EAT | SHOP | PLAY
By Victoria Bourne
Family heirlooms come in all shapes and sizes, but one company is paying homage to the classic and simple silhouette. Le Papier Studio in Richmond transforms photos of people – especially children – and pets into an image that can hang on your wall – or your wrist, or your tie.
Founder and creative director Vana Chupp fell in love with the art of silhouettes years ago as a professional architect using her drafting skills to chronicle her young son’s growth. The studio was established in 2008 and specializes in jewelry and prints. And Chupp still draws every silhouette, according to a spokeswoman.
Check out @lepapierstudio on Instagram to see some before and after shots and get tips on capturing a perfect profile
Since you’re likely cooking more than ever these days, kick up your marinade game with AR’s Hot Southern Honey. Created by Ames Russell in 2015, the Richmond-based purveyor offers a “golden” blend of clover and wildflower honey infused with chile de árbol, a small, red Mexican chili pepper also known as bird’s beak. It’s a recipe the Atlanta Journal Constitution described as “addictive” and one that “the rest of the nation should know about,” said Richmond Magazine in naming AR’s Hot Southern Honey its Best Local Product for 2019.
There’s a hotter version infused with the smoky heat of habanero peppers, and Russell also teamed up with Ironclad Distillery Company in Newport News to produce a bourbon barreled-aged hot honey, pairing two quintessentially southern tastes into one.
Individual bottles and sample packs can be purchased online and at some local retailers. Check out the website for more information, https://hotsouthernhoney.com.
Home is where the art is
The COVID-19 crisis forced many arts institutions to rethink how they connect with audiences when shuttered. From the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art’s Instagram live chats with artists like Annie Layne, to guided video tours through the Chrysler Museum of Art’s Edvard Munch exhibition and online drawing tutorials presented by the Muscarelle Museum of Art, there are many ways for people to stay engaged with the art and artists in their communities while adhering to stay-at-home orders. Although it will be nice to see these places in person again, we hope some form of virtual accessibility will continue well after the pandemic has passed.
Meet some makers
When many brick-and-mortar galleries temporarily shuttered thanks to COVID-19, exploring creative spaces online became a useful outlet for a captive audience. The Southern Highland Craft Guild, the second-oldest craft organization in the country, operates a bit further afield in Asheville, North Carolina, but it represents 800 Appalachian makers of contemporary and traditional craft from 293 counties in nine states, including more than 30 crafters who hail from Virginia.
Alice Walker, a nationally known batik artist from Floyd County in the Blue Ridge Mountains; Mike Sorge, a Middlebrook artisan specializing in sculptural woodturning, and Bob Harman, a textile weaver who makes colorful handwoven kitchen linen and was the subject of a Distinction profile in 2013, are just a few of the Virginia crafters you might meet – and whose work you may consider buying – when you visit the guild’s website, www.southernhighlandguild.org.
Isbell concert postponed until next year
The bad news is the Williamsburg Live performances scheduled for late June and featuring Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit were canceled because of COVID-19. The good news is that they agreed to headline next year’s event, scheduled for June 19, 2021.
“While it is heartbreaking that we won’t be able to hold our annual summer music event in Colonial Williamsburg this year,” said Robert W. Cross, artistic director of the Virginia Arts Festival in a statement, “we are grateful and thrilled to announce that Jason Isbell was willing to reschedule his performance and confirm over a year in advance.”
The Virginian-Pilot reported that other Virginia Arts Festival events and concerts had been cancelled or postponed; some, like Isbell, have already been rescheduled. Visit vafest.org for more information.
Fable Flower Farm produces an array of beautiful bouquets that are so exclusive, you pretty much must be a Suffolk resident to appreciate them. But founder, farmer and florist Meredith Alphin hopes to make them more widely available in the future.
Alphin is growing specialty cut flowers of all kinds on her 7-acre plot near downtown Suffolk; offerings will change seasonally. It’s primarily a subscription service, with small (10- 15 stems) and larger (20-25 stems) bouquets available for weekly or biweekly delivery to Suffolk residences. Leftovers are also sold weekly, and as recently as late April, Fable Flowers tiptoed into Virginia Beach and Norfolk for a few last-minute special deliveries announced on the farm’s Facebook page.
“I think people are interested even more in fresh flowers right now to brighten up their home and bring a little joy into the environment,” Alphin says.
City seeks artists
Isolation can breed inspiration. For artists who found their muse within the confines of quarantine, The Offsite Gallery at Norfolk’s MacArthur Center is looking for new pieces to exhibit in 2021 and 2022. The contemporary-art space, managed by Norfolk Arts, provides a professional exhibition opportunity for both local and national artists, and special consideration will be given to proposals that include a community engagement component such as a performance or hands-on workshop. For details on how and what to submit for consideration, visit norfolkarts.net/local-opportunities. Don’t procrastinate – the deadline is June 15.