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  • Writer's picturePress Release

The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Resumes Operations

A well used watercolor painting palate with brushes in the center. The colors are vivid and bright.

Words and Images courtesy of Portsmouth Museums.

The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center re-opened on Saturday, August 14, 2021 after a prolonged closure due to mechanical issues inside the building. We welcome visitors to view our current exhibits featuring The Test: Tuskegee Airmen, Virginia Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition, and 2021 Outdoor Sculpture.

The 42nd annual juried exhibit by members of the Virginia Watercolor Society features 89 original watercolor paintings by artists from across the state. Their paintings offer a range of watercolor techniques and subject matter. The Virginia Watercolor Society Juried Exhibition continues through Sunday, September 12, 2021.

The juror for the 2021 exhibition was nationally acclaimed artist and teacher Linda Daly Baker, who has juried watercolor exhibits both nationally and internationally. Guests are invited to cast their ballot to vote on their favorite watercolor painting. Once tallied the artist with the most votes will win a cash prize.

A propeller plane chases after another propeller plane in the sky. The plane they are chasing is on fire. There is no land in sight, just sky and clouds.

THE TEST shares the story of the first African-American U.S. Military aviators and their introduction into combat during World War II. The aviators were part of an effort by the War Department to determine if African-Americans had the capabilities to be effective combat aviators. In early 1943, the first African-American squadron deployed to North Africa to enter combat. This began the critical test phase of the Tuskegee Experiment. The outcome would impact and determine the future opportunities open to African-Americans in and outside of the military. THE TEST shares the incredible story of men in war struggling to be the best Americans they could be while struggling against racism and prejudice from their fellow countrymen.

Highlighted in the traveling exhibit created by Jerry Taliaferro is the story of Petersburg, Virginia native Lt. Col. Howard L. Baugh who flew with the 99th Fighter Squadron. THE TEST continues through Sunday, October 10, 2021.

A sculpture of squares in a garden area, they appear to be reflecting the sky, which looks fascinatingly odd seeing as they are grounded in mulch.

Relax in our historic courtyard and view sculptures chosen for the fifteenth annual juried Outdoor Sculpture exhibit. The annual exhibit draws from a range of sculptors from across the region and beyond who annually apply to participate. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph.D., Director of Hampton University Museum, served as this year’s juror. Sculptures by Patrick Andrew; Jessica Bradsher; May Britton; Hanna Jubran; Barbara Kobylinska; John Mason; and William Wood are featured. The Outdoor Sculpture exhibit continues through Sunday, October 10, 2021.

About the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center

The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center (PACC), is housed in the historic 1846 Courthouse, and is devoted to offering quality educational, cultural and aesthetic experiences through rotating visual art and cultural exhibits, lectures, classes and performances. It is located at 400 High Street in Portsmouth, VA. The admission is currently by donation. For tickets visit our website at You can also connect with us at or call 757-393-8543.

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