Spotlight Arts Organization: Riverviews Artspace
“Riverviews Artspace was a pioneer in Lynchburg’s downtown revitalization. It was the first major conversion of a large warehouse building into loft apartments and commercial space. Although it took some public money to bring the project to fruition, the funds have been fully repaid and are now being reused in a revolving loan fund to support further revitalization. Riverviews proved that there was a market for loft living in downtown Lynchburg and its artists in residence provide just the sort of creative spirit that a successful downtown thrives on.”
—Kimball Payne, City Manager
Riverviews is a non-profit arts organization dedicated to presenting contemporary art exhibitions and multi-disciplinary programs for audiences of all ages and backgrounds. Located in historic downtown Lynchburg, Riverviews provides gallery and studio space for established and emerging artists. We are an active partner in downtown revitalization and committed to the ongoing growth of a thriving arts community.
Riverviews renovated one of downtown Lynchburg’s historic riverfront warehouses to create exhibition and performance spaces and a film theatre as well as provide living and studio spaces for artists and others. The Craddock-Terry Gallery, a street level gallery with large scale art on display through the windows has become part of the visual landscape of Lynchburg.
Our unique mixed-use space for visitors, artists and tenants has revitalized an urban city center and developed opportunities to engage the community and create affordable studio space for artists. Riverviews provides work spaces for artists at below market rates and subsidizes the Riverviews Artists Co-op Gallery. The need for space – such as space for making work, conducting business, gathering to critique work, presenting work, and (for some) storing work – distinguishes artists from most other occupational groups. The unique mix of programs, studios and residences creates a symbiotic relationship.
Craddock-Terry Gallery Exhibitions
The Craddock-Terry Gallery is the centerpiece of Riverviews Artspace, continually offering a series of exhibitions by well-respected and accomplished artists since opening in 2003. The gallery exhibitions showcase contemporary works of art. The scale of the gallery – 2800 sq feet with 17-foot ceilings – allows for large-scale works and installations not possible in smaller venues. The Annual Juried Show of Virginia Artists has become a popular program attracting local artists as well as from all over the state.
On First Fridays, Riverviews Artspace partners with the Riverviews Artist Co-op Gallery and studio tenants to host an open house in the first three floors of the building. Activities include live music in the Craddock-Terry Gallery, performances, family activities and art talks.
Riverviews has been developing film programs for the past few years and has shown documentaries, short films, foreign language films, independent films and films by local film-makers. In 2009, Riverviews renovated a small space into a state-of-the-art screening room with excellent sound and projection; this theater was recently named The Rosel H. Schewel Theatre in honor of a former Board member and founder of the CINEviews Film Festival.
Riverviews is launching “BEAT BURG,” an annual poetry festival, in April 2014 in honor of National Poetry Month. Riverviews will saturate downtown Lynchburg with poetry with the ambitious goal of trying to get most of the city’s 70,000 residents to read or hear a poem. Events include Opening Night Beat Poet Party, poetry written by local poets distributed in local restaurants and bars on coasters, Downtown Building Poetry Banners, and the closing night Dead Poets Party (everyone dresses as their favorite dead poet).
“Riverviews Artspace has been an important place for my family. We moved to Lynchburg from a large city that had many art galleries. I was delighted to find Riverviews here in Lynchburg. Our whole family comes to see every exhibit. My kids love the atmosphere of First Fridays. We also attend special events such as the film festivals and plays. I even brought my son’s entire second grade class to one exhibit! Riverviews brings art to Lynchburg that helps us see there is a much larger world out there!”
—Rina Shere, E.D.D
“Riverviews Artspace is an incredible venue and destination for the arts in downtown Lynchburg. The energy and mix of art, ranging from visual mixed media to film to literary events, is phenomenal. The City is fortunate to have such a dynamic arts culture that continues to blossom and grow at Riverviews Artspace!
—Bonnie Svrcek, Deputy City Manager