The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative
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209 Monticello Road, Charlottesville, Va. 22902 | 434 · 984 · 5669
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Category — Gallery Exhibits

I-Connect and Scholar’s Lab Exhibit


Throughout February, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is presenting an exhibition of photography the brings together two unique perspectives of Charlottesville, that of the annual Bridge PAI’s iConnect program and the aerial photography work of the University of Virginia Scholars’ Lab. The exhibition will open Friday, February 7th at 5pm at the Bridge PAI, 209 Monticello Rd. Charlottesville, VA 22902.

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January 31, 2014   Comments Off


surprise poster

SURPRISE is a group exhibit featuring work by the following artists:

Patrick Costello – Victoria Long – Leif Low-Beer – Ellen Nielsen – Mike Perry – Travis Robertson – Julia Sharpe – Roger Williams

Each artist will display one sculptural work and a related limited edition print. The prints will be gathered into sets, bound with twine and accompanied by a flier explaining the exhibit. In partnership with Community Bikes, volunteer bicyclists will distribute the sets indiscriminately to passers-by on the streeton January 17-19.

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December 25, 2013   Comments Off

Sept Exhibition – Banner Days

photo courtesy of Jeroen van Paasen

photo courtesy of Jeroen van Paasen

Opening Reception – Friday, October 4th – 6 – 9pm

During October of 2013 The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative will be exhibiting the work of  Seattle based artist Tom Hughes. Part of a series entitled Banner Days, Tom creates phrases that are displayed throughout the community on banners to elicit questions and new understandings.

The project will be initially displayed at The Bridge PAI and then hung at various sites throughout Charlottesville.

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September 30, 2013   Comments Off

Public Artists – Johanna Leech


Exhibition Opening – November 1st  5 – 8pm

Throughout October and November of 2013, Belfast based artist, Johanna Leech, will be joining The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative as a part of their Public Artists residency program. A new initiative by The Bridge, this program connects innovative artists with the local community as a catalyst for new ideas and actions in Central Virginia.

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September 30, 2013   Comments Off

Virginia Folklife Apprentice Program

Virginia Folklife Apprentice Program

Exhibition – September 6th – 28th
Reception Sept. 14th 7pm

For the past ten years the Virginia Folklife Program at VFH has been awarding grants to master traditional artists and craftspeople to take on an apprentice and teach them the traditions of the previous generations throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia. Over the past three years Pat Jarrett has been photographing the pairs of masters and apprentices. On Saturday, September 14 we will host an opening reception at The Bridge PAI showcasing the last several years of the project. A selection of masters and apprentices will be attending to share their crafts.

August 26, 2013   Comments Off

Mark Strandquist- Some Other Places We’ve Missed


Some Other Places We’ve Missed

Mark Strandquist

The Bridge PAI | June 2013

Reception June 7th 6-9PM

Art Opens a Window onto Impact of Prison

Charlottesville, VA — The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative is thrilled to exhibit “Some Other Places We’ve Missed,” an ongoing project by artist Mark Strandquist. The project engages those incarcerated in jails and prisons by asking them the question, “If you had a window in your cell, what place from your past would it look out to?” Participants were then invited to choose a site, which was photographed, and a print was given back to display in their cell. This inquiry facilitates a humanistic window into the histories, realities, and desires of some of the 2.3 million incarcerated Americans.  The Bridge will host an opening reception June 7th from 6-9pm along with a series of films, talks, and public events free to the public throughout the month of June.

Based in Richmond, VA, Mark Strandquist strives to facilitate interactions that incorporate viewers as direct participants, features histories that are typically distorted or ignored, and challenges the form and function of public space. “I’m interested in helping to facilitate exhibitions that function not as culminations, but as starting points and catalysts for community engagement,” states the artist.  His work has been featured in various institutions, film festivals, print and online magazines, and independent galleries. The project Write Home Soon was exhibited in the 2012-13 international showcase of Socially Engaged Art at the Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC.

“Mark brings a strong belief that art is more than just about hanging an image on a wall or placing a sculpture in a public place,” says Bridge Director, Matthew Slaats. “Much like the Bridge, Mark sees art as a way of starting a conversation within and throughout the community.”

