Experience Black History Month at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

Open 365 days a year, the VMFA shares its growing collection of African American art all year long. During Black History Month 2020, it’s great time to visit the collection and join the ongoing celebration of African American art, history, and culture.

Boy and H, Harlem, 1961, Louis Draper (American, 1935–2002), gelatin silver print, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment. Courtesy of the Louis H. Draper Preservation Trust, Nell D. Winston, trustee.

Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop
Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, Associate Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, VMFA, in conversation with Nell Draper-Winston
Thu, Jan 30 | 6:30–7:30 pm, $8 (VMFA members $5), Leslie Cheek Theater

VMFA’s Dr. Sarah Eckhardt, curator of Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop, will provide an overview of the exhibition, which features photography by members of the Kamoinge Workshop, an artist collective founded in New York City in 1963. Nell Draper-Winston, sister of photographer Louis Draper, will join Dr. Eckhardt in conversation to discuss her brother’s photographs and his roots in Richmond.

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Celebrate African and African American Family Day: Mali

Grandma’s Hands
Sun, Feb 2 | 1–4 pm, Free, no tickets required. Art Education Center. Performances in the Atrium 2 pm & 3 pm

Join others as they encounter generational lessons from two sisters with remarkable stories to share from the perspective of the African American South. Through song, stories, and signed poetry, we will learn how women have made an impact on culture through practices passed down from family matriarchs.

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RVA Community Makers Art Activity
Sun, Feb 2 | 1–4 pm, Free, no tickets required. Art Education Center

During Open Studio Plus Performance, celebrate family with Richmond artist Hamilton Glass and local African American photographers.

Take your digital family portraits onsite at VMFA to become part of a mixed-media public art collaboration. Glass will guide attendees in hands-on participation. You can also capture fun memories in the Family Portrait Photo Booth.

Extending the meaning of family to community, the project also brings together six local photographers—Regina Boone, Courtney Jones, Brian Palmer, Sandra Sellars, Ayasha Sledge, and James Wallace— who will create portraits of six selected community leaders.

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Spirituals, Fri, Feb 7 | 6–8 pm, Free, no tickets required. Atrium

Welcome sopranos Lisa Edwards Burrs and Olletta Cheatham to the First Friday series with an evening of Spirituals. Lisa and Olletta will sing many powerful songs of the genre and explore their resonating impact on history.

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VMFA After Hours: VMFA Is for Lovers
Sat, Feb 15 | 7–11:30 pm, $45/person ($35 VMFA members). Museum wide

Join host Kelli Lemon for a night of art, music, dancing, and love after dark. Catch DJ Lonnie B on the spin in the Marble Hall. Enjoy Legacy Band performing live music in the Atrium. Experience the exhibitions Edward Hopper and the American Hotel and Working Together: Louis Draper and the Kamoinge Workshop.

All galleries will be open during this event to give you access to our diverse collections of art from around the world.

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LIVE JAZZ, Dominion Energy Jazz Café: Jazz Around the Museum. Thu, Feb 13 | 6–9 pm, Free, no tickets required. Marble Hall

Back by popular demand! Who says a Jazz band can’t party, get down, and get funky? Led by saxophonist Robert “Bo” Bohannon, Klaxton Brown combines the old with the new, and will rock you steady all night long. Prepare to get Klaxtonized!

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ARTIST TALK: Paul Rucker
Fri, Feb 21 | 6:30–7:30 pm, $8 ($5 VMFA members). Leslie Cheek Theater

Join multidisciplinary artist Paul Rucker for a discussion of his art and practice as a visual artist, composer, and musician.

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Celebrate African & African American Art: Adornment Jun 10, 2017 | 11 am–3 pm Come to VMFA for this year’s Family Day celebration of African and African American arts and culture. Explore the theme of “adornment” through artwork in VMFA’s collection and enjoy artist demonstrations, performances by the Elegba Folklore Society, and music with DJ Mikemetic. Participate in art activities, including Zulu-inspired jewelry making, and so much more!

Dance After Work: Hip-Hop Line Dancing. Fri, Feb 21 | 6–8 pm. Free, no tickets required. Atrium

RVA Community Makers Unveiling
Sun, Feb 27 | 5:30 pm, Free, no tickets required. Atrium

Come see RVA Community Makers—a mixed-media public art mural in VMFA’s Atrium. The completed project will feature portraits of six local leaders who have been selected for their impact on the RVA community. The mixed-media mural of acrylic paint and photography will reflect the creative visions of Richmond artist Hamilton Glass and local photographers Regina Boone, Courtney Jones, Brian Palmer, Sandra Sellars, Ayasha Sledge, and James Wallace.

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Community Event: Celebrate Wiley!, Sat, Feb 29 | 10–11 am. Free, no tickets required. Atrium

Rumors of War (detail), 2019, Kehinde Wiley (American, born 1977), bronze with stone pedestal, overall: 27’ 4 7/8” H x 25’ 5 7/8” L x 15’ 9 5/8” W. Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Purchased with funds provided by Virginia Sargeant Reynolds in memory of her husband, Richard S. Reynolds, Jr., by exchange, Arthur and Margaret Glasgow Endowment, Pamela K. and William A. Royall, Jr., Angel and Tom Papa, Katherine and Steven Markel, and additional private donors, 2019.39

Join VMFA for a community celebration of Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War! This special event will offer families a chance to view this new work of art and welcome it to its permanent home through art-making, gallery activities, and readings of children’s literature.

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Family African American Read-In, Sat, Feb 29 | 11 am–noon, Free, no tickets required. Meet at Visitor Services

Bring your family to VMFA to enjoy this unique event and experience African and African American children’s literature read by members of the community in front of engaging works of art. Children will also enjoy music, movement, and enrichment activities. (Intended audience: children ages 2–8 years with their guardian; everyone is welcome.)