Art of the State 

Quarter Past 7, Again Again Again

Imagine having dAcjAÿ vu every day for two years at the same exact time. While it may not be the same situation every time, art experiment Sametime 7:15 is just that.

Sametime 7:15 began in 2006 as a collaboration between Richmond's Michael K. Lease and Baltimore's Brad Walker, an attempt to heighten awareness of how they live their daily lives.

The two began taking pictures every night at 7:15, regardless of what they were doing. They put the results on a Web site, www.sametime715.com. In 2007 they expanded the project to include four other participants, six images a day.

The images are often mundane, like what you might expect to see if you took a snapshot of any evening moment in your life. Ceiling fans, half-eaten meals, scenes through car windows, the occasional torso or painted toes. They may be individually unremarkable, but collectively the images begin to breathe, acquiring a pace and variety that tell a richer story.

“As we brought in other people for the project, like Kate [Macdonnell] for example, [she] found that she's photographed quite a few things that she's photographed like 10 years ago,” Lease says. “So it's kind of like an acknowledgement or kind of existential moment where no matter how many more years or how many days you live, you're still where you are at the end of it. So there's all kind of repetition, but I think that's what makes it interesting.”
Sametime 7:15 will end on Dec. 31, with 2,190 photographs. Images are updated every Monday and will remain online after the exhibition is over. — Alexander Chang


Shortbus No More

After seven years of high-speed plucking and lowbrow humor, jug band Special Ed and the Shortbus is no more. Well, the name is no more. The five-piece has wrestled with the mixed blessing of having a name like that since the beginning — it's memorable, all right, but certainly got in the way of some bookings. Those villagers didn't forget Frankenstein's name either. So mandolinero Josh Bearman officially announced the new name last week: The Hot Seats.

Here is his explanation, via e-mail, regarding the new name:

“1. This name still connotes the frenetic and jerky nature of the music we have chosen to play.
2.  The new name is not offensive to those who care about special-needs issues.
3.  The band now is very different from the ragtag bunch who slapped together sets for a weekly gig at the Cary Street CafAc.
4. “SEATS” is an acronym for Special Ed And The Shortbus, so, for any die-hard fans who care, the name remains intact, in spirit, anyway.”

You can see the weight of this maturity on New Year's Eve at the Canal Club, when the band will play its final show as Special Ed and the Shortbus, with the Fox Hunt, A Good Natured Riot and Jackass Flats. Go to www.thehotseats.net for information.
— Brandon Reynolds


Ladies Only

Richmond's Pacha Mama Resistance is determined to keep the spirit of Rosie the Riveter and J. Howard Miller's famous WWII poster, “We Can Do It!” alive. The newly formed female-only art collective is composed of more than a dozen socially conscious and progressive young women with the objective of destroying borders raised from sexual discrimination by hosting multimedia art exhibits.

“We're trying to make an impact on the art world,” says Vreni Michelini, a Virginia Commonwealth University student and one of the group's leading members.

The group works on collective art pieces, often with a feminist — or at least feminine — slant. “I've noticed in past years, especially in the underground culture in Richmond,” Michelini says, “that not a lot of female artists are getting out there, especially in house shows. You can see it in Richmond here, in our own little culture, and other places around the world.”

The next all-female art opening — featuring paintings, sculptures, films, textiles, ceramics, prints, photographs and spoken word — will be at Tea Co. at 902 W. Broad St. on Dec. 5 from 7-10 p.m. The collective also plans to have a themed art show addressing social issues at Aurora Bakery in January. — A.C.


A Holiday Film That Doesn't End in Central Park (For Once)

Shawn Hatosy, Ann Dowd and DJ Qualls in "Familiar Strangers."

While this might be the most difficult holiday season for some families in a long time, it's nice to know they can find solace in the feel-goodery of festive films.

Charlottesville-based company Cavalier Films' “Familiar Strangers,” which was filmed all over Staunton, Charlottesville and Fairfax County, is the perfect way to appreciate family, according to co-producer Marc Lieberman.

“The film is unrelated to what's going on in the world,” he says. “This one is much more about family dynamics and really sweet, funny moments.” And it looks really familiar, too. Like home. Or close to home, anyway. Catch the limited Richmond engagement at Virginia Center Commons, Dec. 5-10. — Roberto Curtis





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