A! Magazine for the Arts

Rendering of VMFA on the Road by Riggs Ward (© Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

Rendering of VMFA on the Road by Riggs Ward (© Virginia Museum of Fine Arts)

VMFA On The Road comes to Bristol festival

August 27, 2019

Visitors to Bristol’s Rhythm & Roots Reunion enjoy a special treat this year — a visit from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ artmobile. VMFA On the Road is at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum Sept. 18-22.

VMFA on the Road features the exhibition,“How Far Can Creativity Take You: VMFA Fellowship Artists,” which celebrates the role VMFA has played in the lives of fellowship recipients. The exhibition includes works by the following acclaimed artists, who all have some connection to Virginia: Julien Binford, Ann Chenoweth, Esther Worden Day, Steven Fishman, Emmet Gowin, Sally Mann, Arthur Sawyers, Charles Sibley, Cy Twombly, Benjamin Wigfall and Dennis Winston.

VMFA’s state-of-the-art traveling museum and art studio launched in October 2018. The climate-controlled 53-foot Volvo trailer includes Wi-Fi to connect visitors with VMFA educators and interactive components to meet their 21st-century expectations. The main attraction of VMFA on the Road, however, is the opportunity for residents of the Commonwealth to see and experience works of art from the VMFA collection up close.

It is staffed by two educators, Sukenya Best and Sean Kane. Chris Hairston has the job of driving the truck – the largest tractor trailer you can have on the road without lead and follow cars.

Jeffrey Allison, the museum’s Paul Mellon Collection educator and manager of statewide programs and exhibitions, says, “We are coming to Bristol early so we can work with local schools to give student tours, and our educators will be working with students on Virginia Standards of Learning related activities. That is a very important part of our mission, although we love festivals as well. The VMFA on the Road will be set up in a prominent location throughout Rhythm and Roots, and I certainly invite everyone who attends to make sure you visit the exhibition and enjoy all of the onboard activities.

“At the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, we say, ‘It’s Your Art’ and this is a great opportunity for everyone in Bristol during the festival to visit a part of your museum.”

For more information about VMFA On The Road in Bristol, visit www.birthplaceofcountrymusic.org. Visitors during the festival do not need a ticket to access the area where the artmobile is parked.

Allison spends his life surrounded by art