In this post we want to discuss everything we know about art in Virginia Beach. Galleries, museums, supplies, schools, shows, events and more will all be covered thoroughly right here.
We will begin by diving into the best Virginia Beach Art Galleries and Museums where you can see some of the finest exhibitions and collections you will find here, in Norfolk, and even Newport News. After that we will tell you about the best art stores in town where you can find all the supplies and materials you need. The top shows and events throughout the year will need to get their own section as well.
You may want to take an art walking tour or check out some of the most creative statues and sculptures around town when the weather is nice. Local art classes and lessons will need their own section and there are plenty of classes for both kids and adults that are available.
Some of our more experienced readers may not be up for another lesson so we will talk about where there are art studios for rent near you. Framing shops, dealers, and appraisers will also be discussed as the post progresses.
Since the Norfolk and Newport News art scene are both covered there is a map at the end to help you get a better feel for where everything is. We have written other posts on the Northeast that you can check out if interested.
Best Art Galleries & Museums In Virginia Beach
If you want to visit the best art galleries and museums in Virginia Beach then check out:
- Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art at 2200 Parks Ave
- The Artists Gallery at 532 VB Blvd
- Stravitz Sculpture & Fine Art Gallery at 1217 Laskin Rd
- Beach Gallery at 313 Laskin Rd
- Jones Art Gallery at 184 Central Park Ave
- Utopia Feni Creative Studios at 1314 Kempsville Rd
- Black Dog Gallery at 619 Jack Rabbit Rd
- Beach Gallery Inc at 313 Laskin Rd #104
- Gallery 21 at 115 W 21st St, Norfolk
- Chrysler Museum of Art at One Memorial Pl, Norfolk
- Offsite Gallery at 300 Monticello Ave, Norfolk
The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is an ever-changing museum where neighbors, strangers, students, families, communities, and cultures are welcomed to explore their common humanity through extraordinary contemporary art that is both locally relevant and nationally resonant. There are programs for people of different ages, interests, and artistic expertise, ranging from interactive chats with creators to guided tours of the Museum.
The Artists Gallery is run as a co-op and provides a platform for local and regional artists to create, display, and sell unique fine art. Ceramics, paintings, signed and numbered prints, pictures, and many mixed media items are available at the gallery and in the studios, displaying a wide range of artistic techniques.
Richard Stravitz founded the Sculpture and Fine Art Gallery on Laskin Road in 2008 with the goal of bringing a distinctive feature of fine art: bronze sculpture. His gallery has developed to exhibit a wide range of local and international artists while maintaining its distinctive sculpting feature. The Stravitz Gallery has just started offering stunning jewelry and art glass in addition to other works.
Beach Gallery features a diverse collection of notable and local fine art. Their expertise is bespoke picture framing, and they have the widest assortment of framing samples in the area as well as decades of experience. Inside, you’ll find a diverse range of original works, lithographs, and fine art prints.
The Jones Art Gallery is located in Town Center and has 9,000 square feet while being in operation for almost ten years. Every month they host new art shows with paintings, photography, sculpture, and other media.
Utopia Feni is a non-profit lifestyle brand that was created to support a creative community in Virginia so that an arts program could be established in Feni, Bangladesh. Workshops, seminars, and classes are held in addition to art exhibitions, craft shows, and festivals.
Black Dog Gallery has a diverse selection of one-of-a-kind items, both old and new, for both investment and decoration. Mt. Vernon, Monticello, Historic Charleston, and Colonial Williamsburg are just a few of the country’s most well-known historic buildings and museums where the art can be found.
In April of 2016, Gallery 21 hosted its inaugural Sumi-e and thrown ceramics exhibition. Since then, the gallery has showcased a diverse spectrum of artists and mediums ranging from contemporary acrylic and mixed media to traditional water color and oil paintings. Opening Receptions are free and open to the public for all shows at Gallery 21.
The Chrysler Museum contains fifty galleries, a growing collection of over 30,000 pieces, an interactive place for families, and the Mid-Atlantic region’s only glass workshop. The best part is that entrance is free.
