Category Archives: events

RVA Holiday Shopping + Events


Photo by Sarah Walor

Last week I kicked off my holiday shopping, which is a huge feat, considering every year I wait until last minute. R•Home Magazine held its annual Embellish holiday party at Williams & Sherrill with local makers like Mother Shrub, Bear Ceramics, Drift / Riot and Tulip & Bear. I loaded up with all sorts of goodies for friends and family (and maybe for myself, too).

While shopping, it reminded me how special Richmond is because of its local artisans and businesses. With Amazon and other websites as my go-to, sometimes I forget to stop and support RVA during the holidays. After all, isn’t that what the holidays are about — giving back and showing love to our neighbors?

While in the holiday spirit, I compiled a little list of fun shopping and holiday events in and around Richmond. Mark your calendars and grab your friends and family for these fun yuletide happenings.

xo, marissa


Photos by Nikki Santerre

Tart Event Co. Holiday Wrap Bash

WHAT: Tart Event Co.‘s giant gift wrapping party. (View photos of last year’s fun here.)
WHEN: Sunday, Dec. 11, 11 a.m. – 2 p.m.
WHERE: Paisley & Jade‘s warehouse in Scott’s Addition @ 3119 W. Moore St.
WHY GO: Because wrapping presents with your friends is fun and is the perfect way to get into the holiday spirit! There will beautiful paper and craft supplies so you can personalize each gift.
RSVP: Tickets are on sale now!


Wreath Workshop with Photosynthesis Florals

WHAT: DIY floral design class with Photosynthesis Floral Design
WHEN: Tuesday, Dec. 6, 6 to 9 p.m.
WHERE: Paisley & Jade‘s warehouse in Scott’s Addition @ 3119 W. Moore St.
WHY GO: I took this workshop last year and it was a blast. We made two kinds of wreaths — a lush wreath and a minimalist wreath. Make one for yourself and give the other to a friend. This is a good way to get in the holiday spirit, while creating something beautiful.
RSVP: Purchase your class via Photosynthesis’s site


Dear Neighbor Grand Opening

WHAT: Dear Neighbor is a fabulous gift shop that will be opening its doors just in time for holiday shopping.
WHEN: BLACK FRIDAY! How perfect, right?!
WHERE: In Church Hill @ 2416 Jefferson Ave.
WHY: This new gift shop has a curated array of gifts from local jewelers to other makers from far off places.
STAY TUNED — Follow the shop on Instagram for updates on opening events.

andrea-donnelly-scarfCraft + Design Show

WHAT: Visual Art Center of Richmond‘s annual high-end craft show
WHEN: Friday, Nov. 18 – Sunday, Nov. 20
WHERE: Science Museum of Virginia @ 2500 W. Broad St.
WHY: In its 52nd year, this craft show is a one-stop shop for unique gifts made by artists from here in Richmond and around the country.
RSVP: Buy your tickets via VisArts


Moore + Gile’s Holiday Pop-up Shop at Ledbury

WHAT: Ledbury will host Lynchburg-based luxury leather bag + accessory maker Moore & Giles for a holiday pop-up shop
WHEN: Wednesday, Nov. 16 kick-off party, 5 to 8 p.m. (w/ goods for sale through the end of November + Black Friday weekend)
WHERE: Ledbury’s brand-new flagship store in downtown Richmond @ 315 W. Broad St.
WHY GO: Because supporting local is important, and Moore + Gile’s is a badass company. Also, during the kick-off party, Mattias Hagglund will be mixing Bulleit cocktails. (YUM!)
RSVP: More info on their Facebook event page.


And a few other things to keep on your radar this season . . .

QUIRK GALLERY trunk shows — A perfect opportunity for purchasing unique and beautiful gifts

PHARSALIA holiday workshops — From ornament-crafting to wreath-making, these workshops are ideal for those who like to embrace the holidays surrounded by crafts and nature.

