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RVA Environmental Film Festival Starts Rolling Today

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The annual Richmond Environmental Film Festival showcases films that raise awareness of environmental issues relevant to the Richmond region, our nation. The festival runs February 7th through the 14th.  The festival started way back in 2008 as The Biggest Picture: Richmond’s First Environmental Film Festival under the James River Film Society. In 2011, the Sierra Club – Falls of the James Group backed the event as the RVA Environmental Film Festival. Support from the community for the Festival grows with each passing year.
The first showing is of SINGAPORE: BIOPHILIC CITY tonight Friday 7th at 6:30 PM at Richmond Public Library Main Branch (101 E. Franklin Street). There will be over 17 films featured at the Byrd Theater, VCU campus, VUU campus, Richmond Public Library Main Branch, and the Virginia Science Museum.
A couple of films that look particularly interesting to us:
They’re often called Trash Pandas and that isn’t the way it should be. Untamed is Saturday, February 8th, 1:25 PM at the Byrd Theatre.
Produced by VPM with the Wildlife Center of Virginia, UNTAMED looks behind the scenes of the center and explores the environmental issues that affect the wildlife that they treat. In this episode, with staff and special guests, center president and co-founder Ed Clark explores how litter often leads to wildlife injuries and illnesses and what we can do to prevent them. Following the film, Clark will discuss the series and answer audience questions. – See trailer
Everywhere we look plastic is a part of our daily existence. The Story of Plastic tells us how we got to this point and the environmental mess all these disposable products are causing.  Thursday, February 13th at 5:55 PM at the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Grace Street Theatre (934 W.Grace Street). See trailer

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Richard Hayes is the co-founder of RVAHub. When he isn't rounding up neighborhood news, he's likely watching soccer or chasing down the latest and greatest board game.

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Well known local tattoo artist auctioning off mural of George Floyd adorning Carytown shop

“I didn’t really want to board up my business, but it was recommended so we decided to follow suit,” he says. “After we put it up, I thought, there’s a surface that needs to be decorated. I didn’t want to just write ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over everything. I wanted to create something that was more impactful.”

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The City of Richmond has remained an apex of the evolving Black Lives Matter movement. The city is known for its statues and monuments honoring leaders from the Civil War era, but also its prolific and progressive artist community who have come together to deploy a series of creative and uplifting responses during the past month. This includes the owner of Loose Screw Tattoo, Jesse Smith.

When the rest of his Carytown business neighbors boarded up their storefronts in anticipation of predicted riots and looting, Smith followed recommendations and added plywood to the front of his tattoo shop.

“I didn’t really want to board up my business, but it was recommended so we decided to follow suit,” he says. “After we put it up, I thought, there’s a surface that needs to be decorated. I didn’t want to just write ‘Black Lives Matter’ all over everything. I wanted to create something that was more impactful.”

Smith snagged up a couple of cans of spray paint he had laying around in his garage and headed over to his shop. The mural took four hours in total to complete. His George Floyd portrait is one of many new murals related to the Black Lives Matter movement in Richmond. Other mural artists who have added color to the city include Hamilton Glass, Nico Cathcart, Nils Westergard, Emily Herr, and many other artists who have come together to be a part of the Mending Walls Project. Artists around the country have also marked buildings and landmarks with designs, words, and other calls to action.

Smith’s mural will be up for auction to benefit Mutual Aid Disaster Relief – Richmond (MAD RVA) starting July 7. The network launched in 2018 in response to needs associated with public housing.

“We operate collectively and are primarily functioning as a supply delivery for folks who cannot access medicine, food, cleaning supplies, and other life necessities,” says member Tamanna Sohal.

MAD RVA also has a mini-grants program that provides communty members with direct financial aid of up to $125, prioritizing Richmonders who are Black, brown, queer, trans, immuno-compromised, elderly, pregnant, and/or have several people in their household. All funds raised are redistributed through items for their supply drive and mini-grants.

The auction is presented by the Giving Arts Foundation (GAF), founded by Smith. The mission of GAF is to unite the arts community to support urgent and meaningful causes locally and internationally.

Learn more about MAD RVA here.

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1708 Gallery’s InLight Richmond Planned for November

The 13th annual InLight Richmond will take place from November 12th – 16th, 2020 at sites across Richmond and will address the paired themes of Safety and Accountability.

