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Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts | PO Box 842519 Richmond, Virginia | 23284-2519


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Studio Fall 2012

GR E E TIN G S FR O M D E AN J O S E P H H . S E IP E L I’ve been part of VCUarts for more than 35 years, and I’ve never been more optimistic about the potential of our school and our community than I am at this moment.



Our students continue to contribute to the community and the world with their work and innovation. Their exhibitions, projects, performances and scholarly contributions are making positive impacts on their respective fields and adding to the stellar reputation of VCUarts. Students are taking their collaborative ideas and running full speed ahead with support from VCUarts research grant programs and other funding opportunities. They are creating blogs to capture and share their internship experiences and study abroad trips to Scotland, Peru, Italy and other locations. The enthusiasm is palpable when a student returns from our sister campus in Doha, Qatar after either the Tasmeem International Design Conference or the biennial Symposium on Islamic Art, or a semester-long exchange. These things occur throughout the year, each year, but right now we have something particularly exciting taking shape. As I write this, world renowned Steven Holl Architects’ design for the forthcoming 38,000 square foot VCU Institute for Contemporary Art, has been completed. If the inertia of our fundraising efforts continue, we anticipate breaking ground in 2013 and opening in 2015. The ICA will be a new gateway to the university and bring the most important, cutting-edge contemporary art exhibitions in the world to campus and our city. We have reached $20 million of our $32 million goal, and we’re closing in on the rest. We are the top ranked art school within a public research university, allowing for opportunities and collaborations including the groundbreaking interdisciplinary programs connecting our students across our campus with medicine, engineering, business and the humanities. Faculty and students are conducting research and forming collaborations that continue to delve into new territory. Our graduates become part of our community and make their mark in major arts centers across the country and around the globe. Our alumni have gone on to be recognized as leaders in their respective fields and have made us proud to have been part of their artistic and intellectual development. They’ve received every major award you can think of in their disciplines. Strong lifelong relationships start here at VCUarts. And some of us find ourselves here after more than three decades because of the energy of the students, the school and the community. It’s where many want to be. We’re very pleased with our national ranking, but no less proud of the people who compose this special place we call VCUarts. Best regards,

Joe Seipel Dean, VCUarts

Part exhibition and performance space, part lab and incubator, the 38,000square-foot VCU Institute for Contemporary Art will feature a series of flexible programming spaces for the presentation of visual art, theater, music, dance and film for both on-campus and public audiences. The facility will present innovative art of our time from around the world, and will include a 250-seat performance space, outdoor plazas, a sculpture garden, classrooms, a café and offices.

VCUarts Remains the Top Ranked Public Art School in the U.S. U.S. News & World Report graduate program rankings came out in March, and once again VCUarts is #4 when compared to public and private art programs. We maintain our #1 public ranking, and many of our programs have done the same, or even increased their standings! Ranking Among All U.S. Programs (Public and Private)

Ranking Among U.S. Public Programs






Fiber Arts



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Multimedia/Visual Communications



VCUarts Graduate Program


VCUarts Department of Interior Design is ranked #10 nationally by DesignIntelligence 2012 America’s Best Architecture and Design Schools and the Design Council. And Dance and Choreography is an invited member of the Council of Dance Administrators (CODA), a forum of the nation’s 25 leading dance programs.

Anticipated to open in 2015, the ICA will be located at Belvidere and Broad Streets, one of Richmond’s busiest intersections. It will enhance and expand the role of the arts on campus, serving as both an academic and extracurricular resource for students and faculty from every department.

Steven Holl Architects: Forking Time (through October 18) Drawings and models created during the conception of the ICA design. Virginia Center for Architecture, 2501 Monument Avenue, Richmond

On the Cover Dress on cover was created by Morgan Swank in the junior dresses class, and shown at the Annual Fashion Show. Photo: Jay Paul.

2012 Windmueller Lecture: Steven Holl Monday, October 15, 6:00 pm W.E. Singleton Center for the Performing Arts, 922 Park Avenue, Richmond Free, no ticket required, but space is limited.

We are fortunate that Steven Holl Architects will have an exhibition of the ICA models and watercolors at the Virginia Center for Architecture through mid October. Holl, pictured left, is the recipient of the American Institute of Architects’ 2012 Gold Medal and will be speaking as our Windmueller Lecturer on October 15th.


