The Runnymede Corporation Galleries is the largest privately owned, open-to-the-public gallery in the ViBe District.
Situated between 21st and 22nd Streets at the Virginia Beach oceanfront, The Runnymede Corporation’s Towne Pavilion I & II towers are the first buildings travelers pass en route to the Oceanfront resort area when exiting 264E. The tall glassy buildings are home to corporate offices for twenty businesses, with hundreds of employees and patrons passing through the doors to each building daily. They also hold the largest privately-owned galleries in the ViBe Creative District.
Art is a noticeable priority on both the grounds and interior of each building. The interior galleries of both buildings are open to the public and are committed to supporting working artists throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia, primarily local to Hampton Roads. The Runnymede Corporation underwrites a free artist reception to invite the public to celebrate the unveiling of each new exhibitions. Unlike most museum exhibits held across the street from Town Pavilion I & II, exhibitions here primarily feature artwork that is available for sale, with no commission fees, offering working artists the opportunity to reach new buyers for their work.
“Over the past 18 years, we have been privileged to show a multitude of regional artists,” said Andrew Fine of The Runnymede Corporation. “The artists get exposure and hopefully some sales results. Runnymede, its tenants and visitors experience a building that frequently has a look. The tenants and public seems to look forward to fresh images and challenging works. All sides of the experience benefit.”
Towne Pavilion I Galleries
Made up of the lobbies and hallways on five floors of the Class-A office building, the galleries at Towne Pavilion I have featured solo and group shows in a multitude of mediums. Exhibits have been featured in this building since 2000. Collectively, the space offers over 100 liner feet of wall space for exhibits, primarily located next to the elevators on each floor. Adjacent to offices held by City of Virginia Beach Special Events Office and private law and financial firms, the galleries provide visitors with a rotating display of artwork year round.
On display through the end of September, “Durwood Zedd: Retrospective of Photography and Paintings” includes artwork by local artist Durwood Zedd, who suffers from a painful neurological disorder. The artist uses the artwork to help deal with his pain. A Virginia native for just three years, the 70-year-old Zedd also previously exhibited in galleries in San Francisco, San Jose and New York. All of the artwork is currently for sale.
Towne Pavilion II Gallery – The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art Satellite Gallery
The MOCA Satellite Gallery at Towne Pavilion II has over 80 combined feet of wall space spanning the lobby and hallways of the first floor. Three to four exhibitions per year, exclusively featuring Virginia artists, are curated by MOCA Curator, Heather Hakimzadeh, and Director of Exhibitions and Education, Alison Byrne. The artists featured typically have had prior connections to the MOCA, either from past group exhibits or, in this case, a connection to the museum’s annual Boardwalk Art Show.
Ashley Sauder Miller resides in Harrisonburg, VA, and travels to Virginia Beach annually for the outdoor art show, recently ranked #3 in the country by Sunshine Artist Magazine. She was prized best in show winner in 2016, prior to being chosen for this exhibit.
On view through October 7, 2017, Ashley Sauder Miller: There’s Always a Lull focuses on the artists’ muse: the chair. After learning to cane to restore an heirloom rocking chair, the artist focused on an ongoing series of paintings and mixed media works investigating the forms and textures of chairs. In her work, the chair is not simply a piece of furniture but a symbol of a complex and ongoing narrative for the artist to explore. For the viewer, the chairs take on an almost human element within the space, greeting each person with a tilted nod here and a suggestive slant there.
The artist was happy to display at the MOCA Satellite Gallery in Towne Pavilion I, a much larger space than her traditional 10’ x 10’ Boardwalk Art Show booth, because it allowed her to include larger works.
“There is so much day to day traffic to that building, that many people who wouldn’t necessarily visit a gallery or art show are viewing the work on display in the space,” said Miller, adding, “there is something equally satisfying showing my work in a gallery where a viewer can have the time and space to view the work. I’ve received so many messages and emails about the work in the satellite space, many people saying they have or plan to return to see the work again. That feels really encouraging.”
The Galleries in Towne Pavilion I & II are open Monday-Friday 9am-5:30pm and Saturday from 10am-4pm.
Artists interested in submitting ideas for exhibits maybe contact: (For Towne Pavilion I) Lauren Snead, The Runnymede Corporation at 757-422-1568 or email@example.com. (For Towne Pavilion II) Download the exhibition proposal form online at http://virginiamoca.org/exhibitions/proposals, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 757-425-0000×327.