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City Hall to host “Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond” public art exhibit, September 4 to November 22

From the City of Richmond:

City Hall to host “Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond” public art exhibit, September 4 to November 22

Richmond, VA – An exhibit exploring the themes and activists of the Civil Rights movement will be on display in Richmond’s City Hall from September 4 to November 22, 2019. The exhibit, titled “Growing Up in Civil Rights Richmond: A Community Remembers,” will include 28 photographic portraits in total, 25 displayed on the first floor of City Hall and three in the lobby of the Mayor’s Office.

Deborah Taylor

The photography exhibit seeks to amplify the diverse faces and voices that fueled the local civil rights movement. For the exhibit, photographer and visual journalist Brian Palmer photographed 30 Richmond locals whose childhoods were impacted by the civil rights movement, and University of Richmond history professor Laura Browder gathered oral histories through interviews with the subjects. Excerpts of the interviews will accompany and contextualize the photographs. Ashley Kistler, longtime Richmond-area curator and Chair of the Public Art Commission, and Dr. Browder conceived of the project originally.

“These compelling portraits and insightful narratives tell deeply personal stories of an important and pivotal time in our city’s history,” said Mayor Stoney. “I applaud the Public Art Commission for bringing this exhibit to City Hall and providing the opportunity to experience these stories at the intersection of our civic life, where they can be seen and heard and resonate with all Richmonders.”

Displayed on the heels of the 2018 passage of the Public Art Master Plan, this exhibit signals the renewal of Richmond’s public art program and a replenished commitment to exploring Richmond’s identity through public art. Running concurrently with the show will be a separate exhibition of eight painted portraits of Richmond activists by local artist Hamilton Glass.

Leonard Edloe

The Richmond Public Arts Commission recently welcomed six new members and appointed a new Public Art Program Coordinator and Secretary to the Public Art Commission, Susan Glasser. The Commission is currently in the selection process for a new commissioner. 

“My fellow Public Art Commissioners join me in thanking Mayor Stoney for his enthusiastic support of this exhibition in City Hall, the ideal venue for extending its reach into the community,” said Kistler. “The powerful personal stories assembled here, told with courage and conviction, illuminate critical present-day challenges as they expand our understanding of a historic era.”

The exhibit, which was originally displayed at the Joel and Lila Harnett Museum of Art at the University of Richmond from January 2019 to May 2019, is a collaboration between the Mayor’s Office, the Public Art Commission of the City of Richmond, the Richmond Department of Human Services, and the University of Richmond Museums.

For more information on the exhibit, please contact Ashley Kistler at or (804) 363-6448.
To learn more about the Public Art Commission, please visit:

Image Credits:
Deborah Taylor, Franklin Military Academy (formerly East End High School), Brian Palmer, 2017
Leonard L. Edloe, permanent collection display, Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, Brian Palmer, 2018

1 comment

Melissa Pocock 09/16/2019 at 1:37 PM

Great portraits, Brian Palmer!


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