News and notes from Fredericksburg's entertainment scene
Arts: Warm up with song during First Friday
BY CHARLOTTE RODINA
THE FREE LANCE-STAR
Walking into the Sophia Street Studios storefront is much like going into a candy store with all the brightly colored ornaments and hanging stained glass that entices a second glance. Original pottery and a wall of quirky clocks, like the cow with a ticking tongue swinging back and forth, are there as if to offer a warm greeting.
Along with the exhibition of local artwork this Friday, the studio will be hosting a “Baby It’s Cold Out There” cabaret, featuring singer Sue Henderson and keyboardist Ray Dempsey from 6 to 9 p.m.
“I just hope it gets a little colder by Friday, so the name works,” joked Dempsey.
Dempsey, from Spotsylvania County, has been playing piano for nearly 70 years, from Walt Disney cruises to restaurants and private parties in D.C. Henderson has been singing her whole life as well and has performed for the Cambridge Symphony Orchestra, a punk band, Riverside Center Dinner Theater and more.
“This event is about comfort. It’s about being with friends and family, and of course having a good time,” Henderson said.
For Friday, she will she sing jazzy renditions of songs such as “You Took Advantage of Me” and “I Get a Kick Out of You.”
“It’s not something every gallery does,” explained Henderson. “It’s a great opportunity for me to sing things I love.”
Sophia Street Studios, established in 1982, houses paintings and photographs, as well as hundreds of ceramic pieces created by owner Trista Chapman. Chapman is known for her whimsical, brightly colored pottery that is also sold in a shop below the studio.
“It’s functional earthenware,” she explained. Her top sellers include square plates, goblets, and vases patterned with polka dots and florals.
Six local artists exhibit work in the studio, with two of the painters utilizing studio space to work. In all, the studio displays works of four painters, one ceramist, and one photographer, who is Henderson herself.
“I like line, and light and I like color. I take pictures to go with a season or a place,” said Henderson, whose photographs, such as a sea turtle or a food market in Europe, you can peruse while listening to her sing.
Painter Anne Parks is tinkering with the idea of bringing out some of her older works for the showing, one of which is a forested landscape she painted in 1978. Today, Parks still paints many landscapes including the Outer Banks and the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, where she used to live.
The studio has an open house for every First Friday event, but lately business has been slow. Chapman blames the cold weather, as more people are inclined to stay bundled up at home in the winter.
Henderson describes the studio as “a little off the beaten path,” in terms of Fredericksburg art spaces, but hopes that “the creativity will bring people in” this weekend.
This First Friday event is one of many, where locals can explore lively community art in Fredericksburg. First Fridays are free and open to the public.
What: “Baby It’s Cold Out There” cabaret show by Sue Henderson and Ray Dempsey
Where: Sophia Street Studios, 1104 Sophia St.
When:First Friday reception, 6–9 p.m. tomorrow
Charlotte Rodina: 540/374-5444