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.
#BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage
To highlight the 100th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment, #BallotBattle: Richmond’s Social Struggle for Suffrage uses modern social media platforms to profile five Richmond viewpoints and the racial and generational tensions that each exposed. Between 1909 and 1920, both pro-suffrage and anti-suffrage advocates battled tenaciously, using all the platforms available to persuade both the legislature and the general public. While they could not use Twitter or Facebook, they did rely on newspapers, broadsides, pamphlets, postcards, banners, and personal accessories to proclaim their viewpoints. Just like our complicated social media battles today, the final political and legal outcome was never a foregone conclusion.
Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion
Following Monumental: Richmond’s Monuments (1607-2018), the Valentine is hosting Monument Avenue: General Demotion/General Devotion. The Storefront for Community Design and the mObstudiO at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts invited teams of planners, architects, designers, artists and individuals to participate in a national design competition to conceptually re-imagine Monument Avenue and contribute to the ongoing dialogue about race, memory, the urban landscape and public art. The finalists are featured in this one-of-a-kind exhibition at the Valentine.
Visit www.monumentavenuegdgd.com for details.
Developing Richmond: Photographs from the Cook Studio
When photographer George S. Cook relocated with his family to Richmond in 1880, he arrived in a city caught between the old and the new: Richmond bustled with post-Civil War construction and economic enterprise even while it held onto the antebellum social and political order.
Acquired by the Valentine Museum in 1954, the Cook Studio’s more than 10,000 negatives and prints visually document Richmond at the turn of the 20th century. Experience imagery taken by George and his son Huestis Cook of this conflicted and changing city.
Pandemic: Richmond explores the repeated storms of disease that have swept through the city. From influenza to cholera to polio to AIDS/HIV, this exhibition investigates how Richmonders have fought silent, invisible enemies and tells their stories of both loss and survival.
Additional support provided by