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Thursday, July 20, 2017

Solange Knowles Goes Shopping in Richmond For Kids' Clothes

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 3:50 PM

A photo of Little Nomad owner Anthony Bryant and Solange Knowles that he posted on the store's Instagram. Used with permission.
  • A photo of Little Nomad owner Anthony Bryant and Solange Knowles that he posted on the store's Instagram. Used with permission.

On Wednesday around 3 p.m., Anthony Bryant was busy working in his new hip-hop inspired kids' clothing store, Little Nomad at 104 W. Broad St.

It had only been open since Saturday, which was designed to take advantage of foot traffic from the Maggie Walker statue unveiling.

He was busy but he noticed a couple customers come in, in particular one striking young woman.

“She was very pretty, but they were deep in conversation, so I just put my head back down,” he says. “When I looked back up, a guy had rushed in the store who knew right away who she was, he was star-struck.”

“That’s when I realized, 'Oh wow, Solange is in the store right now,'” Bryant says.

Knowles, a Grammy-winning artist and sister of global superstar and official living deity, Beyonce Knowles, had wandered into the clothing store with a relative in tow. Bryant didn't know who it was, but Knowles’ husband is a former Richmonder who still has family in the area. And she was staying at Quirk Hotel.

Bryant says Knowles was very graceful and took photos with the male fan, then she shopped for 45 minutes, buying clothing of all sizes, books and pens.

“We had a good conversation about Broad Street and Jackson Ward. She really wanted to know the history behind it,” Bryant says. “And she was curious about how we got started as a store.”

You can read more about Little Nomad in this story Style did when it was ramping up the project.

Bryant didn’t know why Knowles was in town, but assumed it was to visit family. He also wasn’t sure if she was buying kids' clothes for her famous sister's new twins who recently arrived.

“She didn’t say, but she did mention her son,” he recalls.

After she left the store, she visited Saadia's Juice Box. And Bryant says he gave her some tips for places to eat dinner and she chose Laura Lee's Restaurant.

Pick: Butcher Brown at the Vagabond on Friday, July 21

Posted By on Thu, Jul 20, 2017 at 1:50 PM

A Richmond "supergroup," Butcher Brown gets intimate this Friday at the Vagabond, a small venue that has been killing it lately.
  • A Richmond "supergroup," Butcher Brown gets intimate this Friday at the Vagabond, a small venue that has been killing it lately.

Things change. It once was an everyday thing for Butcher Brown to play RVA. Now, just back from a west coast tour, with drummer Corey Fonville relocated to Baltimore, a local gig is something of an event.

Their sound is at once retro and innovative, polished '70s soul and jazz/rock fusion updated with a hip-hop bite. It is as close as Richmond comes to a supergroup. The rhythm sections are the core. Fonville’s powerhouse drumming makes him a standout on the international jazz scene. Wunderkind keyboardist Devonne Harris is the ubiquitous genius of the local scene, playing with everyone in town and building a cult following with his DJ Harrison electronica. Harris’ longtime collaborator, bassist Andrew Randazzo, is a perfect complement. Playing on top are two of the best instrumentalists in town: veteran Marcus Tenney (NoBS! Brass, Tennison) and the youthful Morgan Burrs (Future Prospect).

There is a familiar saying that you don't know what you have until it's gone. It is possible for a band this loaded with talent to be around for a while, but the opportunity to see them in a venue as plush and intimate as the Vagabond may not be.

Butcher Brown plays Vagabond this Friday, July 21 at 10 p.m. Admission is $10. Doors open at 9 p.m.

Saturday, July 15, 2017

Pick: Rei Alvarez, Marlysse Simmons and Laura Ann Singh at Sub Rosa

Posted By on Sat, Jul 15, 2017 at 7:00 PM

Marlysse, Rei and Laura.
  • Marlysse, Rei and Laura.

The trio playing at Sub Rosa this Sunday night is not quite Miramar, the great RVA bolero group whose “Dedication to Sylvia Rexarch” was on multiple “best of” lists last year. But it brings together the heart of that bands distinctive, lovely sound: the brilliantly-matched vocals of Laura Ann Singh (Quatro Na Bossa) and Rei Alvarez (Bio Ritmo), complemented by the inventive keyboards of Marlysse Rose Simmons (also Bio Ritmo). With Singh now living in the Bay Area, and Simmons studying in Brooklyn, the next four weeks are a rare opportunity to see them together. On alternate weeks, starting on July 16, they play from 7-9 as an accompaniment to Sub Rosato- a natural wine pop-up. (With 5-7 sets on non-Sub Rosato weekends.) Expect a mix of boleros, Brazilian songs, and new music. And there will be some excellent wines.

