The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center offers classes, camps and workshops for youth and adults throughout the year.

A Salute to
in the Military

Saturday, February 24, 2018
11am – 4pm

  • A. United States Colored Troops, 35th Regiment of New Bern – Tryon Palace’s United States Colored Troops, 35th Regiment of New Bern will provide living history demonstrations of African-American soldiers’ lives in the Union Army during the Civil War (1863-1865).
  • B. Marvin Greer, Yorktown Reenactor – Mr. Greer will present living history demonstrations as he recounts the American Revolutionary War as James Armistead La Fayette, an African-American spy who aided in George Washington’s and the Marquis de La Fayette’s defeat of the British at Yorktown.
  • C. Howard Baugh, Vietnam Pilot – Mr. Baugh will present stories, photographs, collectable items, and airplane models from his father’s days of service as a Tuskegee Airman. He will also contrast his own days of service in the United States Air Force as a pilot during the Vietnam Conflict with those of his father’s.

First Friday: Opening Reception & Music

Friday, March 2, 2018
5 – 8 pm

Matt ThomasOpening Exhibits: In Print, and Portsmouth Here & Now II

Join us for the opening reception of two exhibitions Portsmouth Here & Now II and In Print. Visitors will be treated to light refreshments and live music by Matt Thomas on harp guitar. Thomas is a rising star recognized for his technical wizardry in fingerstyle guitar and named the new young gun by

The Concert in the Courtyard Series is sponsored by PortsEvents, Towne Bank, Portsmouth Partnership and Portsmouth Redevelopment & Housing Authority. Parking is free after 6:00 p.m. For more information please call 757-393-8543.

First Saturday

Saturday, March 3, 2018
10:00 am – 5:00 pm

For the opening of new spring exhibits the museum will be open free to the public with special programming to highlight the artwork on display. Explore the exhibits then try your hand at print-making with this free mono-printing make-n-take project offered from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m.

First Friday: Opening Reception & Music

Friday, April 6, 2018
5 – 8 pm

BJ GriffinOpening Exhibits: Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit

Join us as we celebrate the opening of the annual outdoor sculpture exhibit on display in our historic courtyard. Nine sculptures by artists from across the eastern seaboard are featured. (See Exhibits for details.) Enjoy light refreshments and a genre-bending musical performance by singer/songwriter and cellist BJ Griffin who mixes classical, jazz and pop music in his return to the First Friday Concert Series.

First Friday: Free Exhibits & Make-n-Take Printmaking Art Activities

Saturday, April 7
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Print Activity
10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Free Exhibits & Make-n-Take Printmaking Art Activities

Featured in the current exhibit IN PRINT is the cyanotype print artist Staci Katsias, who uses the sun to create light silhouettes and shadows of blue. She will show visitors her techniques and let them experiment with this unique artform in a fun and fast art activity to highlight the exhibits on view. All of this is free for the First Saturday Series.

First Friday: Concert in the Courtyard: Music by The Wampler Brothers

Friday, May 4
5:00- 8:00 p.m.

The Wampler BrothersConcert in the Courtyard: Music by The Wampler Brothers

A new musical act will debut at this month’s First Friday Concert in the Courtyard, with the Wampler Brothers. Each member of this group plays a medley of stringed instruments including guitar, mandolin, and bass –and they all sing! There sound is not classical bluegrass nor contemporary, but self-described as “swampgrass.” It will be sure to beg a return visit.

First Saturday: Free Exhibits & Kite Decorating Activities

Saturday, May 5
10:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Friday, May 4
5:00 – 8:00 p.m.

Free Exhibits & Kite Decorating Activities

The museum will be offering free admission with kite-kits for sale at $5 each. These delta kites can be decorated with magic markers and then flown outside at the beach or a park. It is an easy and fun activity to create a piece of artwork that will take to the air on a string. Please call 757 393-8543 for more information.

Music Maker Blues Review

Thursday, May 17
7:00 p.m.

Cool John Ferguson

Music Maker Blues Review

463 Court Street – Portsmouth, VA 23704
Adults: $25   |   Senior & Military: $22.50   |   AAA: $21.25  |  Student (under 25 with ID): $18.75
VA Arts Festival Box Office, 440 Bank St., Norfolk, Mon-Fri, 10am-5pm,Call 757-282-2822, or at the door while supplies last.


The Music Maker Blues Review is an all-star band composed of musicians who have played from street corners to concert halls, from down the road to around the world. Experience the music that strikes deep in your soul, across the entire blues spectrum. Musicians sharing the stage are Cool John Ferguson, Alabama Slim, Harvey Dalton Arnold, and Thomas Rhyant with Bubba Norwood on drums. The performance kicks-off the exhibit We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music on view at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center from May 18 – August 12, 2018. (See Exhibits for details.)


Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, Virginia Arts Festival, and Rocket Bike

First Saturday:
Free Exhibits & Music by the Who We Are Not Trio

Friday, June 1
5:00- 8:00 p.m.

Free Exhibits & Music by the Who We Are Not Trio

Local Band Who We Are Not will perform live in the courtyard. Who We Are Not is headed by husband-and-wife singer-songwriters Pamela Jo Sward and Joe Talley who mix a surprising combination of folk, jazz, and pop into their music style. This band has played on local radio and television such as The Hampton Roads Show for WAVY TV, and NPR’s Out Of The Box hosted by Paul Shugrue. They recently took Veer Magazine’s 2015 Best Emerging Artist Award. The Who We Are Not event and museum exhibits are free and open to the public.


Workshops and Gallery Talks may require advance registration and fees. Be sure to review each event for details. Contact us at 757-393-8543 for additional information.

Living Sculptures

Instructor: Randy McKinney

February 25, & March 25, 2017
1:00 – 4:00 pm

LIVING SCULPTURES Instructor: Randy McKinney

Randy McKinney with Bonsai Trees

Participants will get first-hand experience sculpting living trees, dwarfed by potting and wiring. Randy McKinney guides participants with information needed to start and succeed in bonsai. Mr. McKinney has won numerous awards for Bonsai, including Best In Show from the Virginia Bonsai Society and the International Bonsai Club Award of Excellence, both in 2012. He has taught bonsai for over ten years and grown bonsais since 1975, with some trees in his collection reaching over 40 years old.

The cost for each class is $40. Participants will need to bring their own trees and tools. Call, 757-393-8543 to register. You may register at the door or online.




Wax On:
Cold Wax Workshop

Instructor: Eloise Shelton-Mayo

Saturday, May 12
10 a.m. – 5 p.m.

Sign up for a fun day of art-making with this unique medium. Cold wax and oils allow for the creation of luminous colors and rich surfaces. Participants will work on small wood panels and papers, delving into color and composition. No experience is necessary and all materials are provided. Award-winning artist Eloise Shelton-Mayo teaches at the Visual Arts Center of Tidewater Community College.

Cost: $110/person ($100 members) and includes admission to exhibits. To register, call 757-393-8543 or register online.






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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.

Copyright 2017 City of Portsmouth, VA
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