Funding of $35,000 for Undergraduate Research Grants began nine years ago with the purpose of encouraging curiosity, creativity, risk-taking and scholarly investigation into a project or subject of interest relevant to the student’s major. We interested in your research and creative work that is: 1) interdisciplinary 2) involves student collaboration and 3) draws on the expertise of a faculty mentor is preferred.
For more information on VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grants, please contact Nancy Scott at email@example.com.
Congratulations to the undergraduate students and their faculty mentors whose creative ideas have been selected to be funded in 2015. Approximately $25,000 will be awarded to these six student projects plus a research stipend to the faculty mentors.
This team, involving fine arts and engineering students, will be engaging the community through a series of performances using a portable rope-making mechanism modeled after 17th century Ropewalks which are long, narrow paths where ropes are manufactured. Members will be performing at specific locations where a volunteer will activate the mechanism to produce rope. The goal being that rope is a group of strands twisted together to create a stronger form, similar to individuals in a community coming together to create a more supportive environment. The expected outcome will be a small publication chronicling the volunteers’ experience with the Ropewalk, a website, and an exhibition at a local gallery.
Michael Amato, Craft/Material Studies
Skyler Thompson, Sculpture + Extended Media
Gavin Foster, Painting & Printmaking
Susan Iverson, Professor, Craft/Material Studies
This team will send a werkblad (a fillable form) and handmade object (that resemble office supplies suggesting graphing, recording, measuring, or making a space) to participating studios. A werkblad will prompt the object’s use. Studios will respond and return the werkbland which will be incorporated into handmade books. This process requires that bookmaking and content creation will occur simultaneously. A variety of printmaking methods will be combined. The planned outcome is a curated exhibition of the archived documents and a book release that will be submitted to Printed Matter, a leading non-profit source for artist’s books distribution.
Anna Shcherbakova, Graphic Design, minor in Media Studies
Gavin Foster, Painting & Printmaking
John Malinoski, Associate Professor, Graphic Design
Peter Baldes, Associate Professor, Painting & Printmaking
Interactive Children’s Concept Book
This team will develop a children’s concept book that incorporates technology to enhance a beginning reader’s learning experience. While iPad applications exist for children to learn the alphabet and expand their vocabulary, this book is intended to move away from digital technology to offer meaningful interactions beyond the tap of a screen. Through research of the language and visuals of traditional concept books as well as paper generators, conductive ink, and simple circuitry, a book will be created that delivers tactile and auditory feedback to better assist wit reading development. The book’s construction will be a tool for the introduction of basic circuitry.
Emma Scarvey, Communication Arts
Anthony Martin, Interdisciplinary Studies
Chris Buettner, Engineering
Sarah Benson, Art Education
Allie Ayers, Art Education
Matthew Woolman, Associate Professor and Executive Director of Entreprenurship
Architecture — Fashion Design
In an attempt to further understand the elements and fundamentals of architecture when applied to fashion design, a student from Interior Design will help a student from Fashion Design understand the core fundamentals such as proportion, scale, rhythm, circulation, and the process behind concept models and sketches. They will then venture to the world of fabric where the knowledge of clothing construction and 3-D modeling is applied to create garments using the basics of architecture and design. The planned outcome is a wearable art collection that will be presented at a local gallery.
Manon Loustaunau, Fashion Design
Miriam Weirich, Interior Design
Kristin Caskey, Associate Professor, Fashion Design and Merchandising
Satirical performance of Seven Brides for Seven Brothers
This team will produce and perform a satirized version of popular musical Seven Brides for Seven Brothers, using comedy to mock and put a modern perspective on the gender insensitivities in the play as a way to explore societal norms at the beginning of the 20thcentury. They will publish the adapted script online and make it available to secondary schools.
Connor Scully, Theatre
Elliott Duffy, Theatre
Dixon Cashwell, Theatre
Mahlon Raoufi, Theatre
Jared Peyton, Music
John Quarstein, Gender Studies, English, Creative Advertising
Paul Valley, Theatre
The Urban Forest
Attempting to solve the problem of trees in cities, with roots that break sidewalks and cause property damage by falling limbs and branches during a storm, this project is inspired by Natalie Jeremijenko’s 1999 work “Tree Logic.” The team proposes to design a system to grow trees upside down on a platform elevated above human height that will blend seamlessly with the urban environment. Three unique designs will be constructed that will illustrate the phototropic effects of the plants and create a way to move freely throughout the canopy of a city that is fully intertwined with nature.
