Photo by Sidd Kumar

Welcome to a city of inspired contrast.

Richmond is cobblestones and tattoos, history and modernism, urban and rugged outdoors. It’s home to the James River Park System, one of the largest inner city park systems in the country. Murals cover the walls of public buildings all over town. Here, art meets – and becomes – commerce. See what a few current students are up to this summer.


1. Noah Hook, senior, Painting + Printmaking
Summer fun: James River

“I love the river because it’s one of the many spots that people from all parts of Richmond come to enjoy. Plus it’s super refreshing on a hot summer day!”

Pro tip: head over to Belle Isle and walk across the pedestrian bridge for a breathtaking view of the city.

2. Chansong Kwak, senior, Interior Design
Summer fun: Farmers Markets

“There are so many farmers markets regularly happening around Richmond including the 17th Street Market where I bought this local produce from my friend and local farmer, Dan. Richmond also holds the largest night market in North America, open weekends through mid-October.”

Pro tip: 17th Street Market offers free yoga sessions throughout the week.

3. Kyra Gilchrist, senior, Interior Design
Summer fun: Arts District

“My favorite thing to do is take a walk around the Arts District and end with a sweet treat from my favorite ice cream shop, Charm School. The arts district is a great place to go gallery hopping and is a short walk from campus. Plus, I enjoy treating myself to ice cream every once in a while.”

Pro tip: visit 1708 Gallery for a glimpse into VCUarts’ history. The gallery was founded in 1978 by a group of faculty and alumni. Now, many current students hold internships with the non-profit.

4. Morgan Barnett, senior, Communication Arts
Summer fun: Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

“The VMFA is one of the many things that makes Richmond such an art-centric and inspirational city to live in. Being super accessible, it’s easy for me and my friends to go see some of our favorite artists’ work, or to check out their rotating exhibitions. I recommend it to anyone looking to get a taste of some historical art while in Richmond.”

Pro tip: Thursday evenings are free jazz night, sometimes featuring VCUarts Music students or alumni. Looking for a larger contemporary collection? Head over to the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, where you’ll find an ever-changing slate of exhibitions, performances, films, and special programs.

5. Julia Blend, senior, Graphic Design
Summer fun: Carytown

“Carytown, a mile-long stretch of shopping and local restaurants, is great place to walk around with friends or family. Visit our discount movie theatre The Byrd, find eccentric vintage clothing at Bygones, or enjoy a cupcake at Carytown Cupcakes like I did! They bake fresh every day and even have vegan flavors.”

Pro tip: World of Mirth is a classic toy store in Carytown that will be sure to put you in a good mood.

Summer is a great time to check out new places. Why not put Virginia Commonwealth University on your to-visit list? While you’re here, take a tour of VCUarts, offered every day at 1 p.m. They are led by current students who are eager to show you classrooms and facilities, and to tell you what it’s like to be a student here. RSVP now.

For more Richmond-based fun, visit RVA all day, our guide to Richmond and all its wonders.


June 4, 2019