First Friday RVA, August 2014: Wilderness Medicine

by | Jul 31, 2014 | ART

A truth we hold to be self-evident: art makes everything better. And we need plenty of art right now, because these long, hot days of late summer are stultifying.

A truth we hold to be self-evident: art makes everything better. And we need plenty of art right now, because these long, hot days of late summer are stultifying. The weather makes us want to laze around all day, passing out under the soothing rays of the sun (hopefully with plenty of sunblock on) and whiling away the nights on front porches with plenty of liquid refreshment to accompany us. It’d be easy to drift half-asleep through the month of August, coasting on auto-pilot til the VCU students hit town again and their relentless energy shakes us all awake. But thankfully, we have a vibrant local art scene to remind us all we’re alive and get us to actually use more than 10% of our brains, Lucy-style (obligatory reference to the fact that that movie is based on a spurious bit of pseudoscience goes here). So don’t drift away into the metaphorical wilderness–wander back to the Arts District this Friday night and see what our local artists have to offer to tide you over until the summer doldrums fade away.

Gallery 5: Wilderness

This month, Gallery 5 is featuring a group show entitled Wilderness, which will include the work of artists Aaron McIntosh, Carlton Morgan, Cupid Ojala, Nick Clifford Simko, Frankie Toan, and Joseph Whitfield. The evening will feature music from Toxic Moxie, School Dance, and Todd Matthews. The opening reception for Wilderness will take place on Friday, August 1, from 6-11 PM, at Gallery 5 (200 W. Marshall St). Art will remain on display through August 28.

Quirk Gallery: Canopy

This month, Quirk Gallery will feature new exhibitions from three Richmond artists: Chris Milk in the Main Gallery, Tim Skirven in the Shop, and Daniel Crawford in the Vault.

“Canopy,” Chris Milk’s ode to love, music and life is our Main Gallery exhibit. Creating an umbrella for his colors, he remains true to the tools of his early working days by layering house paint on wood. Delicately executed storyboards record the images, thoughts and feelings that filter through his days. From the houses to the skies, to the birds in between, “Canopy” explores the oft forgotten beauty of everyday life. Chris Milk brings this smart, yet uncomplicated, world to Quirk Gallery.

Tim Skirven’s Shop Show will include new illustrations done in a variety of media that feature his unique and distinctive graphics, text, and design. His work explores a visual poetry. He purposefully creates the work with no hierarchy of importance or hint of dimension so that the viewer can digest everything and arrange them personally to create something meaningful to them.

Daniel Crawford’s work will be featured in The Vault. His animal-friendly antlers in brightly colored resin along with his embroidered patches showcase Daniel’s affinity for nature and the great outdoors.

These exhibitions will open with an artist’s reception on Thursday, July 31 from 5-8 PM, followed by a First Friday reception on Friday, August 1 from 5-9 PM, at Quirk Gallery (311 W. Broad St). Art will remain on display throughout the month of August.

Visual Art Studio: Jamaica Bound

This month, Visual Art Studio presents Jamaica Bound, an exhibition of new textiles by artist Orga Labidi. It will open with a reception featuring music from Elana Lisa on Friday, August 1 from 7-10 PM at Visual Art Studio (208 W. Broad St). Art will remain on display throughout the month of August, along with other continuing exhibitions: Nature’s Bounty, paintings and pastels by Anh-Van Truong, and the Flying Path Project by Terrie Powers.

1708 Gallery: Notes From “Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then…”

This month, 1708 Gallery presents a live performance of Notes From “Gravity Was Everyhwere Back Then” by filmmaker Brent Green.

Brent Green is Nervous Films, an independent filmmaker and artist from Cressona, PA. As a self-taught animator, Green shares stories and tales that combine fact and myth. The central characters of Green’s works are often extremely passionate about an unusual desire or aim. They are the kind of people who inhabit the dimly lit house at the end of the street and about whom children grow up creating tales. Through Green’s writing, stylized stop-motion techniques, and raspy narration, however, a sense of endearment and empathy for their struggles is evoked.

Green’s films exist beyond the screen as well. He often organizes live performances with his films, assembling a band and providing a live narration of the script. His live performances have taken place at numerous venues including MoMA, The Kitchen, The Walker Arts Center, and The Hammer Museum.