For further information about events surrounding this project and other programs hosted at the Bridge, you can go to our website at or visit us on Facebook at


June 7
Opening 6 – 9pm
Art and Incarceration – 6pm
Carolyn LeCroy –
Andy Kaufman – books behind bars
Mark- Some Other Places We’ve Missed
Letter Writing Workshop – ongoing throughout the day

June 8
Film Screening: Herman’s House
Letter Writing Workshop – ongoing throughout the day

June 14
Artist Talk- 7pm Mark Strandquist and Matthew Slaats

June 15th
Poetry in Prison with WTJU – 1 – 2pm
Panel Talk – 2pm – 3:30pm
More than A Witness – Photography as Social Engagement
David Levi Strauss – Critical Studies – SVA
Edgar Endress – Floating Lab Collective/GMU – Pedagogy
Matthew Slaats – The Bridge PAI- Curatorial/Practice
Yukiko Yamagata – Open Society Foundation

June 22
Cool Hand Luke

June 28th
Community Panel Talk – 6PM
Dorothy Tompkins – Georgia’s Friends
Ann Loper – Prisoners and their Families Project
Phyllis Bank – Albemarle County Jail

Details of some events:

June 7 | 6 – 9pm

Opening  Reception and Panel Talk

To celebrate the opening of “Some Other Places We’ve Missed,” the Bridge is hosting an opening reception and panel talk.  The panel talk is entitled – Art and Incarceration. This will bring together Carolyn LeCroy from The Messages Project, UVA faculty Andy Kaufman of the Books Behind Bars program, and artist Mark Strandquist to talk about art and culture in prisons. Check out our facebook event here.

June 8 – 5-7pm

Film Screening and Letter Writing Workshop

The injustice of solitary confinement and the transformative power of art are explored in Herman’s House, a feature documentary that follows the unlikely friendship between a New York artist and one of America’s most famous inmates as they collaborate on an acclaimed art project. This will also include a letter-writing workshop to connect the audience with those in prisons. Check it out on Facebook.

June 14 | 7pm

Artist Talk

Join the Bridge as Executive Director Matthew Slaats and exhibiting artist Mark Strandquist talk about “Some Other Places We’ve Missed,” an exhibition of work produced with those incarcerated with those in local jails. Learn more on Facebook.

June 15 | 1 – 2pm

Poetry in Prison with WTJU
As a part of the “Some Other Places We’ve Missed” exhibition at the Bridge, Poetry in Prison will create a direct feed between a local jail and the gallery.  During this time Prisoners and the audience will engage in discussion and the reading of poetry.  This will be simulcast with WTJU. Find out more on Facebook.

June 15 |  2pm – 3:30pm

Panel Talk

More than A Witness – Photography as Social Engagement
During this hour and a half long talk, David Levi Strauss, Chair of Critical Studies at the School of Visual Arts, Edgar Endress of Floating Lab Collective, Yukiko Yamagata of the Open Society Foundation, and Matthew Slaats, Executive Director of the Bridge, will discuss how art facilitates dialogue, reaching out to engage broader audiences and subjects. Go to the Facebook page here.

June 28 | 6 – 7:30pm

Community Panel Talk - Efforts in the Community

Location – TBA
For this panel talk, members of the local community will come together to discuss their work to engage those affected by incarceration. This will include Dorothy Tompkins of Georgia’s Friends, Ann Loper of Prisoners and their Families Project, and Phyllis Bank from the Albemarle County Jails. More information to be announced on Facebook here.

May 18, 2013   Comments Off

El Trabajo – iConnect Program Students


May 3rd-25th | Opening Reception May 3rd 5-7PM

El Trabajo

Each summer, The Bridge Progressive Arts Initiative in Charlottesville, Virginia partners with the Albemarle County Public Schools’ Office of Community Engagement to offer the iConnect Photo and Writing Workshop. iConnect matches a diverse and talented group of students with volunteer working photographers and writers. They produce a book of images and poems, organized around a theme that the group explores in and around Charlottesville. This year’s theme is work: El Trabajo.

