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EXHIBIT: Work in Progress: 13 Murals for Right Now at The Hermitage (Norfolk)
July 22, 2021
This summer the Hermitage Museum & Gardens is bringing together 13 muralists to share their distinct viewpoints on critical issues at the forefront of the national conversation. 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. On view June 12 through October 3, the exhibition seeks to highlight the individual platforms of each artist while expanding the greater conversation of social justice in our community.
Selected artists will take over the Hermitage estate to create work, some in collaboration with volunteers and local organizations, on topics including Black Lives Matter, homelessness, poverty, women’s equality, and mental health. Six murals will be created indoors, some taking up full galleries, while seven will be displayed in the gardens.
Austin ‘Auz’ Miles
Work in Progress has been shaped by an advisory committee made up of prolific artists and Hermitage staff: Hamilton Glass, founder of the Mending Walls project in Richmond; Dathan Kane, co-founder of the Contemporary Arts Network (CAN) in Newport News; Meme, founder of the Few & Far Women’s Collective; and Clayton Singleton, recently named VEER Magazine’s ‘Mural Artist of the Year’ and featured on the February cover of Distinction Magazine. CAN founders Asa Jackson and Hampton Boyer also provided invaluable insight.
Murals are often seen in urban and commercial districts, used to serve as collective thought spaces, and to enliven communities on the edge of revitalization. Murals equalize access and understanding to important topics and ideas in daily life, politics, and community; they remind viewers of collective responsibilities to society. The Hermitage, like all art and cultural institutions, shares the ultimate responsibility which murals evoke; to build community, to occupy space, and to contribute to conversations that result in a more informed and educated society.