Dylan Halpern, Graphic Design
Sarah Poole, Biomedical Engineering
Susan Singh, Mechanical Engineering
Elliott Roth, Biomedical Engineering
Camden Whitehead, Associate Professor, Interior Design
This project combines the disciplines of music and psychology by studying mindfulness, an enhanced awareness to a present experience that has been found to increase information retention. Using an experimental group and a control group, a study will test undergraduate music students with woodwinds as their primary instrument to determine whether enhanced mindfulness leads to more effective music practice sessions. If their paper is accepted, the expenses include travel to present findings to a music education conference.
Julia Lougheed, Music Performance
Harrison Holland, Psychology
Kayla Hanvey, Music Performance
Macon Mann, Jazz Studies
Antonio Garcia, Professor, Music
Kirk Warren Brown, Associate Professor, Psychology
Over the years, skateboarding has replaced hardwood flooring as the leading cause of maple deforestation throughout northern Canada mainly due to the dominant large scale manufacturing approach of making boards. This team will address the problem by handcrafting a board with less impact on the environment while maintaining the quality of mass produced boards. The members will learn the necessary methods of compound wood bending, lamination and screen printing graphics onto carved surfaces.
David Sparace, Painting & Printmaking
Samuel Jason Adkins, Graphic Design
Noah Congedo, Painting & Printmaking
Samuel Morgan, Sculpture
Matthew Spahr, Art Foundation Program
Postmodernism for Kids for Adults
A transdisciplinary art book will be produced that makes the abstract concepts of postmodern/contemporary art relatable and engaging to a wide audience. The book is intended to be an artfully rendered presentation of the various modes of contemporary art as well as making the abstract concepts of postmodernism more understandable. The project is open-ended and subject to change as artistic discovery occurs.
Nicholas Seitz, Department of Photography & Film
John Sampson, Graphic Design
Brennen Perry, Painting and Printmaking
James Justin Reed, Assistant Professor, Photography & Film
Andrea Alvarez, doctoral student, Art History
Small Living Space
The shell of a short bus will serve as a social laboratory for creative and sustainable housing. This small living space will serve as a template for minimalistic, simplified living. Through problem-solving, the bus interior will be transformed using skills that require welding, woodworking, ceramics, interior design and architecture. It will be exhibited next to the Depot annex in May 2015.
Lacey Leonard, Sculpture
Tyler Dalton, Sculpture
Emma Hadley, Kinetic Imaging
Andrew Franklin, Sculpture
Eric Stepp, Adjunct Faculty, Sculpture + Extended Media
Afghanistan’s Rubab – The Lion of Instruments
This project is intended to preserve and expose Afghan Classical Music by creating a smartphone application of Afghanistan’s national instrument, the Rubab. With four main strings tuned in fourths, three drone stings, and a dozen or so sympathetic strings, the Rubab is a lute-like instrument that dates back to the 6th Century CE and is called ” the lion of instruments” by Afghans. This project is a step towards encouraging growth of a culture which has terribly regressed due to decades of war. Students from Music and Computer Science will collaborate to create a smartphone application which will include the history of music, guides on traditional musical styles, and play-along percussion for improvisations.
Sulaiman Popal, Music
Matthew Hill, Computer Science
Antonio Garcia, Music
Dr. Anton Brinkwirth, World Studies
Richmond Auf Deutsch
Through both visual and historical research, and will reveal the Germanic roots of Richmond to the broader community. Curating a Photographic exhibition and producing a short publication, the team hopes to further the public’s awareness of Richmond’s German-American cultural history as it translates into contemporary architecture, religion, and tradition.
Inga Schunn, Photography & Film
Bethany Gingrich, Craft/Material Studies with a minor in Art History
Dr. Charles Brownell and other community experts
musicspace.edu: Education re-form through space and creativity
This project will study the effects of the current educational environments on the creative individual. Through research, the team will provide an educational environment that is stimulating and accommodating to the current generation of students. The space will strengthen the music community and foster collaboration between students, while encouraging the learning process and allowing students to be more explorative in their creative endeavors.
