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Peninsula Fine Arts Center to Host Art Talk on African Art by VMFA Curator on January 24
Submitted by Courtney Gardner

PFACAA imageNewport News, VA –The Peninsula Fine Arts Center will present an art talk on African Art by Richard Woodward, the Curator of African Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, from 1-2 pm on Thursday, January 24, 2019. Admission is free for PFAC members, CNU's Lifelong Learning Society, and students with valid ID. There will be regular admission fees for nonmembers.

Richard B. Woodward is the founding curator of the African art collection at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and since 1977 he has guided its development to include more than 1,000 works of art. Woodward received an MA in the history of art from the University of Virginia and a BA in the history of art from Rutgers University. A staff member of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts since 1975, he has held senior administrative positions in the museum for more than 30 years. In 2000 he served as Interim Director and from then until 2010 as Senior Deputy Director for Architecture and Design, during which time he coordinated planning and construction of the VMFA's award-winning expansion project that substantially increased gallery space for the collections and exhibitions.

The African Art: Identity and Power exhibition on view at the PFAC observes the importance of the objects to those who commissioned, created, and used them. Identity suggests the idea that each piece has been created for a specific purpose and within a specific setting. Some objects may be identified with spirits, and others may represent human ideals or cultural values. PFACAA image2Power can be political, religious, or social - it can also refer to regalia, masks, or sculptures used by various types of social organizations, or to items used in ritual contexts by divination priests and priestesses, or devotees of particular gods.

This exhibition seeks to address the slave trade and colonialism through the lens of the artistic traditions of African art. We celebrate the creativity of African artists who have made utilitarian objects of great beauty. Made to fulfill a specific function, each object was also skillfully conceived to provoke visual and tactile delight. Collectively, these are objects that were meant to be both used and seen. African artists use a variety of materials – they carve wood and stone, cast metal, model clay, and work with beads and into a rich array of forms.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center is located at 101 Museum Drive within Mariners' Museum Park in Newport News, Va. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays; PFAC is closed on Mondays. Admission is regularly $7.50 for adults, $4 for children (ages 6-12) and free for children 5 and under. Annual membership is $40 for individuals and $60 for families. For more information, call (757) 596-8175 or visit


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