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Archive for the ‘Arts’ Category

5 Artsy Things to Do and See in 2014

by Casey | Posted on January 15th, 2014

The arts are alive and thriving this year in Virginia. Here are the top 5 places and things you need to see to round out 2014 – your year of art.

Brock Gallery, Chrysler Museum of Art

Brock Gallery, pre-expansion, Chrysler Museum of Art

1. After an extensive, 16-month expansion and enhancement campaign, the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk reopens its doors on May 10, 2014. Of note are upgraded heating and cooling to be more green and efficient, a greatly enlarged exhibit hall for glass and contemporary art, new galleries for American and European painting and sculpture, a bigger cafe area, Wi-Fi in every gallery, improved accessibility, traffic flow, and parking.

Watch For:

  • In the Box – “An intimate first-floor space dedicated to contemporary works in the digital realm,” is brand new to the Chrysler and will welcome four exhibits before the end of 2014.
  • Weitzer Community Gallery – You be the curator when your votes help to determine the pieces exhibited. Voting occurs online until February 26, 2014. Vote
  • 70 Years of Smokey Bear – This exhibit will go on display in August and will contain 19 works by Virginia artist Rudy Wendelin of Arlington. Wendelin “depicted the friendly firefighting bear with the ranger hat and shovel for four decades, and is often credited with immortalizing him in pop culture history.”

2. In October 2014, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond will welcome nearly 200 pieces from the Palace Museum in Beijing, China entitled, “Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures From the Palace Museum, Beijing”. The exhibition will include pieces from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. In exchange, VMFA will be the first museum in the United States to exhibit pieces in the Palace Museum, the most attended museum in the world with more than 11 million visitors annually.

3. From a musical point of view, celebrate 40 years of old time, country, and bluegrass music on stage at Carter Family Fold in Hiltons. Operational as a non-profit since 1974, the Fold acts as a tribute to the original Carter family (A.P. Carter, Sara Carter, and Maybelle Carter). The Carter family’s 1927 recordings are credited with launching the country music industry as we know it today.

If the name Carter sounds familiar to you and the paragraph above is not the reason why, perhaps June Carter Cash rings a bell? June was the daughter of Maybelle Carter and followed in her mother’s footsteps, performing with her sisters as the Carter Sisters, as well as the likes of Elvis Presley and her husband, Johnny Cash. June was a Grammy award-winning musician who passed away in 2003.

To get a feel for performances at Carter Family Fold, check out the Carter Fold Sessions embedded below.

4. Attend an arts festival. Pick one! Here are five good ones that should be on your list of contenders.

Spring: Virginia Arts Festival, Various Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads Cities
April 18-19: Easter Decoy & Art Festival, Chincoteague
April 27-28: Virginia Hot Glass Festival, Staunton
May 23-25: Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, Martinsville
June 12-15: Boardwalk Art Show & Festival, Virginia Beach

5. The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton is the world’s only recreation of William Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse. If you’ve yet to experience a performance at Blackfriars, you’re missing out. Especially since 2014 would be William Shakespeare’s 450th birth year! Celebrate with cake, music, games, and more on April 20, 2014.

What would you add to the Virginia arts #BucketList for 2014? Leave a comment to let us all know.

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Book Now! 15 Summer Travel Deals & Packages

by Casey | Posted on July 22nd, 2013

If you have a few days to get away and are looking to save a few bucks, too, this list is for you. Happy travels!

Accommodation Deals

SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

SpringHill Suites, Virginia Beach

Lynchburg – Care to make a deal? Email The Carriage House Inn Bed and Breakfast, pitch them an offer they can’t refuse and within 48 hours they’ll reply to say ‘deal’ or ‘no deal.’ They’re looking for a per night rate for a stay of two nights or longer. Good luck! Valid through December 29.

Newport News – Stay at the Marriott Newport News at City Center and your kids (up to four of them, ages 12 and under) eat free – breakfast, lunch and dinner.  Valid through September 8.

Pearisburg – Book two nights at the Inn at Riverbend and take 50% off your third night. The Inn overlooks the New River and Appalachian Mountains. Don’t miss this offer! Valid through July 31. Book Now with offer code IARBSSM13.

Stephens City – Book a stay for any Sunday through Thursday (non-holiday) between now and December 19 at The Inn at Vaucluse Spring and receive 20% off the regular rate.

