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The Suffolk Art League is excited to be hosting the VMFA on the Road during its stay in Suffolk. Sixty-five years after the launch of its original Artmobile, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is once again bringing traveling art exhibitions and educational offerings to audiences across the Commonwealth with VMFA on the Road: An Artmobile for the 21st Century. This state-of-the-art mobile museum and education studio made its public debut on Oct. 30, 2018, in Fredericksburg and will be in Suffolk from March 26 – 29 at the Suffolk Tourism Office parking lot, 524 N. Main St. (Main & Constance Rds).
The VMFA on the Road will open to the public on Tuesday, March 26 from 2:00 – 6:00 p.m. Visitors will be invited to board the new Artmobile to view the inaugural exhibition, How Far Can Creativity Take You? VMFA Fellowship Artists, which explores the history and impact of VMFA’s fellowship program, the largest of its kind in the United States.
Students from Suffolk Public Schools and Nansemond-Suffolk Academy will be touring the exhibit and participating in a hands on art activity Wednesday, Thursday and Friday during school hours. In addition to Tuesday, the Artmobile will be open to the public on Wednesday and Thursday, March 27 & 28, from 3:30 – 5:00. During public hours, the Suffolk Public Library’s Library to Go will be on location as well.
The Exhibition: How Far Can Creativity Take You? VMFA Fellowship Artists
VMFA on the Road’s inaugural exhibition explores the history and legacy of VMFA’s Statewide Fellowship Program with How Far Can Creativity Take You? VMFA Fellowship Artists. Since the program was established in 1940, VMFA has awarded more than $5 million to more than 1,300 undergraduate, graduate and professional artists, and graduate level art historians, all of whom were residents of the Commonwealth when they applied. Each year, up to 30 artists and art historians receive more than $162,000 in support.
How Far Can Creativity Take You? VMFA Fellowship Artists uses the work of former fellowship artists to examine how different mediums and techniques are used to create unique works of art. Featured artists include painters Cy Twombly and Benjamin Wigfall; photographers Sally Mann and Emmet Gowin; printmakers Dennis Winston and Ann Chenoweth; and television writer and director Vince Gilligan, among other Virginians.
The exhibition is divided into three sections, beginning with an introduction to VMFA and its unique history of serving the Commonwealth of Virginia. This history includes highlights of the statewide program as well as the history of the fellowship program, including video footage and historic images. An interactive digital map shows the location of where each VMFA fellow lives, or is from, and visitors can push additional buttons to uncover more information about the artist.
The second space is a gallery presenting works of art by fellowship winners along with in-depth video interviews with the artists, VMFA curators and educators. VMFA on the Road also includes a modular studio that can be used for interactive hands-on creativity. Visitors can participate in a collaborative project to be completed over the course of the tour and also create their own take-home projects.
In addition to bringing the museum experience to those outside Richmond, VMFA on the Road includes 21st-century digital components. From interactives featuring newly digitized collection images to classroom resources from the online Learn Portal, the mobile museum is fully integrated with VMFA’s broader digital outreach efforts. In preparation for the mobile museum’s arrival, local secondary schools can also participate in the new Evans 360° program, which enables students to interact in real time with a VMFA educator broadcasting live from the museum’s galleries.
Two VMFA on the Road educators will staff the truck, with a separate driver transporting them from town to town. Like their Artmobile colleagues from the past, the educators and driver will set up the truck, greet our visitors, conduct tours, offer activities on-site and also work with local Statewide Partners to give lectures at community venues as well as hands-on workshops in schools and art studios.