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Downtown Norfolk Council

March 2017 Newsletter

It’s finally starting to feel like spring again in the NEON District. With warm weather right around the corner and a host of new businesses opening in the next few months, it’s time to spruce up the neighborhood. Since The Plot was relocated to the NEON from downtown in 2014, it has taken lots of volunteers to keep it looking ship shape and blooming. Twice a year we like to trim back the plants, add new flowers, weed, fix up the beds and do an all-around cleanup of the community space. Your help is always welcome! Volunteers can sign up for The Plot Work Day on Saturday, April 29 from 10am to noon or noon to 2pm. Bring gardening gloves and wear clothes you don’t mind getting a little dirty.  

Glass Wheel Studio is also getting into the community spirit this month with a Chalk Mandala Art Project on Saturday, April 8 from 10am to 2pm. The resident studio artists will guide friends, families and NEON visitors in creating floral chalk mandalas in the gallery’s courtyard and parking lot. Mandalas come from an ancient Tibetan tradition that uses geometric shapes to symbolize wholeness in the cosmos. Inspired by Glass Wheel’s current exhibitions, Organica and The Layered Up Invitational, the artists are spreading a little universal good will by inviting the neighborhood to come play and create for a day. The event will be totally free and totally fun for everybody.


Artist Opportunities

As most of our faithful readers know, public art in the NEON District and in Norfolk comes to fruition in lots of different ways. Private property owners, grassroots volunteers, the Downtown Norfolk Council and the City of Norfolk have all participated in bringing amazing art to the neighborhood over the years. Two major pieces you see every day in the NEON are the product of Norfolk’s Public Art Summer Program. John Rudel’s Gateway Towers and Elliott Addesso’s NFK-ARTS were both created during the Emerging Leaders program in past summers. It’s an excellent opportunity for artists to advance their careers and work in their craft while teaching young creators. This year Norfolk is hiring two artists to create works of public art with teens in the city under Emerging Leaders and one artist to work with Teens with a Purpose. Applicants should apply online by April 20, with an optional workshop to assist with applications at Slover Library on April 4 at 6:00pm.

Don't Miss These Upcoming Events

  • Pro-Forma Closing Night with Oh Boy! & Lrdmrcy, Work | Release, April 1
  • April Fools' Day Improv All Stars, Push Comedy Theater, April 1
  • Wearable ArtsFest Grand Finale, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 1
  • Canada’s Royal Winnipeg Ballet, Swan Lake, Chrysler Hall, April 1-April 2
  • Special Lecture: Secrets of the Ness of Brodgar, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 2
  • Feldman Chamber Music Society: Escher String Quartet, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 3
  • Motown the Musical, Chrysler Hall, April 4-9
  • NEON District Committee Meeting, Amplified IT, April 5
  • Tickle My Ears, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 6
  • Date Night, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 7
  • Getting to Know the Couple & Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, April 7
  • 2017 Hear This! Poetry Festival, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 8
  • Chalk Mandala Community Event, Glass Wheel Studio, April 8
  • Who Dunnit?, Push Comedy Theater, April 8
  • Gallery Talk: Tour Toulouse, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 13
  • The Whale, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, April 14-May 14
  • A New Deal Near Here Exhibition Opening, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 15
  • Storytelling Night: Dream, Push Comedy Theater, April 16
  • An Evening with David Sedaris, Harrison Opera House, April 17
  • Third Thursday, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 20
  • Special Exhibition Lecture: Pilchuck Prints by Tina Aufiero, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 22
  • Spend the Night with Alice Cooper, Chrysler Hall, April 26
  • Gallery Talk: Infinite Possibility, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 26
  • Virginia International Tattoo 2017, Scope, April 27-30
  • CMA on Screen: Midnight in Paris, Chrysler Museum of Art, April 29
  • Plot Work Day, The Plot, April 29

For more events in and around the NEON District click here.


Recent Publicity

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Opening this Week at The Chrysler, AltDaily

How Charlotte Potter Built Chrysler into a Performance Mecca, GLASS: The UrbanGlass Art Quarterly

Hit “Used” Art for a Cause, The Virginian-Pilot

Commune and Rutter Family Art Foundation to Combine Forces at Work Release, AltDaily

Prostitutes, Parties and Performers: 19th-Century Paris Comes to Norfolk with the Chrysler's Spring Exhibition, The Virginian-Pilot

A Princess, a Prince and a Taste of Opera, Coast Live

Women's History Month: Leaders in Art Inspired by Artists, Family, The Daily Press

Revisiting the Genius of Toulouse-Lautrec at Chrysler Exhibit, The Daily Press

8 U.S. Solo Travel Destinations You Probably Haven't Thought of, Glamour Magazine

International Glass Art Conference Taking Over the NEON This Summer, AltDaily

Commune Restaurant Planning for May Opening in NEON District, The Virginian-Pilot

Conservators Resurrect Painting of Prometheus during Restoration at Chrysler Museum, The Virginian-Pilot

