VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) – Even before the big acts head into town, there has been plenty going on this week connected to Something In the Water – including ‘A Seat at the Table.’
Thursday night’s ‘A Seat at the Table’ exhibit celebrated Black, indigenous, people of color arts and culture at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. All of the artwork showcased was created in Hampton Roads.
“This is an event that was created to give a platform to local artists in the community,” said Danielle Braden, Urban League’s Director of Civic Engagement.
Urban League held the art event in partnership with Virginia MOCA and SITW.
“The point is to diversify art, show different types of art from abstracts all the way to portraits and Afro Futurism,” Braden told 10 On Your Side.
The event sold out and more than 600 people came out to experience the exhibit – the first of its kind in the area.
The exhibit celebrated creatives like mixed media artist Ashley Raeneil, who also owns the Art House Noir gallery in Portsmouth.
“I’m heavily inspired by African implications and love,” Raeneil said.
From paintings to woodworking, Raeneil told 10 On Your Side she does it all.
“Bringing art, bringing the creatives in the forefront what that does is it gives us a platform,” Raeneil said. “It shows that we are the Something In The Water, if not nothing else, because that’s where it came from.
“There’s Something In the Water down here and it’s really us so it gives us a platform to showcase who Virginia is, Virginia’s talent and just how awesome we are down here.”
Raeneil was one of four local artists featured at the museum along with Chris Green, Loscar Creations and QRCKY. There was also a panel discussion on arts and culture.
Some of the artists featured tell 10 On Your Side they hope to expand the exhibit to a week-long event during SITW next year.
“We’re trying to use our platform at the Urban League to continue to grow other local business,” Braden said, “especially minority businesses in the area.”