Posted April 13, 2021

Celebrating 60 Years

Throughout 2021, Piedmont Arts is celebrating its 60th anniversary with exhibits, events and a look back at the museum’s history.

Formed in 1961 as a chapter of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Piedmont Arts was founded through a grassroots effort by local artists who needed a place to show their work and collaborate. Since then, Piedmont Arts has grown into a world-class art museum that brings visual arts, performing arts and arts education programs to more than 20,000 residents and visitors each year.

As the museum reflects on its past, Executive Director Heidi Pinkston says there is much to celebrate.

“Piedmont Arts has made much progress in the last 60 years. It has gone from humble beginnings as a small group of artists to an art museum accredited by the American Alliance of Museums — a status achieved by only 3.2% of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums. We are proud of the advances we have made and look forward to growing with the future."

To kick off its 60th anniversary, the museum plans to host a semi-formal jubilee on June 11, a luncheon on June 22 and a free Family Day on August 28. In addition, other events highlighting favorite programs from the past, like the annual holiday performance by Roanoke Symphony Orchestra on December 5, will fill out the museum’s calendar. Tickets to these events are available at Piedmont Arts and online at

The museum will also bring blockbuster exhibitions to the galleries in 2021. An exhibit of Ansel Adams photographs just left the museum in February and watercolors from the American Watercolor Society are on view through May 1. This summer, guests can view work by local and regional artists in Expressions, followed by a multi-media installation by artists Charlie Brouwer and Jennifer Hand titled, Leaves of the Tree. In the fall, works by famed photographer Carl Chiarenza will be on loan from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and prints by Asheville Printmakers will fill the galleries.

Pinkston says these events will not only celebrate Piedmont Arts’ 60-year history, they will help raise money for the exhibits, events and programs that the community looks forward to each year.

“Community support is so important to a museum like Piedmont Arts. Memberships, donations and ticket sales provide the revenue that a small non-profit like ours needs to survive. By taking part in the museum’s 60th anniversary programs, your contributions will help to ensure that Piedmont Arts remains a center for the exploration of arts for the next 60 years.”

For more information on Piedmont Arts 60th Anniversary events, exhibits and sponsorship opportunities, click here.

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