Puppets in Protest: Community Build Exhibition Opens at VisArts

September 12, 2022 Features News

The Visual Arts Center of Richmond opened its Fall 2022 season with Community Build, an exhibition that explores the transformation of the collective through craft.  Artists Lukaza Branfman-Verissimo, Lil Lamberta, Valeska Populoh and members of their respective communities were the creatives behind the collaborative exhibition. Community Build opened on September 9, with a performance by Open Space Education in collaboration with Lil Lamberta and All the Saints Theater. The exhibition will be on view in the True F. Luck Gallery until October 31.

On Friday, guests were welcomed into VisArts’ True F. Luck Gallery to see a colorful display of giant papier-mache puppets interspersed with mixed media pieces that invoked inspiring messages of transformation, and activism. “This exhibition highlights the way three artists deeply committed to social justice are working in communities to document and tell collective stories, create moments of reflection and celebration, and calling out the ways we are all connected,” says Stefanie Fedor, VisArts Executive Director.

During the opening, guests were treated to a performance by Open Space Education students in the VisArts’ Cabell Courtyard, the outdoor space behind the community arts center. Open Space Education is a local outdoor educational program that combines artistry and outdoor nature-based learning. The students performed and narrated a short story with puppets and banners that they created during an Open Space summer class taught by Lil Lamberta.

The public is welcome to take a self-guided tour of the exhibition or schedule a gallery tour for groups through VisArts’ ENGAGE program. Community Build will be on view in the True F. Luck Gallery at VisArts until October 31, 2022, with gallery hours between 9 a.m. and 9 p.m. every day.