The Offsite Gallery of Norfolk Arts goal is to create a vibrant, diverse atmosphere that reflects, celebrates, and invites everyone to participate in the arts.
Materials & Supplies Near You
When you need some new materials or supplies go to art stores like:
- Asian Art Supply at 1245 Rose Galaxy Landing
- A Pen Lovers Paradise at 2488 N Landing Rd
- Jerry’s Artarama at 4001 VB Blvd
- Michaels at 737 1st Colonial Rd
- Hobby Lobby at 2858 VB Blvd
- 757 Creative Reuse Center at 1904 Granby St, Norfolk
- Hampton Roads Wholesalers at 9616 Hosier St, Newport News
- Michaels at 12140 Jefferson Ave, Newport News
Original Chinese Heritage Art Supplies and other top cultural products are available from Asian Art Supply and they also sell original Sumi-e works. A Pen Lovers Paradise is a retail store that carries a variety of well-known writing instrument brands, including Cross, Sheaffer, Waterman, Lamy, Acme, Retro 51, and Sherpa, to mention a few. Rhodia writing pads are also available.
At Jerry’s Artarama you’ll find everything you need from specialty paper aisles to high-quality paints and bespoke canvases. 757 The Creative ReUse Center is a non-profit organization that promotes sustainability and reuse via art, craft, education, and community. They can increase creativity while reducing waste by making secondhand arts and crafts equipment more accessible and inexpensive.
For the novice artist to the experienced interior decorator, Hampton Roads Wholesalers specializes in art supplies and framing. We doubt we need to tell you what the chain stores like Michaels, Joann, and Hobby Lobby have to offer.
Shows & Events
There are some awesome local art shows, events, and festivals like:
- New Waves in March
- Old Beach Art & Eco Market in April
- Virginia Arts Festival in June
- Neptune Festival Art & Craft Show in September
- Boardwalk Art Show in October
Through its annual juried exhibition, New Waves, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) has maintained a festival with regional artists for over 25 years. From vivid mixed media paintings to repurposed apparel and accessories, the Old Beach Art and Eco Market has something for everyone. Old Beach Art and Eco Market started in 2010 as two separate markets: The Art Market to promote local artists and The Green Market.
The Virginia Arts Festival has been transforming the cultural scene in your area since 1997, bringing great performers from all over the world to local audiences and establishing this historic, recreation-rich region as a cultural destination for visitors from all over the country and the world. The Festival has featured a number of world and regional debuts, as well as commissioning new music, dance, and theater works from some of today’s most influential composers, choreographers, and playwrights.
Sunshine Artist Magazine has named the Neptune Festival Art & Craft Show #5 of the Top 200 Fine Art & Design Shows in the country for 2019. Over 250 artisans will be presenting their handcrafted work, which ranges from paintings and sculptures to photography and glasswork.
The Boardwalk Art Show is one of the East Coast’s oldest and best outdoor fine art exhibits, celebrating its 60th year this year. The show is frequently recognized among the Top 40 fine art shows in Sunshine Artist Magazine. This four-day festival draws collectors and artists from all around the country, with an average attendance of more than 200,000 each year.
Art Dealers & Appraisers
If you want to add a new piece to your collection or find out how much a piece is worth you can go to art dealers and appraisers near you like:
- Raymond’s Antiques at 4145 VB Blvd
- Artlink at 1340 N Great Neck Rd
- Art Gallery at 424 West 21st St, Norfolk
Raymond’s Antiques specializes in antiques and deals with everything from furniture to watches, paintings to sterling silver, military equipment to costume jewelry. Since 2003, ArtLink has provided customized site-specific artwork collections and packages to government, healthcare, commercial properties, corporate, hospitality, education, and public places as a full-service fine art consultancy organization.
Both business and residential clients can benefit from ArtGallery’s art consultancy services who assists in the building and improvement of modern art collections by locating and purchasing new and secondary market works of art.
