Photo of sculptor Betty Branch

Biographical Notes

Betty Branch is an artist who is constantly reinventing herself. Her media is diverse; she sculpts with marble, clay, stone, porcelain, terra cotta, earthenware, and straw. Throughout her career of intensive production, she has culled visual references from ancient matriarchal civilizations to current cultural events, from Greece to the foothills of the Blue Ridge. Her work is defined by lifelong tenets: the body, rites of passage, the intersection between land and form, and the myth and form of crow and raven.

Branch earned both her BA and MA in Studio Art from Hollins University. Proficient in both painting and sculpture, she embarked on periods of independent study to expand and reinforce her knowledge of art history and art techniques, including: Greece, Italy, and the Bahamas. One such independent study earned her a Citation from Hollins University for her interdisciplinary research on the image of women in Ancient Greece. She spent a portion of many years working at Nicoli Studios in Carrara, Italy and notably, she was the only American exhibitor invited to the first Salon International de la Sculpture Contemporaine in Paris, 1990.

The first thirty years of her career, Branch focused on the female form and defined female rites of passage in both traditional and unorthodox media.  In recent decades she has produced numerous public monuments and commissioned sculptures of varying subjects. Branch’s award-winning art has been widely exhibited in the US and abroad, with works from small to monumental in private, corporate, university, and museum collections. She maintains a studio and gallery in Roanoke, VA.

Branch is an associate member of the Audubon Society, American Women Artists, Allied Artists of America and the National Sculpture Society.

See and View More

Video: “Ritual Fire”
Video: “Behind the Scenes: Documenting the Work”
“Mother” Installation, NYC photos
Behind the Scenes: Studio/Foundry Views
Betty Branch with Madame Chirac


2002 Fellow, Virginia Center for Creative Arts,  Amherst, Virginia

1987 Hollins University, Adjunct Professor Sculpture

1987 Hollins University. Roanoke, Virginia. Master of Arts in Liberal Studies. In-depth study—Athens, Greece and Sitia, Crete. Monograph on the great goddess culture of Crete. (Academic Citation).

1980 Apprenticeship at Miles and Generalis Sculptural Services. Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

1979 Hollins College. Roanoke, Virginia. Bachelor of Arts Degree in Studio Art (Summa cum laude).

1977 Studied with Gerogiana Mailloff, Vancouver, British Columbia.  Totem culture of Pacific N.W..

1977 Independent study with Denis Knight, College of the Bahamas Design and Fabrication.  Clay and fiber.

1973 Virginia Western Community College. Roanoke, Virginia.

1952 David Lipscomb College. Nashville, Tennessee.

Awards and Recognitions

2017 1st Place; Caldwell Arts Sculpture Exhibition, Lenoir, North Carolina

2015 Award; Castlegar, B.C. Canada,

2014 3rd Place, Audobon Artists, New York, NY

2012 Peoples Choice Award; Caldwell County Arts, Lenoir, North Carolina

2011 The Perry F. Kendig Award for Outstanding Support of the Arts; The Arts Council of the Blue Ridge, Roanoke, Virginia

2011 Judges Award; Caldwell County Arts. Lenoir, North Carolina

2010 The Ann Fralin Award, Taubman Museum of Art. Roanoke, Virginia

2009 The Roanoker: Best of 2009: Gold. “Betty Branch: Artist Whose Work Takes Your Breath Away.” City Magazine, Roanoke, VA.

2008 Sally Fishburn Crockett Award. Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge.

2007 YWCA Woman of Achievement in the Arts.

2006 Bedi-Makky Foundry Prize for Macedonia. National Sculpture Society.

2002 C. Percival Dietsch Prize for Small Goddess. National Sculpture Society

1998 Allied Artist Award. Board of Directors of AIA Blue Ridge.

1985 Award for Dragons Teeth in traveling exhibit: Virginia Women Artists: Female Experience in Art. Armory Gallery, Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, Virginia.

1983 Best in Show Award;  25th Annual Sidewalk Art Show. Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts. Roanoke, VA.

Solo Exhibitions

Betty Branch Sculpture Studio & Gallery 2012 – 2018

2011 “Jugglers, Mountain Women and Crows”. Bridgewater College

2011 “Grace; An Exploration of Feminine Beauty.” McCarthy Gallery, Washington & Lee University

2010 “Peripheral Visions” Sculpture and Installation. 1912 Gallery at Emory & Henry College, Emory VA

2009 “Through the Crow’s Eye, A Retrospective.”  Wilson Museum, Hollins University. Roanoke, Virginia

1998Betty Branch”. Nelson Street Gallery. Lexington, Virginia.

1994 “Sculpture by Betty Branch”. duPont Gallery.Washington and Lee University. Lexington Virginia.

1989 “Works in Stone”. Olin Hall. Roanoke College. Salem, Virginia.

