1708 Gallery

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1708 Gallery is a nonprofit arts organization founded by Richmond artists in 1978. The gallery's mission is to present exceptional new art. The gallery began in Shockoe Bottom at 1708 East Main Street in Richmond, Virginia, taking its name from its original street number. The gallery is currently located at 319 West Broad Street [1] in a section of the city's art district called Monroe Ward.[2] 1708 Gallery is one of the oldest artist run galleries in the United States and an active example of Richmond's many artist-run galleries. It is also a popular venue for First Friday opening art receptions. 1708's online journal Ext. 1708 [3] is funded by the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.

History and administration of 1708[edit]

In September 1978, a group of artists from Virginia Commonwealth University including Joseph H. Seipel, Richard Carlyon, Gerald Donato, Tom Chenoweth, James Bradford and Davi Det Hompson searched for a space for the "risk-taking work of contemporary artists." They founded 1708 Gallery, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts organization run by artists, in a warehouse at 1708 East Main Street in the flood zone of Richmond's Shockoe Bottom. There they presented alternative art forms, large-scale pieces, and experimental works of art not shown in commercial galleries at that time.[4]

Directors of the gallery[edit]

Directors of the gallery have included Julyen Norman and Sally Bowring, who were spokespersons in the 1990 "cultural wars" of the gallery.[5] Other former and current directors include Peter Calvert,[6] Lora Beldon,[7] and Emily Smith.[8][9] A full-time assistant director, Janelle Proulx, was announced in 2015.[10] Officers of the Board of Directors have included: John Henry Blatter, President; Lucy B. Meade, Immediate Past President; Julie Weissend, President Elect; Caroline Wright, Secretary; and Molly H. Dodge, Treasurer.

Board members[edit]

Current board members include long-time board members Kathryn Henry-Choisser[11] and Amie Oliver.[12] The 2017 Emeritus Council[13] includes: Rob Acosta-Lewis, Pam Anderson Sutherland, Susanne Arnold, Jay Barrows, Lora Beldon, Brad Birchett, Ruth Bolduan, Sally Bowring, Mark Bryant, Tom Chenoweth, Sara Clark, Stephen Clark, Don Crow, Janet DeCover, Jan Delaney, Sally Dunn, Christopher English, Susan Ferrell, Pam Fox, Travis Fullerton, Joan Gaustad, William Gravitt, Chris Gregson, Suzanne Hall, John Haddad, Karen Kincaid, Sandy Kjerulf, Cyndi Massad, Robert McAdams, Jr., James Miller, Cindy Neuschwander (in memorium), Michael Pierce, Louis Poole, Terrie Powers, Celia Rafalko, Elaine Rogers, Fiona Ross, Alyssa Salomon, Diego Sanchez, Laura Leigh Savage, Anne Savedge, Mary Scurlock, Joseph H. Seipel, Michelle Smith, Bob Steele, Russell W. Sterling II, Gordon Stettinius, Georgianne Stinnett, Elizabeth B. Stutts, Javier Tapia, Jennifer Van Winkle, David Whaley, Susann Whittier, and Willie Anne Wright

Gallery exhibitions[edit]

In April 1990 in the original Shockoe Bottom location, with visiting artist-in-residence Louise Odes Neaderland, 1708 presented Art Ex Machina, National Copier Art Show, curated by Anne Savedge and Mitzi Humphrey.[14]

A 1708 biographical installation piece, 18,621 Days by Joseph H. Seipel, was cited by Style magazine as an example of boundless art with its award for 1999 Critics Choice: Public Art.[15] Monsters and Heroes at 1708 in 2008 was curated by Christina Newton and included artists Diego Sanchez, Richard Bledsoe, Andrea Brady, Mark Bryant, Wolfgang Jasper, Dave Moore, and Fred Weatherford.[16]

Satellite exhibitions and performances[edit]

1708 satellite exhibitions included the VSPA (Virginia Society of Photographic Artists) exhibition Anne Savedge: A Photographic Survey with VSPA Friends in 2013, with works by Anne Savedge, Barbara Ames, Etta Edwards, Marsha Polier Grossman, Alice McCabe, and Willie Anne Wright.[17]

Live mural painting of Exquisite Corpse took place at 1708 in 2014.[18] Mary Jane Parker showed in Night Sky in 1999.[19]

NIGHT LIFE, a video projection in 2016, was part of the collaborative project ANIMAL LAND by Alyssa Salomon and Anne Wright, created for 1708's annual one-night exhibition InLight.[20] The deer shown in NIGHT LIFE were filmed within Richmond’s James River Park, less than four miles from Scott's Addition Historic District where the lighting extravaganza was installed.