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project Unveils New Arthur Ashe Mural in Battery Park

Posted By on Wed, Jul 12, 2017 at 8:15 PM

Muralists Sir James Thornhill (left) and Hamilton Glass stand in front of the entrance to the tunnel between the tennis courts and basketball courts in Battery Park. - SCOTT ELMQUIST
  • Scott Elmquist
  • Muralists Sir James Thornhill (left) and Hamilton Glass stand in front of the entrance to the tunnel between the tennis courts and basketball courts in Battery Park.

The U.N.I.T.Y Street Project — which stands for Upholding Networking Inspiring Togetherness in Celebration of Yesterday — continues to earn kudos by creating eye-catching neighborhood murals that celebrate history makers in Richmond.

Artists Sir James Thornhill and Hamilton Glass were on hand in Battery Park on a hot and humid Wednesday afternoon to unveil their latest project: a colorful tunnel mural featuring tennis great Arthur Ashe and a timeline of his life.

“We want to involve the communities,” says Glass. “Last year we did three projects in Jackson Ward. This is the first this year with maybe one or two more planned. … It’s really a grassroots thing. We don’t have a main base, we’re not supported by the city or by one corporation. We come together to make this happen. So community support is really appreciated.”

A large crowd, with many kids playing tennis, showed up for the unveiling on the occasion of Ashe’s 74th birthday, July 12. Members of Ashe's extended family were there, as well as dancers from Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company, and comments by former Governor Douglas Wilder were read.

The mural covers the 2,200-square-foot area inside and outside the tunnel that connects the basketball side to the tennis side beneath Overbrook Road. While Ashe learned to play on Brookfield Gardens tennis courts, he played in Battery Park on occasion, and his father worked for the Department of Recreation and Parks.

“This tunnel has been abandoned for a long time. Sometimes kids come here [and] they’re afraid to go across to go the bathroom,” Thornhill says, noting that the playground was recently refurbished with donated mulch. “So we decided to do a walkthrough timeline of his history. They’ll learn some things they never knew.”

Ashe's accomplishments are written inside the tunnel in a series of  short statements such as “Arthur Ashe graduated from Maggie L. Walker High School” and “Ashe won the Wimbledon finals, becoming the first African-American male to be ranked No. 1 in the world."

Glass says that with every project they do, the U.N.I.T.Y Street Project tries to highlight a historical figure.

“They’re not just for the community — the inspiration comes from the community,” he says. “We had corporate partners [such as Altria], but also asked the community to help fund it online.”

The group has a lots of projects it hopes to do in the future, Glass says, but funding is always an issue.

This article has been updated to reflect the correct name of the dance group that was in attendance. Style regrets the error.

To learn more, visit the organization's Facebook page, U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Check Out Some Highlights From the Modlin Center's 2017-2018 Season

Posted By on Thu, Jul 6, 2017 at 3:30 PM

New Orleans soul queen, Irma Thomas, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.
  • New Orleans soul queen, Irma Thomas, and the Blind Boys of Alabama.

The Modlin Center for the Arts at University of Richmond recently announced its 2017-2018 season of performances in its 21st season of regular programming.

Instead of reprinting the entire list of musical, theatrical and dance events, which you can find on their website along with ticket information, we thought we’d include some YouTube videos of performances that we think will be surefire bets (not in order of appearance).

The Heart and Soul Queen of New Orleans, Irma Thomas with the Blind Boys of Alabama and the Preservation Hall Legacy Quartet on Saturday, Nov. 11 at Camp Concert Hall, Booker Hall of Music at 7:30 p.m.

Eddie Palmieri Latin Jazz Orchestra "Eddie at 80" on Saturday, Oct. 21 at the Alice Jepson Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Rhiannon Giddens Freedom Highway Tour – Wednesday, Oct. 4 at Alice Jepson Theatre at 7:30 p.m.

