“Found” Magazine Discovers Writers, Comedians, Chuck D
The problem with publishing may be that newspapers and magazines work too hard for content. Look at “Found,” the brainchild of Davy Rothbart — he collects the things people collect on the streets, found notes and pictures and stuff that open tiny windows into weird worlds. Rothbart has parlayed this into a popular Web site and a couple of publications — “Found” and “Dirty Found” (what becomes of that grainy Polaroid you took of yourself with the guy from the Moose Lodge and the papasan chair). Rothbart tours relentlessly; his Richmond appearances always fill up. So he's celebritized in a way, and has a further parlay — he's asked all of his favorite famous folks to write about their experiences finding stuff and collected it in an anthology, “Requiem for a Paper Bag: Celebrities and Civilians Tell Stories of the Best Lost, Tossed and Found Items From Around the World.” (Probably he could've lost a few words from the title, but whatever). In it, tales spring from Tom Robbins, Chuck D, Susan Orlean, Tad Friend, Paulo Coehlo and the way-overexposed Seth Rogen. Not bad for a guy collecting scraps. Rothbart returns once again to Gallery5 on Saturday, May 2, at 8 p.m. (care of Chop Suey Tuey). — Brandon Reynolds
A New Old Bedroom Suite
In the town house complex where I live, around 3 a.m. there are a few more lighted windows than there used to be. My hope is that my neighbors are enjoying themselves somehow, but my guess is they're just lying in bed, staring at the ceiling. If that's the case with you too, remember that variety is key. It's likely your ceiling has revealed all it can anyway. So it's good to know Virginia Museum of Fine Arts soon will offer some very fine ceiling staring. The museum's set to display a fully furnished bedroom from the 19th-century New York mansion of Catharine Arabella “Belle” Duval Yarrington, a Richmond girl turned bicoastal socialite who married well, and often, and so must have known all about this ceiling stuff. The exhibit is set to open in May 2010. 340-1400, www.vmfa.museum.
Give a Little
Sometimes art moves us because it isn't naA_ve, as in the case of the donation boxes created out of recycled materials by homeless families residing in Hilliard House and the Flagler Home at St. Joseph's Villa. Art on Wheels, the nonprofit arts organization, hopes to raise $4,000 — it's asking $2 from you — so it can continue to travel around Richmond, providing mobile arts instruction to underserved groups, young, old and in-between. The donation box made to express the idea of imagination looks like a forest-dwelling penguin that broke into its grandma's jewelry box, and it'll make you want to weep that anyone could get something this sweet and fresh out of cold and hunger. Drop your $2 in at Carytown Burgers, Carytown Coffee and elsewhere round the Fan. www.artonwheels-va.org.
Collect Them All
Beyond your taxes, surely there's some other return you're hoping for: that “Jem and the Holograms” lunchbox you left on the school bus; your Michael Jackson “Thriller” T-shirt that still fits, you just know it. So what a boost it is to hear that the Virginia Historical Society has just gotten some drawings it's been wanting for 20 years. Formerly in the hands of a private owner, the 156 pen-and-ink illustrations are Civil War Union Army camp-life scenes by John Edwin Forbes, an artist who traveled with the Virginia-based Army of the Potomac. An image or two will go up soon in the permanent exhibit, and for the rest you'll have to wait till the 2011 exhibition to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the war. Thrilla. 358-4901, www.vahistorical.org.
Live Music Sans the Scene
At some point if you're not careful, life begins to narrow. Stop moving and you'll be made to choose between pretentiousness and complacency — either you own a high-end cheese grater, or, like this writer, you can be found eating fried cheese at Applebee's with your mostly underemployed friends. Better to hide out from all this in your own kitchen, where no one will make you choose. Tune in maybe to www.rockitz.net, where at least you can still see some local music. Things as varied as the St. Andrews Legion Pipe and Drum Corps, Janet Martin and Jack Johnson's October performance here for that “Rock the Vote Tour” have made it onto the site. The video isn't always the best, but it's swell as a documentary of some of Richmond's many little shows, and easier on the system than, say, a pile of fried cheese.