Funded! This project was successfully funded on February 19, 2011.


Reference Art Gallery is an independent artist run art and music space in downtown Richmond, VA

Reference Art Gallery is an independent artist run art and music space in downtown Richmond, VA, founded by four VCU undergraduate BFA students in the summer of 2009. We have launched a KICKSTARTER in hopes to raise much-needed funds that will keep our project sustainable throughout the upcoming year.

Our gallery focuses on exhibiting a diverse range of emerging artists from cities across the U.S.A. and abroad, as well as promoting artists from Richmond. Although many galleries are established as a commercial venture, our attitude is more in line with that of a non-profit organization. We believe that this attitude is most representative of our mission because the artwork that we display is based on what we are excited to show, rather than what we believe will be most marketable and profitable.

We hope that our space can continue to serve as a center for the arts community here. We have already worked with local artists on a number of projects. Since its inception in the fall of 2009, REFERENCE has held 15 exhibitions and shown work by over 60 artists, 20 of which have been associated with the local community and Virginia Commonwealth University. Exhibitions include shows curated by current graduate students, a performance by professor Stephen Vitiello, a solo show by VCU Painting Department Fellow Rhys Himsworth, a series of community based projects with professor Hope Ginsburg and her students, as well as many other group exhibitions combining works from internationally recognized artists as far away as Norway and Hong Kong with other burgeoning talents.

We decided to open a gallery because wanted to promote Richmond’s local art scene and bring exciting new artists from around the world to our city. With your donations, REFERENCE will continue to increase the presence of Richmond in other cities, bring more attention to local artists, and allow networking opportunities with galleries and curators worldwide for tomorrow’s promising creators. We are grateful to be able to pursue this project while surrounded by a supportive community. We need your help to keep us running strong in 2011!


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  • Pledge $5 or more
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    4 backers

    A personal “Thank You” email from us! Including a very colorful jpeg made just for you. Plus exclusive donor-only updates on our progress. Think of it as a healthy alternative to Hardee’s “Five Dollar Burger”.

  • Pledge $10 or more
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    9 backers

    There are NO good movies in theaters (and you’ve already seen Black Swan). For the price of one movie ticket we’ll make you your own personalized unique “Thank You” video sent to your email, including the exclusive donor-only updates as above!

  • Pledge $20 or more
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    11 backers

    SOLID DONATION! Not only do you get the personal video and exclusive donor-only updates sent to your email, but how about we also snail mail you something special? A pretty postcard in your mailbox will make your house the hottest one on the block!

  • Pledge $30 or more
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    11 backers

    THANKS! You’ll get all of the above PLUS your name in our gallery as a listed donor! You’re historic!!

  • Pledge $50 or more
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    13 backers

    YOU’RE AWESOME! Your support gets you all of the above plus an original collaborative drawing made by the members of Reference (we didn’t get our BFA’s for nothing!)

  • Pledge $100 or more
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    7 backers

    THANKS A MILLION! Your amazing contribution deserves a sensational gift! You get all of the above plus your very own limited edition screen print!

  • Pledge $150 or more
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    1 backer

    OWN A PIECE OF ORIGINAL ARTWORK! Not only will you get exclusive updates on our progress and get your name listed as a donor in our gallery, our very own Conor Backman will send you one of his original HTML drawings! See them here:

  • Pledge $250 or more
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    1 backer

    You deserve something AWESOME!! Imagine! YOUR OWN WALL!! Along with exclusive emails , and the limited edition screen print, your name will be prominently displayed in raised lettering on one of our four walls for as long as our gallery exists.

  • Pledge $500 or more
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    1 backer

    YOU GET IT ALL! Plus, you’ll have the opportunity to re-name the gallery for one month. You decide the name. We’ll redo our signs, website, business cards, and re-direct our website to the newly named address for a month of your choosing.

Funding period

- (60 days)