Art Under Glass Invigorates Vacant Storefronts in Town Center

Friday, August 19, 2011

The City of Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs, in conjunction with Town Center Associates, launched Art Under Glass in February 2011 to make vacant storefront space in the Town Center of Virginia Beach available for temporary art installations by local artists. These pop-up art exhibits rotate every two months, as space is available. Art Under Glass is a juried exhibition and applications are reviewed by a panel of arts professionals.


“We seek work that is particularly innovative to capture the attention of people walking through the Town Center Arts & Cultural District, as well as to enliven the cultural landscape of Virginia Beach,” said Emily Spruill Labows, Director of the Office of Cultural Affairs.


As part of the City’s public art program, Art Under Glass helps promote Virginia Beach as a community that supports and promotes creative expression and one that understands the civic value of a strong public art program. The City of Virginia Beach boasts 51 public art pieces currently on view in a variety of mediums, displaying inspired subject matter and demonstrating a continued commitment to showcasing many different artists.


“Public art is able to improve our citizens’ experiences in their everyday urban and suburban environments,” continued Ms. Labows. “Our aim with Art Under Glass is to engage the public by introducing an unusual and lively artistic element into an otherwise normal streetscape.”


Art Under Glass currently has exhibition space in the ground floor of the Art Institute building in the Town Center of Virginia Beach. Interested visual artists are invited to submit an application for immediate consideration; applications are reviewed on a rolling basis and may be found at the Office of Cultural Affairs’ website,


About the City of Virginia Beach’s Office of Cultural Affairs:  The role of the Office of Cultural Affairs is to develop the vision and direction of the cultural arts in Virginia Beach, assist and direct the Virginia Beach Arts and Humanities Commission, coordinate the City’s Public Art Program, provide contract management for the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts, provide administrative leadership to the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts’ 501(c)3 Foundation and serve as staff liaison to local arts and humanities organizations.


For more information on this project, visit