RVA Community Makers returns for the third year with a new mixed-media public art mural at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts that celebrates Richmond-area artists. In anticipation of the upcoming exhibition The Dirty South: Contemporary Art, Material Culture, and the Sonic Culture (opens May 22), this year’s project will honor five musicians who have been selected for their creativity and impact on the RVA community. Five local visual artists have been selected to create an artwork inspired by one of the musicians. The musical genres, musicians, and visual artists featured in the project are as follows.
J. Plunky Branch (instrumentalist)
Desiree Roots (vocalist/actor)
Jon Bibbs (singer/songwriter)
Z-Bey (Zenobia) (writer/artist)
Cora Armstrong (singer/songwriter)
Richmond artist Hamilton Glass, who has been involved in RVA Community Makers since it began in 2019, will compile these works to create the mural. The public will be invited to participate by using coloring sheets custom designed by Glass that are available for pick-up at VMFA’s Art Education Center and from community partners. All completed sheets should be returned to VMFA’s Art Education drop box by Feb 5. Glass will incorporate the sheets into the completed mural on Feb 7, 1–4 pm in the Art Education Studio. To accommodate COVID-19 restrictions, viewers can stand outside the studio to briefly watch Glass at work. The mural will be on view in VMFA’s Atrium Feb 22–Mar 5.
RVA Community Makers is part of VMFA’s commemoration of Black History Month. This year’s program includes interviews with each musician and artist conducted by Miss Community Clovia of KISS Richmond and Praise 101. The 60-minute virtual program will premiere on Radio One’s KISS Richmond, Praise 101, and IPower Facebook pages on Feb 24 at 6 pm. The RVA Community Makers program honoring the visual and musical artists will then be available to view on VMFA’s You-Tube channel.
A short film featuring artist Hamilton Glass creating the public art mural for the first RVA Community Makers event in 2019 is available here.