Top 10 Ways to Explore the Arts at U.Va. – The Cavalier Daily

As fall leaves fall by the dozen, talent on campus and in the Charlottesville community is in full bloom. It can be easy to get caught up in schoolwork at this point in the semester, but taking the time to engage with art reveals the abundant beauty in the world around us and puts stress into perspective. If a chain drawing or Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs graphic is the closest thing you’ve seen to art in the last few months, here are some ways to experience more natural art.

1. Stop by the Virginia Film Festival

From now until Sunday, head to the Paramount Theater to watch films from around the world at the annual show Virginia Film Festival. Here you’ll explore new films, hear from both established and up-and-coming film artists, and understand the profound impact film has on society. Special guests include actress Chrissy Metz and University alumna Katie Couric. Click here for daily event schedules. Admission is free for students, so catch a trolley and immerse yourself in the art of cinema.

2. Visit the Fralin Museum of Art

If you’re looking for a way to explore the art of Grounds, look no further than Fralin Museum of Art. Spend an afternoon exploring thought-provoking exhibitions such as the Joseph Cornell: Embracing Infinity exhibit or Structures, which run through February 12 and June 1, 2024, respectively. Notice the detail—the precision, time, and effort that went into making these works a reality.

3. “Hello, Dolly!”—goodbye, dorm room

Enjoy a captivating performance of song and dance while supporting university students by seeing the freshmen’s production of “Hello, Dolly!” Set to open this fall semester, “Hello Dolly!” is a great chance to see the pure talent that exists on the grounds, from acting and playing instruments to creating elaborate sets. Many students perform in First Year Players productions—you might just find that the student sitting next to you in geology class is playing the lead in the show.

4. Attend a concert by the Charlottesville Symphony

Enjoy the crescendo of sound and emotion of a Charlottesville Symphony Event. Comprised of music faculty and students from a variety of disciplines, the symphony is a fantastic way to see peers and faculty in a holistic light – the spotlight. Sit back and feel the passion and purpose behind every note.

5. Walk through the University Chapel

The chapel is a quiet little gem of beauty on the grounds. Regardless of your faith or beliefs, taking a few minutes to peek inside will leave you in awe of the intricacies of seventeenth-century art. My first experience of the chapel was for an STS 1500 assignment and I was blown away by the architectural choices and design of the stained glass windows included in this place of reflection.

6. Mozy around the Downtown Mall

Downtown Mall is a place with tremendous life and spirit. Whether you’re there to grab a bite to eat or watch a movie, keep your ears tuned for music on your travels. The music often seems to emanate from the center of the mall, so take a moment to stop and see what all the fuss is about. Just a few weeks ago, I saw a father and daughter playing the violin and accordion to clattering Italian music in incredible harmony. There’s always something musical going on at the Downtown Mall – go find it.

7. Catch a concert

There is always a band performing on or around the Grounds, from local bands to well-known global acts. On your ventures to the Downtown Mall, see who’s playing Jefferson Theatre or The southern one, two popular concert halls in the city. I myself am very excited to see Journey perform with Toto soon after arriving from winter break in JPJ.

8. See what’s happening in the drama department

If you missed it production on Sense and Sensibility last weekend, fear not. The university’s drama department has an exciting line-up for this academic year, with upcoming events being the autumn dance concert and student-directed plays. Explore the talent that lies right here on the Grounds—you’ll heal yourself in the process.

9. Enjoy acapella or dance

With a cappella groups pulling out all the stops for Family Weekend, we can expect more great fun to come — starting with Flying V’s rockappella special on November 4th at 8pm in the University Chapel. Keep an eye out for their winter and spring concert dates and let their riffs fill you with good vibes. Some beats might make you want to dance, so get into them Ballroom Dance Club Winter Showcase this December. Let the beat lift your spirits.

10. Walk around the Rotunda

The Rotunda is the central hub of the Grounds, but how often do we actually take the time to explore it? Originally intended to be The University LibraryThe rotunda is a neoclassical architecture a wonder, with intricate capital designs and heavily influenced by the Roman pantheon, in which all students should immerse themselves. When you have some free time, go to the Rotunda and just look around – the connection between art and history will inspire you.

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