Dance Alumna, A “Top 25 Dancer,” Visits Department Leslie Kraus, 2003 Dance alumna, will be visiting the department in October in her professional capacity as dancer with Kate Weare Company. She was recognized for outstanding dancing in Dance Magazine’s annual list of Top 25 Dancers to Watch. Leslie routinely acts as Weare’s assistant director, most recently for a commissioned work on dance students at the NYU Tisch School. In 2009, critic Deborah Jowitt of The Village Voice wrote, “(Leslie) Kraus is amazing – demon and angel.”

Two Exhibitions in Richmond Celebrate the Career of

JUDITH GODWIN Judith Godwin: Early Abstractions Sept 7 – Dec 9, 2012 Anderson Gallery, VCU School of the Arts

Kate Weare Company is a New York-based contemporary dance group creating and performing the work of Weare, characterized by fierce physicality, thoughtfulness and authenticity. Weare’s dances explore a contemporary view of intimacy – both stark and tender – by drawing on our most basic urge to move and decode movement.

Gesture: Judith Godwin and Abstract Expressionism Sept 8, 2012 – Jan 26, 2013 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts New York-based painter Judith Godwin, a Virginia native and graduate of Richmond Professional Institute, now VCU, will have concurrent exhibitions at VCUarts Anderson Gallery and VMFA.

Photo: Keira Heu-Jwyn Chang. Dancers: Luke Murphy and Leslie Kraus.

After graduation from RPI in 1952, Godwin moved to New York City during a period of major growth in post-war American art. She pushed the burgeoning abstraction in her work and, over the next decade, her imagery evolved into powerful nonobjective compositions. She achieved considerable success, exhibiting her works at the Stable Gallery and becoming the youngest woman ever to show at Betty Parsons. Among her various awards, she received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from VCU in 1989. The night prior to her Anderson Gallery opening, Godwin sat down with VCUarts Dean Joe Seipel and curator René Barilleaux, among students, faculty and the public, to discuss her work and career. Judith Godwin, Divisions, 1955 (detail); oil on canvas, 72 x 52 1/4 inches. Image courtesy the McNay Museum of Art, San Antonio, Texas. On view at VCUarts Anderson Gallery. Image courtesy of the artist.

Our Own Ulrich Examines the American Consumer Psyche


From mid-January to mid-March, 2013, Photography and Film Assistant Professor Brian Ulrich will present his work at the VCUarts Anderson Gallery. His photographs in Copia – Retail, Thrift, and Dark Stores, 2001–11, includes nearly 60 photos that explore the economic, cultural and political implications of commercialism and American consumer culture.

Recent ceramic sculptures by artist Arlene Shechet, can be seen at the VCUarts Anderson Gallery through December 9, 2012. And, our fortunate Craft/Material Studies students will have Shechet as a visiting artist this fall. Shechet has favored improvisational methods and a trial-and-error process over methodical and technical facility. At once comically awkward and elegantly poised, her paradoxical forms teeter and bulge in multiple directions, defying their own weight.

“We are so pleased to feature this powerful body of work by Brian, who joined the VCUarts faculty last year and is quickly building an impressive international reputation,” says Anderson Gallery Director Ashley Kistler. In conjunction with Copia, the Anderson Gallery is organizing a companion installation of artifacts and related materials from the artist’s personal archive, providing a wider historical context. Both exhibitions will open with a public reception on Friday evening, January 18, 2013 from 5 to 7 pm.

Shechet is the subject of much recent critical acclaim, including the cover story of Art in America in January 2012, and New York Magazine’s Top Ten Art Shows of 2010 by Jerry Saltz. Left: Who and Who and How and More, 2012. Glazed ceramic, glazed kiln bricks, and wood; 57.5 x 26 x 36 inches, overall. Photo: Alan Wiener. Collection of Ellen and Fred Elsas. Right: Tough Puff, 2008 (detail). Glazed ceramic, Hydrocal plaster, concrete and steel; 65 x 26.5 x 24 inches. Photo: Alan Wiener. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York.


The exhibition was organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and made possible by the Fred and Laura Ruth Bidwell Foundation. Left: Untitled, 2005 (0505).

VCUarts Around the Globe

Cross-Disciplinary Collaboration in Florence Summer 2012 initiates the Florence Design Program, an academic collaboration between the Departments of Fashion, Interior, and Graphic Design in coordination with VCU Study Abroad. This opportunity replaces the previous Architectural Study tour and now provides a more feasible opportunity for students to study internationally. The program provides a home base and private studio in Florence, Italy, for students to have a more consistent design study program. Additionally, it provides an interdisciplinary design experience with fashion, interior and graphic design students.