''The Hair Craft Project began with a gallery talk with Henry Drewal, Ruti Talmor, and juror Lowery Stokes Sims Led by artist Sonya Clark, The Hair Craft Project was based on the premise that hairdressing is the primordial textile art form and that hairdressing is the earliest manipulation of fiber toward an aesthetic and functional purpose. Artists from VCU’s Craft and Material Studies program participated in the project.[21]

In 2013, 1708 honored the memory of local artist Cindy Neuschwander by establishing a scholarship in her name. In conjunction with Firehouse Theatre, 1708 sponsored a dedicated Friday performance of the play POP, giving 100% of ticket sales to The Cindy Neuschwander Scholarship Fund, established to give a $1000 scholarship to a graduating high school senior.[22]

In 2018, 1708 Gallery again sponsored the annual juried exhibition InLight outdoors in the garden of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The 2018 InLight was the 11th of the traditional weekend shows of light-based art and performances which precede the Community Lantern Parade.[23]


Each winter 1708 presents Cabin Fever, an auction fundraiser for the gallery.[24] In 2017 Cabin Fever featured work by guest artist Sonya Clark, chair of the Virginia Commonwealth University's School of the Arts Department of Craft/Material Studies. Also represented were artists Sally Bowring, Amie Oliver, Aimee Joyaux, and Gordon Stettinius.[25]

Another fundraiser is Monster Drawing Rally, which was inspired by a similar event in San Francisco and elsewhere.[26] 1708 invites regional artists to participate in one of four hour-long shifts. For each shift, the assigned artists have an hour to complete a drawing (or several drawings), and finished works are immediately displayed in the gallery. The public is invited to watch the artists at work and to purchase drawings at a flat price, regardless of whether the artist is emerging or established.[27]


  1. ^ https://www.mapquest.com/us/virginia/art-galleries-dealers-richmond/1708-gallery-2858932
  2. ^ "Photos at 1708 Gallery - Monroe Ward - 168 visitors". foursquare.com. Retrieved 5 March 2017.
  3. ^ "Ext. 1708". ext.1708gallery.org. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  4. ^ "Mission & History | 1708 Gallery | A Nonprofit Space for New Art | Richmond, VA". 1708gallery.org. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  5. ^ Kollatz, Harry (11 November 2016). "Artistic License". richmondmagazine.com. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  6. ^ "With a new director and their third new gallery space, 1708 gallery hopes to turn some heads in the national, contemporary art arena". Style Weekly. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  7. ^ "Lora Beldon Exhibition at Mary Baldwin University - News at Mary Baldwin". News at Mary Baldwin. 6 November 2002. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  8. ^ "Emily Smith Archives - Statewide Programs". vmfa.museum. Retrieved 6 August 2017.
  9. ^ "New Director: Emily Smith" (PDF). Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  10. ^ "1708 New assistant director! - VCUarts Department of Photography and Film". VCUarts Department of Photography and Film. 17 September 2015. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  11. ^ "Satellite Exhibitions | 1708 Gallery | A Nonprofit Space for New Art | Richmond, VA". www.1708gallery.org. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  12. ^ "Second Street Gallery News | Charlottesville VA Community art and outreach". www.secondstreetgallery.org. Retrieved 17 March 2017.
  13. ^ "Board of Directors & Staff | 1708 Gallery | A Nonprofit Space for New Art | Richmond, VA". 1708gallery.org. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  14. ^ Proctor, Roy (April 14, 1990). "1708 provides a showcase for photocopier art" (Saturday Green Section). The Richmond News-Leader.
  15. ^ "From Joe Seipel's amazing installation at 1708 Gallery to the windows of Pink in Carytown, truly great art knows no bounds". Style Weekly. Retrieved 24 March 2017.
  16. ^ McLeod, Deborah. "1708's "Monsters & Heroes" explores the dual natures within all of us". Style Weekly. Retrieved 26 March 2017.
  17. ^ "Satellite Exhibitions | 1708 Gallery | A Nonprofit Space for New Art | Richmond, VA". www.1708gallery.org. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  18. ^ "Exquisite Corpse | 1708 Gallery | A Nonprofit Space for New Art | Richmond, VA". www.1708gallery.org. Retrieved 9 March 2017.
  19. ^ Proctor, Roy. "Parker's Figures Float Cooly in Night Sky at 1708 Gallery". Retrieved 10 March 2017.
  20. ^ "InLight Richmond 2016 takes over Scott's Addition TONIGHT". rvamag.com. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  21. ^ "Sonya Clark: The Hair Craft Project | 1708 Gallery | A Nonprofit Space for New Art | Richmond, VA". www.1708gallery.org. Retrieved 10 March 2017. . . . each hand stitched canvas and the opportunity to braid them as skillfully as possible. . . .The project aims to break down barriers by crossing boundaries between hair salons and art galleries as sites of aesthetics, craft, skill, improvisation, and commerce.
  22. ^ "Firehouse Theatre, 1708 Gallery honor local artist". RVANews. 25 July 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  23. ^ "InLight is this weekend!". mailchi.mp. Retrieved 15 November 2018.
  24. ^ Lord, Jo. "Art Gallery: 'Cabin Fever' art show and auction at 1708 Gallery". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 18 March 2017.
  25. ^ Lord, Jo. "Art Gallery: 'Cabin Fever' art show and auction at 1708 Gallery". Richmond Times-Dispatch. Retrieved 20 March 2017.
  26. ^ "Monster Drawing Rally 2013". Southern Exposure. 9 May 2013. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
  27. ^ Cothern, Andrew. "The Monster Drawing Rally at 1708 Gallery". Style Weekly. Retrieved 28 June 2017.

External links[edit]

  • 1708 Gallery website [1]