We might be halfway through the summer and already tired of the sticky heat, but with the first week of August comes Richmond’s hottest artwalk event that you won’t want to miss.
Every First Friday, there are always more exciting and interesting events than one could possibly hope to attend, so, here at RVAMag, we’ve selected a few of the things we’re looking most forward to that this Friday has to offer:
“Drifting Dreamers” at 1708 Gallery
For its third summer running, “3×3: Summer Sessions” is the latest installment in 1708 Gallery’s community engagement program, where the gallery is imagined as an active community space and artists are invited to experiment with provocative, participatory exhibits.While much of the work involves community and social engagement, and thus takes place outside of the gallery, throughout the summer the artists are given a workspace at 1708, which is open to the public where people can engage with the artist and their work and the artist can provide progress updates.
This weekend is the final weekend of the project and Sayaka Suzuki is the final artist to be featured, with her project “Drifting Dreamers”.“Drifting Dreamers” invites audiences to contemplate the word “immigration” and write their responses on blue scraps of upcycled fabric. Evoking the rustic indigo hues used in Sashiko, a traditional Japanese embroidery technique, the various lines, thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams of people will be stitched together to create a life-size boat.
Serving as both a metaphor for this pivotal moment in history with its ravaging wars forcing millions to flee and humanitarian crises within and between borders, as well as for the strength in the diversity of ideas, Suzuki hopes the concept of sharing personal histories and narratives will allow people to see the plight of the world’s immigrants in a more empathetic light.
BlackList: Lorraine Hansberry at TheatreLAB
Showing only this Thursday and Friday, TheatreLAB presents BlackList: Lorraine Hansberry. After last season’s successful tribute to August Wilson, this year will honor contemporary theatre icon Lorraine Hansberry with selections from her plays, essays, and lesser-known writings. BlackList celebrates the African American voice and is a platform for communicating the rich history of African American artistry and its place in the shared American experience.
As part of the BlackList project, TheatreLAB sponsors the “No Dream Deferred” scholarship for African American theatre students enrolled in college, which all proceeds will benefit. For more information on the program, including how you can contribute to the scholarship, click here.
First Fridays at the Main Library
The Richmond Public Library will be holding the following exhibits throughout the month with an opening reception on Friday, August 4th.
In the Gellman Room: “The Modern Plague – Voices and Images of the Early AIDS Epidemic” – catalogs the hopes & horrors in the communities affected by AIDS through the images of photographer Kathy Yost Benham, and voices collected by public historian Betsy Brinson.
In the Dooley Foyer: “Pachamama” – a collection inspired by the creation, dependence, and extension of Mother Earth by Latinx artists Steven Casanova, Sammie Correa, and Dominique Muñoz. In the Dooley Hall: “Wiggle” – Exploring the boundaries between painting, drawing, and relief sculpture, Richmond artist Joe Olney uses a syringe filled with acrylic paint to create abstractions on constructed surfaces.
In the 2nd Floor Gallery: “Lot of Woman” – art focusing on a woman’s role in society and her relationship within social institutions by local collage artist Dare Boles.
Harmony at ART 180
Harmony will be making a return this year to ART 180 this August 4th. Featuring watercolor paintings, repurposed fashions, and album cover art illustrations, the exhibit showcases work produced by local teens through ART 180 programs fostering community engagement and creative expression.
Hanging from the gallery ceiling are intricate watercolor mobiles, inspired by conversations about color theory led by artists Angel Graves and Marie Sicola. Aspiring designers created repurposed fashions constructed from recycled materials in a project led by Mica Whitney and Bo Hundley. Under the guidance from local DJs Alex Cortes and Zavi Harman, teens explored the similarities and differences in analog and digital DJing and were given the opportunity to record their own tracks and design their own cover art. ART 180 will host a reception open to the public from 6-9pm, which is family-friendly and features an all-ages activity.
During the event, participants in the DJ program will play their original music from 6:30pm to 8pm.
Kremlin Game Broadcast and Heart Girls at Coalition Theater
This Friday night, the Coalition Theater presents two shows that’ll leave you rolling.At 8pm, get ready for the Kremlin Game Broadcast, a new interactive improv gameshow where comedians contend against one another in ridiculous scenarios. Contestants compete to win games selected by the Soviet Sweetheart, the Ravishing Russian, the Moscow Madam, and your host, Eve Privman.
At 10pm, Hearst Girls & Friends takes over the show— Consisting of three Coalition Theater house members, Hearst Girls is an all-female improv team committed to sensational dramedy.
Sailor Moon Art Show at Charm School
Along with Black Rabbit Tattoo and The Byrd Theatre & Foundation, the Charm School is celebrating International Sailor Moon Weekend.Starting Friday night with a Sailor Moon art show at Charm School, Black Rabbit is also having a flash tattoo sale from 10am to 10pm the same day. The Byrd will also be screening “Sailor Moon R the Movie” over the weekend. More details for the weekend can be found here.
Namean at Fresh Richmond
Last but not least, Fresh Richmond is the newest gallery to join the ranks of First Friday venues and will be presenting their August show featuring artwork by Stephon Reid, Tara Jo, & U. DJ Neili Neil will provide music for the show. 213 E. Broad St.