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Big Bugs Emerge at Lewis Ginter

Big Bugs officially opened today and will be at Lewis Ginter until August 28th. The exhibit is included in your normal Lewis Ginter admission.

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Bee and Flower – Materials used: black walnut, black locust, red cedar, and black walnut. All wood either deadwood or harvested sustainably. Size: Flower is 5ft 5 in in diameter and 9 feet tall.

Did you know that 75% of the earth’s flowering plants and over 70% of its food crops depend on pollinators to thrive? Think about a world without coffee and chocolate?! That’s pretty powerful! This summer, we are putting the spotlight on bugs and birds in a BIG way. Artist David Rogers’ Big Bugs: The Pollinatorsshowcases larger-than-life sculptures highlighting the importance of pollinators and preserving their habitats. Big Bugs is part of M&T Bank Pollinator Power which also includes Butterflies LIVE!

Visitors of all ages and abilities will explore the wonder and craftsmanship of these ten oversized pollinator sculptures created from combinations of found or fallen whole trees, willow limbs, twigs, branches and other forest material. Discover giant ladybugs on a branch, a 17-foot-long daddy longlegs,  a giant dragonfly, a beautiful hummingbird and more!

Ladybugs on Branch – Materials used: red cedar, black walnut, and black locusts. Size: Ladybugs are 2.5 feet L, 2.5 W, and 2.5 Dia. The Sticke is 9 feet long and 34 inches wide

Humming Bird Flower – Materials used: rainbow popular, black walnut, red cedar, black locust Size: Hummingbird is 3.5 feet long and 3.5 feet wide Flower is 5 feet 3 inches wide (there are more flowers out of frame) and 8 feet 3 inches high.

Dragonfly Materials used: red cedar and willow Size: 17 feet long and 17 feet wide

Daddy Long Legs Materials Used: red cedar and willow, Size: 17 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 10 feet high

The artist David Rogers is a renaissance man. As a child, he was in the woods near his home in Long Island, New York exploring and building. Treehouses and fascination with insects of all sorts caught his interest pretty much like most kids that spend time out in nature. Traditional school wasn’t the right fit for David but hands-on learning certainly was the right fit.

Working for a boatbuilder, cabinetmaker, and rustic furniture maker gave him a foundation for all the works you’ll see at Lewis Ginter. Welding which he picked up in boatbuilding is crucial in building the supports for all the bugs. The largest at Lewis Ginter is 1,200 lbs of black locust. Wood alone would suffice for keeping such weight and unique form standing so skill learned many years ago came into play. Knowing the properties of wood and the finish required was a constant across all his previous “real jobs”. On pieces that have more curves such as Spider and Web and Bee and Beehive use willow which was a crucial ingredient in previous what he called “Victorian Rustic” earlier works. Big Bugs made their debut in Dallas in 1994.  The works found their obvious niche in botanical gardens and soon after hit the road. Lewis Ginter Gardens was one of the first to appreciate the exhibit and they made their first appearance here in 1999. Since that start in Dallas the bugs have traveled all across the country and appeared in close to a 100 locations. As David told me, “You don’t have to have a lot of good ideas. All you need is one really good one.”

David loves every aspect of his work even the mundane task of driving a truck full of big bugs across the country for the next exhibit and it shows. He’s quick to smile, and laugh and enjoys talking about his work and the role that insects play. Giant insects could be something that inspires fear like a creature from a bad 70’s monster flick. These bugs with their warm tones, natural materials, and inviting setting instead give a feeling of creativity, curiosity, and exploration. You can check out more of David’s work on his website.

While we were there the last piece Spider and Web was going into place. David had help from his wife/assistant and several Lewis Ginter employees.

A close-up of the armature on the Spider Web. Other works have similar armature but this is a rare case of being able to see it directly. The willow you see has to be replaced about every three to 5 years.

Artist David Rodgers attaching two web halves.

The Spiderweb which is 12 feet by 12 feet is moved into position.

Knot tying skills come into play as the work was set into position.

