Find “The Hole Truth” at the Valentine

RICHMOND, VA – Starting Thursday, May 30, 2024, visitors can plan a trip to the Valentine to find The Hole Truth – an interactive, two-piece sculpture welcoming guests to the museum’s historic block of East Clay Street.

Created by Richmond-based artist Mickael Broth (The Night Owl), The Hole Truth is mesmerizingly simple in form, composed of two human-scale abstract shapes, each with a hole through its center, and each faced in a mirrored surface. The pieces are interactive by their very nature, drawing visitors and passersby into the works themselves, while the strategically situated holes allow audiences of different heights and abilities to connect with the work in amusing and thought-provoking ways. Beyond serving as playful and welcoming invitations into the museum, the work offers a metaphor for the museum itself.

“Much of my work deals with duality and how things that are seemingly opposites really rely on one another for our understanding of them,” says artist Mickael Broth, “These pieces allow us to see ourselves, but without a vital portion of our visible identity. They show us our surroundings, but in a way that does not provide the full picture. They tell a truth, but as with any storytelling, they do not tell the whole truth. The work offers us all the opportunity to reflect on the way our individual stories and collective histories are shaped by what we include, as much as by what we leave out.”

The creation and installation of The Hole Truth comes during the Valentine’s 125th anniversary year and echoes the institution’s commitment to downtown Richmond.

“The Valentine’s 125 year history started on this block of Clay Street and we continue to be dedicated to making this place in downtown Richmond a destination for residents and visitors alike,” says Valentine Director Bill Martin.

Visitors of all ages and abilities are encouraged to interact with the sculptures and ask themselves the questions: what do we include in our storytelling, what do we leave out, and what does that say about ourselves, our surroundings, and our history?

The Hole Truth was commissioned and gifted by The Common Wealth Public Art Fund, a fund of the Community Foundation for a greater Richmond and approved in partnership with The Public Art Commission and Richmond City Council as an addition to the City’s collection.

Plan your visit to the Valentine to find The Hole Truth here.



The Valentine has been collecting, preserving and interpreting Richmond’s 400-year history for 125 years. Located in the heart of historic downtown, the Valentine is a place for residents and tourists to discover the diverse stories that tell the broader history of this important region.

Mickael Broth (born 1982, Washington DC), also known as The Night Owl, is a Richmond, Virginia-based sculptor, artist, muralist, and writer. Mickael moved to Richmond in 2001 with the intention of painting as much graffiti as possible. His involvement in vandalism was halted abruptly with his arrest in 2004 and subsequent ten-month jail term for his crimes. Since that time, he has gone on to pursue an active (and legal) career in the arts. He was awarded a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Professional Fellowship in 2008 for his gallery work and has shown widely around the United States; from museums and galleries to alternative spaces and abandoned buildings. His work is held in numerous private and corporate collections. He has painted over three hundred public murals throughout Richmond, the United States and Europe since 2012, in addition to helping curate multiple public art festivals.

The Common Wealth Public Art Fund was established in 2023 to support art installations and projects in the Commonwealth of Virginia, temporary or permanent, that are accessible to everyone. Guided by the principle that public art can confront complex civic issues, unite our community, and inspire all ages, The Common Wealth Public Art Fund leverages private philanthropy to partner with artists, nonprofits, and local governments to bring more art and artistic experiences to Virginia. More art for all contributes to the vibrancy, well-being, and “common wealth” of our community.

Press Contact
Christina Swanson