Jazz Exchange Brings Greater Cultural Understanding VCU Jazz received an International Partnerships Major Initiatives Award grant to bring American and African citizens together in musical and personal understanding. The project brings together students and faculty of VCU Jazz Studies and the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa over the course of this academic year.

Multimedia Artist Zerbe Tackles Body Issues

Award Winning Animation Making World Tour The White Snake, Ying-Fang Shen’s animation, that tells of a tragic romance of human male and female snakes, was shown at multiple international venues. The Communication Arts assistant professor’s animation, based on ancient Chinese folklore, has been screened at the Annecy International Film Festival, Annecy, France; Festival of Film Animation, Olomouc, Czech Republic; and the Urban Nomad Film Festival, Kaohsiung, Taiwan. Recognition includes a merit award at the 32nd Golden Harvest Film Festival in Taipei, Taiwan as well as an exhibition at FLUXUS 2010 International Film Festival at the Museum of Image and Sound in São Paulo, Brazil.

Buddhist Art Research in Nepal Kerry Brown, a Ph.D. student in the Department of Art History, studies Newar Buddhist art in Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley. Her research in Nepal has been supported by a Fulbright IIE Fellowship and a P.E.O Scholar Award.

Tony Garcia, director of VCU Jazz Studies says, “Researching the parallels in racial/cultural divides in our respective cities, Richmond (the former Confederate capital) and Durban (only recently having outlawed apartheid) is a must. I firmly believe that since all music comes from people, and all people come from a culture, understanding music requires a better understanding of people and their culture.”

Erin Zerbe, another interesting and successful Kinetic Imaging graduate, is a multimedia artist working in new media, video, photography and performance. Her work focuses on human interactions and relationships with the body, tackling issues of body image and fatness. She teaches at Siena Heights University in Michigan and recently had her work included in the first international Dublin Biennial. See a wonderful video interview with Zerbe on She is pictured here with the Lord Mayor of Dublin.

The trip made an important impact on student Justin Esposito. “This cultural exchange taught me how to communicate to others my views of cultural representation and values that I had obtained in the United States. At the same time, I learned how to not push my values upon others who differ.”

Brass Quintet Performs & Teaches in Colombia

Student Film in Salento Film Festival

VCU’s student brass quintet, the Park Avenue Brass, and their faculty mentor Ross Walter, D.M.A., traveled to Cartagena, Colombia in May for a week of concerts and teaching in the city’s youth orchestra programs.

The group was invited to Colombia by the Fundacion Tocando Puertas Para Abrir Futuros, a foundation dedicated to bettering the lives of children through music and education. The president of the foundation became involved with the VCUarts Department of Music when the group began its yearly sponsorship of Colombian high-school students participating in the VCU/Richmond Symphony Orchestra Project summer camp. To support the mission of the foundation, VCU’s Park Avenue Brass collected musical instruments for the music programs in Colombia that serve impoverished children, with hopes of providing enough instruments to support a brass quintet in the Cartagena program.

During the 2011 Cinema Program’s Summer Intensive in which the juniors and seniors participate, five films were shot in 35mm. Laila, written by Yossera Bouchtia (living and working in NYC), produced by Alex Denison and Jasce Burrow (both studying in Spain), and Duy Nguyen (working in Richmond), was accepted into the Salento Film Festival in Italy, which takes place as this publication goes to print. Laila tells of the struggles of a Moroccan immigrant mother trapped in a polygamous marriage.

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar, our sister campus in the Middle East, began in 1999 with 33 female students and offered Graphic Design, Interior Design and Fashion Design. Today, there are 244 male and female students, 55 faculty members and 367 alumni. VCUQatar now offers a Painting and Printmaking BFA, a BA in Art History with an Islamic focus, as well as a MFA in Design Studies.

VCUQatar has made significant contributions to the state of Qatar and the region by providing outstanding design education, producing innovative research, advancing the design profession and participating in the community.

Complicated Pleasures at VCUQatar

VCUQatar Design Entrepreneurship Network

Students & Faculty Exhibit Work at Dubai’s Design Days

Aspiring design entrepreneurs in Qatar were in luck this past May, as VCUQatar launched the Design Entrepreneurship Network in the presence of VCUQatar students, alumni and partners from the industry.

