Harmonizing 

Gallery5 explores the theme of rhythm during Fall Line Fest.

click to enlarge “Call Me Waldo” by Noah Scalin.

“Call Me Waldo” by Noah Scalin.

Fall Line Fest isn't just about music this time around. In its second year, the all-volunteer-run festival branches out to include other arts, including a mural by local artists, a steamroller print demo and a public-participation art canvas.

A centerpiece is the exhibit "Rhythm: A Fall Line Fest Juried Exhibition" at Gallery 5, judged by the Institute for Contemporary Art's director, Lisa Freiman.

The exhibit, chosen from 125 submissions, is composed of 25 mixed media works using such untraditional materials as horse hair, electrical outlets, vinyl records, and LED lights. The artists either live or have lived in Richmond.

Intentionally seeking a diverse mix, the exhibition includes painting, printmaking, photography, sculpture and mixed media from recognizable Richmond names such as Noah Scalin ("Skull-a-Day") and Tom Condon, alongside lesser-known figures, including Elizabeth Gilfilen and Matthew Yaeger. Expertise runs the gamut, from promising current students and emerging artists to established ones who exhibit in major galleries here and in New York.

While you'll need a festival ticket to attend on Saturday, the opening Friday, Sept. 5, is free. It will be combined with hip-hop performances — including Chance Fischer, Joey Gallo and Black Liquid — as well as live painting by local artists.

For the opening, emphasis will be placed on the dialogue between the visual and performing arts. Artists were asked to respond to the theme of rhythm in an effort to "manipulate and harmonize materials to create something rhythmic, smart and beautiful" that would "free artists to interpret that idea in their own innovative ways." Manipulation and synthesis are key components.

Just as the festival presents a wide range of music around town, the juried art exhibition sets up a harmony between disparate art forms. Some artists directly referenced rhythm. Current student Ling-lin Ku's sculpture is entitled "Rhythm." Others applied the theme loosely, such as Jonathan Lee's "Unmade Remade," stacks of melted vinyl records and Joe Foster's "Color Bleed," a sound-wave-manipulated photograph.

But rhythm isn't just a theme for the art or the music. It alludes to the larger festival and its desire to create community among the arts and highlight Richmond's thriving art, food and music scenes. Working like a series of analogous rhythms, volunteer Ted Elmore considers the event as a "celebration of our community and the arts — every year there is more to celebrate," he says. "We have to dream big to reflect how this community dreams now." S

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