VCU ICA Building Updates -“Soft Opening For Weekend Postponed”

VCU officials held a small press conference yesterday to give local media a few updates on their new Institute for Contemporary Art building, which is very close to finishing construction.

While work has been going a furious pace, a planned “soft opening” and “media walk through” for this weekend was sadly postponed at the last moment.
“The building’s exterior and interior are almost done, but there is still a lot of dangerous equipment and scaffolding around, and therefore still not safe for visitation”, stated one of the smiling, new ICA directors, “We are really looking forward to showing people what we are so excited about, but we need to wait a just little bit longer.” Previews of the ICA have already been featured quite a bit in various area publications.

While the building and site remain strictly off-limits for now, students and interested members of the public can attempt to reserve tickets for some of the future opening events. A student art exhibit on ‘The Potholes of RVA’ as well as a new student documentary about car crashes will be available for viewing. For VIP visitors and donors, there will be a special basement tour and outdoor movie, Artplace (the highly anticipated sequel to 2016’s Workplace).

When asked about the current fundraising situation for the Institute, officials would only state that there is a ‘spring break hiatus’ right now for the campaign as fundraisers tour basketball facilities at the University of Hawaii. When pressed about the promised green building details of the construction, a spokesperson said that while the ICA will not be ‘Platinum LEED’ as initially promised, it should be able to secure ‘Lead LEED’ status without problems, as long as a certain amount of the natural granite from the site can be recycled for planned, new basketball facilities.

Richmond Music Teachers Concert Today At Main Library

A concert by the members of the Richmond Music Teachers Association will be held today in the Gellman Room of the Main branch of the Richmond Public Library at 2 pm.

This is also a good excuse to check out the art exhibited at the Main branch:

GELLMAN ROOM: “Bringing the AT to RVA” – photographs by CHERYL HADRYCH
DOOLEY FOYER: “A Glimpse of Happiness” – new works by TITUS MARQUES
DOOLEY HALL: “From This Earth” – black and white gelatin silver prints by REBECCA TAYLOR
2ND FLOOR GALLERY: “Paintings of Trains and Nature” by CHRISTOPHER C. ALEXANDER, IV

Announcing The First Annual Oregon Hill Jack O’Lantern Contest

I have been wanting to do this for a while, and I think this is the year… I am hereby announcing the first annual Oregon Hill Jack ‘O Lantern Contest. First prize so far is a measly $20 from yours truly, however I am also announcing that I am looking for a local business to co-sponsor and help to significantly increase the prize money. (In other words, this could quickly become the ________/Oregon Hill Annual Jack O’Lantern Contest with the right advertising contract).

Creative Commons image- A Jack o' Lantern made for the Holywell Manor Halloween celebrations in 2003. Photograph by Toby Ord on 31 Oct 2003.

Creative Commons image- A Jack o’ Lantern made for the Holywell Manor Halloween celebrations in 2003. Photograph by Toby Ord on 31 Oct 2003.

So…rules…let’s see…

Submission Info invites submissions for its first annual Oregon Hill Jack O’ Lantern Contest. Entrants should read the following rules, terms, and conditions before submitting any photos or documentation.


Entrants must be 18 years of age or older. All entrants younger than 18 years of age must submit a note of parental consent with their entry. All entrants must be a resident of the Oregon Hill neighborhood to be considered. Contest is void where prohibited by law.
Contest judges (which is so far just me) and their immediate families are not eligible to enter.


Entries will start being accepted from October 15, 2016 at noon through October 27, 2016 at 11:59 pm. A winner and runners-up will be announced and presented on on Friday, October 29, 2016 at noon. Please submit entries by emailing a photo jpeg file, size between 200 kb and 1.5 mg, of the entry to, including a (real) name and a (real) address. Submitted photo should be of a carved or altered pumpkin in front of address. All entries must be original, newly-produced works, created after October 1, 2016. Entries must be original creations, with photo by the creator, and not infringe on the copyrights of any other parties. Any entires suspected, in the discretion of, to be in violation will be rejected immediately from the competition. does not grant entrants the right or access to photograph private property or use of its name to secure access. Entries may have multiple co-producers, but one should be listed as the primary contact upon entry. The fair dissemination of any prize winnings will be the responsibility of the primary contact. Participants may submit multiple entries, however 1 photo entry per email. All forms of photos that are not produced by the entrant must be credited to the original photographer. Entries containing immoral, defamatory, obscene or scandalous content, or any other content which, at the sole discretion of, is not in the keeping with, will be deemed ineligible. By submitting a photo entry, each participant represents that the photo submitted is an original work that does not infringe on the copyright or intellectual property right of another party, and each participant agrees to indemnify, and its contest judges from all liability arising from any alleged infringement in this regard. Photographer retains ownership rights to the submitted photo. However, the winning entrants grant to the non-exclusive, non-transferable right and license to use the photos and the winners’ names in perpetuity without compensation, notification, or other limitation or condition, both in conjunction with the competition and promotion of the competition and promotion of generally. is not responsible for entries that are not received or not received properly, or for any technical problems with corrupt digital files, internet outages, computer failures, and the like. is not responsible for lost, late, or misdirected entries. is not obligated to acknowledge receipt of entries.


Entries will be judged by a panel made up of editors and Halloween experts invited by Judges’s decisions will be final and binding.

To select the winner, entries will be by judged by awarding of points based on the following criteria: (1) originality (40%), (2) composition and coherence (20%), (3) quality of photo (20%), and (4) consuming/recycling/composting of materials (20%) (this can be signified by a statement of intent included with entry). In the event of a tie score, the tie will be broken by awarding the prize to the entrant with the highest score in the first of the above-listed criteria (in order of appearance) as to which there is no tie.


Prize consists of $20 in U.S. currency, prominent featuring on, and bragging rights. Runners-up will receive prominent featuring on, and bragging rights. Applicable federal, state, and local taxes on prize are the sole responsibility of the winner.

Lastly, reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to modify, suspend, or cancel the contest for any reason.

I think that covers it.

In addition to possibly having a co-sponsor, there is the possibility that the contest judging will change to online public voting on to determine winner, but that possibility may or may not happen for this year’s contest.

The Bijou Opening

Although it is not in the neighborhood, The Bijou Film Center is opening within walking distance downtown at 304 E. Broad, offering ‘art house cinema’. At one point, there was speculation that the Bowtie movie theater complex was going to be closer to us, building on a block near 3rd Street, but they decided to go the Boulevard location instead. Anyway…

For its first feature to be presented in its own location The Bijou will screen Charlie Chaplin’s classic, “Modern Times,” Sat., Sept. 3.

Show times are 7: 15 p.m and 9:30 p.m. Admission will be $5.00.

“Modern Times” (1936): B&W. 87 minutes. Directed by Charlie Chaplin. Cast: Charlie Chaplin, Paulette Godard, Henry Bergman. Released in the middle of the Great Depression, Chaplin’s Little Tramp character is plunged into the daunting world of the assembly line. He can’t keep up, so he cracks up. Mishaps ensue. He’s hospitalized and jailed. Although the comedy has lots of sound effects, music as well, it doesn’t depend on spoken dialogue to tell the story. However, Chaplin’s voice is heard (for what was the first time in a movie). The popular song, “Smile,” which was written by Chaplin is presented.