VCUQatar’s Master of Fine Arts in Design Studies (MFA.DESIGN.) faculty and students presented a curated exhibition of their new work titled Eastmodernism at Design Days Dubai in March. “East-modernism overlays the rich artistic heritage of the Middle East over the foundations of modern design as it utilizes traditions of local crafts, revived and reused in a new unusual context,” says Constantin Boym, former director of MFA.DESIGN. and curator of the exhibition. “East-modernism is a wink at Postmodernism, characterized by multiplicity of meaning, irony, and cultural criticism,” he adds.

As part of the Crossing Boundaries Lecture Series, VCUQatar presented a lecture by renowned interaction designer Crispin Jones entitled Complicated Pleasures in February. Jones spoke about the projects he has worked on over the past decade, focusing particularly on how he moved from making one-off experimental works into producing his own product ranges. Crispin Jones is a London-based designer who works at the intersection of Art and Design – broadly Critical Design. His work uses the language and tools of product design to articulate a critical perspective. Jones currently designs and produces his own range of products under the Tengu and Mr Jones Watches brands.

VCUQatar aims to support design-led innovation and startup business ambitions delivering high value to partner organizations, communities and the region. This Design Entrepreneurship Network helps aspiring entrepreneurs at a crucial time as they move from the identification and planning stage through to launch and implementation of their business. Above: VCUQatar Dean Allyson Vanstone

The exhibition included East-modern furniture by Constantin and Laurene Boym; Sadu Thread Cabinet by VCUQ Assistant Professor Thomas Modeen; Middlefield, a foosball table by Assistant Professor Paolo Cardini; and Vessel Revisions by VCUarts Sculpture alumnus Benjamin Jurgensen.

Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar

McKean Collaborates With Bemis Center This summer, the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts presented our own Michael Jones McKean’s The Rainbow: Certain Principles of Light and Shapes Between Forms. The project was a simple, but phenomenal visual event — a rainbow in the sky, which produced temporary rainbows above the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts in Omaha, Nebraska using the most elemental materials: sunlight and rainwater. This commissioned artwork and exhibition by VCUarts Sculpture + Extended Media Assistant Professor McKean, represents extensive cross-disciplinary collaboration. Irrigation and rainwater harvesting experts, structural and mechanical engineers, atmospheric scientists, plumbing and electrical experts and Bemis Center staff joined McKean in creating a wholly integrated system for this site-specific, temporary work.

Beaded Prayers Impress Many at VCUQatar The Beaded Prayers Project was launched in 1998 as an international, collaborative project to celebrate diversity and unity through a participatory art form. Since then, over 5000 people, from 35 countries, have participated in the project by creating and contributing the beaded packets exhibited at VCUQatar this past Spring. There are four parts to the project: lecture, workshop, traveling exhibition, and reflective publication. The exhibition at VCUQatar represents the culmination of this project, concluding a tour that has taken it to more than 25 venues. The Beaded Prayers Project is curated and directed by Sonya Clark, chair of Craft/ Material Studies, VCU Richmond. Collaborator in this project is Sara Wilson McKay, chair of the Department of Art Education, VCU Richmond.

McKean is a former artist-in-residence of the Bemis Center and, since 2002, he has conducted ongoing experiments leading to the production of this work.

God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth: Light in Islamic Art and Culture

International Design Conference Coming in March

Islamic Art Symposium to be held in Palermo, Sicily

Tasmeem Doha is a leading biennial international design and art conference held at VCUQatar in Doha, Qatar. For the past seven years, Tasmeem has gathered and engaged scholars, students, community members and practitioners to discuss and scrutinize critical issues in design and art. The 2013 Tasmeem conference will take place March 10–17 under the theme “hybrid making.”

The fifth biennial Hamad bin Khalifa Symposium on Islamic Art, God is the Light of the Heavens and the Earth: Light in Islamic Art and Culture, will be held November 9–11, 2013 in Palermo, Sicily. We are delighted that our keynote speaker will be the acclaimed visual artist, Iranian-born Shirin Neshat, whose photographic and videographic work is literally created with light.

Student Documents Womens’ Stories Zoë Dehmer, a junior earning her BFA in Photography, is collaborating with a Social and Behavioral Health student on a service learning project in Richmond's Whitcomb public housing community collecting personal stories about poor women’s health and life experiences. They interviewed women, building relationships and familiarity within the community, and have created a video documentary and a photo collection. Zoë, her partner and professors from Social and Behavioral Health, have also earned a $50,000 international travel grant for service learning. In the spring they, along with people from the Richmond Redevelopment and Housing Authority, will fly to Durban, South Africa. Zoë will be teaching "photo voice" to children in a public housing community there.

