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Current Museum Exhibits in Hampton Roads

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Current Museum Exhibits in Hampton Roads Virginia

There are so many amazing museums and historical locations in Virginia, it can be hard to keep track of when exhibits are coming and going. This list includes current and upcoming exhibits (not permanent, but time-limited, visiting exhibits) in the Hampton Roads area museums. Please note, not all of these exhibits are designed with young children in mind! 


The Robot Zoo at the Virginia Air & Space Center (Hampton)
Dates: June 5 – September 6, 2021. Monday thru Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12-5pm
Location: Virginia Air & Space Center, 600 Settlers Landing Road, Hampton, VA 23669
Description: This traveling exhibit gives visitors an up-close look at the biomechanics of complex animal robots to discover how real animals work!
Cost: Adult: $22; Child (3-18): $18.50; Senior: $20; Active Military/NASA: $19

Hampton One: Working, Building, and Racing on the Water at The Hampton History Museum (Hampton)
Dates: Now through August 2021. Museum is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, 9am-4pm, Wednesday & Sunday 1-4pm. Closed major holidays.
Location: Hampton History Museum, 120 Old Hampton Lane in Downtown Hampton
Description: This artifact-rich exhibition explores Hampton’s integral ties to, and love of, the water that surrounds the city, its seafood and maritime heritage, and passion for sailing as embodied in the locally developed Hampton One-Design sailboat, and the competitive sailing culture that grew out of it. 
Cost: Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors, active military, active NASA, AAA, children 4-12, free to children under 4.

Small Works at the Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center (Hampton)
Dates: July 20 – September 25, 2021. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. *TEMPORARY HOURS are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 11am-4pm while observing COVID-19 precautions.*
Location: The Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center, 4205 Victoria Boulevard, Hampton, VA 23669
Description: While much of the most famous works of art catch our attention due to their grandiosity, the Small Works Exhibition is here to paint a different picture – a miniature one! Artists from around the region and around the Commonwealth are invited to submit miniature and small artworks. Artworks in all media are represented, and the exhibition presents a wide range of styles, techniques, content, imagery and intent. Small two-dimensional works are required to be no larger than 80 square inches and small three-dimensional works are required to be no larger than 10 inches on any side. Wonderful things do come in small packages – and they make amazing holiday gifts!
Virginia Artists Juried Exhibition at the Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center (Hampton)
Dates: October 19 – December 18, 2021. Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-6pm. *TEMPORARY HOURS are Wednesday, Thursday, and Saturday from 11am-4pm while observing COVID-19 precautions.*
Location: The Charles H. Taylor Visual Arts Center, 4205 Victoria Boulevard, Hampton, VA 23669
Description: This much anticipated, annual juried exhibition showcases the talents of many of Virginia’s finest artists and craftsmen. This exhibition features a $1,500 Best in Show prize; the David J. Levinson Photography Award for $1,000; the David and Sandra Hillerson Memorial Award for $500; as well as awards for First, Second, and Third Places and several awards of distinction in a variety of media. Artworks from all styles, genres, and media will be selected.



Jurassic Giants at the Virginia Living Museum (Newport News)
Dates: May 29- Sept. 6, 2021, daily from 9am-5pm
Location: Virginia Living Museum, 524 J. Clyde Morris Blvd, Newport News, VA
Description:  Roaring, stomping, animatronic dinosaurs are back!  Journey back millions of years to the Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous periods as you visit the Museum’s changing exhibit gallery and throughout the Museum grounds and experience life-like dinosaurs around every turn. Experience an almost 13 foot tall Giganotosaurus in the conservation garden accompanied by a water-spitting Suchomimus to help you stay cool in the prehistoric heat. Indoors see other robot dinosaurs like Deinonychus.
Cost: Adults (ages 13 and above) $18.95 – $21.95. Children (ages 12 and below) $14.95

Through Our Eyes: A Juried Exhibition at Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center (Newport News)
Dates: July 10 -30, 2021. Monday thru Friday 9am-5pm; Saturday 10am-4pm
Location: Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center, 2410 Wickham Ave, Newport News, VA
Description: This season, the Downing-Gross Cultural Arts Center is presented with unique circumstances as we continue to build community through the arts via “artistic bridges”. Thus, our second annual juried exhibition will be themed based upon the concept of community building and connection via artistic bridges.  Since the beginning of the pandemic, artists have been forced to reflect upon their concept of community through unprecedented lenses. Thus, artists are asked to submit their interpretations of community. It could take the form of plein air pieces of their favorite spots in their communities, landscapes, portraits, etc. The sky’s the limit, as long as the artist explains how their piece illustrates community.



