Saturday, 26 November 2016

Doug Solyan, Uptown Neon, Richmond VA 23220

I recently had the most enjoyable visit to see Doug Solyan at Uptown Neon, 2629 W Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23220, for the first time since 1994. Doug is one of the two people, who back in 1988, introduced me to the wonderful world of neon and got me started on my life long career and obsession.

His beautiful neon shop on West Cary Street is an Aladdin's cave for any devotee of neon, with thousands of pieces of old and reclaimed neon sections hanging from the ceiling, numerous neon signs and a collection of neon clocks, the envy of any museum.

Doug got started back in the early 1980's and taught himself glass bending with the help of his friend and mentor, Mr Rudd at Talley Neon. He is now responsible for the vast majority of the neon signs scattered liberally across the diners, shops and restaurants of Richmond. 

Doug's obsession with neon isn't confined to the work place and the front of his house, in the Fan District, is always decorated with a couple of pieces of seasonal neon, hung in the windows of the porch, for the delight of the local residents and passers by. While I was there for three weeks, it went from neon pumpkins to neon maple leaves to neon turkeys.

Click here for a link to a beautiful, short film made about Doug back in 2015

Doug, now 74 years old, has no plans for retiring and enjoys every day that he's in the neon shop. Thank you so much for your time Doug, you are an inspiration to many. I hope to be back soon.

Doug Solyan +1 804 358 6243

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

Tristin Lowe's Comet: God Particle at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

 Tristin Lowe's Comet: God Particle, 2011, Glass, neon, aluminium 

On a recent trip to Richmond, Virginia, I was lucky to stumble upon Tristin Lowe's Comet: God Particle, on loan to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.

A beautifully executed piece of neon sculpture that I had been aware of since it's inception several years ago, it was a pleasure to be able to see the piece full size and close up, in all it's glory.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has a fantastic and varied permanent collection as well as a diverse calendar of exhibitions and is well worth the visit.