Two New Department Chairs. One Now. One Soon.

David Shields joins us as Chair of the Department of Graphic Design. He was previously an associate professor in the Design Division of the Department of Art and Art History at The University of Texas at Austin from 2004–2012 and served as the design custodian, a position he created, for the Rob Roy Kelly American Wood Type Collection from 2008–2012. Shields taught at a number of institutions in the New York region, and received his MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art. His research focuses on 19th century typographic form and visual culture arising from investigations of Rob Roy Kelly’s American Wood Type Collection (

Above: TheatreVCU’s April production of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Conceived by Rebecca Feldman with music and lyrics by William Finn, directed by Gary C. Hopper. A hilarious tale of six geeky adolescent overachievers vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime.

Upcoming TheatreVCU Productions September/October 2012: Noises Off Written by Michael Frayn • Directed by Anita Maynard-Losh Called “the funniest farce ever written,” Tony Award nominated Noises Off follows an acting company’s struggles to prepare and perform a British sex comedy called “Nothing On.” Everything that can go wrong does, as actors desperately try to hang on to their lines, their performances and the furniture. September 28–29 & October 4–6, 7:30 pm September 30 & October 7, 3:00 pm

First-Year Students Show Video Shorts In Fall 2011, the VCUarts Art Foundation Program hosted its first 60×60×60 film festival. It consisted of 60 short video pieces made by first year Art Foundation Students. The Grace Street Theater was packed with an excited crowd of students, faculty and friends. Our guest judges, faculty from other VCUarts departments, chose 5 winners: Theresa Ramirez, Jessica Kusuma, Alvalia Pemberton, Michael Opecker and Perrin Turner. In the spring, those same Art Foundation students went on to represent VCUarts via an electronic billboard campaign (shown here). Also significant, Theresa Ramirez’s video was later shown, amongst VCUarts faculty, graduate students and alumni, at the New Waves exhibition in March at the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art. Pictured: feet and red hat of Hope Ginsburg, Assistant Professor, Art Foundation Program & Department of Painting + Printmaking; Matt King, Assistant Professor, Art Foundation Program & Department of Sculpture + Extended Media; Art Foundation students Dylan Halpern, Jennifer Walls, Theresa Ramirez, Jessica Kusuma, Alvalia Pemberton, Michael Opecker and Perrin Turner.

November/December 2012: Avenue Q, The Musical Music and Lyrics by Robert Lopez and Jeff Marx, Book by Jeff Whitty • Sasha Waters Freyer will join the Department of Photography and Film in January, 2013 as chair. She is a filmmaker, mother, teacher and amateur dressmaker. Her films have featured dominatrixes, coal miners, artists, children and activists – inhabitants of the margins of our mediated landscapes. Her work has screened widely, including on the Sundance Channel, the Tribeca, Woodstock and Ann Arbor Film Festivals, and the National Museum for Women in the Arts. Her award-winning 2003 documentary, Razing Appalachia, about a community fight against strip mining in Blair, WV, was broadcast on PBS and in more than 30 countries. We are happy to welcome David and Sasha to the VCUarts family.

Directed by Patti D’Beck Avenue Q is Broadway’s smash hit – winner of the 2004 Tony Awards for Best Musical. Featuring a cast of people and puppets who tell the story of adult life in NYC in a smart funny and downright raunchy way. November 9–10, 15–17 & November 29–Dec 1, 7:30 pm November 11, 18 & December 2, 3:00 pm February 2013: The Colored Museum Written by George C. Wolfe • Directed by Tawnya Pettiford-Wates The Colored Museum’s sharp wit takes aim at stereotypes, self-loathing and assimilation within the African-American community. Created as a vaudevillian mosaic of exhibits, each one fearlessly spans the history of African American experience and culture, while mocking stereotypes. Twenty-six years later, Wolfe’s funny and shocking themes still resonate with the hope that these are exhibits of the past, and not living moments or models for our future. February 15 & 16 & 21-23, 7:30 pm February 17 & 24, 3:00 pm April 2013: Sweeney Todd: The Play Written by Christopher Bond • Directed by Barry Bell

VCU Music sponsors and hosts over 200 concerts and events on campus and around Richmond each year. Keep up to date:

Dark, nightmarish and thrilling, Bond’s play, that Sondheim’s musical is based on, follows the barber Sweeney Todd as he plots his bloody revenge against the judge who betrayed and deported him on false charges. A tale of obsession, and a man driven to madness by injustice. April 4 & 6, 11–13 & 18–20, 7:30pm April 7, 14 & 21, 3:00 pm Dates subject to change.