Chanel Hurt, Music
Anthony Martin, Interior Design
Christina Merritt, Psychology
Susanna Klein, Music
Chris Arias, Interior Design
Richmond’s Arts & Culture District: Documentary & Community Forums
Students will Investigate successful examples of cities that have transformed their artistic communities. They intend to create a documentary about the changing face of the Richmond arts and culture district in order to connect the district’s vibrant past with current efforts in the area promoting diversity within the arts. Team members will investigate the desires and needs of community members and seek inspiration from these successful case studies to envision the district’s future. An environment for introspection and engagement, in the form of several student guided forums with community members, will develop the district’s story and provide the framework of the film. Students will conclude the forums with a screening and community discussion of the documentary and follow with submissions to local as well as national and international film festivals.
Lauren Cronan, Photography & Film
Gabby Namm, Film
David Reisinger, Film
Kim McNamee, Film
JiYoon Cha, Graphic Design
Beverly Ware, Mass Communications
Rebecca Begans, Anthropology
Charles Wilson, Urban Planning
Natalie Moles, Urban Planning
Sasha Freyer, Photography & Film
community mentor Ryan Rinn, Director of Storefront for Community Design
Science of Filmmaking
This project will explore the organic nature of photochemical film and the various aesthetic qualities achieved through different processes of filmmaking. The aim is to show young filmmakers the creative potential of photochemical film as a physical medium and the specific, scientific reasons behind the filmmaking process. Three of the students from film and chemistry will join forces to attend the Handmade Filmaking Camp in Colorado where they will work and study under the guidance of independent filmmaker and educator Robert Schaller. With the help of students in painting/printmaking and art education the team will design an art exhibit to present the research to the Richmond community.
Cody Huff, Film
Alexander Kreher, Film
Aaron Wilson, Chemistry and Biology
Christopher Lewis, Painting and Printmaking
Samantha Correa-, Art Education and Photography
Dana Ollestad, Photography & Film
Students from Art Education, Graphic Design, Fashion Design, Advertising and Marketing work together with middle schools in the Richmond community to teach what it means to have a visual arts related career. Middle school students will enroll in a month long workshop series held on Saturdays at VCUarts, MoB+Storefront. Alongside faculty and students of VCU, the middle school children will learn new art making techniques, marketing and advertising techniques, and organizational skills implemented in the curating of a gallery. The team of VCU students will use skills from their respective departments to create lesson plans based around each of these ideas and lead the youth of the community to create, advertise and curate an entire art exhibition of their own.
Shannon Brady, Art Education
Jane Taylor, Creative Advertising
Ally Palmer, Creative Advertising
Leah Schmidt, Graphic Design
Kristin Caskey, Fashion Design
This project will explore the properties of aerogel, the lightest, lowest density solid and similar in structure to glass, through its application in a sound piece/installation. Students in Sculpture and Physics will collaborate with faculty to create and mold aerogel capable of withstanding pressure and use. The project will involve developing a means for increasing the longevity and stability of aerogels for use in sculptural and other applications. The resulting aerogel will be used to make mechanical parts and sculptures for use in an installation.
Ginger Kitchen, Sculpture + Extended Media (Team Lead)
Robert Williams, Physics
Jesse Burrowes, Adjunct Faculty, Sculpture + Extended Media
Dr. Massimo Bertino, Physics
Carlton Newton, Chair, Sculpture + Extended Media
In order to meet the challenge of making medical science easier for students and professionals to grasp, a team of students from Communication Arts, Kinetic Imaging, and Medicine will develop an informational video clip exploring a complex medical topic—the multiple pathways of lipids in the human body. The team hopes to use the video to show the ways in which different disciplines can work together to make learning more accessible through use of animated technology.
William Hernandez, Communication Arts (Team Lead)
Mary Anne Matel, Kinetic Imaging
Deborah Me, Medical Student
Maya Sosa, Communication Arts
Carlos Valdes, Kinetic Imaging
Laura Zalles, Medical Student
Dr. Alan Dow, Assistant VP, Interprofessional Education and Care, School of Medicine
Matt Wallin, Assistant Professor, Communication Arts
Dr. Chris Woleben, Associate Dean of Student Affairs, School of Medicine
A Painting and Printmaking student, himself a veteran, will work with a group of veterans to create a collaborative installation that addresses the suppression of emotions related to wartime service. The project will involve conducting a series of interviews in which veterans will unpack their thoughts and feelings concerning their experience of war. Words drawn from these interviews will then be stamped on dog tags that will be hung in a manner that references military campaigns, troop movements, and other features of war. The project aims to explore ways of coping with wartime experience as well as helping families, friends, and the community to support and understand the experience of veterans.
