Meet the Canvas Advisory Committee’s Newest Members

Sherrie Page Guyer and Joseph Papa recently joined the Canvas Advisory Committee (CAC). The group works in concert with VMFA’s Advancement Division to develop exclusive programming for Canvas members and increase their engagement with Canvas and the museum more broadly. We are excited to add their talents and enthusiasm for Canvas to the CAC.

Sherrie Page Guyer

Sherrie is an advanced practice nurse and writer who is currently pursuing her doctorate at the University of Virginia. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been an integral part of her family’s life for the past 25 years, including summer camps, studio programs, and numerous trips to visit the Fabergé collection with her young children in search of the Romanov’s youngest daughter, Anastasia.

“I enjoy sharing my enthusiasm for VMFA with others—those who are already involved, and those who aren’t yet members,” says Sherrie. To this end, she and her husband Ray recently helped sponsor Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art, which included generously opening their home for a lovely garden party to invite others to connect and support the exhibition. Leo Mazow, Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art, gave a surprise guitar performance that was a true highlight.

When asked what keeps her coming back, Sherrie didn’t hesitate. “The perpetual rotation of exemplary exhibitions. VMFA’s curators put so much thought behind every exhibition, making each collection magical. I always leave with a deeper understanding of art, history, and humanity,” she says. “I hope by being a member of Canvas, I can encourage others to connect to the museum in whatever way speaks to them.”

An avid collector of work by Virginia-based artists, Sherrie and Ray also donated a photograph by Sally Mann, part of the artist’s Deep South series, in 2020 to VMFA’s permanent collection.

A true example of VMFA admiration and support, the CAC welcomes Sherrie’s leadership and new ideas.

Joseph Papa

Joseph, a successful publicist, is the Founder & Principal of Joseph Papa Public Relations, whose clients include Alan Cumming, Ari Shapiro, and Senator Tim Kaine. He is also the author of the national bestselling book Elizabeth Taylor: A Passion for Life.

Joseph explains that he once considered the museum very formidable. “In my twenties, I lived across the street on Grove Avenue. I was afraid of the museum because it wrongly felt imposing,” he explains. Fast forward to today. After a stint in New York, he has made the museum an integral part of his daily life. Joseph adds, “I’m at VMFA twice a day. One of the things I love about living in Richmond is my walk through the Sculpture Garden and seeing Jaume Plensa’s Chloé and Kehinde Wiley’s Rumors of War.”

His other favorite spot is the New Acquisitions alcove in the Atrium. He says, “I love that it shows VMFA as a living museum that gives new artists a home.”

“I’ve met wonderful people through Canvas. I’m always excited about the museum and its collections, which I find very energizing. You don’t always see that in every city,” Joseph explains. He would like to explore ways that the museum can have its Canvas events potentially expand into community groups.

VMFA’s expansion plans are a positive step forward. He adds, “I think the museum clearly has an eye toward the future and its interest in the stories it tells through the artists.”

Joseph’s leadership and strong communication skills will be a huge asset to the CAC.