Portraits from a Place of Grace by Richard Hollant is a new public art installation commissioned by the City of Virginia Beach Office of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the African American Cultural Center of Virginia Beach (AACCVB). Resting at the future home of the African American Cultural Center, the immersive design celebrates Virginia Beach’s historic African American neighborhoods and their residents.
Through interviews, videography, photography and graphics, the aspirations of members of the community have been captured and are presented in this piece and can be viewed online at portraitsofgrace.us
Through a network of community leaders, the artist, Richard Hollant, and AACCVB leaders reached out to the historic African American neighborhoods in Virginia Beach to identify a broad range of residents who would contribute to the visual tapestry and oral history depicting the Black experience in the city. With the hospitality of Ebenezer Baptist Church and New Hope Baptist Church in Virginia Beach, neighborhood residents were photographed and video recorded over several months.
ABOUT THE ARTIST Richard Hollant is the creative director at co:lab, a firm focused on initiatives that encourage community engagement. Hollant studied philosophy and psychology at Boston University and film/video direction at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. He has received numerous awards including top honors in international design competitions. His work on diversity is in the permanent collection of the Library of Congress.
Hollant’s images have been displayed in gallery exhibitions including a traveling retrospective of the best of digital imaging from around the world. He has conducted numerous “photo booth” sessions, including a 2017 program at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. Visit www.richardhollant.com for more information.