Joe Olney, Painting and Printmaking (Team Lead)
Ben Sims, VCU alumnus
Veterans, Hunter Holmes McGuire Veterans Affairs Medical Center
Reni Gower, Professor, Painting and Printmaking
People’s Library will incorporate interactive sculpture, community created ethnographies, and social practice methods to create a library designed, built, and authored by community members. The project transforms discarded books into blank canvasses for oral histories, self-representation, and intimate reflection. The project team will collaborate with youth programs at the Main Branch of Richmond Public Library to offer public workshops in which repurposed blank books will be created along with an interactive sculpture that will house them. The public will then be able to check out and author their “micro-memoirs” within these books, which will become part of a permanent collection of the Main Branch Library.
Courtney Bowles, Anthropology and Environmental Studies
Riley Duncan, Sculpture + Extended Media
Mark Strandquist, Photography and Sociology (Team Lead)
Hope Ginsburg, Assistant Professor, Art Foundation
A Psychophysiological Model for the Assessment of Chronic Muscle Tension in Trumpet Players
The project seeks to develop a psychophysiological model to assess muscle tension in students who play brass instruments. Common among musicians who play brass instruments intensely for long periods of time, chronic muscular conditions of the neck, facial, and upper back muscles restrict how well players can perform, To facilitate effective performance, students from Music, Biology, and Biomedical Engineering will use surface electromyography and the Mental Health Inventory to determine the causes of, and potential preventive measures for, chronic muscle tension in instrumentalists.
Sahil Aggarwal, Biology
Erin Hobson, Biology
Jeeyun Park, Biomedical Engineering
Hannah Rumsey, Music Performance (Team Lead)
Dr. Ross Walter, Associate Professor, Music
“This Makes Sense”
“This Makes Sense” investigates translating sensory perception using technology in novel ways. The project team will transform a gallery space into a sensory translating device, presenting data from several outdoor locations throughout Richmond during different seasons and hours. Three different installations will translate sight to sound, sound to sight, and sound to touch. Sculpture and Engineering students will collaborate on developing the data-collection devices and using the data to create a multisensory exhibition in a gallery setting, while Cinema students will create a documentary that examines the process of undertaking this interdisciplinary collaboration.
Michael Flynn, Electrical Engineering
Marcus Massok, Mechanical Engineering
Dillon Meyer, Cinema
Laura Pretzman, Chemical Engineering/Chemical Science
Taylor Robinson, Cinema
Elliot Roth, Biomedical Engineering/Chemical Engineering
Perrin Turner, Sculpture + Extended Media
Jihyung Yoon, Sculpture + Extended Media (Team Lead)
Michael Jones McKean, Associate Professor, Sculpture and Extended Media
Wood Steamer for VCUarts Wood Shop
Students from Sculpture and Mechanical Engineering will construct a wood steamer to explore the possibilities of wood bending. Students will research how wood bends, including the aesthetic effect produced by different types of curved wood. Construction of the steamer requires engineering skills, pushing the traditional design of a steamer to make it functional for a wide variety of wood types and sizes. This project unites the scientific with the creative, fostering interdisciplinary activity by creating the tool that allows for the study of these sculptural elements.
Casey Burkett, Sculpture + Extended Media (Team Lead)
Matthew Burnette, Mechanical Engineering
Chuck Meas, Mechanical Engineering
Jose Ocampo, Mechanical Engineering
Mary Eisendrath, Assistant Professor and Administrative Director, Sculpture + Extended Media
The Leigh Street Armory Project — Uncovery and Revitalization
Located at the corner of St. Peter and Leigh Streets, the Leigh Street Armory is one of only three such armories ever built in the U.S. for African Americans. Erected in 1895, it was an emblem of African American independence and community. 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. They will also conduct interviews of community members and local historians and formulate a design packet illustrating the potential use of the structure as an African American military museum and community art center/garden. A community forum will present a proposal for reuse of the building, a documentary of its history, and a theatrical production.
