With religion and government as big exceptions, nothing inspires creative architecture like fine art. It's as if there's an inherent need for a proposed building to match the artistic equivalence of its contents. After years of planning, renovation and expansion, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is scheduled to unveil its newly improved facility May 1 from 10 a.m. to midnight, featuring a ribbon-cutting ceremony, new exhibitions (“Matisse, Picasso and Modern Art in Paris”) lectures (“The Positive Image: Photographic Processes”), family art activities (the Lego Art Project), artist demonstrations (glasswork and oil painting), movie screenings (Avant-Garde Short Films Through the Ages), dance performances (the Latin Ballet of Virginia), music, tours and a variety of food. Tibetan monks also will be in residence to create a unique sand mandala. The free activities continue May 2 from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. For information visit
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