To stay true to the ever-changing genre it represents—and keep security guards entertained despite their short attention spans—the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art continually changes the artwork that adorns its 6,300 square feet of exhibition space. Though the exhibits predominately feature work from living artists, from the nature-inspired art of Richmond native Sayaka Suzuki to the fantastical landscapes of Jean-Pierre Roy, seminal pieces from late legends settle in from time to time, such as an Andy Warhol exhibit that borrowed pieces from the artist's eponymous gallery and banana farm in Pittsburgh.
Beyond its exhibits, MOCA also promotes art education through studio-art classes—sometimes taught by the very virtuosos whose works grace the museum walls—and outreach programs. Held twice a year on the shores of Virginia Beach, outdoor art shows invite national artists to compete in juried contests by signing their own names on lost Picassos.
The Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum is located in the charming DeWitt Cottage in Virginia Beach, Virginia. The beautiful and quaint interior of this museum highlights the history of local waterfowl. It began when, in 1974 several friends discussed the possibility of a bird-carving competition in Virginia Beach. Over the years, popularity and interest grew until in 1992, when the artifacts and carvings found a home at the DeWitt Cottage. Resident carvers can answer your questions about the artifacts in their care, which include waterfowl carvings, paintings, and sculpture. Take a peek into their Carving Room to see how it’s all done at the Atlantic Wildfowl Heritage Museum.
Day and night, the US Coast Guard–certified Lost Pearl, a replica of a 65-foot Spanish galleon, roams the waters of Virginia Beach while searching for scallywags. During family cruises, kids take in tales from the pirate crew and battle passing vessels with spewing water cannons while their parents sip on beer, wine, and frozen drinks. Come dusk, adults converge on the decks to mingle over cocktails and watch as onboard pirates present bawdy skits.