We weren’t able to stay for the finishing touches you’ll have to head to Lewis Ginter and check that out on your own. Big Bugs will be in the gardens from Friday, May 27th to Sunday, August 28th. You can purchase tickets to Lewis Ginter here.

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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.

Community

Kickers Announce Initial Roster Decisions

The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

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The Richmond Kickers announced initial contract decisions for the 2023 season, Wednesday, with three exercised options and four option declines as the club prepares to defend its 2022 USL League One regular-season title.

“We worked very hard over the past few years to develop our culture here in Richmond, and this past season we put together a great run to win the regular season Championship,” Kickers’ Chief Sporting Officer and Head Coach, Darren Sawatzky said. “With that success, we didn’t win the games we needed to in the playoffs.

“We have some great young players chasing higher-level opportunities, and we have some players heading to new opportunities. We are adding some good players and at the same time, we are bringing back the backbone of the culture the guys have created.”

Forwards Matthew Bentley and Owayne Gordon and midfielder Chandler O’Dwyer return to the Roos after their contract options for 2023 were picked up by the club.

Bentley finished his first professional season tied for second on the team with six goals and tied for fifth with three assists while starting 18 of 26 league matches. Gordon, a midseason signing, tied for fourth on the team with five goals while also making three assists in 22 league appearances. O’Dwyer made his professional debut in the Kickers’ second US Open Cup match and finished with three appearances across all competitions.

Reigning back-to-back-to-back USL League One MVP and Golden Boot winner Emiliano Terzaghi and 2022 USL League One Goalkeeper of the Year Nominee and Kickers’ goalkeeping coach Akira Fitzgerald have existing contracts for 2023.

The contract options for midfielders Matthew Bolduc, Leonardo Baima, and Christian Molina and goalkeeper Austin Causey were declined by the club.

The 2023 season will be here before you know it! Kickers fans can get ready now by placing a $100 deposit for a 2023 season ticket. With one additional regular season match and two new opponents joining USL League One, City Stadium will be the place to be. Additional information can be found at richmondkickers.com/seasontickets.

Stay up to date with all of the Kickers news at RichmondKickers.com and on social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube!

Rostered Players for 2023 as of December 7, 2022 

GOALKEEPERS: Akira Fitzgerald

DEFENDERS: 

MIDFIELDERS: Chandler O’Dwyer

FORWARDS: Emiliano Terzaghi, Matthew Bentley, Owayne Gordon

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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The Fan

Councilperson Jordan hosting last 2nd District meeting of 2022 tonight

Topics of the virtual meeting include a 2023 General Assembly preview, infrastructure and crime updates, and details on the city’s forthcoming short-term rental and accessory dwelling unit changes.

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From Councilperson Jordan’s office:

Our last Second District community meeting of the year is tonight! Join our office, neighbors, and guest presenters at 6pm via Zoom for:

  • 2023 General Assembly preview from Delegate Betsy Carr
  • Public Safety updates from the Richmond Police Department
  • Second District infrastructure updates from Department of Public Works staff
  • Updates on the short term rentals, accessory dwelling units, and parking minimums zoning changes process from Planning Department staff

You can join the Zoom meeting (no pre-registration required) via this link, and check out and share the Facebook event here.

Not able to make it tonight? Send any questions or comments you have to us ahead of time by email, and we’ll address them during the meeting. A full recording of the meeting will be posted to our YouTube channel.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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Community

Toy Drive at WPA

Buy a treat for yourself and donate a toy for someone else.

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Just saw this on Facebook and thought the good folks of H&H might pitch in to help some kids.

WPA Facebook

Hello WPA family! We are hosting a toy drive to support a local non profit @cc4virginia. Grab a treat and drop off a toy into Santa’s bag❤️💚 accepting donations up to 12/20/25
— at WPA Bakery.

Will you help support independent, local journalism?

We need your help. RVAHub is a small, independent publication, and we depend on our readers to help us provide a vital community service. If you enjoy our content, would you consider a donation as small as $5? We would be immensely grateful! Interested in advertising your business, organization, or event? Get the details here.

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