1,000 Paper Cranes at MacArthur Memorial (Norfolk)
Dates: Open as of August 19, 2020 and will remain on-site through 2021. Tuesdays thru Saturdays from 10am-5pm.
Location: MacArthur Memorial, 198 Bank St., Norfolk VA 23510
Description: To commemorate the 75th anniversary of the use of the atomic bombs in August 1945 and the end of World War II on September 2, 1945, the MacArthur Memorial will host a special exhibit of 1,000 paper cranes entitled A Better World. According to Japanese legend, anyone who folds 1,000 paper cranes is granted a wish.  At the age of 12, a Japanese girl named Sadako Sasaki began making origami cranes.  Sadako had been exposed to radiation from the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and suffered from leukemia.  She was determined to make 1,000 paper cranes and then make a wish for a long healthy life.  She eventually completed more than 1,000 paper cranes but died on October 25, 1955.  Every year, people around the world fold paper cranes to remember Sadako and as a wish for peace.
Cost: FREE
Dates: June 12 – October 10, 2021. Tuesday – Saturday 10am-5pm; Sunday 12-5pm
Location: Nauticus, 1 Waterside Dr, Norfolk, VA
Description: Fly a plane, ride a hovercraft, race your friend on a recumbent bicycle, or learn to fly an airship! YOU are the driver in Going Places’ interactive exhibits!
Cost:  $15.95/adult, $11.50/child. Seniors 55+ receive $1.00 off of general admission. Active Duty Military receives $3.00 off of general admission.
Work in Progress: 13 Murals for Right Now at The Hermitage (Norfolk)
Dates:  June 12 – October 3, 2021. Tuesday thru Sunday 10am-5pm
Location: Hermitage Museum & Gardens, 7637 North Shore Road, Norfolk VA 23505
Description: Work in Progress: 13 Murals for Right Now will explore the power of murals to catalyze change during a historic time of turmoil and confusion in the country. The exhibition seeks to highlight the individual platforms of each artist while expanding the greater conversation of social justice in our community.
Cost: FREE through 2021
Dates: July 1-25, 2021. Tuesday – Friday 10am – 5pm, and Saturday & Sunday 11am – 6pm
Location: d’Art Center, 740 Boush St, Norfolk, VA
Description: Portrayed is an open medium exhibition of original and unique 2D and 3D portraiture artworks. This exhibition will feature work in a variety of styles.

Dates: July 9 – October 3, 2021. Closed Mondays. Tuesday–Saturday, 10–5. Sunday, noon–5.
Location: The Chrysler Museum, One Memorial Place, Norfolk VA
Experience bold, abstract paintings, sculpture, archival materials, and more! This major retrospective features more than 150 objects spanning five decades, including several late-career paintings that have never been exhibited. 
Cost: Admission to The Chrysler Museum is Free
Location: Barry Art Museum  Barry Art Museum 1075 W. 43rd Street Norfolk, VA 23529
Hours: Monday: Closed Tuesday – Friday: 11:00 AM – 5:00 PM Weekends: 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM
  • Augmented Reality: Art in the Wild! May 18, 2021 – August 18, 2021 Three works of art from the Barry Art Museum collection have been unleashed into the wild! Using augmented reality (AR) selected sculptures have been brought to life and are accessible to anyone with a phone. Users can play with scale, read up on information about the art and artist, and view them through a camera app to take pictures and video. Read more about how you can bring these pieces out into nature, view them in your home, and enjoy the ability to enjoy works of art anywhere you are.
  • Orchids: Attraction and Deception February 4, 2021 – August 1, 2021 The work included in this exhibition ranges widely, mirroring its inspiration – one of the largest and most diverse plant groups on the planet.  From pure botanical fascination to climate change, from historical model-making to the history of collecting and colonization, the ten contemporary artists represented approach the orchid from very different angles. Working in printmaking, sculpture, photography, ceramics, glass, paper, and varied hybrid media, their work is thoughtful, insightful, challenging, and beautiful.
  • Karen LaMonte: Théâtre de la Mode September 9, 2021 – January 2, 2022 For our third changing exhibition, the Barry Art Museum is proud to present Karen LaMonte: Théâtre de la Mode, September 9, 2021, through January 2, 2022. LaMonte is an acclaimed American sculptor living and working in Prague. By freezing a single gesture of a body both clothed and in motion, LaMonte is able to investigate themes of memory, beauty, and loss. A master craftsperson, LaMonte has pioneered complex casting methods across diverse media. At the Barry, we will set the stage with a selection of her astonishing works in cast glass, iron, and bronze.
  • Luke Jerram: Museum of the Moon October 15, 2021 – October 17, 2021 The moon is a vessel for our collective imagination, our space dreams. Symbolized in mythology by Artemis, goddess of the moon, our ever-changing orb represents both darkness and enlightenment; a perfect metaphor for duality. With an incredibly slow turning radius, she always shows us the same face, and has been used throughout the ages as a timekeeper, a calendar, and a source of light in nighttime navigation. Here in Hampton Roads, our king tides and frequent flooding directly influence our relationship to the moon, and to our concerns for global warming. Our proximity to NASA Langley keeps our region’s contributions to lunar research and the legendary Apollo Moonwalk at the forefront of all our minds. All over the world, the moon inspires artists, poets, and philosophers along with scientists, and connects us all with its light.
  • Motion/Emotion: Exploring Affect from Automata to Robots February 10, 2022 – July 31, 2022 This exhibition will investigate the emotional qualities of automata and robots. It will feature selections from the permanent collection as well as the work of contemporary artists and other lending institutions. By exploring the intersections between art, science, and emotion, we aim to connect the Barry Art Museum’s historical automata to 21st-century interests and concerns.
Some Assembly Required at the Children’s Museum of VA (Portsmouth)
Dates: NOW – SEPTEMBER 6, 2021
Location: The Changing Gallery at The Children’s Museum of Virginia, 221 High Street, Portsmouth, VA
Cost: Included with museum admission – free for members. Non-member admission: Adults (Ages 18 & up): $11. Children (Ages 2-17): $10. Children Under 2: Free. AAA, Military, and Seniors: $10.
Description: A new summer exhibit, Some Assembly Required, is a hand’s on interactive experience on loan from Betty Brinn Children’s Museum, located in Milwaukee Wisconsin. Some Assembly Required features six Build-A-Bear Workshop core values that represent the most important ideals we can ever hope to teach a child: Achieve, Collaborate, Celebrate, Give, Learn, and Embrace!
  • Construct A Bridge – Wood planks, erector set-style building pieces and fasteners, and play table surfaces present bridge building challenges for early learners, school-age children and families.
  • Draft A Blueprint – A two-sided digital sketch pad invites two visitors to draw and collaborate on a design.
  • Repair A Bike – Learn the basics of bike repair with kid-friendly tools, parts and hardware, infographics and a display of real bike mechanics
  • Tell A Story – Learn about story and sentence structure, and new vocabulary, with interchangeable word and narrative elements
  • Join A Band – Compose and play music with percussion interactives, digital keyboards, novelty sounds, drum tracks and music samples.

