This post is part of a continued series distinguishing individuals and groups by presenting a DaVinci award or a Velvet Elvis award for their role in promoting Charlottesville as the "cultural and creative capital of Central Virginia".
[Sound of fanfare music, followed by a hush, then the tearing of an envelope] And the winner of a DaVinci is... Beryl Solla.
Since arriving in Charlottesville in 1999, Beryl has been the leading mover and shaker in Charlottesville’s art scene who you probably have never heard of (despite having a cool name). While keeping a moderately low profile, Beryl has been a grass roots supporter and promoter of the arts for many years. Simply put, she is instrumental in what people see, how they see it, and how it is created.
In her day job as Associate Professor of Art at PVCC and heading the art department, Beryl has been instrumental in elevating PVCC’s Fine Arts Department (part of the Humanities, Fine Arts and Social Sciences Department) to national stature through her teaching, curating, and leadership. Recent exhibits found at PVCC’s Dickinson Building included "Let there be Light" (a one-night-only-and-you-should-not-have-missed-it exhibit) and "Wonder Women." Both outstanding shows.
In her more public roles, Beryl is often called upon to assist with the selection and/or judging of local arts in the area. Contributing her keen eye for high quality and evocative art has ensured we see only the best Charlottesville has to offer. Beryl is also a member of various boards and committees. Until recently, she sat on the Piedmont Council of the Arts board during a time when great changes took place in that organization. She is also a member of Second Street Gallery’s Artist Review Panel.
If all that isn’t enough… Beryl has become one of the areas’ biggest proponents of creating collaborations joining various organizations in the community. Keep your eyes open for her next project called "Yard Art" – art installations created in people’s own yards popping up all over town.
No matter what I say about Beryl, I think one of the best sources of unadulterated feedback is directly from her students. Here is a small sampling of what they have said:
Beryl we love you. Take her class or miss out on the best.
awesome, awesome teacher. i love art, and still she made me love it more!!
Lady is off her rocker, but she's firkin great. I learned a lot in a very relaxed and chill environment. I will definitely take her for future classes if possible. She's hilarious.
Excellent professor. She's crazy, and fun, and allows you to express your creativity.
Love Her Class!!! Encourages you to do your best work. Respects her students but enjoys joking around.
you want a real art teacher..beryl is it!
‘Nuf said. Congratulations Beryl. You are a true DaVinci in my books.