Welcome to our laboratory of ideas. We're here to help you become a more inspired creative, no matter your age, stage, or station in life.
Dig into the resources below—make art with your children, hear from the artists themselves, or get inspired by our Community Cookbook of Comfort. Here you can get many of the Museum experiences, right at home.
Family & Children Activities
Looking to Learn: Art & Story Time
These program guides are designed to accompany our family program, Looking to Learn.
Children ages 3–8 and their caregivers join us each month to look, learn, and make in response to themes from our current exhibitions. This program includes close-looking at artwork, reading of a storybook and a making activity inspired by the theme.
VIEW PROGRAM GUIDES
Community Cookbook of Comfort
Inspired by our food-themed suite of exhibitions—Nourish, American Appetite: Selections from the Chrysler Museum, Real Food Films, & Open (C)all: Food and Memory—Virginia MOCA invited Hampton Roads cooks, bakers, and makers of all ages and skill levels to share recipes of comfort.
Tune in to what's on view
Learn more from artists, community members, and Virginia MOCA staff about selected works now on view or previously on view. Accessible through your internet-connected device, the audio tours are available in both English and Spanish. To listen, scan the QR code on the gallery wall labels or access them right here on our site.
Virtual Student Art Start
Learn from Katherine Custer, Manager of School and Educator Programs, by looking closely at three works of art from our previous exhibition, Shifting Gaze: A Reconstruction of the Black and Hispanic Body in Contemporary Art.
Guerrilla Girls: The Art of Behaving Badly
On August 5, Frida Kahlo, founding member of the Guerrilla Girls, joined us on Zoom to talk about art, their book The Art of Behaving Badly, activism, and more. Check out highlights here, including a Q&A.
Nourish Artists: Deep Dive
Each of the 12 artists from our exhibition, Nourish, shared a bit about their process and collaboration with local food experts in a documentary shot by Jeremy Bates that aired on WHRO. Watch clips of each artist here.
From Calabar to Chesapeake: The Nigerian Roots of Virginia Cooking
Join James Beard Award winning culinary historian Michael W. Twitty on an exploration of historic Virginia foodways and their roots in what is now greater Nigeria and surrounding regions. We will discuss the foodways of this region and the impact it made on Virginia and the larger world of Southern food through Virginia migrants.
ABOUT IN-PERSON STUDIO PROGRAMS¬
Welcome to Studio Programs at Virginia MOCA. No matter your age or experience, we’re here to help you embrace your inner artist and enjoy exceptional and exciting hands-on art experiences inspired by the art in our galleries. Engage with a variety of artists, creative media, techniques, and themes to produce contemporary artworks filled with meaning.
*Class sizes limited.
The Cohen Memorial Fund at Virginia MOCA offers a number of scholarships for children and teens to participate in art education. Everyone deserves to express their creativity. Through these scholarships we hope to provide an understanding and appreciation of the arts to anyone with an interest—regardless of financial situation—and to recognize and encourage artistically gifted individuals.
REGISTRATION CLOSED | RECLAIMING GLASS
Tuesdays, May 3–17, 2022 | 6:00–9:00 PM
Join artist Staci Katsias in the studios to create your own earth-friendly glass art. In this beginner survey course, you’ll practice etching, mosaic, and reverse painting on glass, get inspired by the environmentally focused art in our galleries, and leave with the knowledge and skills to continue reclaiming glass at home!
REGISTRATION CLOSED | WATER AND CLAY
Tuesdays, May 10–June 7, 2022 | 9:30 AM–12:30 PM
Join artist Dede Schmidt for a deep dive into the fascinating relationship between water and ceramics. In this course, you’ll explore the scientific and conceptual connections between water and clay to enhance your understanding of the material and add meaning to your artistic practice.
REGISTRATION CLOSED | MAPPING CERAMIC SURFACES
Thursdays, May 12–June 9, 2022 | 6:30–9:30 PM
Through a close examination of Maya Lin: A Study of Water, artist Anna Freeman will lead students to explore concepts of mapping and place through shaping and surface manipulation. In this hands-on series, students will incorporate low relief imagery on the surfaces of their functional or sculptural ceramic forms.
REGISTRATION CLOSED | WOOD IN CONTEMPORARY ART
Fridays, May 20–June 3, 2022 | 6:00–8:30 PM
Celebrate the longstanding relationship between humans and nature as we explore the history and potential of wood as an art material. Throughout this series, contemporary woodworker, Kim Higgins, will teach you how to create a unique piece of sculptural wall art from wood as you build a greater understanding of the creative and conceptual depths of this versatile medium.
CLASS FULL | FLUID PAINTING
Class full; please join waitlist.
