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EXHIBIT: Summer of Women at MOCA (Virginia Beach)

July 18, 2021

The Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art is pleased to announce the opening of the Summer of Women suite of exhibitions on July 17. As a benefit of membership, Virginia MOCA supporters will have special, early access on July 15 and 16. 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. More information on She Says: Women, Words, and Power, Amplify, Lauren Keim: Everyday Magic, and Emergence: Teen Juried Exhibition can be seen below.

As part of an ongoing commitment to expand access, Virginia MOCA will launch Thursday evening hours with the opening of the Summer of Women exhibition suite. As of July 17 museum hours will be as follows:

Thursdays: 10am – 8pm

Friday – Sunday: 10am – 4pm


Monday through Wednesday the museum is closed to the general public and hosts school tours as well as private tours for groups and patrons.


“If you work during the day and have athletic, religious, or volunteer commitments on the weekends, you might not be able to enjoy the museum during traditional visiting hours,” said Director of Audience Development, Brad Tuggle. “Providing broader access is a mission-based priority, and the addition of evening hours joins free admission and bilingual audio tours as another means by which we are accomplishing this goal.”

“Free admission will continue through the Summer of 2022, thanks to the generosity and shared vision of a community-based foundation,” said Virginia MOCA Director & CEO, Gary Ryan, “Our goal is to provide free admission in perpetuity through endowment.”

She Says: Women, Words, and Power

This marquee exhibition presents the work of eight women artists who include text as a fundamental element of their art practice. Each one engages with text directly, navigating its power and reflecting its influence back to the viewer.

Each artist starts with a personal history, a narrative that has deep roots in the written word. Words, for them, are internalized and interpreted according to personal experiences, culture, and values. The artists then shape these signifiers of attitude and belief into both the poetic and the political. Words are formed and sculpted within an artwork to find new definitions of identity and power.

Featured artists for this exhibition include April Bey, Zoë Buckman, Cheryl Pope, Lesley Dill, Meg Hitchcock, Sandra Ramos, Hadieh Shafie, and Betty Tompkins.



Amplify focuses on the experiences of woman-identifying artists in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. Virginia MOCA curators have connected with curatorial colleagues and asked them to share their recommendations of woman-identifying artists who are exploring identity and the gendered roles of women. Constructs regarding a woman’s identity can be complicated and loaded with political agendas and nuances; yet they are also fascinating, beautiful, and filled with joy when embraced in all their forms. Through a variety of media and approaches, the artists in Amplify explore some of the many aspects of what it is to be a woman. They reveal common themes from an intersectional, and deeply personal lens. 

Virginia MOCA curators took inspiration from a strategy first developed by women staffers of the Obama administration when their contributions were overlooked at meetings. When one woman spoke up or offered an idea, another would both recognize and repeat it. They called this strategy “amplification.” By persistently supporting one another, they were heard. This exhibition’s goal is the same. Virginia MOCA will echo the work and ideas of the artists in Amplify. Through the exhibition, programming, and online platforms, their voices will become louder, and they will be heard.

Lauren Keim: Everyday Magic

Everyday Magic features a selection of recent photographs by Lauren Keim celebrating and exploring the vitality and beauty of overlooked moments in everyday life. Morning light illuminating a bedroom window, dishes at the kitchen sink, and a slept-in bed reveal intimate spaces in the artist’s home. Keim’s presence is evident in these photographs even if her body is absent. Her reverence for family can be seen in the heirlooms tucked into various corners of the interiors. Like the artist, we surround ourselves with everyday spaces and objects whose small details often unveil who we truly are. The nature of noticing is intuitive to Keim. She is most comfortable when she has a camera in her hand and is fascinated with making images that reveal simple moments that cannot be repeated. She pays attention to how light shifts throughout the day, often planning an image in advance and waiting in a particular location of her home to achieve her vision.

Music, literature, and poetry are also key influences on Keim, and she enjoys exploring the relationship between her visual experience and the written word. The titles of these photographs are all taken from poignant songs, poems, or lines from fiction. An expanded quote has been provided on each label to enhance your viewing and interpretation of the photograph. 


July 18, 2021


Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art [MOCA]
2200 Parks Ave
Virginia Beach, VA 23451