1987 Performance piece Woman Wheel. Hollins College. Roanoke, Virginia.

1986 Performance piece Ritual Fire. Old Willis Quarry. Roanoke, Virginia.

1985 “Mothers”. Painter’s Gallery. Virginia Western Community College.

1984 Warm Springs Gallery. Warm Springs, Virginia.

1982 Betty Branch, Sculptor: An Exhibition of Portraits. Bridgewater College. Kline Campus Center. Bridgewater, VA.

1981 * Betty Branch. Meredith Art Gallery. Virginia State University. Petersburg, Virginia.

* Betty Branch, Sculptor. Kent Gallery. Radford University. Radford, Virginia.

1980 * Figurative Sculpture. Cheek Gallery. Parthenon Museum. Nashville, Tennessee.

* Ambiance Fine Art Gallery. Nashville, Tennessee.

Selected Group Exhibitions

2019 Peninsula Fine Arts Center, Portsmouth, VA

2019 Cato Institute, Washington, DC

2018 Allied Artists of America, New York, NY

2017 Caldwell Arts Sculpture Exhibition, Lenoir, NC

2017 National Sculpture Society 84th Annual Juried Exhibition, Brookgreen Gardens, SC

2016 National Sculpture Society 83rd Annual juried Exhibition, Brookgreen Gardens, S.C.

2015-2016 Castlegar, B.C. Canada

2014 “Reunion”, Taubman Museum of Art, Roanoke, Virginia

2014 “Sculpture Walk”, Eau Claire, Wisconsin

2014 “Home Sweet Home”; Wilson Museum, Hollins University, Roanoke Virginia

2013 “Sculpture Walk”; Sioux Falls, South Dakota

2012 Sculpture Walk; Sioux Falls, South Dakota

2011  New York, New York – National Sculpture Society Annual Exhibit;

2011 River County 2011, Owensboro Museum of Fine Art, Owensboro, Kentucky

2011 Armory Gallery, Virginia Polytechnic Institute, Blacksburg, Virginia

2010 Caldwell County Arts Show, Lenoir N.C.

2009 Five Branches: A Virginia Family of Artists. Olin and Smoyer Galleries. Roanoke College. Salem, Virginia.

2008 * 75th Annual Exhibition: National Sculpture Society. Juried Exhibition. National Sculpture Society. NY, NY.

    * Friends and Family. Eleanor D. Wilson Museum. Hollins University. Roanoke, Virginia.

2007 * Tri-State Sculptors. Washington Square. Washington, D.C.

   * Allied Artists of America: 94th Annual Exhibition. National Arts Club. New York, New York.

* National Sculpture Society, Juried Exhibition, New York, New York.

2006 * The 33rd Annual Juried Competition. Masur Museum of Art. Monroe, Louisiana.

   * National Sculpture Society, Juried Exhibition, Murrells Inlet, South Carolina.

   * 60th Annual Sculpture Exhibition. Pen and Brush Inc. New York, New York.

Group Exhibitions – Continued

2005 The Sea. National Sculpture Society. Park Avenue Atrium. New York, New York.

2004 * Three Virginia Artists. E.Taylor Greer Gallery. Ferrum College. Ferrum, Virginia.

   * Stallions, Ponies, and Unicorns. National Sculpture Society. New York, New York.

2003 Sculpture Visions 2003. Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission. Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

2002 * 69th Annual Awards Exhibition. National Sculpture Society. Juried Exhibition. New York, New York.

   * Crossing the Line. Philadelphia Sculptors and Tri-State Sculptors Guild. Moore College of Art and Design.  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

2000 Artemis 2000. Living Gallery.  North Cross School. Roanoke, Virginia.

1990 Women and Children: Difficult Truths. Southern Seminary College. South Carolina.

1991 Hollins College Faculty Art Exhibit. Hollins College. Roanoke, Virginia.

1993 The Box: Remembering the Gift. Térma Company. Santa Fe, New Mexico.

1994 Sculpture: Art in the Round. Stanley Library Galleries. Ferrum College Fine Arts ; Ferrum, Virginia.

1995 Sally Grace Branch and Betty Branch. Studios on the Square Gallery. Roanoke, Virginia.

1996 Women in the Visual Arts. Hollins College Art Gallery. Hollins College. Roanoke, Virginia.

1997 Contemporary American Art. Art Museum of Western Virginia. Roanoke, Virginia.

1998 * Garden Poem: Off the Wall. Betty Branch and Mimi Babe Harris. E. Taylor Greer Art Gallery/Stanley Library. Ferrum College. Ferrum, Virginia.

   * Silent Victims. Women Made Gallery. Illinois State Capitol. Springfield, Illinois.

   * Flight: Works by Leigh Ann Beavers, Betty Branch, and Liza Ryan. Hollins Art Gallery. Hollins University. Roanoke, Virginia.

