Through a Prism, Brightly: Baskervill’s Glass Light Hotel & Gallery

pink glass rabbit in a hotel lobby
Clients Doug and Pat Perry commissioned Peter Bremers to create leporine versions of themselves, whose parts were made in the Czech Republic and glued together in situ. Image courtesy of Baskervill.

Hotel lobby art — when it’s bad, it can be good (in that bad sort of way). But, when it’s great, it’s transcendent, which should be a goal of any hotel. The Glass Light Hotel and Gallery in Norfolk falls into the latter category, so named for the collection of Doug and Pat Perry, local arts patrons who purchased a 1912 office building that Baskervill transformed into a glass menagerie, now operated by Marriott’s Autograph Collection.

More »

Less is More at VA Beach Parks and Rec

Recreation centers used to be highly programmed places. Pools, gyms, basketball courts, tennis courts, handball courts, playgrounds, ball fields, changing rooms, and offices—all defined spaces for specific activities. More meant more. The good ones were regularly maintained and  became community hubs. The not-so-good ones were easy to spot because of their shabbiness, usually because of the cost of maintaining “more.”

More »

SOM’s New Army Museum Speaks to Diverse Audiences in a Singular Way

There are some 90 museums in the United States and abroad covering individual aspects of the American Army, from its airborne and artillery divisions to general defense to the personal history of General George Patton, himself. The eighth to open in Virginia alone is the most comprehensive among them in terms of its permanent collection and scope, and its exhibitions program is varied to accommodate a variety of audiences. Yet, the new home for the National Museum of the United States Army, designed by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill (SOM) and sitting at the head of 84 acres of land at Fort Belvoir, is entirely singular in its expression.

More »

Charlottesville’s New Quirk Hotel Anchors a Main Street in Flux

Breathless encomiums about Charlottesville’s renaissance over the past decade are easy to understand. There’s been lots of housing and commercial infill, especially along stretches of road between town and gown outposts. The county’s infrastructure projects ringing the city have started to address (but still not solve) the traffic congestion. The newly completed South Lawn and hospital complex expansion projects are marvels of civil engineering. The Rotunda recently reemerged after a multimillion-dollar renovation as a model of thoughtfulness and probity. In parts of town where tuition-paying parents might have a Coke and a burger, things are generally looking leafier and cleaner.

More »

Historic Polegreen Church: Everything We’re Missing Right Now

Contributor: Margaret Hancock

Contemplative spaces. Houses of worship. Architectural wonders. Historic sites.

These are the reflective places that we as a society need most and yet cannot currently access.

Except for the Historic Polegreen Church.

Located in Hanover, Virginia just twelve miles outside of Richmond, Historic Polegreen delineates the site of a church lost in the Civil War and commemorates the complex history of religious freedom. The silhouette structure designed by Carlton Abbott, FAIA, sits amidst a secluded, rural setting and invites a quiet walk, a look to the skies, and a visual marvel of how successfully man can intersect with nature. 

Open sunrise to sunset daily.

Monticello: Live Virtual Tours

Contributor: Margaret Hancock

As we continue to practice social distancing and avoid large groups, we cultural minds must identify new outlets for engagement and education. Monticello recently launched a live virtual tour that meets these needs through an hour-long look into the lifestyle, influences, stories, and, of course, architecture of Thomas Jefferson and his “little mountain” home in Charlottesville.  

Tour-goers buy tickets online, connect via Zoom at the selected start time, and follow a Monticello tour guide live-time. The red ropes are removed, the crowds are gone, and the camera is both zooming into all of the unique architectural features and out across the vast mountaintop panorama for a visitor experience like no other. The best part is that the session is not previously recorded, but an interactive experience with opportunities for questions and requests. “Can I see that Italianate detail again?” Yes, you can.

$10 per connection

Schedule your live tour here

Kamoinge Workshop Featured in New Exhibition

Beginning in February 2020, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will highlight the work of a remarkable group of African American photographers in the exhibition Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop. Inspired by the archive of Richmond native Louis Draper, VMFA has organized an unprecedented exhibition that chronicles the first twenty years of the Kamoinge Workshop, a group of African American photographers he helped to found in 1963.

More »