The middle of June is rush hour for volunteers from The Bridge– artists, photographers, writers– preparing for the opening of the summer iConnect writing workshop. The fresh, white paper of students’ writing journals gleams on a neat stack of clipboards on a table in the gallery; in the office, a photographer formats memory cards, an intern wrangles an appointment for the group to visit a local business the next week, and a poet sharpens pencil after pencil, thinking only of the ideas stored within each one.

But on the third Monday in June, the apprehension is done: each volunteer has been trained, each ride arranged and contingency imagined, and each student files in through the sun-drenched door of The Bridge, ready to find the images and compose the poems to make this year’s iConnect workshop collection. The vibe in the room is ready and calm; everyone knows what we’re here to do, and everyone’s ready to play their role in the drama of a week of working artists and writers.

An iConnect week starts slowly: a primer and refresher on aperture and shutter speed, a lesson on metaphor and simile. In both the visual and the linguistic: detail, detail, detail. Composition. Narrative. When we make our way into the city to find material and people at work, each student is paired with an individual mentor; cameras around their necks, they look, ask, talk, and look again. The mentors answer, ask back, look, write. The week carries us through the city’s neighborhoods and places of business: a furniture shop in full swing, an automotive garage taking a breather over the lunch hour, a barber shop full of chatter, television, and the sound of clippers, a restaurant breaking down lamb carcasses for the grill, a bright-lit room redolent of every spice imaginable. The week is a feast for the senses, a creative hothouse, a reason to keep going.

El Trabajo is iConnect’s fifth iteration, following La Ciudad, El Barrio, La Finca, and El Rio. As lead instructor in photography and writing, it was my great pleasure to work with Greg Kelly from The Bridge and Gloria Rockhold from the Albemarle County Public Schools; Greg and Gloria’s vision for this program has made possible many productive and happy hours for a great many deserving young artists who’ll carry forward, for the rest of their lives, the sense of accomplishment and confidence embodied in this book. I’d also like to thank our volunteers: Anna Caritj, Nell Boeschenstein, Jason Keefer, Tammy Williams, Matthew Denton-Edmundson, Megan Bent, Peggy Harrison, Molly Woodriff, Laura Aimone, and Riley Duncan. A special thanks goes to Bridge intern Zaina Natour, whose support was constant and invaluable.

– John Casteen

April 28, 2013   Comments Off

Benjamin Jasnow | John Woodman

Front 1

Fishing With Foxes



April 5 – April 26, 2013

Opening on “First Friday,” April 5, 5:30-8 pm

**This Show Contains Images That May Not Be Appropriate for All Viewers.

Parental Discretion is Advised.

Ancient Songs, Modern Muses is a joint exhibition of art and poetry from London-based painter John Woodman and Charlottesville poet and classicist Ben Jasnow. Woodman and Jasnow illustrate and translate the Idylls of Theocritus. Each original verse translation is paired with several of Woodman’s contemporary, interpretive illustrations. A talk and poetry reading will accompany the unveiling of the exhibit, “First Friday,” April 5, 2013, 5:30-8 pm.

The Ancient Greek poet Theocritus, who lived in the 3rd century BC, was the father of pastoral poetry. His Idylls are intense works of erotic longing, idealized rustic scenes and mythical tales.

Theocritus was a poet with strong ties to his native Sicily, interested in popular traditions and local culture, yet the world in which he lived was one of rapid globalization. The questions posed by the Idylls resonate in our own time. How does local culture persist in the face of increasing cosmopolitanism? How can we adapt traditional culture to our own time? What is the nature of communication and artistic exchange in a world that is increasingly chaotic and confusing?

John Woodman is an English painter. He has exhibited across the United Kingdom and internationally, in such places as the Mall Galleries and Royal Scottish Academy. In 2010 he was an artist in residence in the McGuffey Art Centre in Virginia, USA, and his work has been chosen for the Discerning Eye Prize. He graduated from the Glasgow School of Art in 2006 with a sell-out degree show.

Ben Jasnow is a poet and PhD candidate in the Department of Classics at the University of Virginia, where he has taught classes on ancient languages and literature. His dissertation, entitled What the Shepherds Sing: Popular Culture and Local Identity in the Bucolic Idylls of Theocritus, investigates the relation of the poet to the culture of his native Sicily. Jasnow’s poetry has been published by journals in the US and overseas.

