The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) announces the opening of their Fall/Winter Exhibitions on view Sep. 16, 2017 through Feb. 11, 2018 featuring an exclusive on-site installation; Wayne White: MONITORIUM.
Artist, designer, author, entertainer and the subject of the 2012 documentary, Beauty is Embarrassing, Wayne White explores the 1862 Battle of Hampton Roads through a multi-media installation of the first battle of ironclad ships. Focusing on the intimate, human side of this game-changing moment in US naval history, the Union’s USS Monitor will set the stage for White’s dynamic exhibition. White’s experience as set and character designer for shows like Pee-Wee’s Playhouse and music video art direction for The Smashing Pumpkins and Peter Gabriel will transform MOCA’s TowneBank Galleries into an evocative world of maritime wonder. Monumental-sized puppets, props, dramatic lighting and sound will carve out White’s unique perspective, featuring individuals who helped shape the Monitor’s history.
The Mariners’ Museum and NOAA’s Monitor National Marine Sanctuary have been instrumental partners in facilitating the veracity of White’s vision. These organizations, dedicated to maritime history, have been enormous resources; providing history, facts, and data (and in one case – sound) about the USS Monitor. In celebration of MONITORIUM, MOCA and The Mariners’ Museum will launch a reciprocal membership program, allowing members of both museums free admission to their perspective institutions for the duration of the exhibition.
Alongside MONITORIUM is an exhibition featuring nine Virginia artists titled Small Works, Tall Tales. This exhibition presents smaller scale sculpture from artists who infuse their work with sharp wit and a complex interpretation of the world around them. Each artist presents pieces of their own narrative in a vast array of sculptural material. Artists include: Kim Overstreet and Robin Kranitzky, Wade Mickley, Deborah G. Rogers, Robin and Julia Rogers, Tracey St. Peter, John Tobin, and Aggie Zed.
MOCA’s Community Gallery will feature Toobz Muir: Misshapen Demise. Muir is a Roanoke-based artist known for his murals, surreal paintings and detailed graphite drawings using subject matter ranging from allegorical to darkly satirical themes. Primarily using spray paint, Muir freehand renders his work directly onto surfaces creating fantastical imagery that in his words is “both edgy and playful while also emerging from a personal place.”
Exhibition exploration continues hands-on in ARTlab. Housed in MOCA’s Butler Gallery, guests of all ages can delve deeper into the story of the USS Monitor and its crew though a partnership with The Mariner’s Museum and The Office of the National Marine Sanctuaries at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). Visitors may also create their own narrative by adding to a giant Mad Lib, pose for portrait using props inspired by the 1800’s, assemble their own cardboard character or discover more about the creative process of artists featured in Small Works, Tall Tales.
Screening daily in MOCA’s Price Auditorium is the Disposable Film Festival (DFF). Selected by Moviemaker Magazine as one of “The World’s Coolest Film Festivals,” the Disposable Film Festival cultivates and supports filmmakers of the digital age through a juried competition. Submissions are created using everyday equipment, like cell phones, pocket cameras, and other inexpensive devices.
This year, on the 10th anniversary of DFF, MOCA will present two different festivals; DFF X, which is the 2017 Disposable Film Fest, and the DFF 10-year retrospective. The first set of films are the winners chosen from this year’s submission. The second will highlight some of the best films from the past ten years.
MOCA’s mission to education will branch into Hampton Road Public Schools in conjunction with MONITORIUM. MOCA will host A Day for Educators this fall to train interested art teachers how to create Wayne White-inspired, over-sized cardboard puppets. Character selection will be based on each school’s curriculum as it pertains to Virginia history. A “puppet parade” will occur in Virginia Beach’s Creative District, the ViBe, in celebration of the student artwork.
“Creating works of art influenced by history affords students a unique, hands-on experience we hope translates into increased passion for learning – especially about subjects that can be more challenging to embrace,” said MOCA’s Director of Exhibitions and Education, Alison Byrne.
MOCA’s Fall/Winter Exhibitions will debut Friday, September 15 with an opening reception starting at 6:30 p.m. featuring live music with Norfolk’s JANKS, creative fare, a cash bar, and complimentary valet. Guests can meet artists, including Wayne White. Tickets are free for MOCA members, $10 for non-members and may be purchased online at VirginiaMOCA.org or by calling 757-425-0000.