The lobby of the Quirk Hotel, in Richmond.
Courtesy of Quirk Hotel Richmond

Our new series, Reasons to Travel Now, highlights the news, events, and openings that have us scoping out plane tickets each day. Today: why Virginia is for art lovers.

Siobhan Reid
June 01, 2018
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

With its striking design courtesy of Steven Holl Architects, Virginia Commonwealth University’s Institute for Contemporary Art is not your average collegiate gallery. Its debut this spring has given art and architecture buffs new cause to visit the institute’s hometown.

Iwan Baan/Courtesy of Institute for Contemporary Art

Richmond has an incredibly vibrant cultural scene,” says ICA chief curator Stephanie Smith. “We hope to connect that community with the international art world.”

The ICA’s inaugural exhibition, “Declaration(through Sept. 9), explores art’s power to spark change: one piece lets visitors record their own “declarations,” while another invites guests to bring in clothing in need of repair, which a volunteer will fix on the spot.

If you’re in town in the coming months, catch the reflective “Monumental: Richmond’s Monuments (1607–2018)” at another noteworthy museum, the Valentine (July 4–Jan. 2, 2019), an institution focusing on the city’s history and culture, and “Howardena Pindell: What Remains to Be Seen,” a survey on the activist-artist at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (Aug. 25–Nov. 25).

Book a room at the Quirk Hotel (doubles from $169), a cheerful, cheeky hideaway built in a 1916 department store, and snag a souvenir at menswear destination Jackson & James or clothing and housewares shop Need Supply Co.

The latter is just a short drive from Maymont, a 100-acre Victorian estate that’s home to Japanese gardens and a 33-room mansion.

Sample Chesapeake Bay oysters and Virginia brews at Rapp Session, but save room for dinner at L’Opossum sur la Colline de l’Orégon (entrées $22–$36), where the playful names (one dish is called “C’mon Simone, let’s talk about your big halibut”) belie a seriously sophisticated approach to food.

You May Like