STUDIO TWO THREE print workshops — Tis the season at Studio Two Three with fun classes like Holiday Photogram. The art center’s gift shop is a great option for cards and gifts too.

Richmond’s CURRENT Art Fair: Build Your Art Collection


PREFACE: As a journalist I love transparency, so I must let you know that I have been helping out CURRENT Art Fair with its public relations, social media and marketing. So, in a sense, I am biased. But, I would totally write about the art fair even if I wasn’t involved, because it is THAT cool. 

Not going to lie: buying art is intimidating. As a semi-artistic person who has worked in the visual arts world and whose mother is a trained artist, I still feel nervous when purchasing art. Aesthetically I know what I like, and what pieces excite and inspire me. But something about the purchasing process has always scared me. Perhaps it’s because I’m not an artist; I feel like I can’t fully appreciate the piece since I don’t understand what went into creating it. Or, maybe I feel that as a young person I can’t have nice things. Who knows. Over the years I’ve unnecessarily made myself feel insecure about buying art, and as of late I’m realizing that is just silly.

Two years ago we bought our first house, and in those two years not much has been hung on the walls. I’ve blame this on our plaster walls (and attempting to be a minimalist). But, in reality, it might just be me holding out, waiting for a situation to present itself.

That situation has presented itself: next week Richmond will welcome its first contemporary art fair, CURRENT. For those of you who aren’t involved in the arts scene, successful national/international art fairs include the likes of Affordable Art Fair, Armory Show, Art Basel,  Art on Paper, Frieze Art Fair, and Pulse Art Fair. Compared to those art fairs, CURRENT is a baby, just entering into the big, bright art fair circuit. In its first year, CURRENT involves seven contemporary Richmond galleries — 1708, ADA, Candela, Glave Kocen, Page Bond, Reynolds and Quirk. The galleries all have a unique perspective, showing a variety of artists and works, which makes their unity so dynamic, giving CURRENT a strong synergy.

Richmond’s new art fair isn’t just for knowledgeable art collectors, but newbies too. CURRENT is a great opportunity for young people who are just starting their art collection to purchase exciting pieces. As someone who has just started a collection at home, the chance to view a range of pieces from local, national and international artists is such a gift. (And, honestly, it’s a great opportunity for not just Richmond, but our region.)

Art events like CURRENT are the perfect opportunity to throw yourself into a new environment and educate yourself. You can pepper gallery owners with questions about the artists and their processes without feeling silly. The gallery owners and managers behind CURRENT are very passionate and excited about spreading their knowledge, welcoming newcomers to the art world.

And now for a little background info about the event …

Local art philanthropists, collectors, and CURRENT advisory board members Pam and Bill Royall commissioned Shepard Fairey, renowned contemporary street artist, graphic designer, and activist to design the logo for CURRENT (see above image). Playing off the fair’s name — a nod to the nearby James River, the idea of the new, and the notion of an electric spark — Fairey created a graphic inspired by the landmark TV tower on Broad Street that is located mere blocks from the art fair.

CURRENT kicks off Thursday, Oct. 20 with a preview party at Hohman Design in Scott’s Addition. The party is an opportunity for collectors to get a sneak peek at artwork and purchase in advance. (If you have your eye on a piece, this is the time to mark your territory!) I’ll be there looking at pieces to buy / catching up with friends, so if you go, say, “hi!” The art fair runs Friday, Oct. 21 through Sunday, Oct. 23. For more details on the fair — times, food and beer info, extracurricular events, etc., click on over to

And now for the fun part of the blog post — a few pieces that will be featured at the event …


