Arts & Extras: Art By Night map reflects multiple gallery changes
Tuesday, February 26, 2013
With all the changes that have occurred to Roanoke’s Art by Night gallery tour lineup this past year, coordinator Suzun Hughes of the Wilson Hughes Gallery has put together a new brochure that doubles as a downtown gallery guide.
I’m sharing the new map here (on Page 3) in advance of the last Art by Night of 2012. The event runs 5 to 9 p.m. Friday, coinciding with the first night of Dickens of a Christmas, which runs from 6 to 10 p.m.
The new map reflects the loss of several galleries this year. GalerieFrancois II and Troutville artist Claudia de Franko’s Gala Studio were shut down by the sale of Crystal Tower, while across the street three studios in 110 Campbell Ave. S.W. were forced to leave after the city condemned the building in April. The artists in the co-op Gallery 108, a fixture in the downtown art scene for 11 years, will disband at the end of the month.
Many of the artists displaced by these changes, however, will be returning in studio spaces that have reopened in 202 Market Square Gallery above 202 Market restaurant and Studios in the Square at 126 Campbell Ave. S.W.
Two studios on the map still remain in flux. One Block East Gallery in the old Shenandoah Hotel at 128 Campbell Ave. S.E., owned by Center in the Square, has to move at the end of the year to make room for the new Roanoke Symphony Orchestra offices.
Co-owner Debbie Stump wrote in an email that the gallery intends to stay downtown. They might simply move into the adjacent space that will be vacated when the History Museum of Western Virginia moves back into Center’s main building by the Market Square on Campbell. “That will allow us to double our space, which would be great.” She said the gallery is also considering another building on Market Street.
At present, the tour’s most unusual offering, Roanoke artist Gerry Hubert’s POParazzi Studio/Gallery, is homeless. Hubert established himself by painting Lady Gaga portraits before moving on to other pop culture icons, then to paintings of Old Southwest neighborhood scenes.
He temporarily moved POParazzi to a Campbell Avenue site in October after its location at 36 Kirk Ave. S.W. closed for renovations. Since then, the temporary location has been rented out. Hubert said he hopes to move back into his Kirk Avenue spot when it become available but he’s not sure when that will be. “I’m playing it by ear.”
The other members of Art by Night are the Taubman Museum of Art, Liminal: Alternative Artspace, LinDor Arts, The Market Gallery and Signature 9 Gallery.
New brochures will be available in the galleries, Hotel Roanoke, and the Roanoke Valley Convention & Visitors Bureau. For more information, visit roanokeartbynight.com.
PechaKucha Night looks like it’s here to stay, at least for another year.
In a “pechakucha” event — a name from the Japanese word for “sound of chit-chat” — speakers are allowed to give a PowerPoint presentation on any topic, though the presentation must conform to a rigid format. You may use only 20 slides, and you may spend only 20 seconds speaking about each slide, which limits each presenter to six minutes and 40 seconds onstage.
David Verde, organizer of PechaKucha Southwest Virginia, originally PechaKucha Roanoke, brought the hip international phenomenon to the region, officially endorsed by pecha-kucha.com with an agreement that he would hold four sessions. (Full disclosure — I participated in the third, held Sept. 5 at the Lyric Theatre in Blacksburg.)
The final Southwest Virginia PechaKucha Night of 2012 takes place 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at The Water Heater, 813 Fifth St. S.W. in Roanoke. Tickets are $5 at the door. Advance tickets $3, students $2, can be ordered at www.eventsbot.com/events/eb234345488.
Verde, who also maintains the Style Street blog for The Roanoke Times, wrote in an email that he’s set to hold four more next year, two in Roanoke and two in the New River Valley, and that he’s hoping to get more volunteers involved in 2013.
He also hopes to arrange a “PechaKucha Party Bus” that will further help the Roanoke and New River Valley crowds mesh. “The ticket price will be a bit higher to cover the transportation cost, but it will include the round trip, a complementary drink on the ride to PechaKucha and their ticket into PechaKucha Night itself,” Verde wrote.
The first PechaKucha of the new year will take place March 27 in Christiansburg, followed by a June 5 session in Roanoke and a Sept. 18 event in Blacksburg. The final 2013 PechaKucha takes places December 2013 in either Roanoke or Salem.
For more information, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
“Klaus,” a dark comedy about the origin of Santa Claus by Botetourt County playwright and Roanoke Times Senior Editor Dwayne Yancey, had originally been scheduled to be performed this month at now-defunct Studio Roanoke. Publicity materials describe it as “set in the 1740s in England,” involving “a treasonous plot against the king. It’s G rated, but not for small children.”
If the concept piqued your curiosity, you can still catch it on stage.
“Klaus” will be performed 6 p.m. Dec. 16 as a stage reading on the June M. McBroom Theater stage at Community High School, 302 Campbell Ave. S.E., as part of the Discovery Reading Series of full-length plays run by the Hollins Playwright’s Lab. Chicago playwright Cheryl Snodgrass will direct.
The reading is free. For more information, call 556-5396 or visit the Discovery Reading Series on Facebook.
Betty Branch gallery
Roanoke sculptor Betty Branch will be holding open house hours for the Betty Branch Sculpture Studio & Gallery at 123 Norfolk Ave. S.W. from 2 to 6 p.m. Friday through Dec. 17 . Family members and artists Patrick Branch, Sally Grace Branch, Polly Randel Branch and Bonny Branch also will show work. For more information, call 344-4994.
On the Arts blog
Roanoke’s Gamut Theatre is bravely tackling one of the most difficult plays in modern theater, Samuel Beckett’s “Waiting for Godot.” Auditions take place 2 p.m. Dec. 15 and 7 p.m. Dec. 17. For more information, visit the Arts & Extras blog at blogs.roanoke.com/arts.
Weather JournalStarting to look a lot like summer