and performance exhibit, open from June 6 to July 12, Lawrence uses a blow up polar bear suit and leaf blower, among other props, to explore the meaning of “expansion” through different mediums. He seeks to explore how pushing beyond limits and comfort zones can be an uncomfortable experience, and “how by allowing our interior something’s to affect our exterior selves we make pathways toward understanding each other.”

Modern art… sometimes you just have to roll with it.  


McGuffey Art Center:

McGuffey 1 Photo by Olivia Knott
Iron Sculpture by Skip Willis

The McGuffey Art Center is currently home to five exhibits of different mediums ranging from photography to watercolor, which are on display for the public from June 3-29.

My favorites included the retrospective on Skip Willis, in which his preliminary design sketches for stained glass were put up for display, as well as finished products. With this multitalented artist, the exhibit also included fascinating metal sculpture, including an Alice in Wonderland-esque growing chair.

McGuffey 2 Photo by Olivia Knott
Acrylic painting by
Polly Breckenridge  

Another favorite was Polly Breckenridge, who uses the same distinct human silhouette throughout her work, making it interesting to see the same figure placed throughout different settings.

Bonus: The greatest asset of the center is the resources it offers to community members. If you have any interest in becoming a better painter, sculptor, sketch artist-anything you can imagine, really- the McGuffey Art center should be your first stop for art classes of any kind.    

The Fralin Museum of Art:

If you know how to navigate yourself to the fraternities on Rugby Road, then you know how to get to the Fralin. Now you have no excuse not to visit.

Fralin Photo by Olivia Knott
Fralin Art Museum is located
within the Grounds of  U.Va.

“Reflections and Undercurrents, Ernest Roth and Printmaking in Venice 1900-1940” is on exhibit until Aug. 10. If you’ve taken an art history class, you might know that etching is an unbelievably painstaking process, and the detail that these prints display are incredible. The prints are divided into four sections dedicated to a unique aspect of Venetian life- panorama’s of the city’s grand canal and large squares, medieval Venetian architecture, gondolas, and venezia minore, a term for the areas of city that are not accessible by car and are often over looked by tourists.

Turn of the century prints make for great frat party conversation anyways, right?        

Stay tuned for more summer highlights focused on music!