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by Victoria Bourne
Breadfruit, you say?
Shake up your liquor cabinet and your taste buds with a little Mutiny Island Vodka, made with breadfruit – a pimply green pod with starchy, sweet flesh that grows from a flowering tree and is a staple food product across many tropical countries.
Chris Richeson, distiller and CEO at Virginia Beach’s Chesapeake Bay Distillery, is behind the vodka’s original recipe, which was conceived on the island of St. Croix and created in collaboration with chef Todd Manley. It’s described as having notes of honeydew, citrus and banana – a go-to for stirring up an island vibe – but check it out for yourself at the distillery located in the Beach’s Vibe Creative District.
Saturday night jazz
The historic Attucks Theatre in Norfolk swings into the New Year with Washington, D.C.-based vocalist Lena Seikaly on Jan. 18.
One of 11 semi-finalists for the Thelonious Monk Institute International Jazz Vocals Competition in 2015 and a Betty Carter Jazz Ahead program alumna, Seikaly has released three solo albums. A Little Closer, a duo album with guitarist Steve Herberman, came out in 2018.
Trombonist Robin Eubanks, trumpeter Marquis Hill and Stephanie Nakasian, a jazz vocalist from Charlottesville, make appearances later in the season. Visit vafest.org for ticket info.
Jefferson by design
An exhibit at the Chrysler Museum of Art explores the genius and contradiction of Thomas Jefferson: The Founding Father, third U.S. president and slave owner by whose hand the Declaration of Independence was written and iconic structures like the Rotunda at the University of Virginia were designed.
Thomas Jefferson, Architect: Palladian Models, Democratic Principles and the Conflict of Ideals is curated by the Chrysler and is its largest undertaking in size and scope, according to The Virginian-Pilot. It follows Jefferson’s evolution as an architect with nearly 130 objects, including models, rare books, paintings, drawings, early photographs and architectural elements pulled from the museum’s collection, as well as the Library of Congress, the National Gallery of Art, Jefferson’s residences at Monticello and Poplar Forest in Virginia, the University of Virginia and elsewhere.
It also confronts “the inherent conflict between Jefferson’s pursuit of contemporary ideals of liberty and democracy and his use of slave labor to construct his monuments,” says a press release.
The exhibit opened in October and will be on display until Jan. 19.
Grooming the modern man
Dudes need pampering, too, so why not enjoy a beer as you get your hair cut or beard trimmed? Jake’s Place, a barbering lounge and spa for men in Norfolk’s Ghent, offers a variety of services from the Wall Street Express Facial to the JP Sport Pedicure, from a classic cut to the old-fashioned hot-lather, straight-razor shave – each served up with a complimentary beverage.
Lounge packages run from $207 for The Tune Up – a classic cut and mani/pedi – to $411 for Jake’s Signature, which tacks on a facial and 60-minute massage. Remember: gift-card season is right around the corner. Check out jakesplaceghent.com to learn more.
Rumors of War
The new Kehinde Wiley sculpture, which puts a very modern – and political – spin on the stereotypical Confederate sculptures found all over the South, is scheduled to be installed in its permanent home in Richmond this December.
Unveiled in September in New York City’s Times Square, Rumors of War depicts a young African-American figure dressed in urban streetwear sitting astride a large horse. The 27-foot-tall statue, made of bronze and marble, will sit at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, blocks from an avenue lined with monuments to Confederate leaders such as J.E.B. Stuart, Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis and Stonewall Jackson.
“Art and violence have for an eternity held a strong narrative grip with each other,” Wiley said in a statement. “Rumors of War attempts to use the language of equestrian portraiture to both embrace and subsume the fetishization of state violence.”
Wiley may be best known for his portrait of President Barack Obama. Rumors of War is the artist’s largest three-dimensional work to date, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, and his first public art piece. An installation ceremony is to be held Dec. 10 at the museum.