Published: May 7, 2002
RICHMOND, VA. – Two photography exhibitions that underscore the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ commitment to statewide outreach and to Virginia artists will be on view at the museum beginning May 14.
“2100 Colonial Avenue: Photographs by Glen McClure” and “Southern Storefronts: Transient Time, Photographs by Jim Knipe” will be shown through July 14.
They are presented under the umbrella title “Old Dominion/New Perspectives: The Persistence and Renewal of Southern Culture.”
Both photographers are Virginians. McClure (born 1954) lives in Norfolk and Knipe (born 1947) lives in Radford. There are 22 images in “2001 Colonial Avenue” and 30 in “Southern Storefronts.”
The umbrella exhibition title also defines a comprehensive series of statewide exhibitions and programs, according to Dr Michael Brand, director of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“The thrust of the statewide ‘Old Dominion/New Perspectives’ effort is to place exhibitions and programs strategically throughout Virginia so that everyone in the Commonwealth will be within an hour’s drive of an offering,” said Dr David McKinney, manager of the museum’s Office of Statewide Partnerships.
Under the program, 16 exhibitions will be shown in some 25 communities in Virginia. In addition, programs ranging from film series to speakers and interactive workshops will be offered to adult, family, school and college audiences across Virginia.
“You can learn a lot about the South from these two exhibitions,” said Eileen Mott, the museum’s coordinator of statewide exhibitions. “You can learn about the Southern character from the faces in Glen McClure’s images.”
The photographs in McClure’s show record the diverse individuals who passed by his photography studio in Norfolk over the course of six hours one November day in 1998.
McClure set out to capture the diversity of people who daily passed his window — from homeless men to little children on their way to a pizza party, from a woman in search of a key maker to the owner of an art gallery.
Faces are not a part of Knipe’s exhibition. He uses his lenses to document the windows of storefronts in small Southern towns. Many had been vacated as businesses relocated to shopping malls. Sometimes the store windows were redressed. Others were merely abandoned.
“They tell a powerful story of change, the move to suburbia that began in the 1950s,” Mott says. “But Knipe’s images speak volumes, too, about the South’s attachment to its past. In the South, history pulls at the people strongly. The South seems not to want to relinquish its past. It clings to what is familiar.”
Both photographers will talk about their work in lectures at the museum during the run of the exhibitions. McClure will speak on Thursday, May 16, at 6 pm in the auditorium. Knipe will speak on Thursday, June 6, at 6 pm in the auditorium. Tickets are $3 for each talk. They may be purchased in the museum’s lobby or charged by telephone: 804-340-1405.
The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, 2800 Grove Avenue, is on the Boulevard at Grove Avenue. The galleries are open Tuesday through Sunday, from 11 am to 5 pm. For information, 804-340-1400 or visit www.vmfa.state.va.us.
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