Sunday, June 12, 2022 | 1:00–2:30 PM
Get inspired by forms, rhythms, and colors found in nature! Join artist Deanna Strother in our studios to select an eye-catching palette, create your own fluid paint, and learn techniques in paint-pouring to create a striking composition of flowing, organic forms on canvas.
EMBOSSING WITH NATURE
Sunday, July 3, 2022 | 10:00 AM–2:30 PM
Explore our grounds to discover the abundant patterns and shapes of fallen natural materials, examine the embossing work of Maya Lin in our galleries, then head into the studios with artist John Runner to create your own nature-based embossing on 100% cotton rag paper.
Saturday, July 9, 2022 | 10:00 AM–4:00 PM
In this workshop, designed for all levels, artist Karen Eide will lead you through encaustic painting basics as well as how to add inks, pastels, graphite, watercolor, collage, mixed media, and texture.
CYANOTYPES: PRINTING WITH LIGHT
Saturday, August 20, 2022 | 10:00 AM–12:30 PM
Engage with artist Heather Beardsley as you investigate the ecologically focused art in our galleries, explore our grounds to gather natural materials, and block out images and forms on post-consumer plastic to create your own incredible cyanotype composition.
Children Ages 2–5, With Caregiver
REGISTRATION CLOSED | EXPLORATIONS IN WOOD
Saturday, May 7, 2022 | 10:30–11:30 AM
Artist Maya Lin relies on the history and quality of materials she uses to build greater meaning in her works of art. In her large, eye-catching sculpture, Flow, beams of raw wood rise and fall to create the appearance of gentle waves. Join us as we look at the artist's work in the gallery, discuss the potential of wood as an art material, and create our very own sculptures made of wood!
CLASS FULL | EXPLORATIONS IN ICE
Class full; please join waitlist.
Tuesday, May 31, 2022 | 10:30–11:30 AM
Artist Maya Lin studies many aspects of nature to create works of art inspired by her observations. Join us in the galleries to examine Maya Lin’s artworks about ice, discuss the role of ice in nature, then head back to the studio to conduct your own chilly artistic experiments!
EXPLORATIONS IN SALT WATER
Saturday, June 11, 2022 | 10:30–11:30 AM
Join us in the galleries to explore artworks featured in Maya Lin: A Study of Water, learn more about some of our earth’s most precious natural resources, then head back to the studio to combine water and salt in a 2D artwork of your own!
REGISTRATION CLOSED | THE LIFE AQUATIC
Class full. Please join waitlist.
Sunday, May 8, 2022 | 1:00 PM–2:30 PM
Get to know the variety of living and non-living parts at work in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem. Using different materials to investigate water flow, salinity, living species, and more, you’ll bring different components together to create your own visual representation of the Chesapeake Bay.
REGISTRATION CLOSED | YOU ARE HERE!
Sunday, May 29, 2022 | 1:00 PM–2:30 PM
Join artist Renee Calway in the studios to discover the wonders of mapmaking. Get inspired by the dazzling textures, colors, and forms in Maya Lin’s Marble Chesapeake Bay as you learn to create your own 3D map using clay and found materials.
Saturdays, June 11–July 2, 2022 | 10:30 AM–12:00 PM
Interpret topics in science, technology, engineering, and math through art. Make a spinning waterwheel, construct data-informed sculptures, and create your own microbiome of the Chesapeake Bay. You’ll be amazed at how interrelated our world really is.
TEENS | AGES 13–17
Saturdays, June 11–July 2, 2022 | 1:00–3:00 PM
Engage with the sciences to investigate the unique characteristics of water through sculpture. Using plaster and other mold making materials, we’ll create cast sculptures inspired by our visual observations and imagination.
REGISTRATION CLOSED | FLUID ART
Sunday, June 5, 2022 | 1:00 PM–2:30 PM
Get inspired by forms, rhythms, and colors found in nature. Join artist Deanna Strother in the studio to select an eye-catching palette, create your own fluid paint, and learn techniques in paint-pouring to produce a striking composition of flowing, organic forms on canvas.
SUMMER ART CAMPS
SUMMER ART CAMP AT VIRGINIA MOCA
JULY 11–AUGUST 19, 2022
REGISTRATION NOW OPEN
Camps are filling up quickly! Early registration is highly encouraged. If you're interested in a camp that is full, please join the waitlist.
Enroll your young artist in Summer Art Camps with Virginia MOCA! Children and teens ages 2–17 will enjoy captivating and unique hands-on art experiences led by knowledgeable art educators. Campers will engage with a variety of artists, creative media, techniques and more through exciting and memorable art activities.
Campers who will be at Virginia MOCA for full-day or back-to-back camps will be supervised by Virginia MOCA Art Camp staff during their lunch break.
