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News and events

News & events

“Autumn on the James” debuts at VCU Rice Rivers Center

October 6, 2017

(Pictured, from left to right: artist Guy Crittenden, VCU Life Science Director of Development Catherine Dahl, Rice Rivers Center Director Dr. Greg Garman)

A major painting was unveiled that captured the impact and beauty of the VCU Rice Rivers Center.

 “Autumn on the James,” by renowned Virginia wildlife artist Guy Crittenden, will hang in the reception area at the Rice Rivers Center Education Building. The 4 x 6 foot painting is from a birds-eye – or drone’s – view; Crittenden used drone photos to give perspective of the property from the air. The use of drone footage was a natural fit during the creation of the piece, as a course on the scientific application of drone technology is taught at the center.

Crittenden shares his thoughts on this important piece. “The project began with my first drive down the wooded lane off Route 5 which leads to the Rice Rivers Center. I was intrigued immediately with the landscape as I took twists and turns through the living forest. On that first visit, I was hooked. As talks about a painting progressed, I began to see this piece as a historically significant opportunity to render the land and water around the center. I wanted to give the viewer an eagle-eye perspective, and provide for them that sense of place, with all the relativity of the area’s landmarks.  Like the works of the 18th and 19th Century landscape artists I admire, this painting takes an interpretive approach to the traditional composition challenges, and uses light and color to hold the strong positive and negative shapes together. The landscape, river and marsh make a visually interesting composition, and if you look closely you will see native wildlife, the Benjamin Harrison Bridge, the town of Hopewell and the City of Richmond.”

The aerial view of the painting captures VCU’s River Campus in its totality. Although viewers cannot see the research being conducted in the James River or at the restored wetlands, the importance of the work done at the center contributes to the recognition of the facility and grounds as a nationally-significant academic research center.

“This remarkable piece of art places the Rice Rivers Center within a broad landscape context that includes natural systems like woods, wetlands, and water, while adding cultural elements such as the Benjamin Harrison Bridge and Richmond’s skyline. That composition is a great metaphor for the Center’s research and teaching mission,” says Greg Garman, Center Director.

We are delighted to be able offer limited edition prints of this painting, from a series of 150 numbered and signed by the artist, for a donation of $200 or more.  Please contact Catherine Dahl at or 804-827-7372 if you would like to make a donation to the Rice Rivers Center for this exclusive piece of art, or to obtain more information.  

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