Charlottesville has innumerable things to do even when the weather takes a turn toward icy. We recently shared 3 reasons why we love Charlottesville in the winter, how to celebrate Christmastime at Monticello, taking advantage of the season’s cheer in Shenandoah Valley, and ways to make Charlottesville history come alive.
But when the chill of winter begins to feel dull rather than magical, we know what to do in Charlottesville: get your creative juices flowing. Whether it’s creating your own glasswork art, expanding your horizons by exploring Aboriginal artifacts, enriching your artistic sensibilities at a museum, or taking in a theater performance, when you don’t know what do do in Charlottesville on a cold day, warm up in one of these one-of-a-kind aesthetic hot spots.
There’s a wide range of exhibitions cycling through The Fralin Museum of Art on the campus of U.Va.
Current exhibitions include: Cavaliers Collect and Collection: Sol LeWitt and Photography (on view through December 20) and Jacob Lawrence: Struggle… (on view through June 6, 2016).
Upcoming exhibitions include: Richard Serra: Prints, Navajo Weaving: Geometry of the Warp and Weft, and Two Extraordinary Women: The Lives and Art of Maria Cosway and Mary Darby Robinson open in January 2016.
The museum’s main webpage states its purpose clearly: “The Museum promotes visual literacy as part of a broader, comprehensive education for all and seeks to enhance its visitors’ perceptions and understanding of world cultures throughout history and of art as an enduring human endeavor.”
When you don’t know what to do in Charlottesville on a cold day, there’s nothing more expansive than a visit to The Fralin.
Anyone can buy a canvas and some paints, but you can’t do glasswork unless you’ve got a specialized studio for it. At The Glass Palette, oweners Maria DiMassimo and her daughter Cara DiMassimo provide just that. They’ve created a working, walk-in glass studio that turns anyone into a glass artist.
They explain their passion for glasswork on their website:
We have had the pleasure of working in our downtown studio for nine years, and we are now very excited to introduce Charlottesville to our new, larger studio space. For those who have yet to visit us, we look forward to introducing you to the world of glass art. Our studio is a warm and welcome environment dedicated to an interactive creative experience where people of any age are welcome to visit our gallery, sign up for classes, or create in our studio!
Walk in to the studio any time and create your own, one-of-a-kind glass items. There’s no experience necessary…we’ll show you how! No studio fee – spend as much time as you want. Pay only for what you create! (For groups of 5 or more please make a reservation and we will reserve a table for you.)
Believe it or not, the only museum dedicated to Australian Aboriginal art in the entire country is right here in Charlottesville. The Kluge-Ruhe Aboriginal Art Collection of the University of Virginia’s mission is to advance knowledge and understanding of Australia’s Indigenous people and their art and culture worldwide.
The museum’s webpage explains how:
Working with living artists, international scholars and arts professionals, we provide a wide range of learning experiences to the University community and the public through exhibition, research and educational programs.
The museum’s late patron, John W. Kluge, began collecting in 1988 and through the years compiled “one of the finest private collections of Australian Aboriginal art in the world.”
In 1993, Kluge purchased the collection and archives of the late Professor Edward L. Ruhe. Ruhe began collecting Aboriginal art while visiting Australia as a Fulbright Scholar in 1965. He built a collection of the highest quality and exhibited it widely in the United States between 1965 and 1977. Ruhe’s research on Aboriginal art resulted in the publication of several exhibition catalogues and articles. His archives comprise the core of the Kluge-Ruhe Study Center.
The Kluge-Ruhe Collection curators hold respect for the traditional owners and artists–including the Monacan Indian Trible, which resided on the land the museum now sits upon in Virginia.
The historic Paramount Theater, restored and reopened in 2004, is a hub of arts education and performance in Charlottesville. Located on the Downtown Mall, The Paramount is a convenient walk to shopping and dining.
Featuring everything from local music to movies and Met Encore HD broadcasts, the Paramount Theater schedule of events has something for everyone.
Find upcoming performances at TheParamount.net.
We hope you’ll cozy up at Prospect Hill during your wintertime visit to Charlottesville.