The arts are alive and thriving this year in Virginia. Here are the top 5 places and things you need to see to round out 2014 – your year of art.
1. After an extensive, 16-month expansion and enhancement campaign, the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk reopens its doors on May 10, 2014. Of note are upgraded heating and cooling to be more green and efficient, a greatly enlarged exhibit hall for glass and contemporary art, new galleries for American and European painting and sculpture, a bigger cafe area, Wi-Fi in every gallery, improved accessibility, traffic flow, and parking.
- In the Box – “An intimate first-floor space dedicated to contemporary works in the digital realm,” is brand new to the Chrysler and will welcome four exhibits before the end of 2014.
- Weitzer Community Gallery – You be the curator when your votes help to determine the pieces exhibited. Voting occurs online until February 26, 2014.
- 70 Years of Smokey Bear – This exhibit will go on display in August and will contain 19 works by Virginia artist Rudy Wendelin of Arlington. Wendelin “depicted the friendly firefighting bear with the ranger hat and shovel for four decades, and is often credited with immortalizing him in pop culture history.”
2. In October 2014, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond will welcome nearly 200 pieces from the Palace Museum in Beijing, China entitled, “Forbidden City: Imperial Treasures From the Palace Museum, Beijing”. The exhibition will include pieces from the Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644-1911) dynasties. In exchange, VMFA will be the first museum in the United States to exhibit pieces in the Palace Museum, the most attended museum in the world with more than 11 million visitors annually.
3. From a musical point of view, celebrate 40 years of old time, country, and bluegrass music on stage at Carter Family Fold in Hiltons. Operational as a non-profit since 1974, the Fold acts as a tribute to the original Carter family (A.P. Carter, Sara Carter, and Maybelle Carter). The Carter family’s 1927 recordings are credited with launching the country music industry as we know it today.
If the name Carter sounds familiar to you and the paragraph above is not the reason why, perhaps June Carter Cash rings a bell? June was the daughter of Maybelle Carter and followed in her mother’s footsteps, performing with her sisters as the Carter Sisters, as well as the likes of Elvis Presley and her husband, Johnny Cash. June was a Grammy award-winning musician who passed away in 2003.
To get a feel for performances at Carter Family Fold, check out the Carter Fold Sessions embedded below.
4. Attend an arts festival. Pick one! Here are five good ones that should be on your list of contenders.
Spring: Virginia Arts Festival, Various Coastal Virginia – Hampton Roads Cities
April 18-19: Easter Decoy & Art Festival, Chincoteague
April 27-28: Virginia Hot Glass Festival, Staunton
May 23-25: Rooster Walk Music and Arts Festival, Martinsville
June 12-15: Boardwalk Art Show & Festival, Virginia Beach
5. The American Shakespeare Center’s Blackfriars Playhouse in Staunton is the world’s only recreation of William Shakespeare’s indoor theatre, the Blackfriars Playhouse. If you’ve yet to experience a performance at Blackfriars, you’re missing out. Especially since 2014 would be William Shakespeare’s 450th birth year! Celebrate with cake, music, games, and more on April 20, 2014.
What would you add to the Virginia arts #BucketList for 2014? Leave a comment to let us all know.
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