“The inspiration of my work is an ever-ricocheting attention span, resulting in a worldview constructed with pop culture, public radio, punk rock, and conspiracy theories,” writes artist Andrew Kozlowski, of his work. “Often my works on paper engage in oblique conversations through their placement, utilizing the process of closure and the language of comics to generate narratives, as well as considering traditional print media and its relationship to the multiples that litter our landscapes.” • Monolith screen print, 13 x 10 inches via 1708 Gallery

bruce_wilhelm_trippels_blue_tape_72_l2Richmond native Bruce Wilhelm is known for exploring new ways of making art — from his animated paintings using homemade video players to his take on British sporting paintings. This particular piece from the series “Trippels” was created using layers on layers of paint and peeling away masking tape, revealing an entirely new, surprise painting underneath. Bruce received his MFA at the Rhode Island School of Design, his BFA at Virginia Commonwealth University, and has been exhibiting with ADA Gallery in Richmond since 2005. He’s received the VMFA Fellowship for Painting in both 2004 and 2006.  • Trippels: Blue Ribbon, acrylic on canvas, 26.25 x 21.25 inches, 2016

Alyssa SalomanANIMAL LAND is a new project by visual artist Alyssa C. Salomon in collaboration with Virginia Commonwealth University, and Anne Wright, director of Environmental Outreach at the Rice Rivers Center. The series shines light on the wildlife dwellings among tamed and untamed habitats threaded along the James River in Central Virginia. The images primarily draw on night-vision infrared stills collected in the James River Park System and are made using 19th century photographic printmaking processes. • EK000183 2015-11-30 JRP, by Alyssa Salomon, in collaboration with Anne Wright, Science in the Park, and VCU Rice Rivers Center. 16.75 x 16.75 inches, Van dyke photo emulsion on kozo-abaca paper, waxed via Candela Books & Gallery 















“All my work is rooted in nature or in natural phenomena, like wind or *currents* or waves,” Sue Heatley says of her art. “For me, it’s really important that art doesn’t hit you in the face with its meaning. You have to come to it as a viewer and make your own sense out of it.” • Blue Creeper, Rust Ripple, Moss Grainrelief print on Sekishu paper, 18 1/4 x 17 3/4 inches, limited edition Monotype via Glave Kocen Gallery


“I am passionate about challenging preconceived notions of the shared human experience and eroding the conventionally assigned racial archetypes'” says artist S. Ross Browne. “To that end in [the Self Evident Truths] series I examine the possible in the perceived introspections and shared history of my subjects in classical pictorial representations using delineations of factual chronicles and imagined mythology. Using portraiture replete with persuasive imagery that defies the common visual library, I make conduit for communication and an instigator of discourse.” • Princess______ IV, 2016, oil on clapboard, 12 x 12 inches via Page Bond Gallery


Suzanna Fields’ spring show at Quirk Gallery, titled “Inside Out”, had an amazing response and those who came to view her work were fascinated by her unique and complex processes of extruding, pouring, dripping, spraying, cutting, and drawing with paint and ink. “An intermingling of high and low, contemplation and spontaneity, my work mixes wonder with ebullience, persistence and unease,” she says. • Chasing The Feeling, detail, ink and acrylic on synthetic paper, 48 by 60 inches via Quirk Gallery

“There is a modesty in Freed’s work — not of ambition but of presentation — that is like the spread of light in certain Renaissance paintings. One doesn’t know where it come from, but it is everywhere, enlightening, leaving us, somehow, more room to look in, a seduction of sorts that eschews excess,” writes Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Charles Wright, of Virginia artist David Freed’s work • Rain I; etching, woodblock, and pastel on paper; 9.5 x 12.5 inches via Reynolds Gallery

Isca Greenfield-Sanders exhibit at Reynolds Gallery

Dunes, mixed media oil on canvas, 2015, 63 x 63 inches

New York-based artist Isca Greenfield-Sanders will be exhibiting her contemporary paintings, watercolors, and drawings in the exhibit Balance Point at Reynolds Gallery Sept. 9 through Oct. 28, 2016. An opening reception will be held at the gallery Friday, Sept. 9 from 7 to 9 p.m.

Painted in subtle hues, Greenfield-Sanders’ ethereal watercolors of American experiences — beach trips, the sea, summer camp — have a washed-out quality to them, playing on the concept of fleeting time and hazy memories. Greenfield-Sanders blends elements of time through paint, manipulating memory, vision, and historical art practices. 

