You might have heard that Virginia is for lovers, but when it comes to art, Richmond is sure to leave your heart happy. From modern street painters to ancient sculptors, this city has it all. Plan to spend your weekend enjoying the history and culture that comes to life through the work of artists who come from all over the world yet call Richmond home.
This vibrant city boasts many unique and affordable accommodations, including private homes set among the gardens, hotels that package their stays with entries into museums, or historic inns that are centrally located among the best exhibitions in town. With a downtown that has embraced the art of the street mural, it’s no surprise that the River City has been named as one of the best at creating a canvas from the existing outdoor space.
1. Richmond Ballet
Image via Flickr by CICampbell
The Richmond Ballet will dance right into your heart from the moment the curtain rises. This professional company offers a blend of classic style and modern appeal, and it performs shows throughout the year. Be sure to book your tickets early, as they can often be hard to come by. This is especially true in the intimate, 250-seat Studio Theatre. Bigger performances and main stage productions are held at the Carpenter Theatre.
2. Carpenter Theatre
Image via Flickr by TEDx RVA
The Carpenter Theatre is a destination in its own right. Fully restored to its original elegance, this venue is home to much more than just dance. The arts come alive through the top-notch acoustics and brilliant lighting, though the old-world charm is still evident throughout each act that performs here. The theater seats nearly 1,800, and it has kept many of the unique elements that were part of the original 1928 design.
Shows here are world-class, and every patron of the arts should consider this a must during their stay in Richmond. With tickets for evening opera performances starting at just $19, there is no reason not to go. If you plan it right, you can enjoy the evening stroll back to your hotel, savoring the mountain fresh air and soaking up the glimmering moonlight.
3. RVA Street Art Festival
Image via Flickr by Gamma Man
Richmond loves its street art so much that the city even has an annual festival to celebrate it. Artists from across the nation come together to showcase their work and support a great cause in the process. The RVA Street Art Festival is committed to the local community. Each year, it designs its projects to revitalize individual neighborhoods and promote art education to inspire future generations of artists.
This year, the canvas is a baseball stadium, and the goal is to bring together many talented individuals to create something amazing. There will be muralists, sculptors, interior designers, drone artists, musical artists, and projection artists, in addition to local craftsmen. To add another element of fun, children will find hands-on activities, and parents will appreciate the food and craft beer trucks that join in on the excitement. This event takes place each year in September, and if it’s possible for you to plan your weekend around it, this event is certainly worth your time.
4. Virginia Museum of Fine Art
Image via Flickr by Gamma Man
For a more classic approach to art appreciation, consider a visit to the Virginia Museum of Fine Art. More than just a museum, this institution is a place that embraces education. The museum collects, preserves, exhibits, and interprets all types of art. This museum boasts over 35,000 works in its permanent collection, representing a variety of artistic styles and many different world cultures. Tours are available daily, and the best part is that general admission is always free.
5. Hippodrome Theater
Image via Flickr by bionicteaching
If performing arts are more your style, Richmond caters to that as well. Take in a show at the historic Hippodrome Theater. Located in the historic Jackson Ward area of downtown, this iconic theater is also known as the Harlem of the South. In its prime, the talented artists who played at the Hipp included legendary actors like Billie Holiday, Ella Fitzgerald, and Louis Armstrong. Today, the theater has been meticulously restored and revitalized as cultural landmark.
Richmond lives for creativity, and a visit here promises to satisfy the senses. Whether you enjoy street art, fine art, or performance art, Richmond has it all and so much more. Take a weekend and discover for yourself why so many love calling Richmond home.