The Charlottesville community houses one of the country’s most robust collections of museums. Between partnerships with the University, the community and input from artists both foreign and domestic, Charlottesville is truly an artistic force with which to be reckoned. Each gallery has its own aesthetic, bringing in different kinds of experience and wonder. Here’s a snapshot of what you’ll find at a few of these galleries.
The Fralin Museum of Art features artwork from all media, but primarily paintings, portraits and sculptures. The Fralin also offers many opportunities for professors to bring their students in for viewings and classes, which is extremely convenient and close to Grounds. Currently on exhibition is “Cavalier Connect,” a collection featuring artwork from University alumni. A photography exhibition by American artist Sol LeWitt is also on display. The collection finishes with “Jacob Lawrence: Struggle… From the History of the American People,” which features work from the prominent African-American artist. The Fralin is geared toward those looking for artwork curated with an academic approach.
The McGuffey Art Center:
The McGuffey Art Center, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year and recently buried a 100-year time capsule, is another gallery that is quite close to the University community, located right off the Downtown Mall. The center is a staple in the community, providing many classes for all ages. Currently on display is an exhibit by the N.O.W.! Artist Collective, which features art from fourth-year studio art majors. The center offers community centered and contemporary art.
Located on the Downtown Mall, the 2nd Street Gallery is a gallery of the digital era. Taken from its mission statement, the 2nd Street Gallery seeks “to inspire new ways of thinking, seeing, and doing.” As such, the current exhibition “Beyond Classification” showcases work from a group of Egyptian women, commenting on their experiences both at home and abroad.
While there are many other galleries throughout Charlottesville, these three are standouts. Other galleries that are worth visiting, and that are quite close to Grounds, include the Glass Palette — a workshop-centric area for anyone interested in crafting with glass — and Arctic Inuit Art, located on Elliewood Avenue. A last notable mention is the C’ville Arts storefront located on the Downtown Mall, which features work from local artists.
Charlottesville has much to offer the arts community, whether from an academic approach or by pushing the boundaries of contemporary art. The prevalence of galleries provides a variety of experiences for residents and visitors alike.