Design-Build Challenge: Meggie Kelley’s porch

To be installed in The Branch’s front court, this outdoor installation is the inaugural commissioned design-build challenge, on view beginning April 12.

The porch functions as a transitional space between the private and public. Open and sociable, it is a shared area connecting the comforts of the home to the community outside. It is a place to rest and hang out on a hot summer day all while greeting the passerby. This pavilion structure attempts to bring attention to the porch as a meaningful connection between buildings and their city with the ever rising of air-conditioning, televisions, and computers drawing people further inside their homes.

Meggie Kelley is an architect and architectural historian currently living and working in her hometown of Richmond, Virginia. Before her current position, she has practiced architecture in New York, London, São Paulo, and most recently Kingsburg, Nova Scotia. She received her M.A. in Histories and Theories of Architecture from the Architectural Association School of Architecture in London. Prior to that she received her B.Arch from Pratt Institute.


Covering: Layered Light, Texture and Motion

Hawa Stwodah presents Covering: Layered Light, Texture and Motion. April 16 – May 20

The series is comprised of five components that explore the use of light, texture and movement in surface design. Each of the five subject matters are connected to idea of the covering and seclusion. The space itself, the inner most sanctum of the building, was selected because of its location

and sense of privacy.

Non-traditional materials contrast with quintessential motifs used for centuries by handicraft artisans. Spirals, whorls, and concentric circles intermingle with chevrons and diamond patterns, covering the surfaces of acrylic, silk georgette and muslin. Sensors and actuators control light and movement while screens distance the viewer form the object, obscuring vision and clarity.

Hawa Stwodah is an Afghan born designer and instructor based in the United States. She received her BFA and MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, her career has spanned many sectors within the fashion industry, including fashion and textile design, product development, technical design and production, as well as retail purchasing and education.


VCU Graphic Design MFA Candidacy

VCU’s Department of Graphic Design MFA Program will be exhibiting the work of their first-year students as part of their MFA Candidacy presentations. The exhibit includes projects carried out in Graduate Workshops and individual projects related to the students’ emerging thesis topics that will be pursued in their second year of study.
On view in the Great Hall and Long Gallery April 18-28.

Coming Soon:

My Superhero Self: Posters by Girls CAN

 Strong Girls Can Unite

These superhero posters were completed by students in the Girls CAN program, run by the Chester Family YMCA in Chester, Virginia. Girls CAN is a girl empowerment group for elementary and middle school girls in Greenleigh Mobile Home Park. These group of girls are students in elementary and middle school. They completed this project with much enthusiasm. Demonstrating great effort and dedication, the students worked in their community at the Learning Cottage run by the YMCA.


In summer 2017, students in Girls CAN worked with two graphic designers, to create posters of themselves as superheroes. First, they pondered a problem in the world they’d like to fix and the outfits their superheroes would wear. Then they drew portraits of one another, collaged them, and added head gear and costumes. Finally, names were chosen and added using a unifying letter form system.


Las Niñas Fuertes Pueden Unirse / Strong Girls Can Unite

Los carteles de los Super Héroes y Heroínas de las estudiantes del programa “Niñas Poderosas” (Girls CAN), han sido completados. Los carteles fuerón patrocinados por el Museo de arquitectura y diseño de Branch (Branch Museum of Architecture and Design) y el YMCA para aquellas familias que viven en el área de Chester, Virginia. Este grupo de niñas (CAN) son estudiantes de escuela secundaria y primaria. Terminarón este proyecto con mucho entusiasmo. Demostrando gran esfuerzo y dedicación, las estudiantes trabajarón en su comunidad en el Centro Educacional YMCA, hubicado en las Casas Móviles en Greenleigh Park.


Durante el verano del 2017, las estudiantes de la agrupación Girls CAN trabajarón en conjunto con dos diseñadores gráficos para crear los carteles, que se basarón en ellas mismas, para crear su propio Super Héroe. Tomarón en consideración un problema que a ellas les gustaría resolver a nivel mundial. Desde ahí diseñarón sus propios uniformes y máscaras. Finalmente, usando un sistema unificador de formas de letra, eligierón los nombres que identificarán a sus Super Héroes.

April 30 – June 10 at The Branch.

Virginia by Design Awards Exhibit

Celebrating the winning work in the inaugural Virginia by Design Awards, The Branch will exhibit images and collateral from the recognized projects. On view April 30 – June 10.

On Permanent Exhibit

The House That Branch Built

Architect John Russell Pope, FAIA, is renowned for the design of a number of national landmarks, including the Thomas Jefferson Memorial, the U.S. National Archives, and the National Gallery of Art (West Building) in Washington, D.C., as well as Richmond’s Union Station, headquarters of the Science Museum of Virginia. The House That Pope Built includes photographs, narrative, and other educational media that shed light on the house — a 27,000-square-foot Tudor-Revival mansion — in addition to John Kerr Branch, the patron who commissioned its construction; the architect; the house’s interiors; its setting on Richmond’s historic Monument Avenue; and Compton Wynyates, the 15th/16th-century English country house that inspired the building’s design.

This exhibit is permanently in the chapel gallery, and generously made possible by a private Richmond foundation, and Tourism Cares.


Questions? Contact our front desk at (804)-644-3041 ext. 151 or at