Shovels & Rope on Thursday, Oct. 19 at Alice Jepson Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

THEATER

James Baldwin’s “Blues for Mr. Charlie” runs Thursday – Saturday, April 19 – 21, 2018 at 7:30 p.m. and Sunday, April 22, 2018 at 2 p.m. at Alice Jepson Theatre

Ethan Lipton & His Orchestra presents “The Outer Space” on Friday – Saturday, Dec. 1 – 2 at Alice Jepson Theatre, 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, June 29, 2017

VCUarts Launches Monument Design Competition plus SPARC Film Scores an Emmy

Posted By on Thu, Jun 29, 2017 at 4:30 PM

A still from the award-winning "From the Wings: The LIVE ART story" featuring Mechanicsville native, Jason Mraz.
  • A still from the award-winning "From the Wings: The LIVE ART story" featuring Mechanicsville native, Jason Mraz.

The experimental design lab of VCU's School of the Arts, mOb (or middle of Broad), is partnering with Storefront for Community Design to hold a national competition for design submissions regarding Richmond's historic and controversial Monument Avenue and its Confederate statues.

The project is titled General Demotion/General Devotion, and the design competition and exhibitions will happen in the spring and fall of 2018, with a call for entries scheduled this fall. It's being supported by a $30,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A press release states that the project hopes to create "a unique vehicle for engaging in a community and nation-wide dialogue about the role of sculpture, monuments, and public spaces in creating a socially just environment."

The project is being directed by Camden Whitehead, associate professor of Interior Design, accompanied by project liaisons Kristin Caskey, associate professor of Fashion Design, and Ryan Rinn, executive director of Storefront.

Style reached out to Whitehead and will update this blog post soon.

A press release from the school notes that the project "grew out of a weeklong charrette that the mOb studio undertook in the fall of 2015 with guest architect Burt Pinnock of Baskervill. At that time, mOb students were asked to consider a prosthesis or alteration to the Robert E. Lee Monument (applied digitally) that would change the meaning of the statue, allowing a more nuanced and broader interpretation. The works were presented at Richmond’s First Friday Art Walk, accompanied by a panel discussion including historian Calder Loth, educator Melanie Buffington and columnist Michael Paul Williams, and led by Bill Martin, director of the Valentine Museum."

In other arts news, School of the Performing Arts in the Richmond Community (SPARC) announced that a documentary, "From the Wings: The LIVE ART Story" has won an Emmy award from the National Capital Chesapeake Bay Chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences at its regional award show on June 24 in Washington.

The documentary, which can be viewed here, follows six students from SPARC's inclusive arts education program for students with and without disabilities. The annual LIVE ART event, which often features visiting celebrities and musical stars, is the premiere event for the school each year.

The film, produced and directed by Martin Montgomery, Ryan Ripperton and William Gaff, was eligible for the award after airing nationally on PBS stations.

Friday, June 16, 2017

InLight Richmond Announces 2017 Location

Posted By on Fri, Jun 16, 2017 at 10:30 AM

An exhibit from the 2012 InLight event.
  • An exhibit from the 2012 InLight event.

The popular annual InLight Richmond event, where artists illuminate the night with various light-based art work and performance, will be held in the downtown arts district on Friday, Nov. 3 from 7 p.m. to midnight.

Organized by 1708 Gallery, the free event was created in 2008 on the occasion of that gallery's 30th anniversary. This year it takes its inspiration from the 1901 Electric Carnival that lit up Broad Street with a replica of the Eiffel Tower and thousands of lights, according to its website.

The juror for InLight 2017 will be Nat Troutman, curator of performance and media at the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York City. To learn more about how to be involved, check out the website.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Preview: Elegba Folklore Society's Juneteenth Celebration, June 16 -18

Posted By on Wed, Jun 14, 2017 at 4:15 PM

Historian and author, Anthony T. Browder speaks on Friday, June 16.
  • Historian and author, Anthony T. Browder speaks on Friday, June 16.

Two and a half years after President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was enacted on the first day of 1863, over a quarter million blacks were still in bondage in Texas.

Juneteenth, regarded as the first African-American holiday, became a traditional celebration when Gen. Gordon Granger sailed into the harbor at Galveston, Texas, and issued a proclamation on June 19, 1865, giving freedom to people who didn’t know they’d long been freed.

Presented by the Elegba Folklore Society, Richmond celebrates that history with a weekend of events geared toward enhancing cultural understanding in a larger sense.

The society’s director, Janine Bell, sees Juneteenth as not only commemorating the physical liberation, but also as a means to focus on the mental and spiritual liberation many African descendants still are trying to achieve while seeking a sense of identity and purpose in 21st-century America.

