Exciting collaborations between VB Office of Cultural Affairs and Cultural Center with Public Art pr

The Poster Art project

Local artists Jessica C. Szymanski, Rick Nickel and Chris Revels led students from Enoch and Ebenezer Baptist Churches, Men of Faith organization, Cox HS National Art Honors Society, and Teens with a Purpose to collaborate together to create portraits of influential past and present Virginia Beach African American community members. They learned about the lives and contribution of local figures, such as Civil War Hero Corporal Miles James, the first African American to serve on City Council John Perry, and Olympian Gabby Douglas. Working in pairs, the teens created linocut prints and wrote bios about their chosen heroes.

The portraits will be made into posters that will be displayed throughout Virginia Beach to celebrate the achievements of our local heroes and inspire our community. Each poster will have a QR code that will link to this project give more information on each Community Hero, student artist and promote the future African American Cultural Center.

Temporary Public Art project to be installed on future site of the African American Cultural Center.

Richard Hollant and his co:lab team are creating a dimensional, walk-around installation that celebrates the Virginia Beach African American neighborhoods and ties the aspirations of those residents to attributes of the African American Cultural Center.

Through the use of interviews, photographs and graphics, we will develop an inspirational testament to the vitality and resiliency of the community. We will install a temporary monument on the future site of the African American Cultural Center. This piece will be both a work of art and a place of reflection where passersby can rest among strong images of members of our community and contemplate our shared aspirations.

This over-sized installation will comprise 12 portraits representing our initial 12 historically Targeted Neighborhoods and expand to include nearby majority African American communities that have since developed in Virginia Beach. Though the monument is designed to feature 12 images, the artist anticipates 60 portraits will be captured. Additionally, in the oral history tradition, all of the portraits captured will be accompanied by recorded interviews and will reside on a website developed specifically for our community.

About Richard Hollant

Richard Hollant is the creative director at co:lab, a firm focused on initiatives that encourage community engagement.

A philosophy and psychology major out of Boston University and a film and video major out of the Museum School, Richard has developed an approach that seamlessly blends comprehensive strategic thinking with tightly orchestrated execution. He has received numerous awards including the top honors in both international and regional design magazines and competitions for aesthetic value and results generation. His design work has appeared in dozens of trade publications, including books on identity and promotion, where he was acknowledged with a special section for his work. His work on diversity is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.

Richard has been featured in Business Weekly, honored as one of 20 “People to Watch” by Graphic Design, U.S.A., and acknowledged by Fast Company as one of the top 11 designers working on social value.

Richard has lectured and conducted workshops on branding for socially conscious organizations, ethics, business models, and design for good. He has also advised on the award of numerous foundation, grant and residency programs. Rich was one of the internationally-renown key speakers at the AIGA Conference on Social Value.

Richard is the founder of Parkville Studios, an artist residency and mentorship initiative. He is the chair of the Commission on Cultural Affairs in the City of Hartford and he is on to the AIGA National Board where he co-chairs the Design for Democracy initiative and is the Board Advisor for the Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce.

His images have been displayed in many gallery exhibitions including a traveling retrospective of the best of digital imaging from around the world. He has conducted numerous “photo booth” sessions, including a 2017 program at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Please visit richardhollant.com for images and colabinc.com for design approaches.

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P.O. Box 61701

Virginia Beach, VA 23466

​Telephone : ​757-363-1629

Email : info@vaaccvb.org


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