Sculpture Alumna Receives Prestigious Dedalus Fellowship Alina Tenser, a recent MFA Sculpture graduate, was chosen as a 2012 recipient of the Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship. The Dedalus Foundation was founded by artist Robert Motherwell to foster the public understanding of modern art and modernism and each year awards two MFA Fellowships nationally, each with a stipend of $20,000. The Foundation awards only two fellowships annually, chosen by a committee of distinguished artists and critics. Congratulations to Alina on this impressive accomplishment. Left: wiff of black ice, Alina Tenser.

VCUarts Cinémathéque Independent 35 mm Art Films shown at the Grace Street Theatre on the following Tuesdays: SEPTEMBER 25 Silent Souls by Aleksei Fedorchenko OCTOBER 16 Punishment Park by Peter Watkins OCTOBER 23 Tropical Malady by Apichatpong Weerasethakul NOVEMBER 20 The Arc by Rob Tregenza NOVEMBER 27 Oslo, August 31 by Joachim Trier DECEMBER 4 Revanche by Götz Spielmann Free and open to the public on a first-come basis. Films begin at 7pm. 934 W. Grace Street Brought to you by VCUarts Cinema Program.

VCUarts Fashion Show Wows Again It was another sold-out show at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, for the highly anticipated VCU Department of Fashion Design and Merchandising's annual juried show. On May 6th, the show RAW floored the crowd as volunteer models paraded 128 garments from 61 fashion design students, exploring “the DNA of fashion” and “the raw materials and the elements of construction.” The garments were chosen in April by a panel of fashion designers, manufacturers, retailers and sponsors. The advanced show-production Fashion Merchandising class directed lighting, music, model selection, ticket sales and promotion. VCU fashion alumna Patricia Honeycutt-Cantor, who has Harper’s Bazaar magazine and Lacoste on her resume, returned as commentator.

Prints and Possibilities Fashion’s Kim Guthrie initiated an exceptionally beneficial collaboration for participating Fashion and Communication Arts students in spring semester. Faculty and students worked with the Diane von Furstenberg label to create an artistic and design incubator. Students worked in teams to design prints inspired by Alfred Hitchcock’s heroines, color palettes of wintry seascapes, imagery of Richard Serra’s drawings, and the energy of Keith Haring. This collaboration presented a working environment that crossed the line between high fashion and applied art – the very model that both industries are reliant upon.

The Art of Nursing Art Education graduate students and faculty worked with the School of Nursing to develop a program that explores the usefulness of art criticism – the ability to observe, interpret, and evaluate works of art – as a way to enhance nurses’ clinical reasoning and perceptual skills. The project, a VCU Presidential Research Incentive Program, led by Art Education Chair Sara Wilson-McKay and Jeanne M Walter from Nursing, focuses on enhancement of clinical reasoning skills to improve patient outcomes. Results suggest that students’ clinical reasoning skills benefit from the museum-based experience, particularly in the arenas of precise and thoughtful communication, consideration of diverse points of view, awareness of contextual details, and collaborative critical thinking, among others. Above: Art Ed students facilitate discussions among nursing students about art installations at the VMFA.

Tanner’s Portrait Graces Cover of American Artist VCUarts Painting and Printmaking alumni, David Tanner, paints representational oil paintings. His self-portrait won 1st prize in American Artist magazine’s annual competition, and is featured on the September 2012 cover of this respected publication. He says his piece was “created over the course of maybe 6 hours with no preparatory drawings and little regard to the outcome”.

The effect on the students was profound. “The project was invaluable to me in discovering how two different kinds of visual communications can blend with such success using teamwork,” said Al Lukehart, recent Communication Arts graduate. “I thought this project was one of the most successful of my time at VCU because being able to utilize another major’s skills in my designing opened up more possibilities and made the whole project more complete and professional,” remarked Anna Covington, Fashion student.