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
Ravi Sattuluri, Photography
Faculty mentors: Dr, Charles Brownell and Roberto Ventura as well as five faculty and community consultants
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. The students plan to design and sew reusable sanitary pads for young women in two communities in Sudan, in hopes that girls might participate more easily in school. In collaboration with a relief team from St. James Episcopal Church, the students have arranged for a six month supply of pads to be transported to a Sudanese school and clinic in March 2012. The students intend to make a training DVD and seek donations for sewing machines so that the sewing processes can be learned and adapted in the community.
Meghan Hill, Fashion Design
Keli Eschenbach, Homeland Security
Sherkinna Hammond, Information Systems
Cirstain Myles, Nursing
Faculty mentor: Linda Lee
The Disney Effect: Modern Heroines in Children’s Media
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. The students will then use their findings to create a short stop-animated film in which these patterns are reversed to promote gender equality and respect for women. The students will also write a short article detailing the findings of the project as well as ways in which parents and educators can initiate thoughtful dialogue with children about the visual culture they are bombarded with on a daily basis. Through this project, the students hope that the public will be enlightened to what children are being exposed to, encourage filmmakers and artists to promote a healthier visual culture for children, and assist educators in further exploring the ways children interact with the images they see.
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
Faculty mentor: Dr. Melanie Buffington
Life of the Small
In the series “Secrets of The Small”, students in Kinetic Imaging and Bioinformatics will collaborate their knowledge of art and science, to merge them into one. 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
Faculty mentor: Robert Kaputof
Art in Translation
A student in Painting and Printmaking will collaborate with a recent Interior Design graduate from VCU in Qatar. Together they will explore the translation of two-dimensional painting into three-dimensional interior design elements; reinterpreting traditional art forms using advanced machinery. The mediums of wood, plexiglas, vinyl and fabric will be manufactured based on the paintings produced to take on forms of furniture, wall installations and lighting.
Lili Un, Painting & Printmaking
Rana Rwaished, Interior Design (graduated VCUQ 2011)
Thomas Rhys Himsworth (VCUQ Director- Painting & Printmaking) and Sally Bowring (Adjunct Faculty- Painting & Printmaking)
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 catch is that they specialize in the apprehension of imaginary creatures/beings. The Mythicops have developed a new school of science which hypothesizes that imaginary beings can eventually manifest themselves on an invisible plane of existence that overlaps with the material world. In order to make this technology work, they must enlist the help of an extremely powerful imagination which they find in a young boy. The project is intended to test students’ skills in multi-media collaboration, practice and display their skills in animation and film direction/production.
Ryan Coleman, Cinema
Lauren Stutzriem, Kinetic Imaging
Graham Ohmer, Photo & Film
Mel Kobran, Photo & Film
Warren Jones, Painting & Printmaking
Faculty mentor: Mary Beth Reed
Teachers Dialogue Project
In order to encourage tolerance and cultural discovery, the Teachers Dialog Project will show current students, with an interest in multicultural education and the arts, how to teach and brainstorm with educators in another culture. This project will lead to a better understanding of how art is interpreted in a different cultural setting. Each teaching group is comprised of a Guatemalan teacher, a local Richmond teacher, and a student researcher. The teaching groups will create five culturally rich lessons that can be practiced in both Guatemala and in Richmond. Many of these lessons will involve exchange that will use creative and artistic steps in order to break the cultural and language boundaries between teachers.
Virginia Driggers, Art Education
Alicia Hagy, Art History
Emily Herr, Communication Arts
Cynthia Johns, Art Education
Catherine Chop, Elementary Education
Faculty mentor: Jan Johnston
Pulse: Checking the Vitals of VCUarts
Pulse will be both an online and biennially printed publication that critically examines current events within the VCUarts community. The online and print design of Pulse will be informed by George Maciunas’ Fluxus publications and VCU’s Blackbird literary journal. Utilizing resources such as Esterknows.com, the publication will include reviews of VCUarts exhibitions and performances, visiting artist lectures, and exemplary work shown in the context of the studio and classroom—alongside other content that inspires analytical and multifaceted discussion. All content will be solicited across the departments of VCU’s School of the Arts, with a student-led editorial staff and submissions accepted from both students and faculty. Through the increased visibility of relevant topics and discussions, Pulse will encourage reflection, foster critical thinking, and stimulate new collaborations and communication among peers.