STUDIO SCHOOL POLICIES
Registration & Studio Policies
Register online, by telephone, or in person. Tuition must be paid at the time of registration. No student is considered registered until all fees are paid. We cannot make confirmation calls, however students are notified in the event of a cancellation.
Registration deadline is 5:00 PM, seven days prior to the course start date unless otherwise noted.
Refunds are available only if a course is cancelled by Virginia MOCA due to low enrollment. Students cancelling enrollment before the registration deadline (7 days prior to the course start date) will receive a tuition credit voucher which can only be applied to another class at Virginia MOCA.
Currently, Virginia MOCA is only accepting payment by credit/debit card online or over the phone and Tuition Credits from previous Studio School sessions. To apply Tuition Credits, call 757-425-0000 x338 or email Kendall@virginiamoca.org.
Financial aid scholarships are available thanks to The Cohen Family Memorial Fund. Registrations for approved scholarship applications will be made by MOCA staff. You can also email Kendall@VirginiaMOCA.org or call the education department at (757) 425.0000 x338 for more information.
- Adult classes are for students ages 18 and up
- Adult students provide their own materials unless otherwise noted
- Virginia MOCA attempts to reschedule any course that is cancelled
- Substitute instructors may be hired without advance notification
- Minimum enrollment for all courses is seven students unless otherwise noted
- Most classes are held at Virginia MOCA. See course descriptions for exceptions
- Studio activities may be photographed for Virginia MOCA promotional use
COFFEE + CONVERSATION
Join us for a casual conversation exploring current exhibitions, led by Virginia MOCA staff and guest lecturers. This program is free and registration is required.
Join Heather Hakimzadeh, Curator, for a conversation with past and current Virginia MOCA exhibiting artists. Guest artists will give us a look inside their studios, share current projects, and discuss process and inspiration. Find us on Instagram @virginiamoca.
MASTER CLASSES Spend the day in the studio with an exhibiting artist for a master class inspired by their artistic viewpoint and process. This unique and personal experience is a fabulous way for participants to have a one-on-one interaction with a contemporary artist. Upcoming master classes:
A changing schedule of programming inspired by our current exhibitions featuring artists, community members, and experts such as panel discussions, gallery talks, and other unique opportunities.
FOR KIDS & FAMILIES
LOOKING TO LEARN: ART AND STORYTIME
Children ages 3–8 and their caregivers are invited to join us each month as we look, learn, and make, in response to themes from our current exhibitions. This live streamed program for families will include close-looking at artwork, reading of a storybook, and a making activity inspired by the theme.
Looking to Learn encourages valuable social emotional skills that help children build and develop greater empathy, understanding, and respect for their peers and community. This program is free, however registration is required through our events page.
Family Fest offers a unique opportunity for all ages to create, explore, and connect with art. Join Virginia MOCA as we celebrate our current exhibitions with inspired artmaking, gallery activities, and more.
ARTlab is an interactive gallery space for all ages. Explore the main themes and ideas found in our current exhibitions through making, sharing, and personal connections.
Schedule a virtual or in-person tour with a Virginia MOCA educator. Tours use a selection of works from our current exhibitions to foster close observation, critical thinking, and rich discussions that support learning standards through an inquiry-based approach. Tours can be designed for all age levels.
TEACHING WITH ART
Teaching with Art at Virginia MOCA is a free professional development series created for educators of all grade levels and subject areas. It is specially designed to equip teachers with helpful tools for using contemporary artwork in their curriculum and classrooms. The themes and focus of these workshops change according to each exhibition. Please contact Katherine Custer, Manager of School & Educator Programs for details.
Join us for our next program on Wednesday, May 18.
Our volunteer gallery teachers give their time each week to help students of all ages make meaningful connections to contemporary art. Through our inquiry-based approach to teaching, gallery teachers help foster close observation, critical-thinking, and rich discussion on tours of our current exhibitions. As part of their training, gallery teachers regularly attend guest speaking events, curator-led content overviews of the exhibitions, and workshops dedicated to exploring art education methodology. Gallery teachers are also expected to assist with leading a few school tours each month and make a pledge to at least one year of volunteer service.
For those interested in learning more, you may contact Katherine Custer, Manager of School and Educator Programs at firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the form below.
Make art your thing
Get to know our community—there’s a little something for everyone.
Summer Art Camp
Keep your kiddos engaged as the beautiful summer days grow longer. Ages 6-17 can explore their artistic side with oodles of class offerings—from digital art, skateboard design, to sculpture, collage, drawing, painting and more.
Explore the Galleries
Learn more about the current exhibitions, dig into our archives, or see what is coming up next. As an ever-changing Museum there is always something new to explore.