Sunday, December 10, 2023

There will be a free community day at PFAC. Here are the details

Dylan Pritchett WYDaily photo/Courtesy of Peninsula Fine Arts Center)
Dylan Pritchett WYDaily photo/Courtesy of Peninsula Fine Arts Center)

NEWPORT NEWS — The Peninsula Fine Arts Center will host Community Day from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. on Jan. 26.

Community Day offers a chance for visitors to enjoy a day at the museum at PFAC for free.

It will allow visitors to experience  PFAC’s “African Art: Power and Identity and Cash Crop” exhibits, according to a news release from PFAC.

The African Art exhibition celebrates the creativity of African artists who have made utilitarian objects of great beauty.

Made to fulfill a specific function, each object was also skillfully conceived to provoke visual and tactile delight.

Collectively, these are objects that were meant to be both used and seen. African artists use a variety of materials – they carve wood and stone, cast metal, model clay, and work with beads and into a rich array of forms.

Cash Crop by artist Stephen Hayes, a piece composed of 15 life-sized casts of the artist’s friends and family.

The 15 statues, each confined by shackles and bound to a wooden shipping pallet, represent the 15 million African people forcefully brought to the New World, according to the news release.

Families can explore the art of making Bògòlanfini or mud-cloth. Bògòlanfini comes from the Bambara language: bogo, meaning “earth” or “mud;” lan, meaning “with;” and fini, meaning “cloth.” It is the name used for a cloth decorated by women in the Bamana-speaking region of Mali, using dye made from mud and leaves to produce white designs outlines by a black/brown background.

Families can also complete scavenger hunts in the galleries.  In addition, kids can make original prints using adrinka symbols.

African-American storytelling will take place by Dylan Pritchett at 11:30 am and 1 pm. A native of Williamsburg, Pritchett has been a full-time storyteller, taking his African and African-American folktales to over a hundred schools annually throughout the country.

He is inspired by cultural folktales that have a positive meaning and that bring different cultures together.

The Peninsula Fine Arts Center is at 101 Museum Drive within Mariners’ Museum Park. The center is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 5 p.m. Sundays; PFAC is closed on Mondays. Admission is regularly $7.50 for adults, $4 for children (ages 6-12) and free for children 5 and under. Annual membership is $40 for individuals and $60 for families. For more information, call 757-596-8175 or visit

John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo
John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.

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