Some of the best areas to walk around outside and see some unique art can be found at:
- ViBe Creative District at 611 18th St
- Taste Virginia Tours at 425 W Plantation Rd
- Visit Norfolk at 232 E Main St, Norfolk
The ViBe Creative District, located near the Oceanfront, is Hampton Roads’ most lively art and cultural powerhouse. Taste Virginia Tours showcases the best of Coastal Virginia’s historic artisan beer, wine, spirits, food, and foodways. Breweries, wineries, distilleries, fisheries, and farms in Coastal Virginia are unparalleled in quality and quantity.
We know it sounds like it is all food, but it takes you through the same ViBe Creative District so you can fill up your belly while checking out all kinds of creative things. Visit Norfolk is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting Norfolk’s unique experiences and extensive services to residents and visitors as the best city of its kind to start, study, and stay in.
Sculptures & Statues
Another good way to enjoy nice weather would be to check out some of these statues and sculptures in the area:
- Neptune Statue at 3001 Atlantic Ave
- The Norwegian Lady at 201 Market St
- Wave at 536 Laskin Rd
- Anticipation at the Boardwalk & 2nd St
- All Things Within All Things at The Zoo, Granby St, Norfolk
- Cementiscope at 100-126 E Olney Rd, Norfolk
- Ascension to a Higher State of Being at Church St, Norfolk
- Carambola at Main Street Library, 110 Main St
- Handshake at Thimble Shoals Blvd & Town Center Dr
Paul DiPasquale sculpted King Neptune, a massive bronze monument that has been located in front of Neptune Park since 2005. On September 22, 1962, the Norwegian Lady statues were revealed. One was given to Virginia Beach as a gift, and an exact replica was built in Moss, Norway to connect the two cities. The statues appear to be facing each other over the Atlantic Ocean, but in reality the directions of their respective gazes are almost perpendicular to each other.
Wave The Wave, a 35-foot stainless steel sculpture by Jeff Laramore, decorates the entrance to the Laskin Gateway. Anticipation was created as a tribute to Josh and his fight against ALS, and is dedicated to the JT Walk participants who have helped make JT’s Grommet Island a reality.
All Things Within All Things was produced in 2010 by Matthew Gray Palmer. The sculpture is made of metal measuring roughly 16′ long, 7′ broad, and 10′ tall at the shoulders.
Cementiscope was created by the artist collective Glassitorium and it is a massive interactive sculpture that combines components of a cement mixer with a kaleidoscope to encourage play and discovery on site at The Plot.
The Ascension to a Higher Form of Existence sculpture, which stands 30 feet tall, serves as an entrance, transition, and connector to downtown. Metal plates with text chosen by the community are housed in four different concrete sculptures.
Carambola was commissioned by Bobby Freeman for the Hilton Library in Newport News in 2007. It’s a twelve-foot bronze sculpture that was made in Bangkok.
Virginia Beach Art Classes
Whether you are trying to find lessons for kids, teens, or adults some of the best Virginia Beach art schools and classes can be found at:
- Virginia Beach Art Center at 532 VB Blvd
- Magic of Art Studio at 332 N Great Neck Rd
- The Art Institute of Virginia Beach at 4500 Main St #200
- Potts N Paints at 2720 N Mall Dr #148
- D’Art Center at 740 Duke St, Norfolk
- Ocean View Arts at 209 W Ocean View Ave, Norfolk
- The Governor’s School for the Arts at 254 Granby St, Norfolk
- Artinspired at 3170 William Styron Square, Newport News
The Virginia Beach Art Center is a non-profit organization whose mission is to encourage individuals of all ages and ability levels to experience, participate with, and create art via an educational and supportive environment. They presently have 22 resident artists and 30 showing creators in the primary section.
Those interested in the applied arts can get a creative education at the Art Institute of Virginia Beach. Students have the chance to live, work, and go to school in a vibrant and expanding location near the beach and boardwalk.
Paint your own pottery, clay handbuilding, glass fusing, and canvas painting are all available at Potts N Paints. They are both inspiring for adults and kid-friendly and have exciting party packages, classes, or you can always drop in and create on a walk-in basis.
