VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) — The 67th Annual Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Show kicks off Friday.
With works from up to 200 artists, this year’s group showcases a variety of mediums from painting and ceramics to photography and sculptures.
Here is the schedule for the weekend, below.
- Friday, Oct. 20 – Saturday, Oct. 21: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
- Sunday, Oct. 22: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The Virginia MOCA Boardwalk Art Festival is the reason the museum exists.
Gary Ryan is the executive director of the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. She said it began as a fundraiser, selling art to help with a community member’s medical bills. 67 years later, the festival continues.
“We are very proud of that legacy, and the fact that we are homegrown right here in Virginia Beach and on the boardwalk,” Ryan said.
The festival has expanded from 24th St to 35th Street on the boardwalk.
On 24th Street, you can find the Family Art Park. It will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday. Visitors will find interactive activities, live performances and Virginia MOCA’s ARTlab LIVE. Live performances include Fleet Forces Band and Army Band.
The festival wants to encourage visitors of all ages to support the art community, whether they will become a future collector, or future artist.
“Just like the museum we want everyone to be involved, because art loving starts very early,” Ryan said.
Each year in curating what artists are part of the festival and the museum, they focus on a few qualities.
“Our position as we think about putting art in the galleries as well as on the boardwalk is locally relevant, national resonate, contemporary art that is exceptional,” Ryan said.
Hundreds of applicants come in each year, while they use these criteria to decide whose art will be displayed.
An important piece of the festival is supporting the art community. They aim to support local artists and national ones that travel in for the festival.
“We have local artists who have been doing this for years upon years, and come back every year. And, we also have other artists who call a lot of different places in the country home,” said Ryan.
In addition to the art on the boardwalk, the festival brings in organizations from Virginia Beach to join the weekend lineup. The ViBe District has signed up local artists to make murals on the boardwalk. Don’t miss seeing artists get to work throughout the festival.
“We work closely with the ViBe, supporting that creative economy right in our own backyard,” said Ryan.
Every year they do something new. Leading up to the festival, they asked for the local artists’ help in designing the festival t-shirt. Over 80 artists applied and one was chosen. This will be unveiled once the festival kicks off.
This year, the poster is also a highlight. It is a collaboration with an artists featured along the boardwalk.
Ryan says the festival would not be possible without the help of the City of Virginia Beach, sponsors, supporters and volunteers. Each year has over 150 volunteers, offering over a thousand hours of their time in both preparation and work on the boardwalk.
View more information and the full program, here.