1 of 3
Visitors gather at Candela Books + Gallery during First Fridays in February to see the “Experiments in Time” exhibition by Andreas Rentsch. (Photo by Gordon Stettinius)
2 of 3
The hand of Richmond artist Andras Bality, painting. (Photo by Jay Paul)
3 of 3
A few of Laura Loe's well-used art supplies.
(Photo by Jay Paul)
Richmond is making it onto lots of lists these days, for dining and craft beer, tattoos and athleticism, the James River’s allure and the area’s attractiveness to prospective residents. The region’s makers and creators received a nod last fall when the website Gogobot placed Richmond at the top of its “10 Most Artistic Mid-Sized Cities in America” ranking. Bracketing this activity, on one end, is the expanded Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and on the other, the rising Institute for Contemporary Art, powered by the Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts. But for a complete picture, look back to 2000, when a smattering of art galleries came under the “First Fridays” umbrella. What started as a project for promotion by disparate art exhibitors turned into a means for the redefinition of Richmond, drawing a wide audience downtown to participate in the city’s art scene and to set the stage for a revitalization of Broad Street. Beneath that lofty accomplishment, however, are the artists, gallery directors, administrators and do-it-yourself pop-up entrepreneurs who still work, and sometimes struggle, to find their way in the world of art — where Richmond just happens to be.
John Pollard at ADA Gallery downtown. (Photo by Chet Strange)
For Richmond’s art spaces, necessity is the mother of innovation By Harry Kollatz Jr.
Artist Laura Loe works on a painting. (Photo by Jay Paul)
Artists find inventive ways to earn a living while following their muse By Jessica Ronky Haddad
Pam Kiecker Royall and Bill Royall in their private Try-me gallery on West Main Street. (Photo by Sarah Walor)
Whether you’re a multimillionaire or a kindergarten teacher, original art is within your reach By Jessica Ronky Haddad
Photo by Ash Daniel
Sticker shock? Here's a look behind the price tag By Tina Eshleman
Don’t-Miss Auctions & Events
March 19 Collectors’ Night Hosted by the Visual Arts Center of Richmond, this annual fundraiser supports the organization’s art programs, classes, supplies and equipment, and exhibitions. $150. 6:30 to 10 p.m. 1812 W. Main St., 353-0094 or visarts.org.
April 8-9 READ Art Show & Sale This year is the eighth annual auction featuring work from local artists to benefit The New Community School. Entry is free; tickets to a reception on April 8 are $45. 4211 Hermitage Road, 266-2494 or tncs.org.
April 15 2016 Art for Autism Gala Sponsored by Reynolds Gallery, the fundraiser at Dover Hall Estate features a catered dinner, a cocktail hour, silent auction and the signature live auction of work from local and national artists. Proceeds benefit the Faison School for Autism. $250. 6:30 p.m. 1500 Manakin Road, Manakin-Sabot, 612-1954 or faisonartforautism.org.
April 15-May 5 Senior Thesis Exhibition Graduating senior studio art majors present their work in this annual student art sale at the University of Richmond’s Harnett Museum of Art. 28 Westhampton Way, 289-8980 or modlin.richmond.edu.
April 30-May 1 Arts in the Park Weavings, paintings and fine art from more than 450 artists can be found at this nationally rated, juried show, now in its 45th year, at the Carillon in Byrd Park.
600 S. Boulevard, 358-2711 or richmondartsinthepark.com.
Sept. 17 43rd Street Festival of the Arts Celebrating its 25th anniversary, this event hosted by the 43rd Street Gallery features everything from street art to fine art, from more than 75 artisans. Proceeds benefit CARITAS. 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. 1412 W. 43rd St., 233-1758 or 43rdstgallery.com.
Sept. 21-25 Gallery at First UU More than 4,000 works from artists across the commonwealth, from paintings to sculptures, furniture and stained glass, will be featured in the 51st year of this juried fine arts and crafts exhibition and sale at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Richmond. 1000 Blanton Ave., 355-0777 or richmonduu.org.
Oct. 13-14 (tentative) Artists Support ChildSavers Show This fundraising event features a reception, artwork sale and silent auction at Glavé Kocen Gallery. Proceeds benefit ChildSavers. 1620 W. Main St., 644-9590 or childsavers.org.
Nov. 4 The Pollak Society Fundraiser Held at The Depot at Virginia Commonwealth University, this joint faculty and student artwork sale will support VCUarts. 6 p.m. 814 W. Broad St., 828-2787 or arts.vcu.edu/pollaksociety.
Dec. 10 (tentative) Monster Drawing Rally About 60 artists take shifts creating art for purchase to benefit the 1708 Gallery. 319 W. Broad St., 643-1708 or 1708gallery.org.
"Pattern on the Pond," oil on canvas by Greg Osterhaus, part of the artist's show at Glavé Kocen Gallery from March 4-26. (Photo by Greg Osterhaus)
For a comprehensive list of galleries, museums and exhibition spaces, see here.