D’Art Center is a non-profit organization that promotes the The d’Art Facility as Norfolk’s community art center, located in the Neon District. Adult/youth art programs, on-site exhibitions, local artist studios, and community outreach projects and event programming are all available.
Ocean View Arts is a well-kept secret in Norfolk’s thriving arts community. It provides world-class training in a charming environment with views of the Chesapeake Bay.
The Governor’s School for the Arts is a center for innovation that fosters excellence, nurtures creativity, inspires artistic vision, and builds arts-loving communities. Dance, instrumental music, musical theatre, theater & film, visual arts, and vocal music are among the six departments at the GSA which offers superior arts training in Hampton Roads.
Through creative services, Artinspired provides the best resource for self-improvement, personal growth, and community. There are more art classes near you at Utopia Feni and Art Studio on the Boulevard.
Studios For Rent Near You
You might be able to find a local art studio that is ready to be rented at:
- Art Studio on the Boulevard at 3500 VB Blvd #210
- The Art Of… at 4020 Bonney Rd
- Flawlociety Art Studio at 928 Diamond Springs Rd
- AR Workshop at 313 Laskin Rd #101
Art Studio on the Boulevard is a full-service studio that offers both children and adults a variety of fine art classes and creative outlets. The Art Of… offers a wide range of local art, including but not limited to a variety of canvas art mediums like acrylic, oil based, watercolor, and charcoal in addition to wood burned pieces and other handcrafted items like jewelry, woven items, local honey, and much more.
AR Workshop is a boutique DIY workshop that teaches students how to make charming and custom decor, wood signs, canvas pillows, and more. Virginia Beach Art Center and D’Art Center in Norfolk might also have studio space available.
Some of the most highly recommended places to go for art framing in Virginia Beach are:
- Frame ‘N’ Art at 2688 VB Blvd
- Ocean Art at 3500 VB Bvld
- Olde Master Art & Frame at 5280 Princess Anne Rd
- Ray Skinner’s Frames & Art Gallery at 4417 Shore Dr
- Great Bridge Frame & Art at 316 S Battlefield Blvd E, Chesapeake
- Art Works Gallery Frame Shoppe at 321 W Bute St #1, Norfolk
- The Frame Shop & Gallery at 12715 Warwick Blvd #F, Newport News
Frame ‘N’ Art uses only the highest quality custom picture framing supplies and employs expert design and finishing. Since 1981 Ocean Art has been offering clients near you with skilled custom picture frames and has a modest variety of original art, prints, and photography from around the area.
Olde Master offers bespoke art and picture framing. With a comprehensive range of custom frames, mats, and select decor items, Ray Skinner’s Frames & Art Gallery provides exceptional and customized customer service. They specialize in shadow boxes and 3D artifacts and are well-versed in all elements of framing.
Not only can you get great framing from Great Bridge Frame & Art but they also sell lots of prints. Anyone that is on a budget will love their bargain basement section where some framed prints can be had for as little as $10!
From the tiniest project to the largest, Art Works Gallery Frame Shoppe provides archival custom photo framing to both residential and business clients. The Frame Shop & Gallery is known to do high-quality custom framing at a reasonable price in addition to installation, replacement, and restoration of precision glass framing. They also provide high-quality matting services, replacements, and upgrades.
Beach Gallery and Hampton Roads Wholesalers are more good options for framing in your area. If you were interested we have also written about:
Have Fun Enjoying The Virginia Beach Art Scene
That is about all we know when it comes to the local art scene near you. We listed the best galleries, museums, events, shows, supply stores, dealers, appraisers, walking tours, sculptures, classes, studios, and framers in the area.
If you made it all the way to the end then you probably love art as much as we do. You can share your own local tips and tricks in the comments at the end of the post, or please also let us know if we got anything wrong or if anything we posted has become dated.
Have fun going to the galleries, museums, buying supplies or doing anything that has to do with art in Virginia Beach!