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


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Friday, April 8, 2011

Richmond Rocks

Who says art is not affordable? It's good to see Richmond's tobacco infrastructure being repurposed for the arts.

I hadn’t really explored Richmond very much but my recent trip was a good introduction to the art scene there. There are some cool places

The main thing I realized is that it is a legitimate mid-sized city with all the cultural possibilities and interactions that status brings. Charlottesville, by contrast, is a small city—one that overachieves in a big way—but small nevertheless.

The biggest eye-opener was the Visual Arts Center—a gorgeous facility (better than any university I’ve seen) dedicated to community service through art instruction. It was abuzz with activity—in this case youth getting off the street and into the arts. It’s quite different from McGuffey that’s more about small but intense conversations.

Richmond boasts several first-rate galleries and refreshingly friendly compared to New York. The city is still small enough that everyone seems invested in growing the pie rather than dividing it up. There seems to be limitless studio space--much of it concentrated in the riotous Plant Zero | ArtWorks complex. The former was cool and the latter gave me artigo and made me appreciate McGuffey's curatorial filter.

There is plenty of funk—thrift shops, cafes, bookstores, quirky architecture—everything you would want. I was thinking about it on the drive home but I love where I am. You gotta love places (and people) for what they are and Charlottesville works for me.

It’s cool to know about this other interesting place down the road.

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