You know it's time for a road trip when, returning to your cubicle from the water cooler, you sit down in your swivel chair and reach for the seat belt. Resolve to cadge a day off from the boss to drive to Charlottesville for the Look 3 Festival, billed as “three days of peace, love and photography” and reacquaint yourself with photography created outside the bounds of executives' head shots.
Much of C-ville's downtown mall will be covered in the stuff — stare a lot and soak it in. Look! There are Tom Mangelsen's giant wildlife photos hanging in the trees (he speaks June 10 at 7 p.m.). Look! Award-winning photojournalism from across the planet gets shown off at the World Press Photo Exhibition (opening June 11 at 5 p.m. at 106 E. Main St). Look! Big-name photogs Sylvia Plachy, Martin Parr and Gilles Peress give talks at the Paramount Theater. Brazilian band Forro in the Dark plays a free show at Fridays after 5 in the Charlottesville Pavilion, followed by a slide show. Also films and master classes and absolutely nobody is allowed to shoot black-and-whites of fallen leaves or chain-link fences at sunset.
Look! The boss has left the office with his gym bag. Now's your chance! Look 3 runs June 11-13. Tickets start at $10 and passes start at $50. Call 434-977-3687 or visit www.look3.org.
The Evolution of Creation
Scholar Brian Boyd's big and brilliant new book, “On the Origin of Stories,” was released May 30 by Belknap Press, Harvard University's prestige imprint. Tipping the scales at 500-odd pages and $35, it's an explanation of the evolutionary origins of art, fiction in particular. Boyd argues that art is an adaptation that offers specific advantages for human survival — free wine at gallery openings, most obviously. www.hup.hardvard.edu.
Another Nail in the Coffin for Polo Shirts
Ah, the quirky T-shirt! America's last great undecimated industry brings to mind a vision of factories' steaming smokestacks and the brawny forearms of working men. … With its image of wistful bees on a wheel, local brand Beecycle — designed and sold by Midlothian-based artist Matt Lively, his wife, Wendy, and their friend Loni Edwards — offers something outside the “Don't tase me, bro!” line of tees. Beecycle returns us to the grandeur of the industry. Plus, a portion of all Beecycle sales go to benefit the American Humane Society, proving these modern-day Carnegies are as munificent as those of yore. www.beecycle.net.
No Throwing …OK, Some
Pottery has been around, what, 12,000 years? It's had its ups and downs, but for the last two years at least, the art of pottery has been kept afloat by Rosewood Pottery Studio at 4118 Fitzhugh Ave. Owners Kathleen Lipinski and Janet Lopatofsky teach young and old how to throw pots, bake and glaze, and make the damn things symmetrical. They celebrate their second anniversary Saturday, June 13, with an open house, 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and a free workshop with New Hampshire artist Jeff Brown at 1 p.m. So go, and help keep this art form from going the way of the marble nude. 915-9640 or www.rosewoodpottery.com. — Brandon Reynolds
Web Site of the Week: www.art180.org/blog
Sometimes the Internet is just too treacherous and we find ourselves sheltering in the harbor of quirky cat videos or British babies biting fingers. But now it's possible to spend this time a little better. Click over to Art 180's newly resurrected blog, which details the local group's efforts to “create change in young people's lives through art.” In the posted photos of art projects and classes, kids are so bright-eyed you may feel, however faintly and fleetingly, flickers of the old hope and courage.