Virginia Commonwealth University

Craft / Material Studies

Exhibition |MFA Thesis 2nd round

The MFA 2nd round thesis exhibitions open Friday, May 1st
May 1 – May 17
Opening Reception: Friday, May 1 5pm – 8pm at the Anderson Gallery and the Depot Gallery, 814 W Broad St.




The MFA candidates in the VCUarts department of Craft/Material Studies are proud to present:


April 24 – May 2

Opening Reception: Friday, April 24 5pm – 8pm
2601 Maury St | richmond | va 23224

cms cand show 5x7
Victoria Ahmadizadeh | Morgan Babic | Alicia Dietz | Carli Holcomb | Ben Jordan | Emily McBride | Kathleen O’Connor | Timothy Woodbrey | Zena Zakanycz | Jeremy Zietz



Exhibition | 2015 Senior Show

The VCUarts departments of Craft/Material Studies, Kinetic Imaging, Painting & Printmaking, and Sculpture + Extended Media presents  – VCU Arts Senior Show
Craft/Material Studies, Kinetic Imaging, Sculpture + Extended, and Painting & Printmaking:
Opens April 17 at 5:00 pm and runs through April 19
Opening Reception: Friday, April 17 from 5 – 8PM
sr show2015
Virginia Commonwealth University
Fine Arts Building
1000 W. Broad St.
Richmond, VA 23284
Opens April 17 at 5:00 pm and runs through April 19
VCU’s departments of Craft/Material Studies, Kinetic Imaging, Painting & Printmaking, and Sculpture + Extended Media open their annual Senior Show this year on April 17th, showcasing the very best of 2015 graduates. The Senior Show is a varied sampling of the latest in fine art and an inspiring event not to be missed.



Exhibition | Topographies; Whole Cloth Quilts & Selections from the Quilt a Week Project

Topographies; Whole Cloth Quilts & Selections from the Quilt a Week Project


Julia E. Pfaff

April 7- April 13, 2015

Opening reception: Wednesday, April 8, 5pm – 7pm

Contrast XIV-sm

image: Contrast XIV, 2013    H:62.5 x w:33.75   Photo credit: Taylor Dabney                    

BIO | With an undergraduate degree in art history and a MFA, Julia has been quilting her entire life and has successfully turned a family tradition into a contemporary art form. She is an educator and studio artist and teaches at both the community and college level. Her quilts have been exhibited extensively and can be found in numerous national collections and publications.


Exhibition | Scatter/Structure

April 3, 2015 — April 18, 2015
Opening reception: April 3, 6 – 9 PM
Sediment Gallery, 208 Grace Street, Richmond, VA

Screen Shot 2015-04-01 at 11.16.47 AM

Scatter/Structure is an exhibition of works by VCU’s Crafts/Material Studies Fountainhead Fellows Sarah Nance and Heather McCalla. 

Considerations of perception, interconnectedness and ephemerality are central to Nance’s work. Sarah’s installations and spatial drawings challenge the notion of fixed states of being, investigating the shifts between presence and non-presence. Often she uses light-responsive materials whose properties are only fully revealed when viewers experience the work through extended time and physical exploration. Heather McCalla’s current body of work explores the complex feelings and relationships associated with home and family. By utilizing recognizable domestic objects, as well as architectural forms and materials, McCalla attempts to exploit the connection to the human body that is inherent in these systems.

Join the artists for the opening reception on Friday, April 3rd from 6pm-9pm.

Scatter/Structure runs through April 18th.

Sediment Gallery hours Friday and Saturday from 1-7pm or by appointment.

Call 804-819-1759 or email for more information.

Scatter/Structure has been funded in part by VCUArts and the Crafts/Material Studies Department at VCU.

