Richmond Folk Festival fans typically have to wait until September for the unveiling of the commemorative poster design. But this year, the festival is going big.
Nationally acclaimed artist, Noah Scalin, will paint the 15th-anniversary design as a giant mural on the side of The Broadberry next week. And you can watch him do it in real-time.
Noah Scalin is no stranger to the art of working while an audience stares, so he’s not particularly nervous about painting the official 2019 Richmond Folk Festival poster as a wall mural while crowds gather around.
“I think it’s great to have people watching and participating,” he said. “I like having folks there seeing how art gets made so it’s not like creating is a secret process. And when they watch you do it, they get to discover that it’s not perfect – it doesn’t look right at first and you have to make changes and eventually, it starts to look good.”
Each year, Richmond Folk Festival officials select a local artist to create the official Richmond Folk Festival poster. Scalin, a nationally-known artist who was born and raised in Richmond, said he’s thrilled to have been chosen, especially on the Richmond Folk Festival’s 15th anniversary.
“It’s such an honor to be chosen,” Scalin said. “I’ve lived in Richmond almost all of my life and I’m a huge fan of the Richmond Folk Festival just like anyone else. Getting to design the poster — especially on the 15th anniversary — is a really big deal for me.”
Scalin will be at the Broadberry, 2729 W Broad St, each morning from 9:00am to 12:30pm Aug. 7, 8, and 9 (dates and times subject to change) to paint a large mural on the wall. Richmonders are invited to come watch and talk to him while he paints each day. The finished mural will then be adapted into the official 2019 Richmond Folk Festival poster but the original will remain on the Broadberry wall “for as long as the Broadberry wants to keep it,” he said.
Scalin’s concept for the mural is an interactive one.
“I’m sort of working on this idea of a spirit or goddess of music who is presiding over our city,” he said. “She’ll have a hand outstretched so people can walk up to the art and stand in the outpouring of music and energy that is coming off of her hand.”
It’ll be a good place to take a selfie, he acknowledged, but more than that, it will give viewers a way to be a part of the artwork.
Richmonders are probably already familiar with Scalin’s art, even if they don’t know it. He painted the large colorful portrait of civil rights activist John Mitchell Jr., which can be seen from Arthur Ashe Boulevard on the outside wall of The Diamond.
He also created the mural of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, the “godmother of rock and roll,” which is on a wall in the GreenGate complex in Short Pump.
But it’s his clothing portraits that have had people talking. Three years ago, Scalin drew national attention when time-lapse videos of his clothing portraits went viral.
Plenty of Richmonders saw the shows live. At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Scalin created a portrait of a man’s face based on a photograph taken in the 1800s by Richmonder James Conway Farley, who was the first African American to achieve prominence in photography.
While crowds watched, Scalin created the portrait by starting with a pile of donated clothing. He arranged the pieces on the floor until they became a huge recreation of a face – the unmistakable, exact face in the Farley photograph.
He later did the same thing at the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Business; while students and staff came and went in the atrium, he turned a pile of laundry into a portrait of Maggie Walker, laid out on the floor.
The videos of his work circulated across social media and while his name may not have become famous, his work did.
Scalin said that while painting for an audience isn’t really nerve-wracking, creating those clothing portraits sometimes is.
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Plow Through Your Holiday Shopping at Holiday Villages a Virtual Market
Let’s spread some holiday cheer and support Richmond’s small business and artist community at a new VIRTUAL Holiday Villages!
- Live Music
- Small Businesses
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- And MORE!⠀Grab your family, friends, loved ones, and curl up on the sofa to shop and hang with us!⠀Finish all your holiday shopping the first weekend of December!⠀You don’t want to miss this!⠀Presented by the Richmond Night Market, in partnership with The City of Richmond, Brok Productions, and The Economic Development Authority of Richmond.⠀Let’s spread some holiday cheer and support Richmond’s small business and artist community at our new VIRTUAL Holiday Villages!⠀HELP US SPREAD THE WORD- Share this post with your followers and family and friends!
New VMFA exhibition portrays the majestic beauty of Virginia’s Natural Bridge
The exhibition, free to visitors, will be on view at VMFA from February 6 to August 1, 2021.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has announced its upcoming exhibition, Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art, an exploration of the artistic portrayal of this spectacular and seemingly miraculous natural landmark. The exhibition, free to visitors, will be on view at VMFA from February 6 to August 1, 2021.
The majesty of the Shenandoah Valley’s Natural Bridge, a 400-year-old geological formation, has inspired artists, writers and explorers over the centuries. It has served as an ethereal example of the American landscape, an icon of natural history and a witness to human civilization. One of the most depicted sites in American 19th-century landscape painting, this formation captured the imaginations of artists like Frederic Church, David Johnson, Edward Hicks and Caleb Boyle, as well as many decorative artists.
“VMFA is pleased to recognize Virginia’s very own natural landmark through this exhibition,” said VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “We hope Virginia Arcadia inspires appreciation for and interest in rediscovering the wonderful natural world here in our state, and also recognizing that the environment is a precious source of inspiration.”
“Consider a time when our very landscape sparked wonder and inspired myth,” said the exhibition’s curator, Dr. Christopher C. Oliver, VMFA’s Assistant Curator of American Art. “Artists were moved to not only capture its picturesque splendor and breathtaking sense of place, but also all that the Natural Bridge represented and idealized — the sublime divinity of the natural world, the excitement of discovery, the harmony between nature and civilization and the abundance of pastoral beauty.” The Natural Bridge is also historically relevant to western expansion, slavery, natural history, tourism and ecological conservation.
Virginia Arcadia examines the Natural Bridge through more than 60 paintings, prints, decorative art objects and photographs made between the late 1700s and the early 1900s. Highlights of the exhibition include works from VMFA’s collection including one of the earliest illustrations of the Natural Bridge, an engraving from 1787 by Baron De Turpin, a French engineer sent to document the site, one of three such engravings featured in Volume 1: Travels In North-America in the Years 1780, 1781 and 1782. Joshua Shaw’s oil painting Natural Bridge No. 1 (ca. 1820) captures the view from atop the arch of the bridge looking down into a nearby creek in Rockbridge County, Virginia. Several works in the exhibition are on loan from institutions across the country including the Chrysler Museum, the Fralin Museum of Art at the University of Virginia, the Mead Art Museum at Amherst College, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, and the Yale University Art Gallery, as well as from private collections.
More information about Virginia Arcadia: The Natural Bridge in American Art can be found on the museum’s website.
Photos: Preview of Dominion Energy GardenFest of Lights at Lewis Ginter
November 23rd is when you can check out the lights at Lewis Ginter but last night we were lucky enough to get a sneak peek.