Outdoor Sculpture Garden at The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (Portsmouth)
Dates: June 12 – October 11, 2021, Wednesday – Saturday 10am-4pm 
Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, 400 High St, Portsmouth, VA
Description: The fifteenth annual juried Outdoor Sculpture exhibition will be displayed in the historic courtyard. We invite visitors to pick up a ballot inside to make your selection for which sculpture and artist wins the People’s Choice award. 
Cost: FREE
Virginia Watercolor Society 2021 Juried Exhibition at the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center  (Portsmouth)
Dates: June 12 – September 12, 2021.  The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center is closed due to HVAC emergency.
Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, 400 High St, Portsmouth, VA
Description: The Virginia Watercolor Society, the largest artists’ organization in Virginia, presents their 42nd annual juried exhibition.  Featured are 90 original watercolor paintings that showcase the creativity, experimentation, innovation and beauty in contemporary watercolor.   Paintings are also available for purchase.  The 2021 juror for this exhibition is nationally acclaimed artist and teacher Linda Daly Baker, who has juried watercolor exhibits both nationally and internationally.
We apologize for any inconvenience due to museum closures while we await a new air conditioning system.  The paintings have been moved to temporary storage in a climate controlled environment and will be installed when the air conditioning system is installed.  In the meantime, visitors may visit the 2021 Virginia Watercolor Society’s online exhibit at https://virginiawatercolorsociety.org/2021-exhibition-gallery/ 
Cost: Admission by donation

THE TEST: Tuskegee Airmen at The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (Portsmouth)
Dates: June 12 – October 11, 2021.  The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center is closed due to HVAC emergency.
Location: Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center, 400 High St, Portsmouth, VA
Description: THE TEST shares the story of the first African-American U.S. Military aviators and their introduction into combat during World War II. The aviators were part of an effort by the War Department to determine if African-Americans had the capabilities to be effective combat aviators. In early 1943, the first African-American squadron deployed to North Africa to enter combat.  This began the critical test phase of the Tuskegee Experiment. The outcome would impact and determine the future opportunities open to African-Americans in and outside of the military. THE TEST shares the incredible story of men in war struggling to be the best Americans they could be while struggling against racism and prejudice from their fellow countrymen.
Cost: Admission by donation 
Summer of Women at MOCA (Virginia Beach)
Dates: Beginning July 17, 2021. Thursdays: 10am – 8pm; Friday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm
Location: Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, 2200 Parks Ave, Virginia Beach Virginia 23451
Description: The exhibitions will feature the work of distinguished women-identifying artists from Hampton Roads as well as the broader southeastern region and from across the country. In addition, the museum will mount a juried exhibition of artwork created by area teens.
Cost: Free admission will continue through the Summer of 2022