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Downtown Norfolk Council

June 2017 Newsletter

Looking for a way to beat the heat this July? You can’t do much better than the climate-controlled galleries of Chrysler Museum and d’Art Center. There a number of excellent exhibitions on view now throughout the NEON District, ranging from the summery Americana folk art of George Sosnak to new original works celebrating NEON by d’Art Center artists. In particular, there’s one show we are happy to see return, the annual neon light invitational exhibition hosted by Work | Release and the Rutter Family Art Foundation. Although the art space has welcomed restaurant Commune into the fold, the Texaco Building still shines with innovative and fun sculptural neon work curated by ODU and NEON artist Clay McGlamory with an assist by Cate Currier. You’ll find pieces by a number of artists who are special to the neighborhood--young talents like Ali Feeney and James Akers and established Norfolk glass workers like Ken Daley and Bryan Riehl. It’s a treat to bask in the glow while enjoying the stellar food of Commune.

Grab a watermelon juice from Zeke’s and take a visit to some of the special institutions that call our district home this summer:

  • Having a Ball: Striking Portraits of America’s Pastimes by George Sosnak, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 6-August 27
  • Charged, Work | Release Gallery, June 23-July 23
  • Getting NE ON, d’Art Center, July 13-August 26
  • GAS Member Juried Exhibition, Glass Wheel Studio, May 27-July 16


NEON Festival 2017 Sponsorship

The NEON Festival is a celebration of energy and light in the NEON, Norfolk’s Arts District, on October 19 and 20, 2017. Entering its third year as the premier event in the neighborhood, this free festival is a showcase for public art and a destination for visual and performing arts. This year the festival returns to October and Visual Arts Week to focus on two spectacular evenings, Third Thursday at the Chrysler Museum & Glass Studio and Friday at The Plot and the Hurrah Players’ new Copeland Center. Each year more than 5,000 visitors have attended the festival and media coverage is extensive, with a buzz that reaches throughout the Hampton Roads area.

The NEON offers businesses and organizations truly unique sponsorship opportunities through the festival and the accompanying public art projects.  Each opportunity is fully customizable to match your interest in the NEON. Please contact Rachel McCall and the Downtown Norfolk Council to learn more about NEON Festival sponsorship.

Don't Miss These Upcoming Events

  • Colorful Coasters, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, July 1
  • Tales from the Patriot’s Campfire & The Bright Side, Push Comedy Theater, July 1
  • The Wedding Singer, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall, July 1-July 16
  • Yoga on Tap, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 2
  • Tickle My Ears, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 6
  • Having a Ball Exhibition Opening Reception, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 6
  • Tats for Tails, Fuzion Ink, July 7
  • RDis Art Show, Zeke’s Beans & Bowls, July 7
  • PC Duo, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 7
  • Live at Commune: True Body & Topics, Commune, July 7
  • Bring It! Live, Chrysler Hall, July 7-8
  • CMA On Screen: Shipyard, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 8
  • Live at Commune: J.Flax and The Heart Attacks & Berries, Commune, July 8
  • Who Dunnit?, Push Comedy Theater, July 8
  • Mirror Mosaics, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, July 8 & 9
  • David Blaine Live, Chrysler Hall, July 9
  • Gallery Talk: Thomas Hart Benton, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 11
  • Triple Play Family Day, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 15
  • Painted Baseballs, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, July 15
  • Brett Williams & Who We Are Not, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 15
  • Bring Your Own Testimony, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 16
  • Third Thursday, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 20
  • Getting NEON Reception, d’Art Center, July 20
  • Live at Commune: Demons, Dumb Waiter, Wandcarver, July 21
  • Gallery Talk: Pilchuck Prints, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 22
  • Comedy’s Most Wanted, Chrysler Hall, July 22
  • Afternoon Tango, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 23
  • Monir Closing Weekend, Chrysler Museum of Art, July 29
  • Mosquito Cabaret and Rudeboy Riddim, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, July 29
  • The Art of Yoga, Chrysler Museum of Art, Tuesdays in July
  • Friday Family Fun, Chrysler Museum of Art, Fridays in July

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


Recent Publicity

25 People to Thank for the Norfolk Metro Being the Top Growth Area for Millennials in America, AltDaily

Norfolk Tattoo Shop to Offer Flash Tattoos Benefiting Norfolk Animal Care Center, WTKR

In the Heart of Norfolk's Arts District, Commune's Food Won't Disappoint, The Virginian-Pilot

New Norfolk Brewery Gives Homebrewers ‘Bigger Garage to Hang Out In’, Southside Daily

Live Music Lounge Looking to Promote Local Talent in the NEON District, Southside Daily

Actor Terry O'Quinn Will Be Guest Monologist at Push Comedy Theater on Saturday Night, The Virginian-Pilot

