The Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo is an art show that showcases surf art. We get together every Memorial Day Weekend, the official welcome of the summer season the last weekend in May for three glorious days. Thousands of locals and tourists visiting Virginia Beach enjoy and celebrate the start of summer in Virginia Beach, VA. Virginia Beach is the largest resort city on the east coast, and is a popular tourist destination on Memorial Day Weekend, which means the weekend generates great crowds. The Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo is held in conjunction with the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic, a surfing competition. The surf spot is affectionately known as The Jetty, and is the best surfing destination in Virginia Beach. Since 2004, the Virginia Longboard Association, an all-volunteer organization, has produced the Steel Pier Classic, a professional and amateur surf contest. In 2022, one of Virginia Beach’s surf shop retailers bought the event. It is now known as the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic. The name of the event is derived from the Virginia Beach Steel Pier, which was located at the Va. Beach Oceanfront at First Street, circa the 1960’s. Historical references indicate that the roots of East Coast surfing were born at our very own Steel Pier. This was the surfing hot spot of the early 1960’s, where many learned to surf here, watching the “cool guys” who were the best surfers at the time. The Steel Pier was torn down in the 1970’s due to damage from the 1962 Ash Wednesday Storm. The pier eventually was beyond repair. To this day it is still the gathering spot for surfers at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and we pay homage to this beloved surf spot with the annual surfing contest, with the Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo taking place on the boardwalk adjacent to the Coastal Edge Steel Pier Classic.
Jodie Woodward, a longtime local resident of Virginia Beach is an event organizer, and sponsorship professional. She founded the Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo. She’s was recruited as a sponsorship sales professional for the Steel Pier Classic in 2006. As time went by, she got involved more in the role of a marketing consultant to offer her expertise to help grow the event. In 2008, Jodie came up with the idea of the Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo, thinking it would be a nice compliment the surfing competition. This endeavor successfully brought another dimension the event. To this day, over 70 professional artists exhibit on the boardwalk adjacent to the surfing competition. Our purpose is to offer a professional surf art show that compliments the surfing contest – unlike any other art show in the region with the attraction of the surfing culture – a love of Mother Ocean. It’s a beautiful show in a relaxed setting that embraces the beach lifestyle. There are returning artists every year who are local favorites, and regional artists from Florida to Maine in addition to Ohio and Pennsylvania. The artwork is all about the ocean, water life, sea life, nautical, and tropical themes from all mediums such as painting, sculpture, photography, jewelry, glass, fiber, mixed media, and wood. For more information on how to apply as an artist, click here.
The Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo has evolved over the years as a very unique surf art show with great sales for artists who return year after year. Our purpose is to promote the art of surfing and the beach lifestyle as an art form. The culture of surfing and the wonder of the ocean have stimulated surfers and surf artists for many years to be their best at what they do. The Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo embraces the art of surfing in every form, whether it’s observing the sport of surfing, or featuring beach scenes, seascapes, and ocean life on the Virginia Beach Boardwalk.
The Virginia Beach Surf Art Expo is the place to be Memorial Day Weekend in Va. Beach! Come join us for some great surf art and wave riding bliss!