The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Announces Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 Recording Artists

The Series Spotlighting Revered Guitarists Will Kick Off October 12 on YouTube

Richmond, Virginia — The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) announced today that its Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 series, featuring recorded studio sessions by more than a dozen recognized guitarists, will launch online October 12, 2022. In conjunction with the museum’s highly anticipated exhibition Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art, a new recording will be released every other week through March 2023. Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 videos will be hosted on VMFA’s YouTube channel and linked on the museum’s website.

On view at VMFA from October 8, 2022, to March 19, 2023, Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art will explore the guitar as a visual subject, enduring symbol and storyteller’s companion. Strummed everywhere from parlors and front porches to protest rallies and rock arenas, the guitar also appears far and wide in American art. Its depictions enable artists and their human subjects to address topics that otherwise go untold or under-told.

“Inspired by the famous Bristol Sessions of 1927, which are regarded as the origins of commercial country music, Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 will be a unique extension of the museum’s exhibition,” said Dr. Leo G. Mazow, VMFA’s Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Curator of American Art and exhibition organizer. “With such multifaceted and expressive possibilities, a guitar is as meaningful to see and hear as it is fun to play.”

Taped in an impressive, fully functioning recording studio constructed within VMFA’s Storied Strings exhibition, Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 will feature an eclectic roster of musicians, some with Virginia ties, representing a variety of genres including folk, jazz, blues, country and rock, played on acoustic and electric guitars.

The first Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 recording, featuring folk musician Lucy Kaplansky, will drop on October 12. Musicians slated to appear in future sessions include Wilco guitarist Nels Cline; guitarist, singer and songwriter Cat Dail and guitarist Felicia Collins (Late Show with David Letterman); internationally renowned guitarist Tommy Emmanuel; blues and roots guitarist Corey Harris; jazz guitarist Joel Harrison and multi-genre guitarist Anthony Pirog; The Long Ryders’ Stephen McCarthy (who has also toured and recorded with The Jayhawks) and The Bitter Liberals’ Charles Arthur; Retrosphere’s Seamus McDaniel; folk and blues guitarist Elizabeth Wise; and acoustic guitarist Yasmin Williams

The recording studio will be fitted with quality equipment loaned by Digital Video Group and Ear Trumpet Labs, and premium microphones and monitors loaned by Sennheiser and Neumann. In partnership with VMFA, the award-winning Richmond-based recording studios In Your Ear will produce Richmond Sessions ’22–’23.

“In Your Ear is proud to partner with VMFA on this innovative and thoughtful project, and we’re excited to work with such accomplished musicians in the recording studio,” said Paul Bruski, Chief Engineer/Sound Designer at In Your Ear Studios. “We look forward to sharing Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 with museum visitors and listeners near and far.”

Special guitars by Virginia makers on display in the recording studio include a “Virginia Guitar” crafted from wood gathered throughout the Commonwealth by Wayne Henderson and two guitars from Huss & Dalton and Rockbridge Guitar Company.

To learn more about the Richmond Sessions ’22–’23 roster of musicians and upcoming recording release dates, visit


About VMFA’s Exhibition Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art

Composed of 125 fascinating works created over the span of nearly 200 years, Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art will include paintings, drawings, watercolors, photographs and sculptures by eminent American artists such as John Baldessari, Romare Bearden, Thomas Hart Benton, Elizabeth Catlett, William Merritt Chase, Thomas Eakins, William Eggleston, Robert Henri, Lonnie Holley, Frances Benjamin Johnston, William H. Johnson, Jacob Lawrence, Annie Leibovitz, Charles Willson Peale, Ruth Reeves, and Julian Alden Weir. In addition, 35 guitars will be featured in the exhibition, including instruments made by Fender, John C. Haynes, Gibson, Gretsch, and Martin, and some played by pioneering musicians who helped shape the American sound including Lulu Belle, Eric Clapton, Freddie King, Les Paul, Brian Setzer and Eldon Shamblin. Audio-visual kiosks featuring music and filmed performances will further enhance the visitor experience. Visit to purchase tickets for the exhibition. 

Storied Strings: The Guitar in American Art is supported by grants from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Wyeth Foundation for American Art, the Robert Lehman Foundation and the Peachtree House Foundation. Other sponsors include The Louise B. and J. Harwood Cochrane Center for American Art; the Lettie Pate Whitehead Evans Exhibition Endowment; Julia Louise Reynolds Fund; Nancy and Wayne Chasen; Community Foundation for a greater Richmond; Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. Garner, Jr.; Dr. and Mrs. William V. Garner; Troutman Pepper; YouDecide; Birch Douglass; Hamilton Beach Brands, Inc.; an anonymous donor; Fralin Pickups, LLC; Dr. and Mrs. Michael Godin; Sherrie Page Guyer and Raymond A. Guyer III; Karen and Pat Kelly; Curry and Lindsey Motley; Pamela and Fred Palmore; Dr. and Mrs. R. P. Sowers III; Tredway S. Spratley and Janine M. Collins; Don and Pia Steinbrugge; and Courtenay S. Welton II. 

About In Your Ear Studios

Founded as a music composition and production company in 1990, In Your Ear has grown into a multi-studio recording and post-production facility situated in Shockoe Bottom, Richmond’s vibrant production district. In Your Ear Studios host a variety of creative production projects, including scoring, recording and mixing for top advertising agencies, independent and studio films, television, recording artists and students. Learn more about the studios at

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 its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its history. 

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has begun its more than $190 million expansion and renovation project led by the international architecture firm SmithGroup. Tentatively scheduled for completion in 2027, the project consists of adding a new wing of nearly 170,000 square feet and renovating 45,000 square feet of existing spaces, while maintaining four acres of green space in the Sculpture Garden. Visitors will experience a seamless journey through the collections in the new wing, which will house contemporary art, African art, American art, a new suite of galleries for rotating special exhibitions and a special-events space. The expansion and renovation will enable the museum to display more art, welcome more visitors and provide more enjoyment. 

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


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