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1708 Gallery is pleased to announce that its 13th annual InLight Richmond will take place from November 12th – 16th, 2020 at sites across Richmond and will address the paired themes of Safety and Accountability.

InLight is a public exhibition of contemporary light-based artworks—multimedia and interactive projects, video, projection, sculpture, installation, performance, community-based work, digital and virtual projects—and has historically taken place in a singular location each November. Past sites include Chimborazo Park, the streets, facades and alleyways of the downtown Arts District and the sculpture garden and grounds of the VMFA.

In response to COVID-19, InLight’s multi-site platform will allow for socially distanced and virtual viewing. Further inspired by the ongoing community dialogues surrounding the unjust and inequitable treatment of Black lives and by Richmond’s coming together in support and aid during these crises, this year is focused on Safety and Accountability.

1708 invites artists, community groups, and stewards of spaces in Richmond to propose projects that can illuminate issues of Safety and Accountability. We seek proposals that respond to what these key terms mean spatially, historically, socially, and politically. We invite proposals that demonstrate profound consideration for designated sites and their communities.

For more details about InLight 2020 and to submit an entry, visit 1708gallery.org.

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VMFA to exhibit “Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities” beginning July 4th

The exhibition features nearly 300 objects, mostly from underwater excavations of the ancient Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has announced the East Coast premiere of Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities.

The exhibition features nearly 300 objects, mostly from underwater excavations of the ancient Egyptian cities of Canopus and Thonis-Heracleion. Sunken Cities is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for visitors to experience the grandeur and complexity of Ptolemaic Egypt, one of the wealthiest, most powerful and influential kingdoms of the ancient Mediterranean.

The exhibition was curated by Franck Goddio, the director of the European Institute of Underwater Archaeology (IEASM) and organized for VMFA by Dr. Peter Schertz, VMFA’s Jack and Mary Ann Frable Curator of Ancient Art. Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities will open at the museum on July 4, 2020.

The exhibition highlights ancient artifacts retrieved from Aboukier Bay off the coast of Egypt by a team of underwater archaeologists led by Goddio. In addition to some 250 works recovered by IEASM, 40 additional works from museums in Egypt help tell the story of Ptolemaic Egypt and one of its most important cults, the annual celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris.

“We are thrilled to offer this unique experience to our visitors,” said VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges. “VMFA brings the world to Richmond, and this exhibition explores the fascinating history of two lost cities of ancient Egypt. This is the last time this groundbreaking exhibition will be on view in North America, and we hope to attract a wide range of visitors.”

Treasures of Ancient Egypt: Sunken Cities is presented by Dominion Energy. “We are delighted to be continuing our partnership with VMFA through this exciting exhibition,” said Hunter A. Applewhite, President of the Dominion Energy Charitable Foundation. “Promoting cultural diversity and community vitality is an important goal for us, and we are proud to help bring these rare pieces of art to our community.”

“When people come to this exhibition, they’re going to see amazing works of art that reveal the diversity of the ancient world and the ways that the civilizations of Egypt, Greece and Rome interacted and influenced each other more than 2,000 years ago,” says VMFA’s Jack and Mary Ann Frable Curator of Ancient Art Dr. Peter Schertz.

Highlights of the exhibition include a nearly 18-foot-tall, 5.6-ton statue of the god Hapy, the largest stone statue of a god recovered from ancient Egypt, beautiful statues of other gods and rulers of that civilization, as well as fascinating objects used to celebrate the annual Mysteries of Osiris. Powerful photography, films, maps, graphics, and an audio guide provide context and background on how these cities were lost and rediscovered. Visitors to the exhibition will discover the cosmopolitan society that emerged from the blending of Greek and Egyptian cultures after the conquests of Alexander the Great. A key aspect of the exhibition is the exploration of the cult of Osiris, ruler of the underworld and god of new life, who was celebrated throughout Egypt. Goddio’s excavations have brought to light a wealth of implements used in the celebration of the Mysteries of Osiris, one of the great religious ceremonies of ancient Egypt, which involved a maritime procession through the canals that once connected the two cities.

The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, state employees and teachers, as well as active-duty military personnel and their immediate families; $20 for adults; $16 for seniors 65+; and $10 for youth 7–17 and college students with ID.

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