Kelley Lowe, Painting & Printmaking
Ha Tran, Sculpture + Extended Media
Faculty mentor: Reni Gower
After researching feasible sustainable trends around the major cities in the U.S., this student team encountered an initiative that promotes wellness, sustainability, design, and interaction: temporary recreational areas known as Parklets. Considering that many streets are excessively wide and contain large zones of wasted space, especially at intersections, Parklets have become the solution to this problem. They seek to reclaim some unused swathes and quickly and inexpensively turn them into new public plazas and parks. By taking over two parking spots to create this space, the intent is to encourage people to exercise, have somewhere to sit and relax and enjoy the city around them, especially where narrow sidewalks would otherwise preclude such activities. This project also explores different methods of building and construction while taking into consideration limitations posed by real-world situations.
Ricardo Hernandez-Perez, Interior Design
Lauren Versino, Sculpture + Extended Media
Faculty mentor: Rab McClure
Does Your Life Revolve Around Food Too? A Nutrition Rendition
The obesity epidemic sweeping the nation requires us to make a healthy impression on younger generations. This student group will create a 3D animated short that explores modern day nutrition habits prevalent in society. Working in the 3D program, MAYA, they will create cartoon renditions that will be a challenge in their development as animators. The final production will consist of animated food characters that interact with each other in their environment, which is a refrigerator. Local families will be invited to view with the intent to learn more about nutrition in a fun and exciting manner.
Jennifer Gilray, Kinetic Imaging
Mariah Ashenden, Kinetic Imaging and Business minor
Jasmine Sanders, Physical Education, Health, and Exercise Sciences
Faculty mentor: Robert Kaputof
Sound + Silk
This project will produce a series of textiles that convert a piece of music, Olivier Messiaen’s Quatour pour la fin du temps (Quartet for the End of Time), into pieces of fabric so that the relationship between the two can be seen and heard. Olivier Messiaen perceived colors when he heard music and these colors were important in his own compositional process. The translation of the music will be accomplished through a color rule system devised with special attention to the instruments being played and the instances of loud and soft tones, the length of notes, chord structure, and the rhythm. The music scores will be dissected so parts can be assigned value, line density, and pattern. Ten large textiles pieces will be woven and exist as interpretations of Messiaen’s Quartet for the End of Time as a whole and its divided components. Together, they will communicate the phenomena of synethesia from music into dyed and woven fiber.
Adah Kanter, Craft/Material Studies
Catherine Gellatly, Craft/Material Studies
William Weirich, Pre-Health major, Music minor
Faculty mentor: Susan Iverson
Photos by Photography and Film student Harrison Möenich
Chasing Forever: Higher Learning through Hip-Hop
A team of three students will explore the musical genre of hip-hop focusing on the investigation of perceptions of hip-hop that show averse or detached feelings towards hip-hop culture. In collaboration with the VCU Student Hip-Hop Organization (SHHO), they will launch a publication that defies negative perceptions towards hip-hop and informs about the worldly and multi-disciplined influence hip-hop has gained over the years.
Neil Lopez, Advertising
Duy Nguyen, Cinema and Philosophy
Rebecca Rice, Graphic Design
Faculty mentor: Dawn Waters
Two Painting & Printmaking students will create an installation consisting of portraits commemorating family and friends diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. There will be an interactive piece that prompts the viewer to contribute a feeling or remembrance. All drawings will be available for sale and donations will be accepted with proceeds going to the Alzheimer’s Foundation.
Mandy Fitzgerald, Painting & Printmaking
Virginia Wood, Painting & Printmaking
Faculty mentor: Reni Gower
Revelations of Feminism in the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
A Painting & Printmaking student will cross-examine twenty-five paintings of nude women created by male artists from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. The objective will be to study the shifting visual presentation of women in different periods and better understand the evolution of representations of the female body in art. Five paintings that investigate this topic will be produced and exhibited. Women’s Studies majors will be invited to participate in a group dialogue.