Dock Girls, mixed media oil on canvas, 35 x 35 inches

Greenfield-Sanders’ process is almost like that of memory — as each image is recollected, details fade.

“The integrity of memory is diminished the more you recall it. As you think about something over and over, you infuse it with details that did not exist. This relates to how I make my work,” Greenfield-Sanders says. “I drag the original image through different incarnations but by keeping the photographic scaffold, my viewers read it as within the realm of the real. Yet each turn I’m eroding the photographic information.” 

Bucket Beach, mixed media oil on canvas, 35 x 35 inches

ARTISTIC PROCESS: The artist transforms found slides from the ’50s and ’60s by scanning and gridding them, and then applying layers of watercolor, colored pencil, or oil paint.

“The resulting painting blends photographic and painted elements to reimagine scenes of beach vacations or Nantucket outings. With fuzzy figures and muddled blues, her painted imagery evokes a nostalgic air that tugs at the viewer’s memory and perception.” – Reynolds Gallery

To learn more about about the artist, visit

Craft + Design Show in RVA

VisArts2015-CD-RVAMag-Full PageMark your calendars for the annual Craft + Design Show on the weekend of Nov. 21 + 22. The Visual Art Center of Richmond‘s annual craft show features nearly 60 artists from around the country and their beautiful pieces of work — hand-crafted wooden furniture, sculptural metalwork, vibrant glass and ceramics, one-of-a-kind pieces of jewelry, and much more.

While the annual fine craft show brings in crafts people from across the nation, it also hosts several artists local to the Richmond area — Marie Chamblin, Tom Chenoweth, Ignatius Creegan, Andrea Donnelly, George Garrett, Ryan Gothrup, Lora Hart, Kyle Lucia, Kate O’Rourke, Donna Silvestri, Cathy Vaughn, and Jeff Vick.

I’m coordinating the marketing/advertising/public relations for this year’s show, and have to say it’s a fabulous event.

A few other cool things about this year’s craft show: there will be beer tastings from Ardent, Hardwood, and Strangeways breweries. You also can count on wine tastings and food from Alamo BBQ. During the craft show, teachers and artists from VisArts will give live demonstrations of the different types of arts and crafts represented at the show.

Saturday, Nov. 21:
Rise + Shine Breakfast, 9:30-11 a.m.
General Admission, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Sunday, Nov. 22:
General Admission, 11 a.m.-5 p.m.

Rise + Shine Breakfast: $25
General Admission: $10
Tasting + Admission*: $20
Full Pour of Beer or Wine*: $6
Tasting Pour (4 4oz for beer, 4 2oz for wine)*: $10
*Purchase on site at event

Hope you can make it out to the show! You can learn more about the show and buy your tickets here.

xo, marissa

Kiyomi Iwata: From Volume To Line

KIYOMIRight now at the Visual Arts Center of Richmond we are installing a new exhibit, Kiyomi Iwata: From Volume To Line, which will open this Friday, April 10. Join us for a reception from 6 to 9 p.m.  The exhibit runs through June 7.

Kiyomi Iwata uses silk organza, metal, and kibiso to create sculptures that synthesize traditional Japanese aesthetics and forms with contemporary western art. Her installations explore the boundaries of East and West through absence and presence, void and volume. This exhibition will include new sculpture, as well as work spanning three decades of Iwata’s career, highlighting her sensitive and ever-evolving studio practice and experiments.

Iwata’s work is in the permanent collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art; Museum of Arts and Design; Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum; DeYoung Museum; Racine Art Museum, The Cleveland Museum of Art, and Rhode Island School of Design Museum of Art, among others.