First Solo Exhibit in the Work | Release Gallery in Commune NFK Features International Artist Andrew Breitenberg, AltDaily

Norfolk Looks to Move the Greyhound Station out of the NEON District, The Virginian-Pilot

Tonight: Third Annual NEON Show Opens at Commune NFK, AltDaily

Norfolk's Generic Theater Takes a Walk on the Mild Side with The Wedding Singer, The Virginian-Pilot

Greyhound Station in Norfolk Considering Downsizing, Relocation, WAVY

Local Review: The Wedding Singer at Generic Theater, AltDaily


Property Updates

As projects wind down and new ones near their starting date, there are some odds and ends to report on this month. Olney Road construction is finally close to wrapping up and should be complete by the end of July. Pile driving has started on the arts apartments on Virginia Beach Boulevard and will reportedly be ready for tenants in July 2018.

In business news, Unplugged and Sanctuary are both moving along with their respective buildouts at 806 Granby Street and 109 Addison Street. Both are restaurant and entertainment uses. As reported last month, Kellam Galleries was headed to auction but a buyer snapped up the building before bidding started. No word yet on the lucky owner, but Glass Wheel Studio is a great neighbor to have. There is still space for lease in NEON though – Bress Pawn Shop is looking for a neighbor for Bearded Bird Brewing. Give the shop a call at (757) 625-4228 if you are in the market for a prime location on Granby Street.

Last but not least, get ready for a big construction project that will be affecting NEON for months. The intersections of Brambleton Avenue with Granby Street and Monticello Avenue are getting a face lift with new traffic signals, crosswalks, a pedestrian island and a big fancy brick design spelling out “NEON”. It’s pretty exciting when you consider how many cars drive past NEON every day and how much safer it will be for pedestrians. The City of Norfolk is distributing information about the project now and Downtown Norfolk Council will be sending regular Street Smarts notifications throughout the construction. If you aren’t on this mailing list but would like to be, just head to and sign up at the bottom of the page.


Recently in the NEON District

Art Exhibits and Performances

Having a Ball: Striking Portraits of America’s Pastimes by George Sosnak, Chrysler Museum of Art

Glen McClure: The Shipyard Workers of Hampton Roads, Chrysler Museum of Art

Monir Shahroudy Farmanfarmaian: Infinite Possibility, Chrysler Museum of Art

Giampaolo Seguso—The Song of Glass: In the Box, Chrysler Museum of Art

Pilchuck Prints, Chrysler Museum of Art

Thomas Hart Benton and the Navy, Chrysler Museum of Art

GAS Member Juried Exhibition, Glass Wheel Studio

Charged, Work | Release

Getting NE ON, d’Art Center

The Wedding Singer, Generic Theater at Chrysler Hall


Glass Arts Society Conference, June 1 -3

Glass Jewelry Trunk Show, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 1-3

Jermaine Dupri Presents SoSo Summer 17 Tour, Chrysler Hall, June 1

First Fridays, The Plot, June 2

GAS Member Juried Exhibition Reception, Glass Wheel Studio, June 2

Jerry Seinfeld, Chrysler Hall, June 2

First Friday & Sketchmageddon, Push Comedy Theater, June 2

Tales from the Campfire, Push Comedy Theater, June 3

GAS Member Juried Exhibition Gallery Chat, Glass Wheel Studio, June 3

Comedy for a Cause, Push Comedy Theater, June 4

The Music of Paris, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 8

Flaming Heart Date Night, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 8

Steven Thorne Duo, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 9

Knit in Public Day, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 10

Uncle Jack, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 10

Who Dunnit?, Push Comedy Theater, June 10

Wine and Cheese Survey a la Toulouse-Lautrec, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 11

On the House, Push Comedy Theater, June 11

D’Art Draws, d’Art Center, June 15

Date Night with Brad and Alba, Push Comedy Theater, June 16

6th Annual Pride Block Party, Scope Arena, June 16

Engraved Mug Club, Chrysler Museum Glass Studio, June 17

Double Treble & Too Far, Push Comedy Theater, June 17

Storytelling Night: Deadline, Push Comedy Theater, June 18

Travis Wall's Shaping Sound, Chrysler Hall, June 20

PechaKucha Night, Commune, June 22

Glass Gardens Terrarium Class, Bearded Bird Brewing Company, June 21

Charged Opening Night, Work | Release, June 23

Improvageddon, Push Comedy Theater, June 24

Love, Loss and What I Wore, Push Comedy Theater, June 23-24

The Upright Senior Citizens Brigade, Push Comedy Theater, June 25

A Pint with Khalil Riddick and Galaxy Dynamite, Bearded Bird Brewing, June 28

Gallery Talk: Thomas Hart Benton, Chrysler Museum of Art, June 30

The Improv Riot & Harold Night, Push Comedy Theater, June 30


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