Design-Build Challenge: Meggie Kelley’s porch

To be installed in The Branch’s front court, this outdoor installation is the inaugural commissioned design-build challenge, on view beginning April 12.

The porch functions as a transitional space between the private and public. Open and sociable, it is a shared area connecting the comforts of the home to the community outside. It is a place to rest and hang out on a hot summer day all while greeting the passerby. This pavilion structure attempts to bring attention to the porch as a meaningful connection between buildings and their city with the ever rising of air-conditioning, televisions, and computers drawing people further inside their homes.

Meggie Kelley is an architect and architectural historian currently living and working in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Before her current position, she has practiced architecture in New York, London, São Paulo, and most recently Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. She received her M.A. in Histories and Theories of Architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Prior to that she received her B.Arch from Pratt Institute.

My Superhero Self: Posters by Girls CAN

 Strong Girls Can Unite

These superhero posters were completed by students in the Girls CAN program, run by the Chester Family YMCA in Chester, Virginia. Girls CAN is a girl empowerment group for elementary and middle school girls in Greenleigh Mobile Home Park. These group of girls are students in elementary and middle school. They completed this project with much enthusiasm. Demonstrating great effort and dedication, the students worked in their community at the Learning Cottage run by the YMCA.


In summer 2017, students in Girls CAN worked with two graphic designers, to create posters of themselves as superheroes. First, they pondered a problem in the world they’d like to fix and the outfits their superheroes would wear. Then they drew portraits of one another, collaged them, and added head gear and costumes. Finally, names were chosen and added using a unifying letter form system.


Las Niñas Fuertes Pueden Unirse / Strong Girls Can Unite

Los carteles de los Super Héroes y Heroínas de las estudiantes del programa “Niñas Poderosas” (Girls CAN), han sido completados. Los carteles fuerón patrocinados por el Museo de arquitectura y diseño de Branch (Branch Museum of Architecture and Design) y el YMCA para aquellas familias que viven en el área de Chester, Virginia. Este grupo de niñas (CAN) son estudiantes de escuela secundaria y primaria. Terminarón este proyecto con mucho entusiasmo. Demostrando gran esfuerzo y dedicación, las estudiantes trabajarón en su comunidad en el Centro Educacional YMCA, hubicado en las Casas Móviles en Greenleigh Park.


Durante el verano del 2017, las estudiantes de la agrupación Girls CAN trabajarón en conjunto con dos diseñadores gráficos para crear los carteles, que se basarón en ellas mismas, para crear su propio Super Héroe. Tomarón en consideración un problema que a ellas les gustaría resolver a nivel mundial. Desde ahí diseñarón sus propios uniformes y máscaras. Finalmente, usando un sistema unificador de formas de letra, eligierón los nombres que identificarán a sus Super Héroes.

April 30 – June 10 at The Branch.

Coming Soon:

Coloratura at 35: A Retrospective



Image: Balancing Act, Catherine Roseberry, Coloratura

June 19th – August 19th in the main galleries

For thirty-five years Catherine Roseberry and Rob Womack, working at Coloratura, have been using furniture as a canvas for a thorough exploration of the arts of the past. The process begins with the selection of a piece of furniture carefully chosen to reflect a given period and design sensibility. After the piece is selected it is studied, with research done on various art or design movements concurrent with the era of each piece. Woven into the surface design of each piece may be inspirations from painting, music, film, literature or applied arts such as furniture, textile, graphic and automobile design; parallels that perhaps may have also inspired the original designer/creator of the piece of furniture. They view their works as art historical musings.

Honored with a National Endowment for the Arts Visual Artists Fellowship (1994), Womack received two similar awards from the Virginia Commission for the Arts (1994 and 1999), as well as residency fellowships to the Virginia Center for Creative Arts (2001, 2002, 2004 and 2007). The two also received a major commission (1995) from the City of Richmond, through its Percent for Art Program, for a new mural for the restored Landmark Theater (since dismantled).

Coloratura has been noted in a variety of periodicals, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, Metropolis, Metropolitan Home, House Beautiful and Elle Décor. Publications featuring Coloratura range from the photo book Craft in America (1993), to Sotheby’s Important 20th Century Design (2008) to Buie Harwood’s discussion of the work within historical context in Architecture and Interior Design from the 19th Century, Volume 2 (2008).

Womack is represented in the permanent collection of the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum, as documented in Oscar Fitzgerald’s catalog Studio Furniture of the Renwick Gallery (2008). He and Roseberry were participants of the International Contemporary Furniture Fair for its first three years (1989-1991), which led to international recognition through numerous publications, such as Ufficio Style, Casa Vogue and the launch issue of the UK Metropolitan Home.

The Coloratura at 35 retrospective will be the largest assembly of works by the couple to date. The exhibition has goals of showing the consistency and broadness of vision as well as rigorous scholarly approach to works ranging from the 1980s to now, as well as presenting many privately commissioned works never before publicly displayed.


On Permanent Exhibit

The House That Branch Built

Architect John Russell Pope, FAIA, is renowned for the design of a number of national landmarks, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. National Archives, and the National Gallery of Art (West Building) in Washington, D.C., as well as Richmond’s Union Station, headquarters of the Science Museum of Virginia. The House That Pope Built includes photographs, narrative, and other educational media that shed light on the house — a 27,000-square-foot Tudor-Revival mansion — in addition to John Kerr Branch, the patron who commissioned its construction; the architect; the house’s interiors; its setting on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue; and Compton Wynyates, the 15th/16th-century English country house that inspired the building’s design.

This exhibit is permanently in the chapel gallery, and generously made possible by a private Richmond foundation, and Tourism Cares.


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