Virginia Beach – SpringHill Suites (oceanfront) invites you to stay three nights or longer and they’ll knock $25 off the daily rate. Breakfast is included. Book Now

Warm Springs – Celebrate your birthday by going away! Stay at the Meadow Villas at Warm Springs ON your birthday and get a second night for 30% off. Call 717-951-3955 to make a reservation. Valid through December 20.

Waynesboro – Receive 20% off your second and/or third night when you stay midweek (Tuesday-Thursday) at Tree Streets Inn. Valid through August 29.

North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

North Mountain Outfitters, Swoope, VA

Attraction Deals

Charlottesville – Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello should be on everyone’s history #bucketlist. If it’s on yours, you’re going to love this. Teenagers (ages 12 to 18) receive a 33% discount on their ticket between now and September 2. Adult rate: $24; children 6 to 11: $8; children 6 and under: free.

Manassas – Civil War enthusiasts (or those just getting started with Civil War history) will appreciate a $15 Civil War Experience Pass that gives you entrance to six historic sites. It’s a 50% savings over single admissions for each site. Valid through December 31.

Swoope – North Mountain Outfitters is offering half-day guided trail rides for two for 50% off between now and September 30. Whether it’s your first time or you’re an accomplished rider, you’ll love what you find. Reservations required. Call 540-886-7768.

Williamsburg – Boo! Creep along on a Spooks and Legends Original Haunted Tour of Williamsburg a bit cheaper. Tell them you saw their deal on Virginia.org and they’ll discount each ticket by $2. Note, this tour is is geared toward adults. Call 757-784-6213 to make your reservation. Valid through December 31.

Packages: Stay and Enjoy!

Lynchburg – August is Virginia Craft Beer Month and the Virginia Craft Brewers Festival will be held August 24. Want to go? Need a place to stay? The Craddock Terry Hotel is offering a two-night stay for two with festival admission, tasting glasses, tasting tickets, and transportation to and from the festival. Must be 21 or older. Package starts at $249. Valid August 23-25. Book Now

Pembroke – Stay three nights at Mountain Lake Lodge and get the fourth night free, but better than that is you’ll also receive a $100 activities credit to enjoy all of the family fun Mountain Lake has to offer. BRAND NEW: Treetop Adventures Aerial Adventure Course * Harvest Restaurant * Stony Creek Tavern * Mountain Lake Outfitters
Valid through September 7. Book Now

Richmond – Love jazz? Stay at The Jefferson Hotel August 9-11 and enjoy the Richmond Jazz Festival as part of your stay. Two tickets for each day of the festival, a traditional Southern breakfast for two each morning and three nights in luxury for $305/night. Book Now

Virginia Beach – Stay at The Oceanfront Inn and receive the pin that gets you into all of the American Music Festival concerts during Labor Day weekend. A three-night stay is required. Valid August 30 through September 2.

And these aren’t all! Find dozens more deals at Virginia.org.

 



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Shakespeare and Chalk: Virginia’s Art Festivals

by Casey | Posted on July 8th, 2013

The excellent thing about art is that it comes in so many forms. Dance, drama, music, oil on canvas … and chalk. Another excellent thing about art is that Virginia has festivals dedicated to its many forms. Here are seven for your calendar consideration.

Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion, Virginia Beach

Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion, Virginia Beach

Chalk the Walk ARTsplosion takes over three blocks of the Virginia Beach boardwalk this Saturday, July 13. With the theme “50 Years of Fun in the Sun,” a nod to the 50th anniversary of the City of Virginia Beach, 200 artists will focus their chalk creations on Virginia Beach’s rich heritage and its prominence as a beach community.

Expect to see kids age 12 to 16 compete against each other while amateurs and pros chalk it out in their respective divisions. Trophies and cash prizes are up for grabs. The best news? There’s no entry fee! The Boardwalk (16th-18th Streets) is your canvas as long as you have the chalk and a bright idea. Note: Children 11 and younger will have a separate area to chalk their own walk.

The Virginia Shakespeare Festival is held on the campus of the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg. Three Shakespeare works are performed over six weeks giving fans of the Bard ample time to immerse themselves in Elizabethan dramatic arts. While one play has passed, two remain. Get your tickets for The Tragedy of King Richard III (July 11-14, 17-21) and Turn of the Screw (July 25-28, July 31-August 4).