First Fridays Returning to the NEON District and Downtown This Year, AltDaily

Toulouse-Lautrec and Japanese Prints on View at the Chrysler Museum,

Turandot at Harrison Opera House, The Virginian-Pilot

Local Review: Puccini’s Turandot by Virginia Opera, AltDaily

Norfolk-Based Arts Consortium Stepping into Limelight with Main Event, Inside Business

"We're just regular folks": LGBT Photos Seek to Show Love and Family are Universal, The Virginian-Pilot

Commune, Chef, Take a Step to the Left, The Virginian-Pilot

Motown the Musical Brings Decades of Hits to Norfolk, The Virginian-Pilot

A By-the-Numbers Look at Virginia Arts Festival's Swan Lake Production in Norfolk, The Virginian-Pilot

D’Art Center’s Wearable Arts Fest Goes around the World, AltDaily

Preview: Motown the Musical at Chrysler Hall, AltDaily




Property Updates

Pretty big news broke this month in the NEON with the announcement that ViBe District favorite Commune will be opening a second restaurant location in Norfolk. Lucky for us, Commune will take over the restaurant at Work | Release. The first floor of the Texaco building will be closed for about a month as the Commune team revamps the space to accommodate more seating and a new décor. Work | Release will still be involved in event production and regular art exhibitions in the space.

As for other NEON restaurants currently in the works, Sanctuary, at 109 Addison Street, was approved by Planning Commission in March so no doubt they will want to finish building out the space quickly. Jhane’s Sweet Lounge at 731 Granby Street is now open after a soft opening last weekend. Check out pictures of the newly renovated space, days and hours of operation and a menu here.

Obviously construction work continues on Olney Road, however the tide is turning on construction. Asphalt is going down on the south side of West Olney so now Utilities can move into the north side to replace the sewer and water mains. The completion date for this phase is the end of June, however work will halt for the Glass Arts Society conference in mid-May and resume once the event is over. NEON District wayfinding signs and glass sidewalk markers will also be installed during this time along Olney Road.


Recently in the NEON District

Art Exhibits and Performances

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec: Prints and Posters from The Museum of Modern Art, Chrysler Museum of Art

In the Box: Brian Bress, Chrysler Museum of Art

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility, Chrysler Museum of Art

Public and Private: East Germany in Photographs by Ulrich Wust, Chrysler Museum of Art

Inspiring Impressionism: Japanese Prints from the Chrysler Collection, Chrysler Museum of Art

Organica, Glass Wheel Studio

Pilchuck Prints, Chrysler Museum of Art

Layered Up Invitational Exhibition, Glass Wheel Studio

The Time Machine, d’Art Center

Wearable ArtsFest, d’Art Center

Pro-Forma, Work | Release

Motown the Musical, Chrysler Hall

Turandot, Harrison Opera House


Y’Art Sale Opening Reception, d’Art Center, March 2

Getting to Know the Couple & Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, March 3

Inside/Outside: A Walking Tour, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 4

Janks & Hot Gumbo Brass Band, Work | Release, March 4

Double Treble & The Pre-Madonnas, Push Comedy Theater, March 4

VSO: Pictures at a French Exhibit, Chrysler Hall, March 4

PechaKucha Norfolk Volume 3, Work | Release, March 9

Flaming Heart Date Night, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, March 9

The Paris of Toulouse-Lautrec Opening Party, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 9

Pro-Forma Artist and Curator Talks #2, Work | Release, March 11

K. Michelle, Chrysler Hall, March 11

Organica & Layered Up Invitational Exhibition Opening, Glass Wheel Studio, March 11

Who Dunnit? & Second Saturday Standup, Push Comedy Theater, March 11

Introduction to Neon Workshop, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, March 11-12

Brain Candy Live!, Chrysler Hall, March 12

Tour Toulouse, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 12

Opening Reception of The Time Machine, d’Art Center, March 16

St. Patrick’s Day 80s Dance Party, Work | Release, March 17

Steampunk Teen Workshop with d’Art Center, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 18

Tales from the Campfire, Push Comedy Theater, March 18

Verdi’s Requiem, Chrysler Hall, March 18

In Fine Feather Community Day, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 19

Norfolk Forum: General Stanley McChrystal, Chrysler Hall, March 21

LGBT Center Presents My Family, Work | Release, March 23

Chrysler Museum Bridal Show, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 24

Vinyl Record Swap & Cereal Surreal Art Brunch, Work | Release, March 25

Couples Therapy & Improvageddon, Push Comedy Theater, March 25

BJ Griffin & the Galaxy Groove, Work | Release, March 25

Norfolk Society of Arts Lecture: The New SFMOMA, Chrysler Museum of Art, March 29

Improv Tournament Championship & The Made Up Movie, Push Comedy Theater, March 31

Pro-Forma Closing Weekend with Cheap Thrills, Work | Release, March 31


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Downtown Norfolk Council | 223 East City Hall Ave, Suite 212 | Norfolk, VA 23510