Monticello Road is a community arts project in Charlottesville, Virginia. Through photography and a series of public events and conversations, we explore how an art can be an essential, integral and everyday part of a healthy community.

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Sunday, January 2, 2011


Public Art can mean many things beyond statues in traffic circles.

One of the coolest things about being a McGuffey artist is that it places me right in the heart of the Charlottesville art scene. Its central location, large number of artists and open-door environment and long history mean that McGuffey plays a really important part in the region’s cultural development. As part of the Community Relations team I get to be very active that way.

One of our main forms of outreach is our Spotlight series. This year, it will be a series of open, round-room conversations about ways to enliven the arts scene. Charlottesville is an amazing place full of interesting people with visionary ideas and big accomplishments. Yet to judge strictly by its visual appearance, it could seem like a very sedate place.

When I was having coffee with Mayor Dave hashing out the details of the Buy Art Give Art campaign, he challenged us—the arts community—to find a way to get more visual art into the daily lives of residents, and to do so in a way that is visible to visitors. Spotlight will be a forum to get the conversation going.

There will be four monthly sessions, each looking at a different form of public visual culture:

Official Public Art
Wednesday, February 16 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
The City wants more public art and artists want more public art. What can we as a creative community do to make it happen? [info]

Unofficial Public Art
Wednesday, March 16, 2011 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
What are the benefits of and barriers to more “unofficial” public art? [info]

Radical Personal Expression
Wednesday, April 20, 2011 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
Body Art, Wearable Art, Yard Art, and Art Cars. [info]

From Pocket Party to Fringe Festival
Wednesday, May 18, 2011 · 7:00pm - 9:00pm
What opportunities exist for wider artistic collaborations and celebrations in the public sphere? [info]

We’re not here to give answers, lecture anyone, nor simply complain. Our goal is to bring people with new ideas together to inspire one another and to form alliances. If some kind of creative collaboration comes out of every session, it will be a success.

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