Gallery Exhibit Features Sewing and Photography

Charlottesville, VA - Piedmont Virginia Community College will open two new exhibits featuring images from an award-winning photographer and mixed-media pieces from four artists working in fabric. The show runs Feb. 10-March 28 with a free opening reception to be held Friday, Feb. 10 from 5-7 p.m. in the PVCC Gallery, located in the V. Earl Dickinson Building on campus.

The North Gallery will feature "Sew What," a small group show that focuses on sewing as the dominant medium and includes the handwork of artists Harriet Arthur, Shelby Fischer, JoLee Tarbell and PVCC Art Department Chair Beryl Solla.

"Our goal is to take sewing out of the craft context and bring it into the world of high art," said Solla. "I'm not convinced there's really a big difference between high art and craft, and this show explores that edge."

She said that the exhibit highlights Arthur's "seductive and surprising" use of fabric as a sculptural media, Fischer's "interesting and sometimes quirky" layering of fabric, and Tarbell's expansion of the definition of traditional fabric use. Solla said her own work will feature sequin and glass beads, showing her attraction to "all things shiny and colorful" and her "obsessive commitment to detail."

The South Gallery will present "The Personals," showcasing the work of award-winning Charlottesville-based photographer Jen Fariello. A 1996 graduate of the University of Virginia, Fariello established her own freelance company and quickly became one of the most sought-after photographers in the region, producing images reminiscent of Life magazine portraits but unique in their perspective.

"In a town that's so rich with photographers, Jen is a standout," said Solla. "She's not afraid to make gorgeous pictures - she's not afraid of the seduction of beauty." Solla said that in "The Personals" exhibit, Fariello will share some of her favorite recent images.

The PVCC Gallery, located in the V. Earl Dickinson Building for Humanities and Social Sciences, is open 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays and 1-5 p.m. Saturdays. The Dickinson Building is located at the south end of College Drive and free, well-lit parking is located in front of the building. A complete list of PVCC's 2011-12 season of fine and performing arts events is available on the Web at