Art Beat 

News from the local arts scene.

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Inside Out

This month, art spills out the doors of two Richmond galleries. Artists Michael Lease and Christopher Wiedeman use prints, video and performance to stage the multimedia "Alley-Oop" in and around a storage shed in the alley behind the Visual Arts Center from Oct. 27 to Nov. 24. The installation bubbles over beyond the alley and onto the Internet, where the artists have created a blog to track their work at

A few blocks over, Maggie Smith, Oura Sananikone and Stewart Watkins have taken to the trees, using a crane and oversized needles to knit a sweater for a tree in front of Quirk Gallery on Broad Street in an effort to demonstrate the gallery's artistic effervescence and commitment to crafts. Gallery owner Kathy Emerson predicts the sweater will last two years. The gallery will celebrate its one-year anniversary Oct. 14 from 2 to 6 p.m. with a pig roast and band.

Opera Continues to Hone Its Hipness

First the cool ads, then the animated Web site, now the Virginia Opera has a MySpace account and video clips posted on YouTube.

Yes, it's trying to reach a younger audience, and it's working. The Norfolk-based group recently hired a Richmond education coordinator and will launch its first local Student Night at the Opera on Wednesday, Oct. 18, at 7:15 p.m., with teacher study guides geared toward the SOLs.

Beyond that, the Virginia Opera's public relations manager Stephen Baker says the opera's first show, "Carmen," appeals to a young demographic because the music is familiar — people know it even if they don't know they do. It's the music playing on Lex Luther's yacht in "Superman Returns," he says, and the story is about a seductive gypsy who doesn't care what people think of her. Sung in French with English subtitles, the opera, starring soprano Cristina Nassif, comes to the Landmark Oct. 20 and 22. Nassif received praise for her role in last year's production of "La Traviata."

Richmond Triangle Players Score

The Richmond Triangle Players took their production of "The Stops" to the National Gay and Lesbian Theatre Festival in Columbus, Ohio, last month and came home with four awards.

Managing Director Michael Gooding estimates that 25 to 30 other companies performed at the festival, but the Triangle Players beat them out, winning for Best Musical Production, Best Musical Ensemble and Best Technical Elements (like set and sound design). Cast member Steve Boschen won Best Vocalist in an Ensemble.

The Players' "Sordid Lives" runs through Oct. 28. S

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