MOCA offers dozens of Virginia contemporary artists the chance to show their best work with 'New Waves' opening this weekend

Posted by: brad – Jan 25, 2017


Virginia Beach’s MOCA is opening their doors to a uniquely Virginian contemporary arts show, New Waves, this weekend with almost 30 artists from around the Commonwealth offering some striking images and creations.

Among them is Blythe King, a Richmond resident and UR grad who submitted a piece called “How to Take a Compliment.” (seen below)

“[It’s about] the female potential for divinity,” Blythe said in an interview with RVAMag ahead of the show’s opening this weekend. Her work, mostly collages using vintage ephemera like cut outs from fashion magazines from the 40s, gives the artist a unique chance to juxtapose traditional images with modern tweaks.

This is on full display in “How to Take a Complement” with the final piece being an homage to the iconic Christian Martyr Saint Sebastian, arrows and all.

“I like to transform these commercial images and representations of women as a away of undoing them to reveal this potential,” she said.

Dot Greene, PR and Marketing Specialist for the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) said the New Waves show is in its 22nd year, always offers a rare chance to feature many talented artists from across the Commonwealth (especially Richmond).

Local artists in the show include Mickael Broth, Sean Donlon, Sasha Waters Freyer, Jere Williams and a few more.

Greene said every year the number of submissions increases, and this year they broke the 300 mark leaving head judge, Ken Harman, former digital editor of High Fructose Mag and owner of galleries on either side of the country, in the difficult spot of picking the best.

“The caliber of the artwork that’s coming in is quite good and makes our job harder each year in terms of jurying the show,” Greene said.

But it’s also a great chance to catch new talent and put their work in front of someone as renowned as Harman.

“What we like to do is connect these emerging artists… with the best person possible within the art world to help spur their careers,” she said.

And Harman’s eye is already making impacts with Greene noting a kind of “California influence” to the show “I think it's incredible because it’s nice to see the diversity year over year,” she said.

Among the pieces that stand out to Greene is a photo from Chesapeake artist Megan Wynne called piece “Double Rebirth.” (top image)

“It’s [Wynne] giving birth to her 3-year-old in her hall way,” she said. “It sounds a bit creepy, but it’s a powerful image evoking a wide range of responses, which I think is great. Art should create dialogue. The varying works in New Waves, as well as the three exhibitions making up this suite, will do just that."

To see these works and more in person, head on down to MOCA - 2200 Parks Ave, Virginia Beach - this Friday at 6:30 PM for the opening reception. The show will remain on display and open to the public through April 16.

Words by BK