Contemporary Art + Surf Culture

Legendary surf and skate company Wave Riding Vehicles (WRV) collaborated with internationally renowned artist and Virginia Beach local Ryan McGinness to bring limited-edition surfboards, skateboard decks and hand-printed t-shirts for promotion by the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA). This limited-edition line went on sale on October 15 at  

Virginia MOCAan accredited, non-collecting museum with roots in the community where McGinnes grew uphas no collection of its own and instead rotates between exhibits about three times a year.  

“Whenever you come in, it is likely that everything on view is brand new from the last time you came in,” said Brad Tuggle, director of audience development at Virginia MOCA. “That allows us as a contemporary art museum to be ever-evolving as our community and the art world evolve; we can continually be showing new work.”  

Virginia MOCA, a staple of Virginia Beach’s creative community, will benefit from this collaboration ensuring the museum’s future after suffering significant cost cuts due to weather and the pandemic.  

“[Virginia MOCA], like pretty much everybody else, was hit hard by the pandemic, but we were very lucky that our attendance stayed up, and the city was really fantastic in their financial support of us,” said Tuggle. “[The collaboration] came about during that time period as a way for us to raise funds and keep the museum sustained. Coming out of this, it’ll be a great way for us to have raised some funds, but also to have gotten some really cool art objects out into the community and into people’s hands.” 

This three-way collaboration came about when WRV shop owner, L.G. Shaw, contacted Virginia MOCA’s director and CEO, Gary Ryan, about establishing a partnership between the two creatives.  

“[Shaw and Ryan] started thinking outside the box and tried to figure out what was something that was cooler and would have more of an impact that we could do together—something that these three entities could do together and that none of them could do alone. So, we came up with the idea to have [McGinnes] design something inspired by WRV, because he grew up really loving its logo.” 

McGinness studied fine arts at Carnegie Mellon University and is known for his interpretation of layered iconography, meditative paintings, screen prints and installations. Today, his work is showcased around the world in museums such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Saatchi Collection in London, the Taguchi Art Collection in Japan and many more.  

“[McGinnes] has spent a lot of his career working in iconography and then symbols, and he grew up idolizing the WRV logo. When the possibility for the three of us to get together and collaborate on this happened, he was really excited, so that inspired the shirts and the skateboards and the surfboards—that kind of iconography,” Tuggle said. “[McGinnes] works out of New York now and is collected internationally, so this was a good opportunity for him to do something for the museum that he loves, tie back into his roots and do this pet project that he’s really passionate about.” 

~Grace Hobson

Ryan McGinness works on surfboard
3 Limited edition surfboards designed by Jason McGinness
Ryan McGinness works on one of the limited edition surfboards