Embracing Narrative:

Artwork of the Washington Glass School & Virginia Glass Guild


March 4 – June 4

Scenes from the Coleman Collection

Opening Reception: Friday, March 3, 5 - 8 p.m.

Museum Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m.;
First Friday of each month: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

Contemporary glass artists explore new directions in glass media following the mastery of the glass art movement spawned during the 1970s.  From neon to hot-worked and cold-formed glass, Embracing Narrative features the work by members of the Washington Glass School, located in Washington DC and Virginia Glass Guild, originally founded as the Peninsula Glass Guild.  Together these organizations promote the awareness and advancement of glass through ideas, theory, sculptural design, technology and installation. 

Embracing Narrative was juried by Diane Wright, the Carolyn and Richard Barry Curator of Glass at the Chrysler Museum of Art and Sheila Giolitti, artist and owner of Mayer Fine Art Gallery.

For this exhibit, PACC joins with the Chrysler Museum of Art and regional art facilities to celebrate the art of glass as Norfolk hosts the Glass Art Society Conference from June 1-3, 2017.

An Abstract Look:

Michele Hemsoth, Jasmine Justice, Leigh Anne Chambers and Vittorio Collaizi


April 7 – May 21

Scenes from the Coleman Collection

Opening Reception: Friday, April 7, 2017, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

The exhibit An Abstract Look pivots on two meanings. On its face, the phrase suggests the appearance of abstraction as genuine and authentic, and references practices widely used by artists in the 1980s and 1990s.  Additionally, it references contributions by William DeKooning who in 1951 refers to abstract as a moveable style that destabilized the prevailing modes.

These four artists take a position between the two readings of the phrase, “an abstract look.”  Through installations of paintings on canvas, paper and mixed media, their work knowingly references previous styles and ambitions, while raising awareness to abstraction’s historical call for awareness and continuation to remain relevant. 


2017 Outdoor Sculpture


April 7 – October 8

Scenes from the Coleman Collection

Opening Reception: Friday, April 7, 2017, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Since 2005, the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, has annually sought proposals for outdoor sculptures to display within our enclosed garden courtyard.  Crawford A. Mann III, the Joan & Macon Brock Curator of American Art at the Chrysler Museum of Art served as juror for the 2017 exhibit.  His selections include work by eight sculptors from across the United States that will go on display this spring.   Featured is work by Abigail Cochran, VA; Jan Kirsh, MD; John Mason, VA; Pokey Park, AZ; Philip Smith, MD; Timothy Spurchise, VA; Kevin Vanek, MS and Carl Wright, WV.

The competition offers cash awards totaling more than $4,000 for a Juror’s Choice, Seawall Art, Brancusi, Honorable Mention and People’s Choice.  Pick up a ballot at the front desk and cast your ballot to help determine which artwork and artist receives the People’s Choice Award.  Voting closes on August 1st.    


Hardhat Heroes:

A Photographic Portrait by Glen McClure


June 2 – August 6

Scenes from the Coleman Collection

Opening Reception: Friday, June 2, 2017, 5:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Since 2015, Glen McClure has been capturing portraits in large - format B&W photos of workers who follow in the time - honored traditions of making their living in shipyards across our region. Workers from BAE to Colonna, East Coast, Lyon, Nassco, and Newport News Shipbuilding, to the Norfolk Naval Shipyard and Tecnico are featured.

To Face
The Unknown

Portsmouth and
The Great War


July 4 – October 9

To Face The Unkown - Portsmouth and The Great War

Opening Reception: Friday, July 7, 5-8 p.m.

Museum Hours: Wednesday – Saturday: 10 a.m. – 5 p.m., Sunday 1-5 p.m.;
First Friday of each month: 10 a.m. – 8 p.m.

The Great War conjures century-old images of miserable trench warfare, new deadly weaponry, and thousands of men being shipped "over there." But over here, the far-away conflict that began with an obscure European assassination reached Portsmouth, Virginia, in the form of immediate growth, focus on naval expansion, and community support.

Portsmouth was about to face The Unknown, as it supplied ships, men, mines, and moral support to an unprecedented war effort. In return, the city expanded its boundaries, its shipyard, and its vision for the future.

Join the Portsmouth Museums this summer as we commemorate Portsmouth’s role in The Great War through historic artifacts, images, and programs.

Suzanne Stryk

Notes on the
State of Virginia


August 19 – October 15

Suzanne Stryk: Notes on the
State of Virginia

Exhibit Reception: Friday, September 1, 5:00- 8:00 p.m.

Since her move to Bristol, Virginia over 30 years ago, Suzanne Stryk has wanted to create a series based on Thomas Jefferson’s book Notes on the State of Virginia, a detailed account of Virginia’s flora and fauna, published in 1785. After receiving a Virginia Commission for the Arts grant in 2011, Stryk set off across the state to complete this daunting project.

From climate change and the Chesapeake Bay to the Great Dismal Swamp, Appalachian Trail and urban suburbs of the District Columbia, Stryk traversed the state by car, kayak and foot. After four years of research, drawing, collecting and assembling, Stryk completed her series twenty-six works. "Notes on the State of Virginia" is a stunning collection that offers Virginia’s rich and diverse landscape through Geological Survey maps layered with drawings, writings, and actual specimens of animal and plant life and organic materials.

Stryk is often asked if she studied science, art or both. "I wanted to be a field biologist, she said. "These two interests have been playing tug-of-war all my life." Art eventually won out and she graduated with a degree in art history and painting. "Art suits my need to interpret the natural world, to integrate science and spirit, fact with imagination."

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website by Arengee

400 High Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704 · 757-393-8543
Mailing Address: 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704
The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, housed in the 1846 Courthouse, is devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences in the arts through rotating visual art exhibits, lectures, classes and performances.