JULY 15–OCTOBER 24, 2021

Amplify focuses on the experiences of woman-identifying artists in Virginia, Maryland, North Carolina, and Washington, D.C. Virginia MOCA curators have connected with curatorial colleagues and asked them to share their recommendations of woman-identifying artists who are exploring identity and the gendered roles of women. Constructs regarding a woman’s identity can be complicated and loaded with political agendas and nuances; yet they are also fascinating, beautiful, and filled with joy when embraced in all their forms. Through a variety of media and approaches, the artists in Amplify explore some of the many aspects of what it is to be a woman. They reveal common themes from an intersectional, and deeply personal lens.

Virginia MOCA curators took inspiration from a strategy first developed by women staffers of the Obama administration when their contributions were overlooked at meetings. When one woman spoke up or offered an idea, another would both recognize and repeat it. They called this strategy “amplification.” By persistently supporting one another, they were heard. This exhibition’s goal is the same. Virginia MOCA will echo the work and ideas of the artists in Amplify. Through the exhibition, programming, and online platforms, their voices will become louder, and they will be heard.

Artists: Megan Angolia, Endia Beal, Susie Brandt, Barbara Campbell Thomas, Caitlin Cherry, Joan Cox, Helen Criales, Erika Diamond, Erin Fostel, Amy Herzel, Amy Hughes Braden, Susan Jamison, Sue Johnson, Julia Kwon, Margaret Meehan, Ambrose Rhapsody Murray, Meg Stein, Nastassja Swift, SHAN Wallace.

Organized by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Curated by Alison Byrne, Deputy Director, Exhibitions and Education, and Heather Hakimzadeh, Curator.

Special thanks to contributing curators:

Jessica Bell Brown Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD | Molly Borati, Associate Curator, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, NC | Haley Clouser, Exhibitions Research Assistant, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, VA | Helen Criales, Art Consultant & Curator, Latela Curatorial, D.C. | Jennifer Dasal, Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, North Carolina Museum of Art, NC | Wendy Earle, Curator of Contemporary Art, Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, NC | Kimberli Gant, McKinnon Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Chrysler Museum of Art, VA | Leila Grothe, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD | Leslie Mounaime, Curator of Exhibitions, Torpedo Factory Art Center, VA | Asma Naeem, The Eddie C. and C. Sylvia Brown Chief Curator, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD | Mary Savig, Lloyd Herman Curator of Craft, Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian American Art Museum, D.C. | Elizabeth Schlatter, Deputy Director and Curator of Exhibitions, University of Richmond Museums, VA | Emily Stamey, Curator of Exhibitions, Weatherspoon Art Museum, NC | Marta Staudinger, Director & Curator, Latela Curatorial, D.C. | Rachel Talent Ivers, Executive Director, The Longwood Center for the Visual Arts, VA | Sarah Tanguy, Independent Curator | Carlyn Thomas, Curatorial Assistant, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD | Eva Thornton, Assistant Curator, Taubman Museum of Art, VA | Cecilia Wichmann, Associate Curator of Contemporary Art, Baltimore Museum of Art, MD | Marilyn Zapf, Assistant Director and Curator, Center for Craft, Asheville, NC.

Main Gallery

She Says: Women, Words and Power

July 15 - October 24, 2021

She Says presents the work of eight women artists who include text as a fundamental element of their art practice. Each one engages with text directly, navigating its power and reflecting its influence back to the viewer. They all move in and out of its flow, whether the text is from a poem, a religious tome, or simply something that is shouted on the street. They start with a personal history, a narrative that has deep roots in the written word.


Community Gallery


July 15 - October 24, 2021

Everyday Magic features a selection of recent photographs by Lauren Keim celebrating and exploring the vitality and beauty of overlooked moments in everyday life. Like the artist, we surround ourselves with everyday spaces and objects whose small details often unveil who we truly are. The nature of noticing is intuitive to Keim. She is most comfortable when she has a camera in her hand and is fascinated with making images that reveal simple moments that cannot be repeated.



Come Join Us

From interactive talks with artists, classes exploring the ideas and techniques in our galleries, there are events for all ages, interests, and artistic experience.