A New VMFA on the Road Mobile Exhibition Trailer Offers Space for More Visitors and Works of Art

The Artmobile’s New Traveling Exhibition Showcases Emotions Conveyed Through Art in VMFA’s Permanent Collection

Richmond, Virginia — The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) is thrilled to announce that VMFA on the Road: Artmobile for the 21st Century hits the road this week in a newly acquired state-of-the-art trailer. Generously funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the new VMFA on the Road trailer was designed using recent technological advancements and offers more than 100 square feet of additional exhibition space, allowing the museum to show more works of art representing a variety of mediums, including three-dimensional works for the first time. The expanded trailer was built by Kentucky Trailer and its attractive exhibition space was fabricated and installed by Explus. When the new vehicle takes to the road this week, it will house an exciting new exhibition, Love, Laughter, Tears: An Artist’s Guide to Emotions, featuring paintings, prints, photographs and film from the museum’s permanent collection.

“In addition to the museum’s Richmond campus, where visitors can enjoy our permanent art collections and educational programs 365 days a year, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts strives to bring art to all corners of the Commonwealth,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “VMFA on the Road now offers greater capacity for more works of art and more visitors. Thanks to the generosity of its supporters, the new Artmobile trailer ensures the museum can serve the citizens of Virginia for many years to come.”

VMFA on the Road travels across Virginia, from the Eastern Shore to the mountains of the Southwest, where it can be found at fairs, festivals, schools, libraries, museums and other community centers throughout the state. The Artmobile directly supports VMFA’s mission to act as an educational institution that enriches the lives of all Virginians.

The new vehicle will make its first stop at Virginia Beach on October 19, 2023, for a residency at the Boardwalk Art Show. Additional VMFA on the Road stops will be scheduled throughout the state in places such as Ashland, Bristol, Farmville, Hampton, Lynchburg, Madison, Rustburg, Surry, the town of Cape Charles, Tazewell County and West Point.

The new exhibition Love, Laughter, Tears: An Artist’s Guide to Emotions will showcase the universality of human emotions. The exhibition will consider the relationship between art and feeling and how artistic depictions of emotions can connect humanity and foster mutual understanding. Emotion and expression are integral to the creative process of artmaking as artists utilize color, shapes, symbols and text to convey the complexities of humanity.

Love, Laughter, Tears: An Artist’s Guide to Emotions will also show how artworks can reflect an individual’s emotions or the wider mood of a culture or historical period, shedding light on events and their impact on people. Each of the 15 diverse artworks in this exhibition represents certain emotions that the artist has created to express themselves or their community. Viewers will experience a dynamic compilation of art spanning cultures and time periods by artists such as Kiyoshi Saito (Japanese, 1907–1997), Stephen Shames (American, born 1947), Gabriel Sunday Tenabe (Nigerian, born 1941) and Nell Blaine (American, 1922–1996). This exhibition will also include the Artmobile’s first-ever film, First Landings by Virginia artists Ethan Brown (Pamunkey Tribal Citizen, born 1988) and Federico Cuatlacuatl (Cholula, Puebla, Mexico, born 1991).

“Viewers of Love, Laughter, Tears: An Artist’s Guide to Emotions will experience art’s powerful ability to communicate feelings and messages, and to foster conversations and understanding,” said Jeffrey Allison, VMFA’s Director of Statewide Programs and Exhibitions and Paul Mellon Collection Educator. “We encourage everyone to enjoy this thoughtful exhibition in the new trailer when VMFA on the Road visits a location near them.”

Admission to VMFA on the Road is free. More information about the museum’s Statewide Partners program and VMFA on the Road can be found at www.VMFA.museum.

About VMFA on the Road
In 1953, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts became the first museum in the U.S. to have an Artmobile. For four decades, as many as four Artmobiles toured 59 exhibitions and served more than 2.5 million Virginians. Due to conservation concerns, VMFA replaced the program in the early 1990s with a strategy to develop stronger partnerships with schools, community centers and museums around the state. VMFA relaunched the Artmobile in 2018, naming it VMFA on the Road. During the fall of 2023, a newly acquired trailer hits the road with greater capacity and state-of-the-art features to meet and exceed 21st-century expectations. The main attraction of VMFA on the Road is the opportunity for residents of the Commonwealth to see and experience authentic works of art from VMFA’s collection. VMFA on the Road travels throughout Virginia by way of the museum’s Statewide Partners program, which includes 1,000 locations — from community centers and small museums to colleges and universities.

About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 6,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass nearly 50,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is also home to important collections of Chinese art, English silver, and French Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened the James W. and Frances G. McGlothlin Wing I after a transformative expansion, previously the largest in its history. A new expansion, the McGlothlin Wing II, is planned to open in 2028. Comprising more than 170,000 square feet, it will be the largest expansion in the museum’s history and will make VMFA the fifth largest art museum in the United States.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804.340.1400 or visit www.VMFA.museum.

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Media Contacts

Jan Hatchette | 804.204.2721 | jan.hatchette@VMFA.museum

Amy Peck | 804.773.1791 | amy.peck@VMFA.museum

MacLaine Bamberger | 804.204.2702 | maclaine.bamberger@vmfa.museum

200 N. Arthur Ashe Blvd., Richmond, VA 23220