More Shakespeare

Clarksville will host the annual Virginia Lake Festival July 18-20. Jam-packed with family fun, this festival has been recognized as an annual “Top 20 Event” by Southeast Tourism Society for many years. Tethered hot air balloon rides kick off the event that will include sand sculpting and blocks of artisans and crafters. Antique cars, helicopter rides, hot air balloon flights, and a great variety of food are why nearly 100,000 people flock to this festival each year.

Virginia Lake Festival, Clarksville

Virginia Lake Festival, Clarksville

A juried show of more than 100 artisans, the Hungry Mother Arts and Crafts Festival is held each year at Hungry Mother State Park in Marion. Make your way there Friday, July 19, where the festival is happening from 10 until 6.

Main Street Lexington shuts down August 24 for the annual Rockbridge Community Festival. This is the 37th annual festival where you can expect to find artisans offering wreaths, photography, paintings, woodcrafts, and much more. Live music and plenty of food vendors will help you spend the day.

Nearly 100 artists from New York to Florida display at the Seawall Art Show in Portsmouth. Come out either Saturday or Sunday, August 24 or 25 to browse and/or buy an amazing selection of artwork. Expect to see oils, acrylics, watercolors, pastels, photography, pottery, stained glass, baskets, jewelry and more.

The Chinquapin Festival takes place just off the Blue Ridge Parkway in Meadows of Dan every Labor Day weekend, September 1-3. There you’ll find fun fall-themed arts and crafts like gourd birdhouses and cornhusk dolls. There is no admission fee unless you want to try out the Corn Acoustics Corn Maze!

Plan for Fall: Fall Arts Festivals

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The Trail of the Lonesome Pine Celebrates 50 Years

by Casey | Posted on June 7th, 2013

If you’re looking for a little bit of heritage and nostalgia, as well as a way to be included in something as notable as the 50th anniversary of the longest continually running outdoor drama in Virginia, head to Big Stone Gap this summer.

The Trial of the Lonesome Pine logoThe Trail of the Lonesome Pine is an outdoor drama based on the novel by John Fox, Jr. that tells of a sweet Appalachian girl and a handsome miner. As the brochure puts it,

“This is a musical drama that depicts the story of the great boom in Southwest Virginia when the discovery of coal and iron ore forced the lusty, proud mountain people into making many drastic changes in their way of life.”

Mark one weekend this summer (maybe June 21, opening weekend?) to adventure to the June Tolliver Playhouse for this, the official Outdoor Drama of Virginia.

  • Rates: $15/Adult; $12/Senior 55 and older; $8/child aged 6-12; $8/person in a group of 15 or more
  • Show Times: Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings with the box office opening at 7 p.m. and pre-show performances from 7:15 to 7:45 p.m.

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LOVE Handcrafted Art? We’ve Got Trails for That.

by Casey | Posted on May 6th, 2013

Virginia’s artisan trails are rich with history and beauty, and I’m not just talking about the stunning drive that gets you where you’re going. Regional flavor is highlighted in meticulously woven, painted, hammered, thrown and blown pieces. Every stained glass has a story to tell, as does every hand carved wooden treasure.

Marty Dunn, an artisan at Cave Arts in Abingdon, VA.Virginia’s largest artisan network is ‘Round the Mountain, connecting 19 counties and four cities’ worth of studios, galleries, craft venues, farms, vineyards and other creative points of interest via 15 trails. More than 400 artisans and craftspeople are represented, with Heartwood: Southwest Virginia’s Artisan Gateway in Abingdon serving as the primary entry point.

In Nelson and Albemarle Counties, travel the Monticello Artisan Trail for an engaging, authentic experience with farmers and artisans of all kinds.

The HeART and Soil of the Shenandoah Valley includes artisans preserving traditional crafts and exploring modern innovations in Staunton, Augusta and Waynesboro, while the Western Highlands Artisan Trail takes you into Alleghany, Bath, Craig and Highland Counties for unique Appalachian cultural experiences.

Enjoy these artisan trail adventures for genuinely charming interactions and a great sense of Virginia hospitality. You’re truly going to LOVE what you find. Shall we sweeten the pot? Go ahead and enter to win one of three exclusive vacations to experience Southwest Virginia’s artisan trails, unique places to stay and more.

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