Art At The Sandler Center

Virginia Beach's Public Art Program enhances our city's identity as a community that supports and promotes creative expression. Visitors and residents enjoy art everywhere from the Oceanfront to Town Center. The Sandler Center for the Performing Arts is proud to be home to two public artworks along with an art gallery on the second and third floors where area artists are featured throughout the year.

Sandler Center Gallery

The City of Virginia Beach Department of Cultural Affairs offers exhibition opportunities for emerging and established artists working in two-dimensional mediums including painting, drawing, collage, printmaking, and photography. Exhibitions rotate every three to four months. The gallery is located on the second and third-floor lobbies of the Sandler Center. Applications from artists living and working in the Hampton Roads area are encouraged and accepted on an ongoing basis.

Gallery Application

Current Gallery Exhibit

Threshold Grace: A Sumi-e Journey

The latest Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Art Gallery exhibition, “Threshold Grace: A Sumi-e Journey,” by local artist Mike Lane is now on view.  

The exhibition features traditional Asian watercolor art medium techniques applied to themes found on the East Coast of the United States. Lane’s work focuses on, in his words, the “little living things” in garden and marsh landscapes.

“The main title of this solo exhibit is ‘Threshold Grace,’” said Lane. “In the Asian world of art, it is not unusual for studios to be given a signature appellation — my Virginia Beach studio goes by this name. ‘Threshold’ puts the spotlight on dynamic transition spaces where things are continuously morphing. This is, in the micro, an appreciation of particular design structures in nature — the aging claw of a fiddler crab, the elegant motility of shrimp, and the ripples in the eddies of a brook. But it is also an exploration of systems, their elegant layering, and their interdependent nature.”

The Sandler Center and Sandler Center Foundation will host a free, public opening reception for this exhibition from 6-8 p.m. on Monday, April 15. There is no requirement to RSVP for this event, but, if you have any questions, please email

Artwork in this exhibition will be on display to the public until June 4 and can be viewed when the Sandler Center box office is open, as well as during Sandler Center events. Learn more about the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts Art Gallery, including opportunities to potentially exhibit in the space, online

Lane, an award-winning artist, is a native of the Virginia Coast and the Outer Banks but lived and worked in Asia for the better part of the last 30 years. During that time, he learned Asian culture as he wore a variety of hats, such as ESL teacher, non-profit community development and international business consultant, and coffeehouse manager, to name a few. Also, from 2008 through 2014, he studied with accomplished, and very patient, artists in southern China.

Throughout his artistic career, Lane has enjoyed investing in the local arts community. He founded and directed the Halizo Arts Festival in Norfolk from 2002-2004. He also teaches Asian art classes at the Norfolk Visual Arts Center in Titustown and is curator of the Chapel Gallery at his church, Virginia Beach Community Chapel. He is also currently a board member of the local Blue Heron Sumi-e Society and actively shows at local galleries, shops, and festivals. 

Wings - Outdoor Sculpture

On September 16, 2011, the Sandler Center dedicated Virginia Beach’s newest piece of public art. Lin Emery's latest work, Wings, is a large-scale kinetic sculpture. The aluminum artwork enhances the façade of the Sandler Center and aesthetically complements the outdoor plaza and surrounding Town Center businesses.

Renowned New Orleans artist, Lin Emery seeks to capture the energy inherent in nature in her kinetic sculptures. Not only does her iconography rely on natural shapes, but it is the forces of nature such as wind or water that set her sculptures in motion. Her latest sculpture Wings is a classic example of the sculpture’s relationship with wind and movement. The highly polished surfaces of her welded aluminum sculptures invite a dialogue between the industrial character of their construction and the organic connotations that the works evoke.

Emery begins each of her large-scale public sculptures with a scaled-down model. Ms. Emery insists on hands-on-control of every stage of the process. She works with her own crew throughout the design and implementation process. Ms. Emery’s six decades of work can be seen throughout the United States, Europe, and Asia. Her work has been commissioned by government municipalities, universities, medical centers, religious centers, and corporate plazas. In October, Hudson Hills Press will release Lin Emery by Philip F. Palmedo and John Berendt. The book covers the artist and her 60 years of work.

About the sponsor: "Tom Felton loved visual art, symphonic music, dance, opera, theatre, folk music, sculpture, pottery, and arts of all kinds; for this I loved him. We agreed that public art defines a city and the Sandler Center for the Performing Arts is a definitive part of Virginia Beach. A building to house all performing arts needs a magnificent sculpture as a focal point. Using the Sandler Center logo for inspiration, Lin Emery was chosen to define our city. Her sculpture, Pennant, has been defining our Meyera E. Oberndorf Central Library for over twenty years. Tom and I agreed that his hometown should be a vision for the arts. The statement, “intelligence, creativity, arts,” is our legacy." — Juanita Felton

Toshio Iezumi Glass Sculptures

The Sandler Center has become even more beautiful as three stunning glass sculptures by internationally renowned Japanese artist, Toshio Iezumi, now permanently adorn the Sandler Center lobby for visitors and citizens of Virginia Beach to enjoy for years to come. The pieces were created by joining plates of glass and then grinding them, forming stunning, contemplative sculptures that present ever-changing moods in differing light, presenting the viewer with a different, beautiful impression upon each viewing. Captivated by the beauty and mystery of glass, Mr. Iezumi's work explores the visual potential of glass in an attempt to create flawless perfection.

Toshio Iezumi resides in Japan, where he was born in 1954. He graduated from the Tokyo Glass Institute and is both a Practicing Artist and an Associate Professor of Fine Art at the Kurashiki University of Science and the Arts. His work has been exhibited in art galleries and in museum exhibitions worldwide, including 'World Glass Now' (Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, 1991 & 1994); 'Venezia Aperto Vetro' (Museo Correr, Venice, Italy 1996); 'The Glass Skin' (Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art, Corning Museum of Glass, Kunstmuseum Düsseldorf, 1997-99); 'Glass Exhibition' (Art Museum, Shanghai Art Museum,); 'Outspoken Glass' (Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art,2003); 'Material Matters' (Los Angeles County Museum of Art, 2006); 'Sculpture by the Sea' (Bondi, Australia, 2007). He is represented in the permanent collections of major museums including The Corning Museum of Glass; The Los Angeles County Museum of Art; The Newark Museum of Art; The Hokkaido Museum of Modern Art; the National Museum of Modern Art, Tokyo; Suntory Museum of Art, Tokyo.