September 2024 Exhibits

Our 21st anniversary calls for cake and champagne—a great celebration of art in the community. Please join us on September 27th from 6 p.m. – 8 p.m. for the opening reception of new art shows. Meet the artists and enjoy live music, refreshments and libations sponsored by RVA Thriving Artists.

This month three artists present solo shows that delve into the subject matter of repetition—everything that ever was and still is (Joshua Leland Yurges), simple pleasures, snack food to charcuteries (Rebecca Visger), and enjoying the present—understanding that life is ever changing (Crystal James). And of course, the monthly All Media Show provides an array of different topics, styles and mediums by Virginia artists.

The opening reception and admission to the gallery is always free and open to the public.

What Once Was, Still Is, Just Different by Joshua Leland Yurges

Think about it. Everything that ever was on earth is still here—fascinating. The 130-140 million people born each year—all matter, changing shape—a constant evolution of material.

Joshua Leland Yurges asks us to consider two stories in his life: a young person working with his dad, everyday learning carpentry—the tools, the wood. Then 20 years later, working at Whole Foods—in the prepared food department baking bread in hotel pans and baking sheets.

A lady I worked with wanted the food to be cut in the pans the same way, every time, by everyone. After a few people failed to follow verbal direction, she drew a diagram for all employees to view and initial. Three cuts down, seven cuts across. 32 evenly cut pieces, every time. And this was the beginning of a series “32 Pieces of Pie” that I am still trying to get right 11 years later.

Yurges cites these instances because they both help feed his desire to create work that has a repetitive act. He enjoys the meditative process of pattern in the many ways it can manifest; stripes, a series of boxes, making the same cut five hundred times in a row.

Life is always providing material and ideas for me to use and expand upon. It is my job to see the spark, make the connection, and explore what could be. Never stop being curious.

Nothing is Static. Even the Mona Lisa is falling apart by Crystal James

Crystal James’ art delves into the themes of youth and beauty, food, and death.

Youth and beauty are often seen as synonymous, but beauty goes beyond the surface level. When depicting youthful subjects Crystal captures the essence of the subject’s innocence, curiosity, and wonder. Crystal celebrates the beauty that comes from living in the present moment, unencumbered by the weight of past experiences.

Death becomes a prominent theme in our lives as we grow older with an awareness of our own mortality. And food is a reminder of this reality; life is sweet but short. Through her art, Crystal explores the bittersweet nature of this cycle, celebrating the joy of food while acknowledging that we will not live forever.

Ultimately, Crystal’s art is a meditation on the impermanence of life, and the beauty that can be found in every stage of the journey. Through her depictions of youth, beauty, food, and death, she inspires viewers to be present in the moment, and to appreciate the beauty and complexity of the world around them.

Little Pleasures by Rebecca Visger

Rebecca Visger’s Little Pleasures is a series of acrylic still-life paintings that celebrate the pleasure of food and drinks. From gas-station snacks to artisanal cheese plates and charcuterie boards, these paintings showcase a range of indulgent foods that are not consumed for practical purposes but for pure enjoyment. The exhibit serves as a lighthearted reminder that sometimes it’s okay to indulge in the simple pleasures of life. The still-life paintings are largely realistic in style, but with playful subversions in composition, scale, and color scheme. We invite you to join us in this celebration of food and the joy it brings.

Alien Arrivals by RJ Barber

RJ Barber has always been a Sy-Fy fan and enjoys the idea of the Aliens as a Cultural phenomenon as much as a scientific reality. He started a project, Alien Arrivals cartoons when the COVID quarantine went into effect. It was a way for him to stay in touch with my friends. He mailed six original postcard designs each year to his mailing list. Barber enjoys the idea of retro artwork as Snail Mail and apparently so do others. For this exhibit there will be an interactive component where visitors will be able to mail postcards. He explains his inspiration and process:

H.G. Wells was the English Author who touched off the idea of Alien Invasions in popular culture in his 1896 novel, The War of the Worlds. Science Fiction really took off in America with the Roswell sightings in 1947. The government coverup probably did more to popularize the genre than any other factor. The introduction of the IPhone in 2007 meant that everyone had a camera with them and the number of sightings of UFOs exploded!

We haven’t had a revelation of the existence of the Aliens as in The Day the Earth Stood Still, but that hasn’t stopped the speculation on who or what the Aliens might be!

The inspiration for his drawings come from petroglyphs from all over the world, particularly the ones from the Australian Outback that depict the Dream Time of the indigenous peoples.

One set of rock paintings in Kimberly, Western Australia just spoke to me and would not leave my head. I drew them obsessively for two months until they morphed into my cartoons you see today. My premise is that the Aliens have been sent to try to figure out what these crazy Homo Sapiens are doing! The Aliens mean no harm, but they are agents of Chaos and wherever they appear, pandemonium ensues. Through the Aliens, I am able to comment on the human condition as a third-party observer. I have always been a storyteller and the artwork and the Adventures of the Lil’ Blue Aliens are linked together. I enjoy the ironic humor of the Aliens trying to make sense of human behavior as I hope you will too!

September 2024 All Media Show

This exhibit is a focal point of all Art Works’ openings. It is a juried show with cash prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place. The show is open to all artists and all mediums.

There is no theme for this exhibit, anything goes, any medium, any topic.