March 23, 2013   Comments Off

Man v/s Nurture


Man v/s Nurture
February 1st – 28th at The Bridge PAI

Spriggan creates a pro-feminist celebration of Charlottesville men that have chosen career and/or public services that value nurturing qualities with his detailed pencil portraits.  The exhibit will feature twelve drawings of Charlottesville men that have chosen careers or social roles that are nurturing, or encouraging empathy and cooperation as opposed to hierarchy and anger-selective emotional expression.   The show functions as a positive reinforcement and celebration of the ways that men are already encouraged to be emotionally available and empathetic, redefining masculine norms.

January 15, 2013   Comments Off

Monticello Road | Photography by Peter Krebs

Monticello Road | Opening Reception Friday, April 6th | 6-8pm | FREE


Monticello Road / Project Website

Over the course of two years, Charlottesville artist/photographer Peter Krebs has visited and re-visited the people and places along the road’s one-mile length from Moore’s Creek to the Belmont Bridge. It is an area that is simultaneously historic and a hotbed of contemporary culture. He talked his way into homes and businesses and set up a series of spontaneous and informal photo booths at which he invited passers-by to pose in exchange for a free print created on the spot. The result is a library of pictures that glimpse into the lives of a neighborhood and that is both comprehensive in breadth and intimate in detail.

“I was astonished by what I learned by doing this project,” writes the artist. “Almost everyone I met was very forthcoming and full of interesting stories. Oftentimes, the people who seemed the most intimidating at first impression turned out to be the nicest. It broke some barriers for me and now I find myself wanting to interview everyone I meet.”

The exhibition, which runs from April 6 to 27, will include dozens of large prints plus a slide show of more than a hundred neighborhood faces. An eighty-page catalog accompanies the exhibition. There will be a corollary series of community events, including a film screening (Still Life with Donuts), youth programs, storytelling, a panel about neighborhood planning, an open house, an artists’ roundtable and more. See full schedule of events below.

“This process has really opened my eyes to how the arts can bring people together,” says Krebs. “I’m really looking forward to everyone meeting one another at the opening. The events will be a great way to share perspectives and to bring more community voices—and faces—into the arts.”

For more information about events, preview images and profiles of some of the people of Monticello Road, please visit

Peter Krebs |

Event Schedule

*Unless noted otherwise, events will take place at the Bridge PAI, 209 Monticello Road.

Opening Reception
Friday, April 6, 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Meet the people of Monticello Road.

Film Screening: Still Life with Donuts
Saturday, April 7, 9:00 a.m. – noon.
Filmmakers’ Q&A 11:00 Spudnuts (309 Avon Street)
This documentary is a must-see for anyone interested in Belmont. The film will loop throughout the morning and filmmakers Mark Edwards and Mary Michaud will answer questions at 11:00.
Open House: Virginia Industries for the Blind
Thursday, April 12, Tours 9:00 – 11:00 a.m and 1:00 – 3:00 p.m.
1102 Monticello Road
You might be surprised to learn that this quiet-looking place is making beds for the Navy. You’ll also meet some of the nicest and most interesting people there. Refreshments will be served For more information please call William Vaughn (434-295-5168)
Panel: Neighborhood/Community Planning
Tuesday, April 17, 7:00 pm – 9:00 p.m.
In cooperation with AIA Architecture Week. A who’s who of architecture and planning will discuss what makes this place so special and explore new models for community development.
Storysharing and Oral Histories
Sunday, April 22, 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Long-time residents, transplants and people with interesting perspectives come together for what is sure to be a rich and lively conversation.
Artist’s Talk with Special Guests
Thursday, April 26, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
Peter Krebs will discuss his work and what he has learned about the artist’s unique role in a healthy community. He will be joined by others who actively engage the community in different ways. Guest speakers confirmed to date include Aaron Eichorst, John Trippel, Greg Antrim Kelley, Ross McDermott.
Exhibition Closes
Friday, April 27

April 1, 2012   Comments Off