Re --- Thinking Richmond Design


Storefront VCUarts Graphic Design and Interior Design May 4 5 — 9 pm 205 East Broad


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Interdisciplinary Collaboration for Community Design










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MoB+Storefront operates on the belief that good design makes a healthier city where citizens participate more fully in their environment, their government and their culture. MoB is a partnership of three design departments of VCUarts, Graphic Design, Fashion Design and Interior Design and one department from the Wilder School of Government and Public Affairs, Urban and Regional Planning. These departments operate an experimental design lab that realizes the potential of design to shape the city. The Storefront for Community Design is Richmond’s non-profit design assistance center, improving the quality of design in the city by facilitating access to design and planning resources. MoB+Storefront is a partnership between MoB and The Storefront for Community Design that joins the energy, enthusiasm and expertise of VCU students and faculty with Storefront's community connections. Together they design the city from a bike rack to our neighborhoods, from Barton Heights, Carver and Church Hill to the River. Above: VCUarts faculty members Kristin Casky (Fashion Design + Merchandising), John Malinoski (Graphic Design) and Camden Whitehead (Interior Design) at the new location on Broad Street. Photo by Anne Graves. g des

Craft/Material Studies Department Hosts First Alumni Event More than sixty graduates attended Craft’s first reunion on May 5th. It was great seeing familiar faces and connecting with former students and faculty. Work of our current graduate students was exhibited at The Visual Arts Center of Richmond, and our newest department graduates had an exhibition at the Fine Arts Building Gallery. The graduate thesis exhibition was held at the VCUarts Anderson Gallery. Awards were given to the following alumni: Travis Townsend: Excellence in Studio Practice – Mid-Career Alumni Artist Award Katie Glusica: Excellence in Studio Practice – Emerging Alumni Artist Sayaka Suzuki: Dedication to the Field and Education at VCU Alumni Award Katie Hudnall: “Crazy Awesome Woodworker” Alumni Award (as nominated by alumni Travis Townsend)

Left: an event poster by John Malinoski.

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Art History PhD Candidate Shows Work in NY PhD student Samina Iqbal exhibited her work, Utensils, in Erasing Borders 2012: Exhibition of Contemporary Indian Art of the Diaspora at the Crossing Art Gallery in New York City. She was awarded funding from the School of the Arts to attend the opening reception of the show. In April, Samina presented her paper titled, Objects of Changing Notion: Adeela Suleman and Contemporary Sculpture in Pakistan at SASA. Above: Load Shedding, 2'x3', Acrylic on Canvas, 2008

Students Organize & Attend Exhibition at VMFA Art History graduate students and faculty attended the opening of the student organized exhibition of Making History: Twentieth Century African American Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Graduate Student Curators shown with Dean Joseph Seipel (center) and Art History Chair Michael Schreffler (left), include Andrea Alvarez, Grace Astrove, Kristie Couser, Elizabeth Fuqua and Meredith Hertel.

In other Fashion news, Department Chair Donna Reamy and Assistant Professor Deidra Arrington have co-authored the textbook, Fashionomics, published by Pearson Prentice Hall in August. The book’s illustrations are by fashion designer and our own adjunct faculty member, Hawa Stwodah. The textbook gives students a background on the economics of the fashion industry and how important textiles and apparel are to the global economy.

Congratulations to the 2012 VCUarts Faculty Award Recipients

Cotton Incorporated has once again offered a generous grant to VCU Fashion. The $50,000 grant will support field trips, student scholarships, reduce/eliminate cost of fashion show tickets for fashion students and support projects such as the Sophomore Maymont Park Tree Skirt project. VCUarts loves cotton!

FACULTY AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN RESEARCH Brian Ulrich Assistant Professor, Photography and Film

AWARD OF EXCELLENCE Aaron D. Anderson Associate Chair, Theatre AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN TEACHING Hope D. Ginsburg Assistant Professor, Art Foundation AWARD FOR DISTINGUISHED ACHIEVEMENT IN SERVICE Elissa C. Armstrong Director, Art Foundation

V C U a r t s C O N G R AT U L AT E S T H E 2 0 11 –2 0 12

UNDERGR ADUATE RESEARCH GR ANT WINNERS Each year, students submit their collaborative proposals and the most innovative are awarded with a grant to get their project off the ground. Selected proposals are featured here. Photos by Naoko Wowsugi.

The Leigh Street Armory Project — Uncovery and Revitalization

For the full list of recipients, as well as previous year’s projects, please visit

The Disney Effect: Modern Heroines in Children’s Media

Your Support Goes a Long Way With out-of-state tuition under $23,000 ($10,000 in state), VCUarts offers the best value when compared with other top art schools. Tuition at Yale and RISD is $40,000 with UCLA’s out-of-state tuition at $35,000, for example. VCU’s low tuition means your gift is essential.


