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.

Cynthia Myron: Artist-in-Residence

June 18 – August 31st

_MG_6160Cynthia’s work explores the physicality and emotional weight of constructed spaces, particularly the home. Working first in carved wax, she casts elements in pewter which are added to her illustrations to create “three-dimensional drawings.” These hand-drawn illustrations layered on top of vintage blueprints and architectural plans, allow her to connect the fleeting moments of nature with the permanence of architecture as a symbol of safety and shelter.

“Ordinary spaces act as expressive vehicles for the human body and mind. I create a dialogue between society and its intimate, designed, constructed spaces, typically referencing the home. An idea of “home” acts as a symbol of safety and shelter. Gardens and egg forms representing fertility, growth and inception are places much like homes themselves. When layered with architectural diagrams or components common to a home including floor boards, moldings, and window shutters, they speak to thoughts, desires, struggles, and insecurities regarding labor, both manual and maternal. Referencing historically rooted imagery of Faberge, where the preciousness of gold is replaced with pewter, permits a new narrative void of monetary worth. The reinvented history of these objects allows for a more expansive idea of value where the true intimacy of a home can be discovered. Ultimately, homes can be recycled and devoured as spaces for safety, comfort and self-worth, often times something we long for.”

Cynthia Myron is a professional artist working in Richmond, VA. She received her BFA in Sculpture from Marywood University (1998), her MFA in Metalsmithing from Virginia Commonwealth University (2004), and is currently the Assistant Chair for the Craft and Material Studies Department at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCUarts). She is the recipient of two Individual Creative Artist Fellowships from The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Her work has been shown nationally at venues including The Taubman Museum of Art, Rawls Museum Art, Bowling Green State University, Gertrude Herbert Institute of Art, Chelsea Center for the Arts in New York, Facere Art Gallery in Seattle, and the Florida International Museum.

She will have “office hours” at The Branch Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday each week from noon – 4pm. Stop by and see what she’s up to!

Design-Build Challenge: Meggie Kelley’s porch

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.




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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