Friday, June 18, 2010

Still Running with Scissors

In my never-ending quest to check out the new and interesting in RVA, I went to the Off the Wall: Intersections of Art and Architecture opening tonight at the Virginia Center for Architecture.

Barboursville Winery was doing the pouring (always a good thing) so the crowd sipped as we investigated the new exhibit.

Because of the shift in how people view public art over the past forty or so years, there has been a change in what is being created and the line between art and architecture has blurred; artistic conventions have been questioned, resulting in a melding of the two.

From public squares to playgrounds, the exhibit showed how we've come to see architecture as art.

"Your Black Horizon Art Pavilion" was a fascinating installation consisting of a slotted entrance (overlooking water) to a pavilion which created patterns of natural light through which a visitor walks in order to get to the black box where a band of light mimicked the rhythms of the natural light patterns.

The art and architecture were read as one element. and it was very cool.

My other favorite was a proposal for last year's InLight exhibition.

Called "Tree Wraith," it appeared to be the shadow of a tree on the facade of the Greater Richmond Convention Center.

Solar cells delineated the tree and were used to collect energy during the day and emit it at night.

The name comes from the fact that an actual tree could not grow in this spot up against the building; in some ways, it suggested a memory of the trees lost to the construction of the convention center.

I wish it had been executed because it added a humanistic element to that behemoth of a building on Broad Street.

Afterwards, I met up with a a friend and we walked over to Bistro 27 for a meal because she had a craving for their calamari with polenta.

A handsome nearby barsitter was eating a Caesar salad with grilled shrimp and it looked so appealing (as did he) that I ordered it.

It's not something I ever order, as evidenced by Dave bringing it over and setting it down in front of my friend.

When we pointed out the mix-up, he glared at me. "Since when do you order a salad for dinner?"

Never, I had to admit, but that doesn't mean that I can't change things up occasionally. It happens.

Our primary purpose in getting together had been to hear live music at Six Burner tonight and we weren't the only ones.

My bar stool of choice was occupied when we arrived, so we made do with a table until the bar cleared out some and then moved over, the better to chat with the staff and not be blown out by the speakers.

Bartender Josh delivered the CDs he'd promised me last weekend, told me why I'd like them and guaranteed a good show.

The crowd started out noisy, chatting over opener Kevin, but quieting down for singer/songwriter Eric Manwiller; he had an excellent singing voice which seemed to capture the audience's attention, even with all the beer being poured.

Favorite lyric: "I ain't running with scissors no more."

Personally, I haven't made that commitment yet (perhaps that's part of my problem).

But Josh, Eric's producer, had been right on the money about this guy and we couldn't resist leaving with the CD.

We made one final stop at Balliceaux because Amazing Ghost was playing and they never disappoint.

I'm happy to say we arrived in time to hear them cover "Born in the USA" and while it's a few days past Flag Day, it was rousing (and unexpected) nonetheless.

As usual, the audience was full of local musicians, so there were plenty of interesting people to talk to, even if my favorite bartender was absent (but then I knew he would be).

From tree wraiths to the Boss in eight hours. What a strange, full evening it's been.


  1. as opposed to the boring sit around evenings watching tv that you usually do? haha
    once again, thx for sharing your stories-i always end up wishing i was there!

  2. I'd have to have a TV to do that, now wouldn't I rhoneranger?
    And you're welcome. Thanks for reading.