1. Chrysalis Four

Chrysalis Four, 2014, kibiso, 25″ x 55″ x 7 ”

2. Southern Crossing Four

Southern Crossing Four, 2014, kibiso + dye, 87″ x 60″

3. Indigo Grid

Indigo Grid, 2011, silk organza, indigo dye, stiffener + metal wire, 39″ x 32″ x 5″

4. Southern Crossing Five

Southern Crossing Five, 2014, kibiso + dye, 87″ x 60″

5. Auric fold with Tanka 6, metal, gold leaf, thread

Auric Fold with Tanka Six, 2014, aluminum mesh, gold leaf, rice paper + thread, 19″ x 21.5″ x6.5″

6. Southern Crossing Seven

Southern Crossing Seven, 2015, kibiso, silver leaf + dye, 52″ x 53″

To learn about the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s art classes, exhibitions and outreach programs, click here.

Richmond’s inaugural Fire, Flour and Fork food festival

IMG_9282This past weekend — Thursday, Oct. 30 through Saturday, Nov. 1 — marked Richmond’s inaugural Fire, Flour & Fork, a three-day food festival of educational seminars, cooking demos, food and drink tastings, special dinners, book signings and more. My dear friend Sarah Nowicki, restaurant reviewer and food writer for Charlotte Magazine and food blogger for Betches Love This, accompanied me on FFF’s inaugural voyage, and boy, was it an exciting one.

The best part of this event was that it wasn’t just for people involved in the food industry or “foodies” per se. It was for everyone. Or, as the founders Susan Winiecki and Maureen Egan say, “the food curious.”

Here are a few highlights from our FFF weekend:

IMG_9168Day One / Friday, Oct. 31

Forkless: From Hand To Mouth
Rebecca Parker Payne, The Kinfolk Table co-author
Rebecca spoke about her international travels while researching, interviewing and writing The Kinfolk Table. Hygge, one of my favorite Scandinavian words, was touched upon. She said hygge was one of her favorite cultural concepts in her travels abroad. Hygge is the Danish word for “a cozy feeling.” In my Swedish language classes in college, we spoke a lot about the concept and word hygge. I loved that she brought the discussion full-circle, asking what defines Virginia’s culture around the table.

Biscuits of the South
Ronni Lundy, a founder of the Southern Foodways Alliance + Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken author
“It’s hard to make a bad biscuit,” says Ronni, “and, it’s an art to make a good one.” I have no patience for baking, but Ronni filled me with inspiration and hope. When Ronni speaks about cooking, she uses lots of biblical allusions. As you can imagine, this makes baking seem like a religious calling. Also, the lady makes a killer sorgum butter. Amen!

[Break! We headed to the tasting tent and then to Pasture for a cocktail.]

Spice Style
Chef Jehangir Mehtra, of Graffiti, and Chef Mel Oza, of Curry Craft
These guys taught us about the science of spice. One big thing I took away: it takes humans 10 times to taste something for our brains to decide if we like or hate a certain flavor profile. Jehangir and Mel made me want to explore the flavors of black lemons and limes, and combining chiles in chocolate sauce.

Charred Ordinary
Courtney Mailey, Blue Bee Cider owner and operator
Courtney owns and operates the first urban orchard and cidery in Virginia — Blue Bee in Richmond’s Manchester industrial district. With a background in archeology/historical preservation, it was appropriate that Courtney focused her cider talk on folklore and cider history. My favorite part of the discussion was learning that booze production was women’s work and that women traditionally owned the ordinaries (pubs) and passed them down from woman to woman (and their husbands, of course).

IMG_9176After our first day of seminars, we drove out to Short Pump to eat with friends at Peter Chang China Cafe. Our menu included dry-fried eggplant, crispy pork belly, grandmother’s sweet-and-sour pork, bamboo fish and beef with onion and chili in hot pot.

IMG_9173IMG_9177IMG_9180We went home with a Chang coma and rested up for our next day of food seminars.