1987 * New Art Center. Washington, D.C.

   * Over the Blue Ridge II. Invitational, Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts. Roanoke, Virginia.

   * Tucker-Boatwright Exhibition. University of Richmond. Richmond, Virginia.

1986 * Gilpin House Gallery. Alexandria, Virginia.

   * ArtExpo. New York.Jacob K. Javits Convention Center.

* Asheville Art Museum. Asheville, North Carolina.

 * Southern Bronze. The Art Gallery, Belk Art Building. Western Carolina University. Cullowhee, North Carolina.

  * Contemporary Modes of Expression: VA/DC Artists. Marsh Gallery. University of Richmond. Richmond, Virginia.  * St. John’s Museum. Wilmington, North Carolina

1986 *Traveling Exhibit. Armory Gallery, Virginia Tech. Blacksburg, Virginia. Portsmouth Community Arts Center *Gallery; Piedmont Art Association; University of Richmond; Randolph-Macon College; Bluefield State University; *Longwood College; Danville Museum; Reston Art Center; Shenandoah College and Conservatory.

1985 Virginia Women Artists: Female Experience in Art.

Group Exhibitions – Continued

1985 * Art Expo (NY). Jacob Javitts Center. New York, New York.

   * 16th National Juried Exhibition. Greensboro Artists’ League. Greensboro, North Carolina.

   * Focus International: American Women in Art. United Nations World Conference on Women. Nairobi, Kenya.

1985 * United Nations Conference on Women. Nairobi, Kenya.  American Album of Art, “Dragons Teeth”

   * Contemporary Sculpture by Virginia Artists. Portsmouth Museum Fine Arts Gallery, Courthouse. Portsmouth,Va.

1984 * Group Exhibit. Center Art Gallery. Maui, Hawaii.

   * Tri-State Sculptor’s Guild. Gaston County Museum of Art and History. Dallas, North Carolina.

* Mint Museum. Queens College. Charlotte, North Carolina.

1983 * Group Exhibit. Center Art Gallery. Lahaina, Maui, Hawaii.

   * Tri-State Sculptors Guild. Green Hill Center for North Carolina Art. Greensboro, North Carolina.

1982 * Tri-State Sculptor’s Guild Annual Members Exhibition. Gray Art Gallery. East Carolina University Museum of Art. Greenville, North Carolina.

   * Together: Works by Betty and Patrick Branch. Young Gallery. Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts. Roanoke, Virginia.

1981 The Real and the Surreal. Durham Arts Council Building. Durham, North Carolina.

1980 Kindred Works. Another Gallery. Roanoke, Virginia.

Selected Collections, Commissions and Public Works

Jefferson Center, Roanoke, Virginia “Perfect Balance”

Roanoke College, Salem, Virginia “Martin Luther”, 1 ½  life size

St. Francis Service Dogs, life sized memorial, Roanoke Virginia “A Game of Fetch”

Eleanor D. Wilson Museum, Hollins University. Roanoke, Virginia.

Radford University Art Museum. Radford, Virginia.

City of Radford, Virginia.

David Lipscomb University. Nashville, Tennessee.

Brookgreen Gardens. Pawley’s Island, North Carolina.

Pfeiffer College. Meisenheimer, South Carolina.

Chapel Hill Public Library. Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

SunTrust Bank. Roanoke, Virginia.

American Infrastructure. Worcester, Pennsylvania.

American Red Cross, Roanoke Headquarters. Roanoke, Virginia.

C&P Central Offices. Arlington, Virginia.

Alabama Institute of the Deaf and the Blind. Talladega, Alabama.

Anne Masters Memorial Park, Roanoke, Virginia

Roanoke College, Athletic Walk of Fame

Montgomery County Elementary School, Elliston, Virginia

Washington & Lee University

Virginia Polytechnic Institute

Hollins University

Hollywood Cemetery, Richmond, Virginia.

South County Library, Roanoke, Virginia

Taubman Museum of Art. Roanoke, Virginia.

Roanoke Public Library. Roanoke, Virginia.

City of Roanoke, Virginia. “Annie’s Peace”

Jefferson Center. Roanoke, Virginia.

North Cross School. Roanoke, Virginia.

Planned Parenthood of the Blue Ridge. Roanoke, Virginia.

Selected Bibliography 

Artists and Writers from the Blue Ridge Mountains and Beyond – Vol XXIV Artemis Journal (2018)

“Betty Branch Studio & Gallery Open House History”, Visions Art Guide, City Magazine (Dec 2017)

Artists and Writers from the Blue Ridge Mountains and Beyond – Vol XXIII, Artemis Journal (May 2016) –

Featured Artist

“Betty Branch Reaching Goals.” Brown, Dan. The Roanoker Magazine (Mar/Apr 2016)

“Pirro Immortalized at Roanoke College.”  Doughty, Doug.  The Roanoke Times (October 7, 2012).

