Virginia Shore is a curator, advisor, and arts advocate with extensive expertise in contemporary and modern art in all media. Formerly, Shore served as Chief Curator and Deputy Director (over 20 years) and Acting Director (5 years) of the US Department of State's, Office of Art in Embassies (AIE). She envisioned, established, and led the Department's first art acquisitions and commissioning division of AIE (2000-2017); overseeing collections for 79 new US Embassies and curating 54 of the collections. Shore successfully expanded AIE's mission to include international artists (emerging through established), while promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion as a critical focus for all AIE collections, exhibitions, and cultural exchanges. The first division of AIE to commission and compensate artists' for their work. As Chief Curator, Shore managed and curated the historic 'loans program', with 180 venues/countries, which grew from a $10 million annual loan value to more than $400 million under her leadership.
Shore has curated hundreds of international exhibitions and collections for public and private projects and worked with thousands of artists domestically and internationally. She has overseen dozens of monumental site-specific commissions. She has established relationships with dealers, architects, curators, foundations, collectors, and institutions globally. A few of her projects include the US embassies/consulates: Abuja, Bamako, Beijing, Dakar, Guangzhou, Istanbul, Islamabad, Jakarta, Johannesburg, Kabul, London, Moscow, Mumbai, Rabat, Surabaya, and Tijuana. In 2014, Ms. Shore established the first biennial “Medal of Arts" award at the Department. Thus far, the Medal has been awarded to twenty artists including; Julie Mehretu, Jeff Koons, Rachel Whiteread, Kiki Smith, Mark Bradford, Cai Guo-Qiang, Kehinde Wiley, Maya Lin, Imran Qureshi, Pat Steir, Nick Cave, Pedro Reyes, Xu Bing, Shazia Sikander, Sam Gilliam, and Jenny Holzer.
Shore is an arts advocate, in 2018 she curated the first "By the People" Festival with Halycon in the District. As founding curator, the Festival's mission intended to promote empathy and spark civil discourse, building bridges across the cultural divide – throughout the city. Shore is a frequent lecturer and panelist with talks/presentations at the Phillips Collection, the Tate Modern, the Arts Club in Chicago, the Smithsonian, the Aspen Institute, and numerous embassies worldwide. She holds a B.A. in Political Science and an M.A. in Art History. She is a member of the Cultural Advisory Board of Meridian International and the Halycon Arts Lab Executive Committee. She is a member of the Association of Professional Art Advisors. SAA clients include; the Barack Obama Foundation/Obama Presidential Center, the Fredriksen Family Collection in collaboration with the New National Museum of Norway, the Emerson Collective, and the Hall Group.