Breathing Places: Parks & Recreation in Richmond
In 1851, Richmond’s Committee on Public Squares acknowledged the region’s rapid residential and commercial growth and recommended “securing breathing places in the midst of the city or convenient to it.” Over the last 170 years, the city and surrounding counties have secured land, engineered, and maintained “breathing places” for some of the region’s residents while limiting and denying access to others. Breathing Places: Parks & Recreation in Richmond explores the design, use and change of Richmond’s carefully crafted parks, recreation areas and natural spaces and their effect on the region’s residents today.
Breathing Places will also include a slideshow of rotating images featuring community-submitted photos. Richmonders (both individuals and organizations) can submit images of themselves, their families or their friends enjoying greenspaces across the region HERE.
Edith Shelton’s Richmond Revisited
Following the Valentine’s popular 2015 exhibition, explore mid-20th Century Richmond neighborhoods through a new selection of imagery by amateur photographer Edith Shelton.
Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic
Despite years of medical and social progress, misconceptions about HIV/AIDS persist today. The disease is viewed by many as a scourge of the past that is now easily treatable and primarily impacting gay white men. However, the numbers reveal a more complicated story—one in which gay African-American men have a 1 in 2 chance of acquiring HIV/AIDS.
Richmond’s rate of HIV infection, currently ranked 19th nationally, is exacerbated by high concentrations of poverty, lack of sex education in public schools and the continuing opioid epidemic. Featuring oral histories collected by Laura Browder and Patricia Herrera with accompanying photographic portraits by Michael Simon, Voices from Richmond’s Hidden Epidemic offers a nuanced look at the HIV/AIDS crisis through the stories of survivors, caregivers, activists and health care workers on the front lines.
This project is funded in part by Virginia Humanities.
Support is also provided by University of Richmond, Office of the Provost and Dean’s Office, School of Arts & Sciences and the following generous sponsors.
Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond
In celebration of the 100th anniversary of the Roaring Twenties, the Valentine presents Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond, an exhibition of costume, textiles, art and artifacts in the Nathalie L. Klaus and Reynolds Family Galleries. The 1920s are remembered in America as a decade that “roared” with change, including urban expansion, equal suffrage, social integration, jazz music, fast dancing and short hemlines. In Richmond, the decade’s seismic social shifts unfolded against a backdrop of conservative values. Like the popular 1929 tune of the same name, Ain’t Misbehavin’: 1920s Richmond presents a playful commentary on Richmond’s mixed reaction to the Roaring Twenties amid a sparkling display of some of the 1920s fashions worn in the city.
DONT TOUCH MY HAIR rva
Based on footage collected during a Richmond-based documentary directed by Dr. Chaz Antoine Barracks, PhD, DONT TOUCH MY HAIR rva explores diverse African American identity through stories of Black hair experiences. Featuring images by DeAudrea ‘Sha’ Rich and Nicholas Taylor, this media-arts project looks at Black identity by both centering and creating spaces that embody Black cultural production—and understanding everyday Black life as fine art. Beauty salons and other Black-owned locations are included as spaces of community and uninhibited joy. Look through the camera lens to explore nuanced and imaginative concepts of Black homes, which provide space to exist freely and authentically. Originally planned for a gallery space, the project paused as the creators considered how to present an art exhibition in the pandemic era. Now, experience DTMHrva at the Valentine as an exterior installation and through new film presented at the Afrikana Independent Film Festival.
Artists work featured in this current exhibition project are: DeAudrea ‘Sha’ Rich, Nicholas Taylor, NontsiKelelo Mutiti, Wes Taylor, Dr. Pamela Lawton, Tawnya “Dr. T” Pettiford-Wates, Nicholas Vega, Sasha Williams, Johannes Barfield, Christine Wyatt, Christina Nicole Miles, and many more from the Richmond Black arts community.