Mission

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond engages the community in the creative process through the visual arts.

We believe there is a creative spirit in all of us that nourishes our humanity and enriches our society. We foster a creative culture encouraging people of all backgrounds, ages and skill levels to explore, participate and experiment with the visual arts.

VisArts provides opportunities for people to express themselves through clay, wood, fiber, painting, photography, printmaking, glass, metal, drawing, writing and the decorative arts. We host six exhibitions annually with work by emerging and established artists that focus on innovative materials and processes. VisArts is located in the former Virginia Dairy building, a newly restored, 30,000-square-foot historic facility in the Fan District of Richmond, Virginia. Staffing includes 16 full-time and three part-time employees, 110 adjunct instructors and 175 volunteers. The annual operating budget is $1.7 million.

Affiliate support for the Visual Arts Center of Richmond is provided by investors in the ArtsFund, grants from the Virginia Commission for the Arts, the Arts and Cultural Funding Consortium and the National Endowment for the Arts.

History

Founded in 1963 as the Hand Workshop by Elisabeth Scott Bocock, the Visual Arts Center of Richmond began in a house on historic Church Hill where craft artists worked, exhibited and taught neighborhood children to create with their hands. For the next 22 years, it operated in various locations in Richmond. In 1985, VisArts moved to the historic Virginia Dairy building on Main Street, where it leased space for 17 years before purchasing and later renovating the building. Completed in 2007, the renovation transformed the facility into an inviting and inspiring space and a state-of-the-art regional arts center. Since then VisArts has continued to expand programs, raise its visibility within the community and increase its support base. The Visual Arts Center of Richmond is now one of the major arts organizations in Virginia.