“Africans in America have shaped what this country is in every area,” Bell says. “Acknowledgement is key, as are place and identity. We make change by our choices. African-Americans are standing on very strong ancestral shoulders. Life is an intertwined continuum. Celebration is freedom, itself.”

Kicking off Friday, the three-day event begins with history, moves on to an independence party and concludes with an ancestor-honoring ceremony.

Friday’s symposium features historian and author Anthony T. Browder speaking on “Africans in America and the Paradox of Liberty” at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School. It is the weekend’s only ticketed event, all others are free.

Saturday’s backyard party takes place at the Manchester Dock from 1 to 6 p.m. and is geared to families. Myriad activities, both educational and fun – a Get Woke Youth Summit on cultural education, heritage crafts for children, jump rope and hula hoop contests, African dance and drum workshops – accompany food, a Freedom Market, performances by Elegba Folklore Society’s dance company and an opportunity for people to experience the Trail of Enslaved Africans.

Crowning the Juneteenth celebration on Sunday will be a cultural ceremony to honor African ancestors from 4 – 6 p.m. at the African Burial Ground on 16th Street with pageantry, drumming and song. Participants are encouraged to bring an offering for the altar and don African or white clothing.

“History is the story of how we got to today. It provides clarity and perspective for our choices now and tomorrow,” Bell says. “Children are our future. Let’s be sure they are wise.”

Juneteenth 2017, A Freedom Celebration is held June 16-18, various locations. 644-3900 or efsinc.org.

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Two Richmond Tattoo Artists Featured on Spike TV's "Ink Master"

Posted By on Thu, Jun 8, 2017 at 12:58 PM

Tattoo artists Doom Kitten and Erin Chance are looking to bring home the title of Master Shop to Unkindness Art in Richmond by winning the Spike show "Ink Master:Shop Wars."
  • Tattoo artists Doom Kitten and Erin Chance are looking to bring home the title of Master Shop to Unkindness Art in Richmond by winning the Spike show "Ink Master:Shop Wars."

Richmond tattoo artists Erin Chance and Doom Kitten from Unkindess Art on Broad Street are squaring off against 16 other artists on season nine of the popular Spike TV show, "Ink Master: Shop Wars." The show airs Tuesdays at 10 p.m.

Winners of the competition split $200,000 and the first ever title of Master Shop.

The first episode premiered this week and the RVA team already has won an early flash challenge. You can watch the entire episode online.

Chance is co-owner of Unkindness Art with tattoo artist Teresa Sharp, who earned a huge social media following after winning season two of the Lifetime show "Best Ink" in 2013.

Here's a little more on the current RVA contestants from the Spike producers:

And their competitors:

Monday, June 5, 2017

RVA Street Art Festival 2017 to Be Held at the Diamond

Posted By on Mon, Jun 5, 2017 at 12:45 PM

A photo from the RVA Street Art Festival held on Earth Day in Manchester, April 23, 2016.
  • A photo from the RVA Street Art Festival held on Earth Day in Manchester, April 23, 2016.

The RVA Street Art Festival has finally "gone nuts" in the words of organizer Jon Baliles. It will be held this year, Sept. 22 through Sept. 24, at the Diamond, home to the Richmond Flying Squirrels.

Organizers with the Richmond Flying Squirrels and the Street Art Festival plan to update the ballpark's generally gray, concrete appearance with colorful local murals and artwork.

Longtime Richmond muralist Ed Trask said in a news conference this morning that the art will include murals as well sculptures, installations, videos and sound works.

"We have a huge opportunity to create something very positive here using art," he said. "We can do things that let people have this inclusive event with art, baseball and family. It can happen. Now we have the challenge of creating and using this canvas, and we're really excited."

A Times Dispatch article on this morning's conference noted that all funds will come from sponsors, none from public money.

  • Re: 2017 Richmond Jazz Fest Lineup Revealed

    • Taking a road trip to indulge my rhythmic soul in an eclectic array of music…

    • on July 18, 2017
  • Re: U.N.I.T.Y. Street Project Unveils New Arthur Ashe Mural in Battery Park

    • Great article, however, the dancers were Ezibu Muntu African Dance Company, not Elegba Folklore Society...if…

    • on July 13, 2017
  • Re: Check Out Some Highlights From the Modlin Center's 2017-2018 Season

    • Sadly, Modlin's seasons have grown increasingly wan and less interesting over the years. Who are…

    • on July 9, 2017
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