VMFA on the Road Artmobile at Birthplace of Country Music Museum - The Birthplace of Country Music
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VMFA on the Road Artmobile at Birthplace of Country Music Museum

September 6, 2023 - September 10, 2023

Event:  Virginia Museum of Fine Arts on the Road Artmobile at the Museum!

About: The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is bringing traveling art exhibitions and educational offerings to audiences across the state with VMFA on the Road: An Artmobile for the 21st century! This state-of-the-art mobile museum and education studio will be at the Birthplace of Country Music Museum and open to school groups, drop-in visitors, and Bristol Rhythm festivalgoers for several days in September.

Dates: Wednesday, September 6–Sunday, September 10, 2023

Wednesday, September 6–Thursday, September 7 (for school visits and drop-in visitors)

Friday, September 8–Sunday, September 10 (for drop-in visitors and Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festivalgoers)

Location: Parked on Country Music Way in front of the museum

Exhibit Description: This year’s VMFA on the Road exhibition is titled Revealing and Obscuring Identity: Portraits from the Permanent Collection. It examines the complex role of portraiture across cultures and time periods. Beginning with the Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro, and concluding with American artist Gordon Stettinius, the exhibit explores how artists have used portraiture as a means to both reveal and obscure their sitter’s identity. Traditionally, portraiture has been used to highlight the sitter’s wealth, power, beauty, virtue, and intelligence and has been reserved for the elite of society. Several of the works in this exhibition maintain this tradition while others employ it as means to explore truths about the nature of art, the way we perceive beauty, and the way culture influences and reflects personal identity.

Family Visit Guide: A Family Visit Guide is available online, and paper copies will be available at the Artmobile for visitors to use and take with them.

COVID Protocols: The VMFA on the Road Artmobile is following these protocols:

*Not requiring visitors to wear masks on the artmobile

*Have a maximum of 15-20 persons on board at the same time

*There’s no time limit on general visits

*30-minute school tour group visits

*Hand sanitizer will be available



Drop-in visitors can view the Artmobile for free on Wednesday, September 6 and Thursday, September 7, 2023 at times when school groups are not booked, see below (BOOKED and OPEN FOR DROP-IN VISITORS times will be marked as such).

Drop-ins are also welcome Friday, September 8–Sunday, September 10 (see open times below) because the Artmobile will be just outside the Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion festival gates, but entry into the festival footprint requires a BRRR 2023 wristband. 

Take an art break! Bring your friends, family, kids, grandma, or whoever you know who would enjoy a wonderful art experience and drop-in on the VMFA on the Road Artmobile. This is a FREE opportunity!

The Artmobile will be closed Wednesday and Thursday 11:50am–12:50pm for lunch.


School Information

School groups can visit the Artmobile on Wednesday, September 6 and Thursday, September 7, 2023. This is a FREE visit!

The VMFA on the Road Artmobile will be open to middle school, high school, and college groups on September 6–7, 2023. A field trip to the Artmobile exposes students to multiple art mediums and concepts using visual thinking, sketching, and writing. Admission is free to the Artmobile.

Several time slots are available for school group visits, and schools can book multiple/consecutive time slots if needed (please get in touch if you need another time than the ones shown below, e.g. later in the day):


10:00–10:30am BOOKED

10:40–11:10am BOOKED

11:20–11:50am BOOKED

11:50–12:50pm CLOSED FOR LUNCH







10:00–10:30am BOOKED

10:40–11:10am BOOKED

11:20–11:50am BOOKED

11:50am–12:50pm CLOSED FOR LUNCH

12:50–1:20pm BOOKED




3:30–4:00pm BOOKED

The Birthplace of Country Music Museum has some funds available to help schools with transportation costs on a first come-first served basis. Please contact ebarker@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org for more information.

Educators can pick from a variety of learning activities for their student visit, including Looking to Learn, Sketching to Learn, Moving to Learn, and Writing to Learn.

A tour of the Artmobile is a 30-minute experience. An optimum visit has 10–12 students (with one adult); larger groups will be divided into groups of 20 (with two adults). Teachers can also add a FREE guided tour of the Birthplace of Country Music Museum’s special exhibit I’ve Endured: Women in Old-Time Music (also a 30-minute experience) to your visit to the Artmobile. This exhibit is a wonderful companion to the Artmobile experience, giving students and teachers the chance to explore women’s history and stories more deeply. Women have always been central to old-time music – in the home and on the stage, and as instrumentalists and singers, preservationists, activities, promotors, and cultural memory keepers. I’ve Endured highlights the many women who have been integral to this music, exploring the challenges they’ve faced making a career in the field, the ways they have impacted the genre, and their vision for the future of old-time. If you would like to also book a tour of the museum’s permanent exhibits, our usual student group admission applies.

For further information about a VMFA on the Road Artmobile experience for your students and to book a tour, please contact Erika Barker at ebarker@birthplaceofcountrymusic.org, providing the following information: Date of tour, preferred time of tour, name of school, teacher’s name, grade level, and size of group.

Bookings must be made by September 1, 2023.


Bristol Rhythm & Roots Reunion Information

Festivalgoers can visit the Artmobile on Friday, September 8– Sunday, September 10, 2023

The VMFA on the Road Artmobile will be free and open to festivalgoers on September 8—10, 2023, just one more way to make your Bristol Rhythm experience even more special! A fun arts & crafts table will also be set up outside the Artmobile for anyone who needs a creativity break!

The Artmobile will be open at the following times:

Friday, September, 8: 1:00–7:00pm

Saturday, September 9: 9:00am–6:00pm (closed 1:00–2:00pm for lunch)

Sunday, September 10: 10:00am–5:00pm (closed 1:00–2:00pm for lunch)


September 6, 2023
September 10, 2023
Event Categories:


Birthplace of Country Music Museum
101 Country Music Way
Bristol, VA 24201 United States