Notes From “Gravity Was Everywhere Back Then” will take place on Friday, August 1 from 6-9 PM at 1708 Gallery (319 W. Broad St). Doors open at 5 PM. There will be light refreshments and a cash bar.

Richmond Public Library: Hidden In Plain Sight & Wonder Valley Houses

This month, the main branch of the Richmond Public Library will display two exhibitions by Richmond photographer Lee Saloutos, Hidden In Plain Sight: The Abandoned Prison, and Wonder Valley Houses. Both are ongoing projects exploring themes of abandonment and isolation. There will be an opening reception on Friday, August 1, from 6:30-9 PM, at the Richmond Public Library (101 E. Franklin St). Art will remain on display through September 2 in the Gellman Room and Dooley Foyer.

EDIT Gallery: Dying Buildings, Living Stones

This month, EDIT Gallery presents Dying Buildings, Living Stones, an exhibition of work by Adrian Johnston.

The works in “Dying Buildings, Living Stones” are two dimensional organic explorations of architectural forms, relationships built of marks and color fields that are held loosely together in a structure suggested by scaffolding and semi-transparent cloth. The imagery and palette are taken from the building sites that are under construction in the urban Chinese landscape, and suggest figurative qualities. The explorative, creative nature of the painting and drawing process is reflected in the layering of transparent media. The playful use of liquid media in some sense allows a naturally selective process to interact with aesthetic and intuitive decisions to edit and define the form that each drawing or painting will take during the “building” process.

Dying Buildings, Living Stones will open with a reception on Friday, August 1 beginning at 6 PM at EDIT Gallery (8 E. Broad St). Art will remain on display throughout the month of August.

Art 180: Art. Ice Cream.

This month, Art 180 presents Art. Ice Cream., an exhibition of artwork by Central Montessori School students. “The work reflects the students’ exploration of multiple artists and mediums.” The exhibition will open with a reception on Friday, August 1, from 6-9 PM at Atlas, Art 180’s Art Center For Teens (114 W. Marshall St). The reception is family-friendly, will include an artistic activity for all ages, and will feature ice cream from Gelati Celesti. Art will remain on display through August 22.

New Normal Apparel: Serendipity

This month, New Normal Apparel presents Serendipity, a visual collection by artist Juliana Phung. There will be an opening reception on Friday, August 1 from 7-10 PM at New Normal Apparel (212 E. Clay St). Art will remain on display throughout the month of August.

Henry Street Gallery: Photography & 2D Works

This month, Henry Street Gallery presents a group exhibition of Photography & 2D Works. It will feature a variety of artists from the local community, and will open with a reception on Friday, August 1 from 6-10 PM at Henry Street Gallery (422 W. Broad St). Art will remain on display throughout the month of August.

9WG Studios: Past-Present

This month, 9WG Studios presents Past-Present, an exhibition of works by artist Dana Frostick.

This mixed media work is a combination of drawing and painting. My goal is to allow the artwork to control its eventual outcome. To achieve this, I take steps to prevent my influence from overcoming the piece and never begin with a preconceived idea of what I want to create. The drawing is done in sharpie alone to allow for accidents and to prevent reworking a line or pattern. The first marks are applied in a gestural method without me looking at the piece, then patterns are revealed in the spaces created by these first lines. The paint is applied in layers between the sharpie after letting the image seep into my brain so that colors present themselves to me. The artwork is turned periodically to open new areas of perception into the piece. Each layer is influenced by the previous layer as the piece is built up to its conclusion. When no more areas appear to need work, I begin to see ideas and stories in the patterns created, allowing me to extract the titles from each finished piece.

Past-Present will open with a reception on Friday, August 1 from 5-8 PM at 9WG Studios (9 W. Grace St). Art will remain on display throughout the month of August.


Artists! Galleries! Would you like your future First Friday events covered in these monthly articles? We might hear about your event anyway, but why leave it to chance? Email your press releases to

Marilyn Drew Necci

Marilyn Drew Necci

Former GayRVA editor-in-chief, RVA Magazine editor for print and web. Anxiety expert, proud trans woman, happily married.

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