• Press Release

The Time Has Arrived to Reconnect With Our Families Again!

Enjoy New and Renovated Interactive Exhibits for all ages


Words and Images courtesy of Portsmouth Museums.

The Portsmouth Museums are excited to announce that after over a year of closures, two of its five museums reopened to the general public on Wednesday, June 9th! Prior to the official reopening on June 9th, The Children’s Museum of Virginia reopened with a Member-Only Preview (with limited capacity), with two timed-sessions on Saturday, June 5th, and Sunday, June 6th, at 9:00 a.m. to 11:45 a.m., and from 1:15 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. both days. The Museum will operate these new temporary hours of operation on Wednesdays through Sundays, and will be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays until further notice.


Admission will be free for members, with a special reopening rate of $8.00 per person for non-members. All visitors, including members, will be required to purchase tickets in advance online at www.ChildrensMuseumVirginia.com.


Prior to its official reopening on Wednesday, June 9th, The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum also reopened its doors to members only on the weekend of June 5th and 6th. Its new hours of operation will be on Wednesdays through Sundays from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., and on Sundays from Noon – 4:00 p.m. The Museum will also be closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Admission will be by donation.


Some of the highlights of the reopening of the Children’s Museum of Virginia will include upgraded and new exhibits:


Happy Paws - One of our favorites is our newly refurbished Happy Paws Animal Rescue. Come and learn about proper pet nutrition, how to keep your pet clean and well groomed, and the importance of giving your pet a regular health check-up. This exhibit was sponsored by the Batten Endowment Fund.

LUMOPlayThis display provides a new way of interacting through projection. Images are either projected on the floor of the wall, and children use their imagination to guide their interaction with the images.

Everbright –This is an interactive art installation that lets people of all ages and abilities create and play with color and patterns. Inspired by the Light-Brite, it’s a huge grid of adjustable LED dials that turn endlessly in either direction through the color spectrum

Some Assembly Required- Our new summer exhibit, featuring three components and three activity stations that apply STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts design and math) concepts, inspiring children to be curious to invent, tinker, and solve problems while helping parents/caregivers recognize that children too, require some assembly and that adults must set the example; and guide a child’s understanding of the principles that ultimately define who we are, and what we believe. The exhibit was sponsored by the Batten Endowment Fund. It will run through September 6, 2021.

A new refresh of the Lightship Portsmouth exhibit area at the Naval Shipyard Museum will examine the history of LV-101’s forty-eight years of service on the East Coast. It will include images of the ship’s construction and service as well as historic artifacts that have not been exhibited before. A rare World War II Working Grey Coast Guard jacket, along with original vintage shore radio equipment that helped spell the end of the era of lightships, will be among the exhibit’s special features.


In the gallery’s temporary exhibit case, see a small private collection of rare antique postcards and stereo cards showing Norfolk Navy Yard’s Trophy Park, along with the earliest-known (1874) images of historic Quarters A, the Shipyard Commander’s residence.


Nancy S. Perry, museum director, says “We are thrilled to be able to welcome back our visitors. Thanks to everyone who made this reopening possible”.


About the Children’s Museum of Virginia

Children step inside a world where bubbles grow bigger than they are, where the forces of energy electrify and spark their imagination, where they can be a farmer, a banker, a scientist, and more! The Children’s Museum of Virginia includes the Lancaster Antique Toy and Train collection – an attraction for kids of all ages as well as a modernized planetarium. It also features a Museum Gift Shop (online is available) where children can take some imagination home with them.


About the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum

The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum researches, preserves, and promotes the history of the City of Portsmouth, Norfolk Naval Shipyard, and the armed forces in Hampton Roads. The museum accomplishes its mission by offering exhibitions, publications, lectures, and educational programs.


The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center Reopened on June 12 with New Visual Arts and Historic Exhibits

The Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center joined their sister museums, the Children’s Museum of Virginia, the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard Museum, and reopened to the general public on June 12. Visitors will have the opportunity to view three new exhibits including The Test: Tuskegee Airmen, 2021 Outdoor Sculpture and Virginia Watercolor Society 2021 Juried Exhibition. The exhibits will range from American and military history to the visual arts, and offer something for everyone.


New hours for the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center will be Wednesday – Saturday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m., and Sunday, noon – 4:00 p.m. Admission will be by donation.


Features of the three new exhibits include:

Virginia Watercolor Society 2021 Juried Exhibition

Dates: June 12, 2021 – September 12, 2021

The Virginia Watercolor Society, the largest artists’ organization in Virginia, presents their 42nd annual juried exhibition. Featured are 90 original watercolor paintings that showcase the creativity, experimentation, innovation and beauty in contemporary watercolor. Paintings are also available for purchase. The 2021 juror for this exhibition is nationally acclaimed artist and teacher Linda Daly Baker, who has juried watercolor exhibits both nationally and internationally.

THE TEST: Tuskegee Airmen

June 12 – October 11, 2021

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.

2021 Outdoor Sculpture

June 12 – October 11, 2021, Courtyard

The fifteenth annual juried Outdoor Sculpture exhibition will be displayed in the historic courtyard. We invite visitors to pick up a ballot inside to make your selection for which sculpture and artist wins the People’s Choice award. Vanessa Thaxton-Ward, Ph.D., Director of Hampton University Museum, served as juror. Featured are sculptures by Patrick Andrews, Goldvein, VA; Jessica Bradsher, Greenville, NC; May Britton, Norfolk, VA; Hanna Jubran, Grimesland, NC; Barbara Kobylinska, Virginia Beach, VA; John Mason, Lexington, VA; and William Wood, Edinburg, VA.


Said Gayle Paul, curator of the Center, “We have been anxiously awaiting the return of our art enthusiasts after being closed for over a year.”


The Gallery Shop located within our historic courtyard at 420 High Street is temporarily closed while undergoing renovation. Until the work is completed, PACC museum merchandise may be purchased at the Children’s Museum Gift Shop at 221 High Street or through the Portsmouth Museums online shop at: https://portsmuseumshop.com/.

For updates on exhibits, First Weekend events, and programming, please visit our website at www.portsmouthartcenter.com or https://www.facebook.com/PortsmouthArtCenter

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. Editor's Note: Portsmouth Museums has contacted us to say that the Portsmouth Art & Cultural Center has closed since this release was written, due to issues with the air conditioning. The Outdoor Sculpture exhibit is still on view. The inside exhibitions are currently in storage and they hope to be able to open them by the end of this month.