“Celebrating Women of the Blue Ridge.” City Magazine, cover. (October, 2011).

“Branch Explains Peripheral Vision, Installation at Emory & Henry.” A! Magazine for the Arts; (August,


“New Spin on Landscaping” Bristol Herald Courier (September 2, 2010).

“Heart of Stone Wings of Bronze, The Paradoxical Work of Betty Branch.” McLeod, Deborah, Charlottesville, VA.   Essay, Hollins University, Wilson Museum Publication  (2009).

“Her Truth Revealed.” Allen, Mike. The Roanoke Times (September 2009).

“Taubman Museum of Art and Downtown Roanoke.” Kittredge, Kevin. Roanoke Times (October 30, 2008): “Lyricism in Stone: Sculptor Betty Branch Shapes the Universal Frame.” Parsons, Laura.  Virginia

Living (2007): 31

Costanza, Nina. “Simplicity of Form: A Conversation Between Sculptor and Material.” Sculpture Review (2005).

“Betty Branch Sculpture Studio and Gallery.” The Roanoke Times (December 1, 2005).

Sculpture Review: A Publication of the National Sculpture Society LIV.3 (2005): 34-35

Lugar, Norma. “The Good, the Bright, and the Beautiful.” The Roanoker XXIX 3/4 March/April 2002.

Shenandoah: The Washington and Lee University Review 51.4. (2001).

Kennedy, Joe. “A Memorial that Speaks to Us All.” The Roanoke Times (2001).

Cridlin, Jay. “Memorial.” The Roanoke Times (2000).

Kittredge, Kevin. “Getting Their Due.” The Roanoke Times 18 May. (2000).

“Once Upon a Time.” The Roanoke Times (December 5, 1997).

Macy, Beth. “Sex, Death, and Whimsy in the Garden.” The Roanoke Times (July 24, 1997).

Martin, Kimberly. “Work of Art.” (November 17, 1994).

Williams, Arthur. Sculpture: Technique, Form, Content (1994)

Salmon, Robin. Brookgreen Garden Sculpture II (1993)

Adkins, Sharon. “Sculpture Dedicated in Memory of Long-Time Radford Supporter.” Campus Currents 4 (November 1991).

Roanoke Times & World-News (July 26, 1987).

Woman of Power Magazine: A Magazine of Feminism, Spirituality, and Politics 6 (1987)

“Women in the News” Women Artists News 11.1 (1986): 42.

DeBell, Jeff. “Art Goes up in Flames.” Roanoke Times & World-News (October 29, 1986).

Godfrey, Robert. “Display is a Retrospective of Southern Bronze Sculpture.” Asheville Citizen –Times 7 Sept. 1986. sec, L.

“Pursuing Realism.” International Sculpture March/April 1986.

“Weekender Guide.” New York Times (April 4, 1986).

“Radford Bust.” The News Journal (July 18, 1986). 102YEAR. No.142.

Merritt, Robert. “The Two Worlds of Women’s Art: Making Art or Making a Statement.”

Richmond Times-Dispatch (October 13, 1985).

Weinstein, Ann. “Symbols Abound in Burlap Mothers.” Roanoke Times & World-News (January 27, 1985).

“Betty Branch.” Brookgreen Journal XV.3 (1985).

Hieronymus, Clara. “Sculptor’s Work to be Dedicated.” The Tennessean (October 10, 1985).

“Betty Branch.” Virginia Women Artists: Female Experience in Art (1985).

Weinstein, Ann. “One About Women, One by Women.” Roanoke Times & World-News (May 19, 1985).

“Betty Branch: Sculptor.” Center Art Gallery Magazine: Art Consultants to the World (1984).

“25th Annual Sidewalk Art Show.” In Focus: The Roanoke Museum of Fine Arts (September 1983).

Kennedy, Joe. “With 10 You Get Diversity.” Roanoke Times & World-News (March 23, 1983).

Angell, Janis. “Forms Fascinate Roanoke Sculptor.” The News Journal (November 1, 1981).

“Art Guild Exhibits Works.” The Chapel Hill Newspaper (March 10, 1981).

“Art: Light, Space, and Freedom.” The Roanoker (November 1980).

Cubby, James. “Sculptor Betty Branch.” Artists Interviews:16+

DeBell, Jeff. “Sculptor Finds Isolation in Downtown Roanoke.” Roanoke Times & World-News

“DLC Alum ‘Captures’ Collins.” The Tennessean (September 28, 1980).

Weinstein, Ann. “Over the Blue Ridge II Is a Varied Tribute to Artists of Western Virginia.”


Richard Boyd
Amy Pearman
Richard Braaten
Michael Branch
Polly Branch
Ellen Martin

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