Let's take a little time to acknowledge the nothing.

It's quite intimidating, isn't it?

So what can you do with this space, canvas, material, screen, block of wood, hunk of metal, white page or empty spotlight — whatever it is. It's so very blank, so completely unformed. There are hundreds of possibilities, thousands of potential courses of action, millions of notions about how to fill it up — or where to leave it alone. But you can't define it with just anything, or with everything. You must be specific, as well as dynamic, and that's where a little thing called artistry comes in.

The performers, artists, craftsmen and creative visionaries previewed in this 2011 Style Weekly Fall arts issue — all of them scheduled to occupy an empty space near you — wrestle with the notion of nothing every time they set out to do what it is that they do. And in the right hands, with the inspired spark of the right idea, this big nothing is transformed into a new ... something.

On the following pages our award-winning arts and culture writers guide you through the best projected somethings in visual arts, music, dance, film, television, architecture, opera, books and more. Plus, in the issue's main set piece (pun intended), you'll get the lowdown on Richmond's thriving thespian community with our exhaustive Guide to Richmond Theater. Don Harrison

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