Sharing Our Art with the Commonwealth

McGinness Painting

Ryan McGinness (American, born 1972)Art History is Not Linear (VMFA) (detail), 2009, Panel 8 Acrylic on wood panel96”H x 384”W (243.84 cm x 975.36 cm)16 panels, ea.: 48”H x 48”W (121.92 cm x 121.92 cm)

“It’s your art” isn’t just a tagline for VMFA. Our Statewide Program, through which we share our permanent collection with museums, arts centers, galleries, schools, and libraries throughout Virginia, shows just how committed we are to these words.

A unique example of this commitment will be happening at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art in Virginia Beach, starting this weekend. With the opening of Ryan McGinness: A Studio Visit, we’re not only sharing an exhibition, but we’re also sharing a Virginia Beach native son’s work with the area that gave him his start. This popular exhibition, which ran at VMFA last year, explores McGinness’s process for conceiving and creating Art History Is Not Linear (VMFA), a 16-panel painting that contains 200 icons of works from VMFA’s permanent collection. (This painting hangs directly inside VMFA’s entrance.)

According to Alison Byrne, Virginia MOCA Director of Exhibitions and Education, “We had wanted to feature McGinness for several years because of his career trajectory, which started in Virginia Beach, and because his work straddles both art and design.”  Byrne adds that McGinness’s local following is anxiously awaiting the exhibition, particularly the Virginia Beach City Public Schools art teachers who taught the budding artist. In fact, some of the early works featured in the show were created in their classes.

Virginia MOCA is one of VMFA’s 19 museum-level Statewide partners. “It is a perfect example of working closely with our partners to make great things happen in their communities and share works of art from our permanent collections throughout the state,” says Jeffrey Allison, Manager of Statewide Programs and Exhibitions and Paul Mellon Educator.

The exhibition will be on view at Virginia MOCA alongside two other Virginia-centric exhibitions: New Waves 2015, a juried exhibition of contemporary artists from throughout the Commonwealth, and Selections from the AIGA Shred Skateboard Art Show, which is an ideal complement to the McGinness exhibition because of the artist’s strong ties to the skateboard culture.

To support the McGinness exhibition, Virginia MOCA will also host a public art project with three area high schools (the resulting art will be on view from mid-March to mid-April), a family workshop, and an artist talk with Ryan himself.