Sophomore in the Department of Photography & Film, Alex Kreher has returned from a very successful shoot in France. His girlfriend Zoë Romano set out to run the Tour de France on foot as the first person ever to do so. 11 Weeks later, she actually did it, and not just that, she also raised $168,105.00 for the local Non-Profit World Pediatric Project! Alex got great footage of her 2000 mile quest and he is starting to put together the documentary. The NBC Today Show did a piece about Zoe’s adventure and featured Alex’s visuals.
Nine VCUarts Fashion Design & Merchandising graduates, including one graduate from VCUQatar, are showing their Spring 2014 Collections designs at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week on Monday, September 9, 2013 at 7:30pm at Alger House (45 Downing Street, New York City). These recent graduates will have the opportunity to showcase their student work in a professional atmosphere during fashion week spring/summer 2014 in the capital of the world, New York City. The Department of Fashion Design & Merchandising has invited approximately 75-80 people to attend. The audience will be made up of advisory board members, alumni, CFDA members, Cotton Inc., fashion designers, human resource representatives, and media.
Morgan Meadows, a student in the Department of Theatre, prevailed amongst 1,000 other voices in Studio Center’s Next Great Voice Talent competition. She has won a $100,000 voice-over contract and her first job was a radio spot for Hooters restaurant. She told The Richmond Times-Dispatch, “I want to be the voice that represents these companies,” she said. A loftier goal, however, is to break into the world of animation — movies and television. For now, “I’m juggling all of these dreams that I have,” she said. “It’s completely surreal.”
Image: The Richmond Times-Dispatch
In 2013, the Guggenheim Memorial Foundation has awarded 173 Fellowships to artists, scholars and scientists in all fields.
Twelve VCU professors and alumni have received Guggenheim Fellowships since 2002, including past recipients Brian Ulrich, Assistant Professor in the Department of Photography & Film (2009); Elizabeth King, Professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media (2002); Teresita Fernandez (2003) and Bonnie Collura (2005), both alumni of the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media; Hilary Wilder, Assistant Professor in the Department of Painting + Printmaking (2006); Michael Jones McKean, Assistant Professor in the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media (2010); Corin Hewitt, Assistant Professor of Sculpture + Extended Media (2011); and Stephen Vitiello, Associate Professor in the Department of Kinetic Imaging (2011); Kathleen Graber, assistant professor of English (2012); and David Wojahn, professor of English (2003);.
This year, for the second time, VCUarts has received two Guggenheim grants. Congratulations to VCUarts faculty, Sonali Gulati and Siemon Allen for their 2013 Guggenheim Fellowships.
Associate Professor in Photography & Film, Sonali Gulati, received her Guggenheim Fellowship for her work in Film & Video. Her most recent film, “I Am,” has won 12 awards internationally and is still being shown. Gulati grew up in New Delhi, India, and her latest work explores what it’s like to come out as gay in her home country.
Visiting Assistant Professor in Sculpture + Extended Media, Siemon Allen, was awarded his Guggenheim Fellowship for his work in Fine Arts. Allen will spend a year archiving South African music, much of which he says has been destroyed or forgotten during decades of political instability. A native of South Africa, Allen focuses on the visual elements of what he refers to as audio artifacts, documenting record labels and album covers. He incorporates the visuals in large-scale installations.
Guggenheim Fellowships are grants to selected individuals made for a minimum of six months and a maximum of twelve months. Since the purpose of the Guggenheim Fellowship program is to help provide Fellows with blocks of time in which they can work with as much creative freedom as possible, grants are made freely. No special conditions attach to them, and Fellows may spend their grant funds in any manner they deem necessary to their work.
LABELS, Siemon Allen, 2009
installation, inkjet photo-prints, black plastic, map-pins, 25′ x 10′
from the exhibition “Imaging South Africa: Records | Newspapers | Stamps”
BANK Gallery, Durban, South Africa
VCUQatar’s project ‘Mechanically Strong Aerogels with Custom Shapes’, has been awarded an $881,000 National Priorities Research Program (NPRP) grant by the Qatar National Research Fund (QNRF). The three-year project aims to develop cost-effective up-scalable fabrication methodology yielding mechanically robust aerogels with custom shapes.
Aerogels are good thermal insulators because they almost nullify two of the three methods of heat transfer (convection, conduction, and radiation) since they are composed almost entirely of air, and air is very poor heat conductor. “So these aerogels can be used for thermal insulation and passive fire protection of structural elements in buildings, insulation of selected parts of internal combustion engines, and in the manufacture of lightweight footwear for extreme cold conditions like climbing expeditions,” says Dr. Khaled Saoud, assistant professor of physics, Liberal Arts & Sciences Department at VCUQatar, who co-leads the project. “Due to extreme temperatures in this country, developing new cost effective thermal insulation materials is vital for Qatar and also the Middle East. This project will lead to applications in many fields, immediate use of which in Qatar includes insulation of buildings and houses. Also new thermal insulation materials would reduce energy consumption and provide comfort and protection from fire.”
Dr. Saoud and Dr. Massimo Bertino, associate professor of physics, College of Humanities and Sciences, VCU Richmond, co-lead on the project, have been developing strong and highly thermal insulating materials using alternative fabrication methods. These have enabled production of mechanically strong custom parts which are made by reinforcing the regions of highest solicitation with a polymer. Recently, their group demonstrated that cross-linked aerogel composites can be produced by photopolymerization. These composites produced with their photopolymerization technique are ideal for applications since they allow to reinforce only the regions of aerogels that are most subject to mechanical stress.
“The ultimate goal of our research is to bring our photo-cross-linking technology to the market. To attain this goal we will research and develop low-cost approaches for the production of photo-cross-linkable aerogels with custom shapes. We will fabricate proof-of-the-concept parts and make the fabrication procedure simple, cost-effective and upscalable,” adds Dr. Bertino.