NOTICE: In accordance with Governor Roy Cooper’s Executive Order, and to help limit the spread of COVID-19, the Imperial Centre for the Arts and Sciences will suspend public operations until further notice. All events and programs are canceled during this time. Please check our website and social media for updates.

Please enjoy some of our digitized exhibitions.

Summer Art Exhibitions

Wandering Spirit: African Wax Prints

“Wandering Spirit: African Wax Prints” discusses the history of the textile and provides some modern examples. The history of the African wax print is paved along colonial trade routes and globalization in the post-colonial era. These textiles have become ingrained in African culture, and loved and identified as their own. Check out the digitized exhibit.
A program of ExhibitsUSA, a national division of Mid-America Arts Alliance and the National Endowment for the Arts.

2020 National Juried Art Show (juried by Susan Alta Martin)

The National Juried Art Show is a summer exhibition that represents media of all kinds from artists around the country. This year, we received an impressive 800 submissions from over 200 artists. Susan Alta Martin, our juror, is photo-based artist, and an active member of the (re)emerging contemporary art community in Asheville, North Carolina. She currently teaches photography and the history of photography at Western Carolina University.
Check out the digitized Juried Art Show.

Black Light Project & Women of a New Tribe: Selections from the Permanent Collection

The Black Light Project and Women of a New Tribe collections represent 25 local African Americans who make the Rocky Mount community a better place to live, work, and play. This photography exhibition will also feature a selection of panels from “A Place for All People,” an exhibition from 2018 introducing the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

KEVA: A Permanent Interactive Exhibit

KEVA is an innovative, interactive exhibit that encourages visitors (regardless of your age) to build! The KEVA planks are simple in their design, which forces the visitor to think outside of the box to make miraculous works of art! Sit down and stay a while. What can you build?

A Life of Creativity: A Permanent Interactive Exhibit

A Life of Creativity features stations where visitors of all ages can experiment with new forms of art including: drawing, writing, tapestry, building, matching, and more. All activities were inspired by the local renaissance woman, Maria V. Howard. Howard was born in Belgium and moved to Rocky Mount with her husband after World War II. She was a master gardener, painter, writer, fashion designer, seamstress, embroider, and community activist.

Sculpture Salmagundi XXIII

Open through September 2020
In our twenty-third year of Salmagundi, we’re excited to welcome 10 new sculptures into our city! Sculptures will be located: at the Senior Center, the Train Station, City Lake, Sunset Park, and the Imperial Centre. Engage with the sculptures on Otocast!

Z. Smith Reynold’s Inclusive Public Art Grant: The Black Light Project

In partnership with the Black Light Project, the Imperial Center hung eight enormous banners featuring local, black, unsung heroes of our community. Through this project we are shining a light on all of the incredible men that make our community a better place to live. Learn more about these eight men, the Z. Smith Reynold’s Inclusive Public Art Grant, the Black Light Project, and more by clicking here.

Digital Exhibits

Digital Content Coming This Fall

  • Black Light Project Public Art Digital Content (September-December 2020)
  • Women of a New Tribe – Digital Exhibit (September 2020)
  • NEW! Outdoor Exhibit, Sculpture Salmagundi XXIV (October 2020)
  • Lena Bulluck Davis – Digital Exhibit (November 2020)
  • North Carolina Pottery – Digital Exhibit (December 2020)

Sculpture Salmagundi

The Sculpture Salmagundi (meaning an eclectic mixture of people, ideas, or objects) is a national juried exhibition hosted by the Rocky Mount Parks and Recreation Department through the Maria V. Howard Arts Center each year. The exhibition draws artist participation from across the U.S., increasing awareness of Rocky Mount among nationally recognized artists and bringing new visual ideas to our community through the selected sculptures.This year, we encourage you to experience each sculpture in person and through the mobile app Otocast. With Otocast, you can hear audio from the artists, get GPS locations on each sculpture, and vote for the People’s Choice Award.
Learn more about the second winner of the People’s Choice Award
View Exhibition Pictures

Permanent Collection

The Arts Center Permanent Collection consists of 500 + works by artists primarily from North Carolina and the southeast. The collection includes key regional artists such as Frances Speight, Sarah Blakeslee, Ben Owen, Sr., Mark Hewitt, Cynthia Bringle, Billie Ruth Sudduth, Hobson Pittman and Louis Orr. Acquisitions are funded through the City of Rocky Mount and private donations.

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