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56th Annual Boardwalk Art Show

Event Details

56th Annual Boardwalk Art Show

Time: June 19, 2011 from 10am to 5pm
Location: Virginia Beach Oceanfront Boardwalk
Street: 17th - 32nd St
City/Town: Virginia Beach, VA
Website or Map:…
Event Type: virginia beach events, virginia beach entertainment, virginia beach art show, boardwalk art show, virginia beach boardwalk, contemporary art center
Organized By: /
Latest Activity: Jan 29, 2016

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Event Description


Thurs. 10am-6pm 

Fri. 10am-6pm 

Sat. 10am-6pm 




In 1952, a group of local artists in Virginia Beach, Virginia held an 

 exhibition and art sale to benefit a peer who had suffered a  debilitating stroke. Inspired by the sales success, they formed the Virginia Beach Art Association (VBAA). Four years later, the VBAA instituted the First Annual Boardwalk Art Show & Festival; it was one of many events initiated by the Golden Jubilee Events program designed to celebrate the City of Virginia Beach’s 50th anniversary.


 With a budget of just $10, VBAA staff and volunteers began the arduous task of creating the First Annual Boardwalk Art Show & Festival from scratch.

According to VBAA’s Publicity Chairman Granbery Walter, this was the first outdoor show of its kind in the country.

Eighty-two regional artists paid a 50-cent application fee and flocked to the boardwalk in bathing suits to display their work to a few thousand visitors.

They tied their works to the boardwalk railing with chicken wire or placed them directly on the ground. At the end of the day, judges announced award winners for honorable mentions, most popular and 1956 Best-in-Show; award money totaled $25.

Throughout this time, the Boardwalk Art Show & Festival grew to be one of Virginia Beach and the Commonwealth’s most highly anticipated events.

With more than 350,000 visitors and $2 million in art sales annually, the Boardwalk Art Show & Festival is ranked in the top 50 best fine art & design shows in the nation by Sunshine artist magazine.

In 2008, prize money for artist awards reached over $30,000. The Virginia Beach Hotel Motel Association Best-in-Show Award of $10,000 remains the second largest best in-show award in the nation, attracting high-caliber artists and art collectors anxious to find unique, one-of-kind works.

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