Day Two / Saturday, Nov. 1


The Pope of Peppers
Dave DeWitt, journalist and chili pepper expert
This guy — what a hoot! Loved listening to the Pope of Peppers. He was a wealth of knowledge and had a salty sense of humor. Virginia-born and now in Albuquerque, New Mexico, Dave has written 50+ books on chile peppers and launched what evolved into Chile Pepper Magazine. I picked his brain about what to order my first time in Albuquerque this winter when I visit my best friend. And, Dave was kind enough to give us all some gifts — peppers across the spice spectrum.


Flour-less: Raw Desserts that aren’t half-baked
Lynette Potgieter, Nettie’s Naturally baker
Michelle Williams, Richmond Restaurant Group co-owner
Restaurateur Michelle Williams serves Lynette Potgieter’s gluten-free, vegan and raw desserts at The Daily Kitchen & Bar, one of Richmond Restaurant Group’s healthy eateries. We watched Lynette and Michelle demonstrate how to make cheesecake and then had the pleasure of sampling it.


[Break! We headed to the tasting tent and sampled wine, cider and food. I purchased two jars of fermented veggies from Charlottesville’s Farmstead Ferments.]

IMG_9202IMG_9194IMG_9201IMG_9209-0IMG_9211IMG_9214Smoked and charred cocktails
Thomas T Leggett, bar manager at The Roosevelt
Bar manager from the Roosevelt, T, spoke about adding smokey flavors to cocktails. One of my favorite cocktails from the Roosevelt, The Seersucker, introduced me to the wonders of smoke-infused drinks. For the Seersucker, T fires up a grill and when it is super hot, he sears lemon halves. These lemon halves are then frozen and used as “charred lemon cube” in The Seersucker. Maker’s Mark, sweet tea syrup, bitters and charred lemon combined to make a delectable cocktail. The drink is sweet and sour and there is a smokiness in the background that is the perfect complement.

Firewater: Bourbon
Dane Huckelbridge, Bourbon: A History of the American Spirit author
This bourbon writer gave us a quick history of bourbon in Virginia and the United States. Some fun facts I took away … Corn whiskey from Jamestown, Virginia, was the first alcohol produced in the U.S. George Washington was the first commercial whiskey producer. Ben Franklin spoke about using corn for booze production so the U.S. would be less reliant on rum importation. Aged whiskey was discovered by accident. When corn whiskey was transported down the Mississippi River, it sloshed around in charred oak barrels for months, and we the barrels were finally cracked open, the properties and taste of the whiskey had changed. It was delicious!

IMG_9278I made some cookbook purchases before heading home — The Kinfolk Table, co-authored by Richmonder Rebecca Parker Payne; The Southern Slow Cooker by Richmonder Kendra Bailey Morris; and Shuck Beans, Stack Cakes, and Honest Fried Chicken by Ronni Lundy.

I’m thrilled that Richmond has this wonderful, new food festival. I can’t wait for next year. xo, marissa

VisArts’ annual Craft + Design Show

The Good Life_Craft + Design Show For the past few months my colleagues and I have been organizing the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s annual Craft + Design Show, which will take place at the Science Museum of Virginia on the weekend of Nov. 22 and 23. The dynamic two-day craft show will showcase the works of 50+ talented artists from around the country, who will be selling their one-of-a-kind wares.

Another fun component of the craft show will be the 10 local craft breweries that will be pouring beer throughout the weekeend. Also, Tap26 will be pouring wine and Alamo BBQ and The Savory Grain will be serving food.

The Craft + Design Show is the perfect opportunity to jump-start your holiday shopping. The event is the weekend before Black Friday! More details on pricing and times below and on VisArts’ website. You also can RSVP on Facebook here. We hope to see you there!

What: Craft + Design Show
When: Saturday, Nov. 22nd 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. and Sunday, Nov. 23 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Where: Science Museum of Virginia, 2500 W. Broad St., Richmond, VA

$20 admission + tasting ticket with commemorative glass
$10 general public admission
$5 younger than 21 admission
Free for children younger than 12 years old
Free parking