Recently you may have noticed that the advertisements for our current exhibition, Posing Beauty in African American Culture, have changed. After the opening of the exhibition, visitors told us that they thought this was an important show, plumbing issues of shared and individual identify, the shifting definitions of beauty, and a slice of historical and contemporary place. To create a more dimensional experience, we also assembled works from our own collection (Identify Shifts: Works from VMFA) as a companion exhibition to Posing Beauty (free with the admission price of Posing Beauty). We received feedback that Identity Shifts added both a contemporary angle and a wider sense of conversation to Posing Beauty, while beautifully complementing it.
Despite the positive experiences visitors were having after seeing the exhibitions, they reported that the current ads (using a beautiful photograph by Ken Ramsay) did not convey the breadth and depth of that experience.
This is the part of marketing and advertising I find very intriguing. Taking our visitor experience into consideration, we revised the ads. We looked for images that would work together to both demonstrate the thematic connection between the exhibitions and broaden each others’ presentations. The revision took us deeper into the content of the exhibition as seen through the filter of the visitor experience. We arrived at a pairing and juxtaposition of works that I find visually compelling. I think the new layouts provide a better window into the rich experience of the combined exhibitions.
And, inspired by the generosity of Richmond (VA) Chapter, The Links, Incorporated, and made possible by the sponsorship of Dominion, the Julia Louise Reynolds Fund and the Miles family, Posing Beauty along with Identity Shifts will now be free on Thursdays (beginning on Jul 26). Our mandate is to be accessible to all, stimulate conversation, and increase appreciation of both art and the experience of viewing art. We hope you will share this with your friends and take advantage of these inspirational exhibitions.
- Bob Tarren, Director of Marketing and Communications