Sarah Nance is an American artist working in installation, drawing and sculpture. Light occupies a central role in her work, as it is intimately related to considerations of perception, interconnectedness and ephemerality. In 2014, Nance presented at Third Culture Conversations, a conference bringing together artists and scientists whose research spans the crossover between the two investigative fields. She has also participated in artist residencies in Reykjavík and Skagaströnd, Iceland. Nance completed her MFA at the University of Oregon and is currently a Fountainhead Fellow in Craft & Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been shown nationally and internationally, including exhibitions at Disjecta and The White Box in Portland, OR; Loft 594 in Brooklyn, NY; FrontierSpace in Missoula, MT and SÍM Gallery in Reykjavík, Iceland; with an upcoming show at TRUCK Gallery in Calgary, AB.

Heather McCalla is originally from San Diego, California, where she studied furniture design and woodworking while attending San Diego State University. She obtained her BA in Applied Design in 2006, and worked as a finish carpenter and independent designer for three years before moving to Wisconsin in 2010. McCalla received her MFA from the University of Wisconsin – Madison in 2013, where she subsequently lectured in the furniture design and woodworking department before moving to Richmond. She is currently a Fountainhead Fellow in the Department of Craft an Material Studies at Virginia Commonwealth University.


Visiting Artists |Hlengiwe Dube

Tuesday, March 17 @ 2:30pm

1000 W. Broad Street | RM 239


image from:
BIO | Hlengi was only 12 when she first cemented her love affair with art and the world-renowned African Art Centre in Durban. Hlengi has changed the lives of many black people who would otherwise languish in poverty with artistic talents wasted without expecting any returns. She is an artist who specializes in beadwork and telephone wire baskets and a field worker who travels up hill and down dale, visiting rural and urban artists in Kwa-Zulu Natal travelling by buses or taxes in the good and the bad weather, to fulfil her dream to make sure that all the artist are getting help. She does training on beadwork and telephone wire baskets to local artist and to the disadvantage people in the rural areas.
As a girl, she visited the African Art Centre to sell her mother’s and her grandmother’s craftwork, as her mother needed the money to take care of her ten children. She was only 12 when she first made a beaded love letter and sold it to the African Art Centre, this remains part of the African Art Centre’s collection housed at the Kellie Campbell museum. The love letter was so beautiful and she was so proud of it that she did not want to part with it, but she had to replace her grandmother’s beads that she had used to make the necklace.
Now Hlengi’s life revolves around the artists and crafters from rural and urban areas. She loves her work because it gives her an opportunity to help people understand that as long as they have two functional hands, they can never starve. Hlengi was always encouraged to use her hands profitably. She was motivated by the two most important woman in her life – her late mother Nesta and grandmother MaMbeki Dube who used beans and seeds to make beads.
She also likes what she does because it contributes to the preservation of African cultures, customs and traditions and it also to make you understand more about ubuntu. For the past two decade she has been organizing the amagugu exhibition of traditional artefacts, where she will invite the museums and public gallery to select for their collection to make sure that our treasures stays in the country. She will do research and document the information behind the item to make sure is well presented to the public. She works closely with the museum as well as public galleried to make sure that they have the relevant information for their collection.
Hlengi is an author of the Zulu beadwork –talk with beads where she tells history of beads and messages behind the beadwork. She has been involved in many development projects locally and internationally, passing her skills in beadwork and also in telephone wire weaving. Each time she passes her skill she always adds the traditional technique and designs so that it’s remain unique.
Hlengiwe`s work is very organic. She always been highly aware of the world around her and lately she’s been focusing on the natural environment. She examines leaves, ferns, vines, flowers and seeds very closely. She collects material all the time and comes home from long walk with pockets bulging with specimens. She then experiments with ways to translate the forms into beadwork or designs telephone wire work with plant motifs.
Dube has worked closely with well-known artist Andrew Verster to design bespoke items that caused a clamour of excitement among art fundis. Hlengiwe was given the women of the year 2000 award under art and culture (sponsored by SABC 3 and Shoprite checkers) for the contribution to promoting African art and craft in KwaZulu-Natal. Hlengi is a founder of IFUNDISO TRADING specializes on designing, training, promoting art and craft from South Africa and works directly with the crafters. Ifundiso gives all people a working opportunity to earn a living




Visiting Artists | Joyce Scott

Tuesday, February 24 @ 2:30pm

Lecture | Up to my old tricks, the Visual and Performance Art of Joyce J. Scott.

