Virginia Shore is a Washington, DC-based curator and consultant specializing in contemporary art in all media. Her career has been devoted to expanding the role of the visual arts as a means of cultural diplomacy. Virginia has curated more than 200 international collections and exhibitions for public and private collections and has overseen several outside commissions. Over the years she has built relationships with hundreds of artists, architects, curators, foundations, dealers, collectors and institutions around the world. Her current projects and partnerships include the Barack Obama Foundation / Obama Presidential Center, the Emerson Collective, the Fredriksen Family Collection in collaboration with the New National Museum of Norway and the HALL Group for the recent opening of the HALL Arts Hotel in Dallas, Texas.
Today Virginia comes to Friday Five!
1. Elson & Company
Lola, our cute girl, posing on my favorite Elson & Company rug in DC. Diane Elson is a dear friend who worked closely with Oscar de La Renta on this design. He was one of the few contributing designers for the CFDA’s Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Initiative, the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund, and the Tibet House New York. Elson and Company also contributed a carpet for the Embassy Beijing project. This rug was designed by @FabienBaron in a room commissioned by Maya Lin, Laura Owens and Anne Chu.
2 Avish Khebrehzadeh, “Untitled” (Blowing Bubbles), 2018
Avish’s work is timeless. She is an incredibly diverse artist who works in animation, drawing, painting, sculpture and installation. Her work is influenced by her experience as an immigrant. She was born in Tehran and has lived in Madagascar, UK, Italy. Fortunately, she now lives in Washington, DC. It was my first time meeting Avish in a restaurant, she was the hostess. We had a conversation that resulted in me visiting her studio a few weeks later. We’ve been friends ever since. In her words: “I like to give the viewers the visual information sparingly. I want every viewer to participate and end the story with their own imagination. “
3. Assateague National Park
During Covid, my family and I went on several day trips to Assateague National Park. It is a 60 km long barrier island along the Atlantic coast of Maryland and Virginia, best known for its beaches, wild horses, dunes, bird watching, woodland, and wetlands. Spotting horses and wild ponies is the goal, but a few hours on the beach seem to restore soul and meet the occasional need to escape the redundancy of it all.
4. Art books + catalogs
These are true friends of curators and many more. They are a source of exploration, documentary, memories, concepts, and inspiration such as Carrie Mae Weems’, Social Studies, 2010. “Despite the variety of explorations, it was my claim that as an artist, it was my responsibility to work for my dinner to sing, to make art, beautiful and powerful, that adds and reveals; to beautify the chaos of a chaotic world, to heal the sick and to feed the helpless; To scream bravely from the rooftops and storm barricaded doors and speak out the peculiarities of our historical moment. “
5. My favorite tree
It is located in a beautiful park about half a mile away in Dumbarton Oaks Park. A beautiful park in the middle of the city on Rock Creek Parkway, a National Park Service oasis. The park was actually designed by Beatrix Farrand, America’s first successful landscape architect, and is considered to be one of the most beautiful garden designs in American landscape history.
Work by Virginia Shore:
“Three of the projects I recently curated come to mind, each one focused on the strength and power of diversity in all forms. Diversity of artists; Race, gender, ethnicity, identity. Diversity of objects, materials, perspectives and visions. “By The People” by Halycon, the first DC festival to connect five quadrants of the city with themes such as overcoming adversity, healing, life and happiness. Also the collection for the Halls Arts Hotel and the permanent collection for the US Embassy in Pakistan. For each project, I worked with over 50 artists on site-specific assignments and concepts. “