Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Improv students perform One Big Headache at a recent Teen Caffeine Café at VMFA. (VMFA photo by Willie Redd, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
Even though I am no longer a teenager, the VMFA Teen Caffeine Café last month was a lot of fun.
The Marble Hall of the museum was transformed into a cool teenage hangout, with lights, food, music and art. I did not feel too out of place, thanks to my supervisor, her colleagues, the parents, and the three college-aged friends I brought with me – just in case.
My friends and I wandered, checking out each activity that caught our eyes. We visited my childhood friends, the Faberge eggs. We scanned the summer class tables wishing we could enroll. We looked at the big screen PowerPoint presentation (that I had created) of all the teens’ artwork. And then we sat down to watch the night’s performers. First up was the dance team named U.N.I.T.Y. They incorporated many different genres of music into their performance, ensuring that there was something for everyone. After the dance team energized the audience, the improv and monologue performers impressed us with their talent, skill, and humor.
But perhaps my favorite part of the evening was the art-question activity that involved selected works in the galleries. Being an art history major, I was thoroughly excited about being able to show off my skills to my friends. However, I was stumped by the questions. I ended up learning a lot, not just about the art but about the story behind each work. It was a pleasant and bearable reality check.
Our night ended with food in our bellies, art knowledge in our heads, Teen Zines in our hands, and smiles on our faces. I am still contemplating where in my room I am going to hang my three Teen Zine posters. Overall the night was great – fun, entertaining and exciting. And I cannot wait to see what VMFA has in store for next year.
Nicole Faison, VMFA Intern
Wednesday, June 10, 2009
(Slideshow photos by Don Dale, © 2009 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
If you’re going to take an inside look at VMFA’s expansion project, there’s no better tour guide than VMFA’s director, Alex Nyerges. We had a special guest from New York recently, and some of us on the Marketing and Communications team were able to accompany Alex as he gave her a tour.
Our first impression: it’s BIG! It appears even more spacious from the inside than it does from the outside – from the soaring three-story atrium to the vast gallery spaces to the enormous wall of glass that will make the museum glow at night like a beacon on the Boulevard.
The Grand Opening of the expanded and transformed Virginia Museum of Fine Arts will be May 1, 2010. Because of work on the new wing and upgrades to the fire-suppression and other mechanical systems in the museum’s existing building, our galleries will be off view after June 28. (The VMFA Shop and Arts Café will also close at the end of the day on June 28.)
After our recent behind-the-scenes tour, however, we’re even more excited about this ambitious project that will significantly expand our role as the flagship cultural institution of Virginia.
Don Dale, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Writer
Tuesday, June 9, 2009
This montage is of VMFA's five Fabergé imperial Easter eggs. (Photos by Katherine Wetzel, © Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)
True confession: We’ve taken you for granted, our stunning shells with surprises.
Amidst the cranes and construction, the building and the bulldozing, you’ve been there. Consistent. Dependable. A welcoming, ever-reliable oasis of opulence. To be entirely honest, you do deserve a span of seclusion … a long-overdue respite from the constant adulation and unabashed gawking.
‘Tis a clichéd sentiment to be sure, but absence does — and no doubt will — make the heart grow fonder.
The pending parting from our near half-dozen imperial Faberge eggs is made no easier by that knowledge. Far from a secret admirer, I’ve steeled myself for the June 14th to May 1st separation. The catalog’s on the nightstand. Postcards are perched strategically. Magnets adorn the ‘fridge.
Before the Faberge collection begins its unavoidable hiatus, I plan to make multiple treks to the gallery. Drink the collection in a few more times. Burn their glittering glory onto my mind’s eye. Come next May, we’ll all be reunited . . . and it’ll feel so good. [Go ahead. Cue Peaches and Herb . . .]
Cheryl Lage, VMFA Docent
Friday, June 5, 2009
After a spring rain, a double rainbow arcs above the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. (Photo by Megan Liles)
With these days of rain, my garden is getting a deep watering, and surely our water table will be closer to normal. Rainy days give us time to think about what comes next.
We have less than a month before the shop, café and galleries will close in preparation for VMFA's grand opening on May 1, 2010. Some people have asked me what we will do with ourselves when the galleries are off view. This morning I attended a staff briefing by Josephine Haden, the VMFA Fellowship recipient whose exhibition opens today in the Pauley Center. I talked with art handlers who are moving art to allow fire suppression work to continue in the older galleries, carpenters who are building casework for new galleries, registrars and curators who are planning reinstallations, and education staff who continue to deliver statewide programs without interruption. I am reviewing stacks of proposals for the design of our new Web site and meeting with staff to talk about ways to continue our engagement during coming months. And naturally, we're planning our communications about the grand opening, from welcome centers to airline magazines to traditional arts media and bloggers.
On rainy days especially, it's nice to think about the rainbow at the conclusion of the storm.
Suzanne Hall, Chief Information Officer, VMFA