609 Bowe Street, RM 535


Image: from Style Curated. The animated Joyce T. Scott pauses to pose for an impromptu portrait; Her handmade necklace pays homage to Venice


BIO | Born in Baltimore, 1948, Joyce J. Scott is arguably the most significant and influential living female artist working in Baltimore. Sculptor, printmaker, installation artist, performer, quilter, storyteller, and educator, Joyce Scott draws from influences as wide ranging as her media: from African and Native American experiences to art history, television, popular American culture, religious traditions, politics, and contemporary urban street customs.

Renowned for her meticulous craftsmanship and biting social commentary relating to issues of racism, violence, sexism, morality, stereotypes, and other forms of social injustice, Scott’s catalytic power for change is supported by her keen application of humor. For more than four decades, this multifaceted and provocative artist has created complex objects of exceptional skill, beauty, and sophistication that double as a social mirror.

The daughter of acclaimed fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott, Joyce’s education in object making began at a remarkably young age. Scott received her Bachelors degree from the Maryland Institute College of Art, and her Masters degree from the Institute Allende in Mexico– with further study at Rochester Institute of Technology and Haystack Mountain School of Crafts.

Ms. Scott has exhibited, performed, and lectured across the country and abroad. During the year 2000, Joyce was featured in a major 30 year retrospective at The Baltimore Museum of Art titled Joyce J. Scott: Kickin’ It with the Old Masters. Following the exhibition’s close, Exhibits USA adapted the show into a nine year traveling exhibition under the title Kickin’ It with Joyce J. Scott. The artist is included in most major public collections: the Baltimore Museum of Art, Brooklyn Museum of Art, Corning Museum of Glass, Metropolitan Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Art, Mobile Museum of Art, Museum of Glass in Washington, Museum of Art and Design in NY, Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, National Museum of American Art, Smithsonian Institution in D.C., and the Philadelphia Museum of Art. She has recorded original music and has performed extensively, including theatrical pieces with Robert Sherman during the 1970’s, the Thunder Thigh Revue of the1980’s, Lorrainne Whittlesey and the notorious Ebony & Irony routine, and her one-woman, 20-year running performance titled Walk a Mile in My Drawers.

Additionally, Scott has been the recipient of myriad commissions, grants, residencies, and prestigious honors from institutions such as the National Endowment for the Arts, the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Anonymous Was a Woman, and the American Craft Council. In 1996, Scott was nominated for a National Living Treasure Award, and in 2010, she will be presented with a lifetime achievement award from the Women’s Caucus for the Arts.




Visiting Artist Contemporary Historian | Jenni Sorkin

Monday, February 23 @ 2:30pm

609 Bowe Street, RM 535


Sorkin.ACLS photo
BIO | Jenni Sorkin is assistant professor of contemporary art history at University of California, Santa Barbara. She writes on the intersection between gender, artistic labor and material culture. She holds a PhD in the History of Art from Yale University and has received fellowships from the ACLS, Luce Foundation, and Getty Research Institute. Her book, Live Form: Women, Ceramics and Community, examines post-war ceramics at Black Mountain College. It will be published by The University of Chicago Press in 2016.




Gallery Talk| Andrea Donnelly

February 5th at 6pm

at the Quirk Gallery


Andrea’s current exhibit, “The Garden, The Library, and The Labryinth” continues through February 28 at Quirk Gallery. In addition to the beautiful works on display, Andrea will be bringing a selection of the handwoven scarves she makes for her line, Little Fool Textiles. These one-of-a-kind scarves are works of art in and of themselves and they come in all shapes, sizes, and colors designed to suit anyone’s personal style preferences.

Andrea will give an artist talk beginning at 6:30 pm on February 5th and will explain a bit about the unique and intricate process she’s developed to execute these delicate and beautiful pieces. She will also discuss the work’s content and meaning and will answer any questions one might have about the pieces in the exhibit.