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VMFA presents Tsherin Sherpa’s first solo museum exhibition

On view from February 19 to October 16, 2022, Spirits is a tightly focused mid-career retrospective of Tsherin Sherpa’s captivating and sublime paintings and sculptures.

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) presents Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits, the first solo museum exhibition of the Nepalese-born Tibetan American contemporary artist. On view from February 19 to October 16, 2022, Spirits is a tightly focused mid-career retrospective of Tsherin Sherpa’s captivating and sublime paintings and sculptures.

“Visitors to the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts may remember seeing Tsherin Sherpa’s paintings in the museum’s 2019 exhibition Awaken: A Tibetan Buddhist Journey Toward Enlightenment,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA Director and CEO. “We are excited to present an exhibition of works by this globally acclaimed artist as the themes he explores — including the quest for individual and collective identity in a rapidly changing world — are universally relatable and compelling.”

Sherpa was born in Kathmandu, Nepal, in 1968, and immigrated to the United States 30 years later. From a young age, he studied Tibetan thangka painting with his father Master Urgen Dorje. He eventually moved away from this form of traditional painting and began creating original work that draws on both Tibetan Buddhist iconography and the imagery of popular culture, exploring the interplay of the sacred and the secular and giving shape to the artist’s own cross-cultural experiences.

Spirits is a captivating exhibition that will intrigue those who have an interest in contemporary global art, traditional Asian art, Tibet and Buddhism,” said exhibition organizer Dr. John Henry Rice, VMFA’s E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Curator of South Asian and Islamic Art. “Not only are Sherpa’s 36 works in the exhibition visually mesmerizing, but each is layered with meaning. Part autobiography, part social commentary, they contain the artist’s contemplation of struggles faced by Tibetans and other displaced peoples while inviting viewers to examine their own experiences with loss and re-empowerment.”

Presented as a narrative, the exhibition traces Sherpa’s Spirits, a series conceived soon after he shifted away from traditional painting and that has continued to evolve throughout the course of his career. “The story told by these works’ half-human, half-Tibetan-deity subjects is one of cultural loss, protracted struggle, eventual victory, wisdom gained and identity recovered,” said Dr. Michael Taylor, VMFA’s Chief Curator and Deputy Director for Art and Education. “I believe that visitors to the exhibition will be captivated, moved and inspired by these works of art.”

The painting Spirits (Metamorphosis) portrays two Spirits at just that moment of recovering their identity. Surrounded by butterflies symbolizing transformation, they discover under the dripping pigmentation of their bodies an internal power visualized as energetically swirling colors.

With Skippers (Kneedeep) — Sherpa’s first work to fully translate his painting into three dimensions — these empowering polychrome forms inhabit the body of a cheeky bubblegum-blowing Spirit clad only in golden briefs.

The sculptural installation Wish-Fulfilling Tree offers audiences a unique participatory experience. The seven-layer offering mandala, made from copper and ornamented with Spirit faces, was originally created to hold the wishes of survivors of Nepal’s devastating 2015 earthquake. Now it beckons visitors to write their own wishes on pieces of paper that will be inserted into the piece.

The finale of Spirits is a new work — Sherpa’s largest painting to date — created expressly for the exhibition. In it, Sherpa reflects on the long journey he and his Spirits have traveled.

The artist’s prolific Spirits body of work will be explored through a candid conversation between Sherpa and Dr. Rice on February 17, 2022, at 6:30 p.m. in the museum’s Leslie Cheek Theater. For more information about Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits and programs related to the exhibition, visit www.VMFA.museum.

Ticket Information

Tickets for the exhibition Tsherin Sherpa: Spirits are now on sale: $10 for adults and $8 for seniors 65+, youth 7–17 and college students with ID. The exhibition is free for VMFA members, children ages 6 and under, and active-duty military personnel and their immediate families.

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Trevor Dickerson is the co-founder and editor of RVAhub.com, lover of all things Richmond, and a master of karate and friendship for everyone.

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Arts & Entertainment

2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival Dates Announced

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Two of Virginia’s largest and most beloved events return this fall to Downtown Richmond.

The 2nd Street Festival, in partnership with the City of Richmond, is October 1-2, in the historic Jackson Ward neighborhood.

The Richmond Folk Festival, in partnership with the National Council for the Traditional Arts and the City of Richmond, is October 7-9, along Downtown Richmond’s riverfront.

“Venture Richmond Events is proud to produce these two festivals that have brought so much attention to two Downtown neighborhoods – Jackson Ward and the Riverfront,” said Stephen Lecky, director of events for Venture Richmond. “Both the 2nd Street Festival and the Richmond Folk Festival are economic drivers bringing a combined 200,000+ people Downtown and generating $39.5 million in economic impact annually. With six stages along the Riverfront and four stages in Jackson Ward, these two events that are only a week apart, showcase world class entertainment, food, arts and culture in Downtown.”

The 2nd Street Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia Union University, Brown Distributing, CoStar Group, and Community Foundation for a greater Richmond.

The Richmond Folk Festival is sponsored in part by: City of Richmond, Dominion Energy, Altria, NewMarket Corp., CarMax, CoStar Group, Brown Distributing, Community Foundation for a greater Richmond, Atlantic Union Bank, Virginia is for Lovers, National Council for the Traditional Arts, Center for Cultural Vibrancy, and the Children’s Museum.

Check out pictures from last year’s Folk Festival here.

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Arts & Entertainment

Tonight’s Friday Cheers is Cancelled Due to Weather

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

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This is the first time that I can remember that Friday Cheers has pulled the plug due to weather concerns. Understandable due to the forecast of high winds.

Hot off the press release printing press.

For the safety of our patrons, artists and staff we must unfortunately cancel tonight’s Friday Cheers with Japanese Breakfast and Abby Huston. We understand this is a tremendous disappointment, and we share that sentiment.

“We’ve produced hundreds of outdoor events and have hosted hundreds of thousands of patrons, but I don’t believe that we have ever had a more definitive forecast predicting unsafe weather as we have for this evening,” said Lisa Sims, CEO of Venture Richmond. “We have been advised by several meteorologists that severe weather is certain and, frankly, cancelling is our only choice.”

For tonight’s Friday Cheers ticket holders, your tickets will automatically be refunded by Tickets-to-Buy for the face value within 14 business days of the cancellation notice.

Thank you for understanding this difficult decision.

Website: https://venturerichmond.com/our-events/friday-cheers-2022/

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Arts & Entertainment

Arts on the Lawn returns to Hermitage Richmond for second year May 14th

Open to all residents, families, team members, and community friends who share a love of art and creating.

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Retirement community Hermitage Richmond is hosting its second annual Arts on the Lawn event on Saturday, May 14, 2022.

The event is free and will be held outdoors on Hermitage Richmond’s front lawn at 1600 Westwood Avenue from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

“This is a wonderful opportunity to showcase our talent we have here at Hermitage Richmond,” said Amy Chapman, Hermitage Richmond’s Executive Director. “Our resident artists are excited to share their work with the community and invite other artists to do so as well. We want everyone to know that the fine arts are alive and thriving at Hermitage Richmond. It is such a great way to kick off the summer and have our residents and community come together.”

More than 50 local artists and creators will feature their paintings, photography, pottery, fiber art, handmade jewelry, woodwork, and more. All artists will benefit 100% from their sales.

There will also be three food trucks and live music from Chris and Suzi of Thorp Jenson plus GreenSpring International Academy of Music student performers at the event.

Net proceeds at Arts on the Lawn will benefit Hermitage Richmond’s Opening Minds through Art (OMA) program, which is an evidence-based intergenerational art-making program benefiting people with dementia.

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