Call for 2019 Sculptors

Deadline for entries is
November 15, 2018.  

The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, in Olde Towne Portsmouth, seeks proposals for outdoor sculptures to display within an enclosed historic courtyard. The sculptures will be on display from April 6 – October 14, 2019.  

Awards include Juror’s Choice at $1,500, Seawall Award at $1,000, Brancusi Innovation Award at $500, and People’s Choice at $500. Travel stipends are provided to all selected artists for installation and removal.

Deadline for entries is November 15, 2018.  To apply, download the prospectus here and return by the deadline to Sculpture Committee, 521 Middle Street, Portsmouth, VA 23704

Plein Air Painting
Call for Entries

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Call to Artists! Plein Air Painting with PRIZES!

Celebrate the NEW Portsmouth Cultural Arts District!

Over $750 in awards to be given, including a Curator’s Choice Award, Mayor’s Choice Award & a People’s Choice Award.

$40 Registration fee gives you:
Entry into the plein air competition (artists can bring up to two canvases to be entered), welcome packet with discounts at participating Olde Towne businesses, wine and refreshments at ending reception, opportunity to sell your wet painting at the reception and/or afterwards at the Portsmouth Cultural Arts Center Gallery Shop!

Advanced registration required.



Portsmouth Here & Now II

February 24 – May 6, 2018


Reception & Concert:
Friday, March 2, 5:00 – 8:00 pm

Portsmouth Here & Now II

John Tobin, In Bed with a Nasty Bug; Eloise Shelton-Mayo, Light & Dust VI

In celebration of the new Cultural Arts District, Portsmouth Here & Now II, presents the vibrant cultural life and activity in Portsmouth. This juried exhibition offers visitors a range of media from installations to sculptures, ceramics, jewelry, photos, prints and paintings by artists who live and/or work in the Portsmouth community.

In Print

March 2 – May 28, 2018

Reception & Concert:
Friday, March 2, 5:00 – 8:00 pm


Tanja Softic, Any Morning in the World; Jenny Robinson, Stern Looking Forward

In Print offers a contemporary view on the innovative ways that visual artists are exploring the printmaking medium. Bodies of work by regional and nationally acclaimed artists are featured in various techniques ranging from the traditional engraving to lithography, woodcut, stencil, silkscreen and 3-D printing.

2018 Outdoor Sculpture

April 6 – October 14, 2018

Friday, April 6, 2018
5:00- 8:00 pm

Brent Crothers, Turning Together, Richard Ward, Arabesque Knight

With spring, sculptures begin arriving in the historic courtyard for this annual outdoor exhibit. Included for 2018 are works by Lee Badger, Michael Bednar, Brent Crothers, Hanna Jubran, Barbara Kobylinska, Jordan Parah, Antoinette Schultze, Adam Walls and Richard Ward.

2018 Sculpture Awards Announced

Juror’s Choice ($1,500): Brent Crothers, Turning Together

Seawall Art ($1,000): Barbara Kobylinska, Monkey Under a Tree

Brancusi Art ($500): Richard Ward, Arabesque Knight

People’s Choice ($500): Richard Ward, Arabesque Knight



We Are the Music Makers: Preserving the Soul of America’s Music

May 18 – August 12, 2018

June 1, 2018
5:00 – 8:00 pm

Music Maker Blues Review:
May 17, 2018
7:00 pm

463 Court St.

Captain Luke Mayer

Music Maker Relief Foundation was founded in 1994 by Denise and Timothy Duffy to preserve and share the musical traditions of the Southern musicians that have inspired American music and generations of country, rock, soul and rap musicians the world over. Their efforts are preserved and featured in an exhibit of black & white photographic portraits and audio recordings.

Artifacts and artwork by such artists as Sam “The Dot Man” McMillian, NC and Elder Anderson Johnson, Newport News from the Music Maker collection are featured. This musical journey kicks-off with a performance by the Music Maker Blues Revue the performing arm of the Music Maker Foundation on Thursday, May 17, 2018, at 7:00 p.m. at 463 Court Street.

Co-sponsors: Virginia Arts Festival, Rocket Bike, and Portsmouth Museums. (See Programs for details and to purchase tickets.)

To Have & Behold:
54-40 African American
Quilters Guild of Virginia

Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center
August 25 – October 14

Opening Reception:
September 7 – 5 – 8pm

Joanne Cramatie, Full of Life and Many Colors; Aretha Henderson, Harriet Tubman, thread painting; Janice Sims Johnson, Woven Journey from Africa to Freedom

The 54-40 African American Quilters Guild was founded in 1993 in Hampton, Virginia to share and teach the quilting traditions.  Over the years, new members were added to share quilting with future generations.  Several themes from Negro spirituals, to the Underground Railroad, and historic individuals celebrate their joy of quilting.  

Through Darkness Into Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad

June 16 – October 21, 2018

July 6
5:00 – 8:00pm

THROUGH DARKNESS TO LIGHT: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad

Jeanine Michna-Bales, Wading Prior to Blacknes; Look for the Grey Barn Out Back

Books have been written on the subject, but there is very little visual documentation about the Underground Railroad. Photographer Jeanine Michna-Bales took on this challenge and spent more than a decade researching “fugitive” slaves and their path to freedom. As America becomes more diverse today, Michna-Bales believes that an understanding of the experience – and those who lived through it is more relevant than ever. Through Darkness to Light: Photographs Along the Underground Railroad presents a photographic journey that shares what the experience would have been like for the millions of slaves who sought their path to freedom. This exhibition is toured by Exhibits USA.

Winter Wonderland:
The Coleman Collection

November 23 – December 31, 2018

Coleman Collection

November 23-25, 2018
Friday & Saturday:9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

November 23 – December 31, 2018
Tuesday – Thursday: 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Friday & Saturday: 9:00 a.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sunday: 11 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Celebrate the season with Winter Wonderland: The Coleman Collection, a holiday classic for generations of Hampton Roads visitors and residents. Opening weekend brings crafts, activities, pony rides, face painting and much more.

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
website by Arengee