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.
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.
InLight 2020: Safety and Accountability will be Spread About the City
The exhibition of contemporary light-based artworks, will take place November 12 – 15, 2020 at sites across Richmond.
Usually, the 1708 Gallery’s 13th annual InLight is held in one location allowing the various exhibits to be within easy walking distance from each other. This year the theme of Safety and Accountability hints to a new setup for InLight. The exhibition of contemporary light-based artworks, will take place November 12 – 15, 2020 at sites across Richmond and will address the paired themes of Safety and Accountability. Learn more.
Afrikana Independent Film Festival; Amy Smith; The Anderson; Barry O’Keefe; Black Matter Productions; Caitlin & Misha; Calvin Brown; Carl Patow; Christine Wyatt & Amena Durant; Dustin Klein, Alex Criqui, Miguel Carter-Fisher, & Josh Zarambo; The Kinfolk Effect; LaRissa Rogers; Mariana Parisca & Sandy Williams IV; New Negress Film Society; Performing Statistics; Stephanie J. Woods; Victor Haskins & ImproviStory
You can check out the interactive map here. Of the 18 exhibits only one is on the southside of Richmond and it’s only on Friday night.
Photos: Maymont Garden Glow
We escaped the election for a few hours last night and wandered around Maymont’s Garden Glow. Garden Glow turns off the lights this weekend so get your ticket now.
Maymont Garden Glow runs through Sunday, November 7th. The fee is $12 and if you take your time takes about 45-60 minutes. It does feel relatively small but still very much worth the trip. The most popular spots were the creatures and plants made with light near the Italian Garden and the music maker (near the mansion), in which you step on panel and are rewarded with sounds and light changing.
Brighten your autumn nights on a wondrous light-filled journey through Maymont, in a NEW LOCATION this year showcasing the historic architecture and gardens around Maymont Mansion. The scenery will shine with dramatic light displays for an enchanting experience to delight guests of all ages. Marvel at the breathtaking illuminations of the Italian Garden and other landscapes, admire colorful sparkles and shimmers in the splashing fountain, and stroll among historic estate buildings and the nationally treasured arboretum that stand aglow. The event also will include food trucks (see schedule), the Glow Bar and Glow Shop on the Carriage House Lawn. Proceeds benefit Maymont; no refunds. For information, call 804-358-7166, ext. 322.