Fourth (Estate) Friday
The Rappahannock News’ staff will be back at the Country Cafe in Washington at 9 tomorrow morning (Friday, Oct. 28) for our monthly coffee and conversation hour. All are welcome — all people, opinions, criticism, good news, bad news, election predictions, you name it. We buy your coffee no matter what you say (as long as it’s on the record). Email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 540-675-3338 for more information.
A late-October, just-in-time selection of events
The “Rappahannock Starry Skies Festival,” rescheduled from an unsuitably dark and stormy night last month, is this Saturday (Oct. 29) starting at 6 p.m. at 560 Battle Mountain Rd., Amissville. Hosted by Rappahannock League for Environmental Protection (RLEP), it includes information on saving our view of the stars over Rappahannock, a telescope for viewing, an astronomer to point out constellations, information on better lighting solutions and efforts to down-shield pole lights. Donations apply toward RLEP membership.
Friday’s Fairy Tale Walk starts at 7 p.m. at Hearthstone School (11576 Lee Hwy., Sperryville), and it’s a non-scary event. Come in costume; there are healthy treats and cookies, cider, soup and bread. See your favorite fairy tales come to life, including “Rapunzel,” “The Brave Little Tailor,” “Snow White,” “The Three Bears” and more. Suggested donation $5 per family. For more information, call 540-987-9212.
At Pen Druid Brewing in Sperryville’s River District, the Brothers Carney bring back their “End of Oktoberfest” from noon to 8 this Saturday (Oct. 29) — an event for the whole family. “We will be hosting Heritage Hollow and Sunnyside Farms, who will be roasting heritage pork, lamb and autumn veggies over open wood fires,” says Jennings Carney. “Wood Stone Bakery will have fresh roasted wild breads, and Number1 Sons will be serving wild kimchi, sauerkraut and fermented hot sauces. Wild Roots Apothecary will have pies and desserts. We will also be pouring beer with our dear friends Hopkins Ordinary Ale Works!”
There is no admission charge, and costumes, as Jennings says, “are totally cool, too.” For more information, email email@example.com or call 540-987-5064.
Were you wondering about Monday evening’s Halloween trick-or-treating tradition on the streets of Washington? All the details are in the Washington column on page B2.
Middle Street Gallery is back in Sperryville
The members of Middle Street Gallery have announced the gallery’s reopening — on Saturday, Nov. 5, just in time for the annual art tour (more on the other returning galleries on page B1). The new gallery will occupy three rooms above the Before & After espresso bar and wine cafe at 31 Main St. in Sperryville.
The nonprofit artists cooperative closed earlier this year when the facility it shared with River District Arts went on the market. It will celebrate its renaissance with a special art show called “New Beginning.”
Middle Street’s Gary Anthes shared the following handy Middle Street Gallery Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ):
Q: Are you part of Before & After?
A: No, but we will encourage the public to visit both the gallery and cafe for one-stop nourishment of body and soul.
Q: Did you consider other locations?
A: We looked as far away as Culpeper, Warrenton, and Marshall, but the members strongly wanted to remain in Rappahannock County.
Q: Why Sperryville?
A: The town has become a thriving arts center, with Haley Fine Art, the Glassworks Gallery, Oldway Art Center and Cottage Curator all nearby. Sperryville has become an especially popular weekend destination, and it’s a convenient rest stop on the way to the Skyline Drive. It offers an eclectic mix of gift shops, antique stores, restaurants and sellers of wine, beer and whiskey.
Q: What kind of art will you offer?
A: Our 20 members will offer fine art paintings, drawings, sculpture, and photographs — the same things we have sold for many years.
Q: Why are you called Middle Street Gallery when you are on Main Street?
A: The gallery opened in 1983 on Middle Street in Little Washington. In two subsequent moves we have voted to keep our name, seeing it as an important legacy and a symbol of our long service to the local arts community.
Q: “Service to the arts community?”
A: The gallery is a nonprofit, 501(c)3 organization. As such, we reach out to area schools, to non-member artists and to other segments of the public. Two years ago we won a grant from the Claudia Mitchell Arts Fund for these activities.
Q:What are your hours?
A: Our autumn hours are 10 to 6 Friday-Sunday.
Q: It seems the coffee shop is not just for coffee anymore.
A: Before & After serves high-quality coffee and espresso drinks, local and international wines, locally sourced salads and breakfast and baked goods. The cafe will soon create a gourmet market next door (reportedly to be called During) where it will offer wine, cheese, meats, to-go sandwiches and food for hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Q: Can I buy a cup of coffee and a muffin at the cafe and bring it up to the gallery to eat while looking at the art?
Noted Ikebana teacher Sheila Advani will travel to Rappahannock Nov. 16 to put on a demonstration of the art of Japanese flower arranging to the Rappahannock County Garden Club. All are invited to attend, but the Garden Club is asking for a $5 donation to cover the costs of this unique presentation.
The demonstration will take place at 2 p.m. at the Washington fire hall (the club’s regular meeting starts at 1, followed by social hour at 1:30; all are welcome at those times as well).
Sheila has been involved with Sogetsu Ikebana since about 1980 when she signed up for a “few” classes because she enjoyed seeing the arrangements in the home of the late Ruth Yockelson, who was to become her teacher. The few classes have taken a very long time to complete. Sheila was a student of the late Mary Sugiyama, who was a director of Sogetsu USA, and currently is a student of Mrs. Mihori from Florida, and takes every opportunity to take workshops from visiting professors of the Sogetsu School.
Sheila was president of Ikebana International, Washington, D. C. Chapter #1 and has held various other positions in the chapter. She is also a past director of the Washington DC Sogetsu Branch. She is a member of the Sogetsu Teacher’s Association and holds the Komon degree.
At home near Washington, D.C., Sheila has a studio where she has taught classes since 1994 and is currently teaching. Classes run from September-May and occasional summer classes are held on Nantucket Island.
Exploring the life and music of Miles Davis at Castleton
Grammy-nominated music historian John Hasse will be joined by members of the Smithsonian Jazz Masterworks Orchestra (SJMO) Octet as they perform and discuss the life, times and music of Miles Davis, 4 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 6, at Castleton’s Theatre House.
Hasse’s presentation recounts Davis’s life, struggles against racism, convention and his own demons, richly illustrated with photos, audio, and video clips, some of which have never before been seen in the United States. His talk will be followed by a performance of some of Davis’ most famous works by the SJMO Octet, including “On Green Dolphin Street,” “Fran Dance,” “Love for Sale,” “So What” and “Blue In Green.”
“We see Miles Davis as one of the greatest American trumpeters ever,” said Hasse. “Miles is someone who transformed the aesthetic a number of times, whose sound on his instrument became a unique aural trademark, instantly identifiable, and came to dominate jazz during the second half of the 20th century more so than anyone else. His importance goes far beyond jazz, for he was one of the great American musicians, period.”
Tickets for the Castleton in Performance (CiP) 20th Anniversary concerts range from $20 to $40; the Theatre House (663 Castleton View Rd.) is an intimate, state-of-the-art 140-seat proscenium theater. There will be one intermission. Call the box office at 540-937-3454 or visit castletonfestival.org for more information or to purchase tickets.