Beverly Ward. Beverly Reynolds, who was a devoted wife, loving mother, mischievous grandmother and the Founder and Director of the Reynolds Gallery in Richmond, VA, died on November 23 at her home. She was 68. Beverly was a driving force in creating a vibrant contemporary arts community in Richmond and lived a life of style, substance, and spirit. She was gifted, generous, tenacious, tough, curious, opinionated, tender- hearted, compassionate, creative and committed to making a difference and a contribution. She laughed easily and delighted in creating places and opportunities for family and friends to spend time together. Bev loved life and the people in it with her, especially her family.
A steady flow of art lovers strolled up and down Main Street on First Friday a few weeks ago, past the food trucks selling waffles and chocolate concoctions, stopping at this gallery or that, and ending up, always, at Reynolds Gallery. You saved the best till last. It was guaranteed to be the most interesting art, the most surprising, curious, outrageous, breathtaking or haunting show, and always worth seeing — whether you liked the work or not. And you probably came to see Bev.
“They also serve who only stand and wait.” The words come from Milton and often have described the home front during times of war.
Beverly Reynolds did not stand and wait. She moved and acted and led. Her passion also suggested that a flourishing arts community relies not only on painters, sculptors, musicians, dancers, actors and others involved in the creative process but on gallery owners, museum curators and directors, company managers and those who nourish the arts generally.
Beverly Reynolds once said that she considered Richmond “the most significant art center on the East Coast except for New York.” As the founder-director of the Reynolds Gallery, Mrs. Reynolds, who died Sunday night at the age of 68, worked for 37 years to help the city attain that lofty status in the art world.
Beverly Ward Reynolds, owner and director of the Reynolds Gallery and a longtime supporter of the local arts scene, passed away on Sunday due to complications from cancer. She was 68.
Over the past 30 years, Reynolds brought important artists to Richmond from Sally Mann to Jasper Johns, and she was heavily involved with the upcoming Institute for Contemporary Art at Virginia Commonwealth University. Recently it was decided that the first-floor gallery in the Markel Center of the ICA would be named in her honor.
The ICA will be a non-collecting museum for the art of the now. Lisa has been described as hugely ambitious and incredibly driven. I would say she is a force of nature. She has a vision for the ICA and she’s relentless in realizing that vision. she is also warm, funny and very smart.
Virginia Commonwealth University, in Richmond, is that rare public research institution that has put the arts front and center. It hired Mr. Holl to design a 41,000-square-foot building for a new Institute of Contemporary Art that will extend an arts-led downtown revitalization. Mr. Holl anchors the museum with a 72-foot-high torqued metal tower as a billboard for art. A tall glass-walled entrance invites visitors to a forum within for public events.
The VCU Institute for Contemporary Art announced this month that one of the museum’s first-floor galleries will be named after Beverly Reynolds to honor the $3 million donated to the ICA on her behalf.
“You can be a museum or you can be modern, but you cannot be both,” quipped Gertrude Stein. New York’s Museum of Modern Art proved her wrong. Countless other arts institutions suggest that museums are not sepulchres but repositories of life.
The first-floor gallery in the Markel Center of the Institute for Contemporary Arts at Virginia Commonwealth University will be named in honor of Beverly W. Reynolds.
“It is appropriate and wonderful that one of the most prominent spaces in the ICA be named for Bev Reynolds, one of the most prominent supporters of the arts in our city’s history,” said VCU President Michael Rao.