From local music festivals to folk art exhibits to French bébé dolls, there are plenty of opportunities to explore the arts at Old Dominion University this spring. 

Stop in to the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries to check out “Low Stakes: Everyday Comix and Plywood Cutouts,” featuring around 70 sculptures made from salvaged wood by artist Sam Bartlett on display through May 6. Bartlett is also a musician and author, and his recorded music will accompany the exhibition.

Right around the corner at the Barry Art Museum, explore how the bébé doll shaped representations of childhood on a global scale with “The Great Exhibition: Bébés at the Barry,” on display through July 30. 

Catch the opening reception for “soft things don’t break: Works by Amber Pierce” at 6 p.m. Feb. 9 at the Hixon Student Art Gallery. Pierce, an art education and 3D media and materials double major, is the recipient of a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Visual Arts Fellowship.

If you’re a local music lover, mark your calendar for YES Fest, a multi-venue music festival on March 10 and 11 at the Goode Theatre and Gordon Art Galleries. Hosted by Arts@ODU and LAVA Presents, the diverse lineup will feature 25 bands from all over Virginia and beyond.

More upcoming events and programming include: 

  • “Artemis, I” Feb 23-25, March 1-4, 7:30 p.m., and March 5, 2 p.m., at Goode Theatre, 4601 Monarch Way. Directed by Deborah Wallace and produced by ODU Rep Theatre. An updated retelling of the Greek story of Iphigenia that begins with the crimes of Agamemnon against the goddess Artemis. Although boldly contemporary in design and tone, this performance proves that audiences in 400 B.C. asked the same questions that haunt us today. What is the value of one human life? How much of our humanity are we willing to sacrifice for glory and the spoils of war? Civilization must begin with justice, but to those being sacrificed, is slaughter ever just? “Artemis, I” is produced with the support of the Hellenic Studies Endowment. Buy tickets here.
  • Emerging Playwrights Festival, March 29-April 1, April 6-8, 7:30 p.m., and April 9, 2 p.m., at Goode Theatre. A collection of one-act plays performed by students and written by student playwrights. Produced by ODURep Theatre. Buy tickets here.
  • University Dance Theatre Spring Concert, April 12-14, 7:30 p.m., and April 15, 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m., at University Theatre, 4608 Hampton Blvd. Experience an unforgettable evening of diverse works as emerging and established artists expand the boundaries of dance. The University Dance Theatre's Spring Concert presents pieces performed by Old Dominion University students in a variety of dance styles – modern, Afro-Fusion, jazz and hip-hop. Choreographers this season include visiting artist Jennifer Archibald, ODU Dance faculty members Davianna Griffin, Janelle Spruill and Megan Thompson, and a collection of emerging choreographers. Buy tickets here.
  • John Fedchock, trombone, Diehn Concert Series in the Chandler Recital Hall, April 16 (free) at 4 p.m. and April 17 (ticketed) at 7:30 p.m. Tickets and more info here.
  • Jazz Combo and Jazz Orchestra, Feb. 16 at 7:30 p.m. and April 16 at 4 p.m. in the Chandler Recital Hall. The ODU Jazz Combo, directed by John Toomey, and the ODU Jazz Orchestra, directed by Doug Owens, are featured in multiple concerts every semester, performing standard and contemporary originals and arrangements. Each spring semester, the Jazz Choir, Jazz Combo and Jazz Orchestra perform with a nationally known jazz artist as part of a five-day residency sponsored by the Diehn Concert Series. Buy tickets here.
  • Brass Choir, Feb. 27 at 7:30 p.m. and April 18 at 7:30 p.m. in the Chandler Recital Hall. The ODU Brass Choir has been performing continuously since 1972 under the direction of William Bartolotta, and since 2006, of Mike Hall. The ensemble performs works written specifically for brass as well as arrangements of choral, orchestral, jazz, pop and show music.
  • Faculty Recital: Stephen Coxe and Friends, March 12, 7:30 p.m., online. More info here.
  • “Patterns of Love: Share the Love!” Feb. 17, noon, and May 6, 5 p.m., in the Perry Library Learning Commons: Artist Kim McCoy will incorporate interpretations and feedback from the ODU community into her installation. Learn more here.