Support from VCUarts donors helps fund opportunities for students including scholarships, visiting artist lectures, study abroad, and other priorities to strengthen teaching, research and service. Locally, The Pollak Society is a group of VCUarts patrons in the Richmond community who are granted insider access to VCUarts with unrestricted gifts of $1,000 and up. We welcome you to join The Pollak Society, or make a gift to VCUarts. Let's help ensure that we stay on top. Make checks payable to: Richmond’s Leigh Street Armory is one of only three such armories ever built in the U.S. for African Americans. The students will provide scholarly documentation outlining the historical importance of this building and the African American militias and document the style of armories and their important place in the architectural record. Dennis Williams, Art History; Robert Gibson, Communication Arts and Painting & Printmaking; Shawn Saharko, Communication Arts and Painting & Printmaking; Chris Raintree, Theatre; Cody Richardson, Theatre; Brittney Weiss, Interior Design; Isoke Ethel-Miller, Interior Design; Monina Ingle, Interior Design; Remi Jeffrey-Coker, Interior Design; Bayly Ogden, History; Corey Johnson, History; Joshua Blount, History

Award: $5,000 Faculty mentors: Dr. Charles Brownell and Roberto Ventura as well as five faculty and community consultants

This proposal will explore the ways in which popular children’s films by Walt Disney can affect children’s views on gender roles. The students will study popular Disney films to find patterns of visual and thematic elements that promote antifeminism and misogyny. Melody Milleker, Art Education; Grace Huddleston, Painting & Printmaking; Addison Martz, Sculpture + Extended Media; Hunter Brumfield, Photography & Film; Victoria Shampine, Psychology; Rachel Ludwig, Sculpture + Extended Media

VCUarts Attn: Julia Carr 325 N. Harrison St. Richmond, VA 23284 A video will be produced to showcase the world from the perspective of a child’s imagination. The story chronicles a duo of crime fighting scientists’ journey to develop a respectable privatized security agency—The Mythicops. The project is intended to test students’ skills in multi-media collaboration, practice and display their skills in animation and film direction/production.

Award: $4,900

Ryan Coleman, Cinema; Lauren Stutzriem, Kinetic Imaging; Graham Ohmer, Photography & Film; Mel Kobran, Photography & Film. Not pictured: Warren Jones, Painting & Printmaking

Faculty mentor: Dr. Melanie Buffington

Award: $2,500

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Tuition Comparison Among Top-Ranked Art Schools

Faculty mentor: Mary Beth Reed

Life of the Small RVA Parklet

Sew Educated: Keeping African Girls in School

This project focuses on the hygienic health risks of young Sudanese females entering puberty. The girls of Sudan describe this experience as frightening and research shows the acceleration of school drop-out rates. Meghan Hill, Fashion Design; Keli Eschenbach, Homeland Security; Sherkinna Hammond, Information Systems; Cirstain Myles, Nursing

Award: $3,000 Faculty mentor: Linda Lee

In the series “Secrets of The Small,” students will merge their knowledge of art and science. They will compose a series of videos and live installation projection performances through the use of a video microscope. This project will display microscopic life to a large audience, and will be entered into film festivals to stimulate dialogue between art and science. Rachael Glasgow, Kinetic Imaging; Rachel Walstead, Bioinformatics

After researching feasible sustainable trends around major U.S. cities, this team encountered an initiative that promotes wellness, sustainability, design, and interaction: temporary recreational areas known as Parklets. They seek to reclaim some unused swathes and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public plazas and parks.

Award: $2,900

Ricardo Hernandez-Perez, Interior Design; Lauren Versino, Sculpture + Extended Media

Faculty mentor: Robert Kaputof

Award: $5,000 Faculty mentor: Rab McClure


Yale University – School of Art



Rhode Island School of Design


#2 (tie)

School of the Art Institute of Chicago



Virginia Commonwealth University – School of the Arts


#4 (tie)

University of California, Los Angeles – Department of Art



California Institute of the Arts



Carnegie Mellon University – College of Fine Arts


#7 (tie)

Cranbrook Academy of Art

Graduate only

#7 (tie)

Maryland Institute College of Art



Columbia University – School of the Arts


Above chart compares out-of-state tuition. VCU tuition for Virginia residents is $9,517.

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VCUarts Studio 2012  
VCUarts Studio 2012  

VCUarts Studio