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TomTom Festival Open House and Free Pile Exhibition

McGuffey Art Center is thrilled to be an art venue for the upcoming citywide Tom Tom Founders Festival with two main events: an Open House with art demonstrations and a group show featuring innovative works that explore reclaimed materials.


The McGuffey Open House is on Saturday, April 14, 12:00 noon to 4:00 pm, and is free and open to the public. No Tom Tom Festival tickets or reservations are required to attend. The exhibition Free Pile Show is on view at the McGuffey Art Center upper hallway gallery April 3 - 29, 2018.

The Open House will showcase creativity in action, featuring over a dozen artists working in their studios, ready to answer questions with visitors first-hand about what is behind their artmaking, including artists working in encaustic, mixed media, painting, and glass blowing. In addition, the upper hallway show for April is linked to Tom Tom's support of creativity and experimentation. Entitled Free Pile Show, the exhibition includes pieces that draw their inspiration (and actual materials) from the famed "free pile," a zone in the McGuffey Art Center building that is a gathering place for art studio cast-offs, unused materials, and community oddities.

The resulting works by ten McGuffey member artists come from a place of rich imagination and resourcefulness—plus a bit of tongue-in-cheek. Just like the pile itself, this show promises the unexpected at every turn. The artists in the Free Pile Show include: Nina Frances Burke; Lindsay Heider Diamond; Brielle DuFlon; A. Faith; Andy Foster; L. Michelle Geiger; Christopher Headings; Jill Kerttula; Susan Northington; and Kelly Doyle Oakes.

McGuffey Art Center is located at 201 2nd Street NW, one block north of Charlottesville's Historic Downtown Mall. Limited parking is available behind the building, with passes distributed inside at the front desk. The building is handicap accessible via elevator. Hours are Tuesdays through Saturdays, 10-6, and Sundays 1-5pm. The building is closed on Mondays.

The Tom Tom Foundation's mission is to celebrate entrepreneurship, culture, and innovation in small cities. Tom Tom’s signature event is a weeklong festival that takes place in Charlottesville, Virginia, each April (April 9-15, 2018), in conjunction with Thomas Jefferson’s birthday. This cross-disciplinary, multi-venue experience transforms the Charlottesville downtown, strengthening diverse local communities as it empowers creators and civic leaders who are shaping the nation's future. For additional information about the Festival please visit:

Established in 1975, McGuffey Art Center is one of the oldest artist-run organizations in the United States, featuring over 40 studios open to the public, one block from the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville. The McGuffey Arts Association is a group of more than 150 juried members dedicated to providing opportunities for the community to participate in the creative process through free access to open studios, more than 50 annual exhibitions and performances, classes, tours, and outreach projects. 

Earlier Event: April 6
April Exhibits Opening Reception