Allison Jones, Painting and Printmaking
Faculty mentor: Ruth Bolduan
Breathing in the Performing Arts
Three Performing Arts students will coordinate a series of presentations by breathing specialists in each of the performing arts (Music, Dance and Theatre) as well as a medical specialist in respiratory therapy. The presentations will educate students on the mechanics of breathing, the development of breathing, and different perspectives on breathing from other performing arts. All presentations will be video-recorded, produced into DVD form, and housed at the Media Resource Center of Cabell library to be used as a resource for students.
Greyson Goodenow, Theatre Performance
Pace Short, Dance and Choreography
Joshua Wright, Music Education
Faculty mentor: Dr. Ross Walter
Glass Eye Prosthetics
A Craft/Material Studies student will travel to Luascha, Germany to learn the art of glass eye blowing, an art used to make medical prosthetics and realistic eyes for taxidermy animals in museums. A video will be made documenting the teachings of Walter Hellbach (3rd generation glass blower) to share with students in the glass program. Students at VCUarts will have access to learn a lost art that is not taught in the United States.
Sean Donlon, Craft/Material Studies
Faculty mentor: Emilio Santini
Five students from various disciplines will create a series of short films aimed at children who have graduated from the ABCs and 123s and seek a program that continues to foster their curiosity and creativity. The series revolves around the adventures of the Imaginauts, a team of dimension-hopping, time-traveling muses who stimulate the imaginations of the creatively blocked. Using stop-motion animation, puppets, and music, the Imaginauts will make art theory and history accessible to post-elementary school children, building their confidence in their ability to learn and create.
Kirsten Cohen, Cinema
Emily Herr, Communication Arts
Allie Smith, Kinetic Imaging
Ha Tran, Sculpture + Extended Media and Craft/Material Studies
Jonathan Tune, Communication Arts
Faculty mentor: Matt King
Artistry and Athleticism through Capoeira
Capoeira, a Brazilian martial art, will serve as artistic inspiration for five students from Fashion Design, Art History, Cinema, Graphic Design, and Communication Arts. The students will combine the skills of each of their artistic trades to explore how artistry can meet athleticism through Capoeira. The students will learn the foundations of each discipline, incorporate their own skills and perspectives, and explore the ways in which art forms interact to create one cohesive gallery exhibition revealing the relationship between artistry and athleticism.
Christine Billard, Fashion Design
Cory Holm, Cinema
Corey Martin, Art History
Allison Simes, Graphic Design
Seth Ylitalo-Ward, Communication Arts
Faculty mentor: Henry Swartz
Chronicling Urbanism in-between: There/Here
One Interior Design major and one Architectural History major will combine their enthusiasm for their respective majors to draw attention to and document several vacant buildings on the iconic strips of East Broad Street and East Grace Street in Richmond. They will create a web site for a public database and interactive map of vacant properties to be used as a tool for the community of designers, historians, and prospective developers.
R. Tyler King, Art History (Architectural History)
Andrea Manrique, Interior Design
Faculty mentors: Camden Whitehead and Dr. Charles Brownell
NICA Initiative: Nicaraguan International Collaborative Arts
Three students will travel to Nicaragua for a two-week-long art education program, aimed at discovering the benefits of teaching art across international borders and socioeconomic levels. In partnership with Orphanetwork, a program that does mission work and educates orphans, the students will promote the implementation of art education programs in Nicaragua, incorporating elements and principles of conceptual art-making to initiate exploration of self-expression through different disciplines and mediums. The program will culminate in a gallery of student work at the orphanage and video documentation of the trip to be brought to VCU.
Amanda Hitchcock, Sculpture + Extended Media
Aissatou Barry, Kinetic Imaging
Rachel Schneider, Art Education
Faculty mentor: Sara Wilson McKay
Students in Photography and Film, Kinetic Imaging, Communication Arts and History will explore something that we can’t tell you about right now or it could ruin their project. We will post their summary at a later date, after their anonymity is no longer necessary.
Anonymous, Photography and Film
Anonymous, Kinetic Imaging
Anonymous, Communication Arts
Anonymous, Photography and Film and Creative Advertising
Faculty mentors: Stephen Vitiello, Jacob Dodd and Dr. James Watkinson
One Painting & Printmaking student along with one Engineering student will create a piece that combines painting and electrical engineering by converting sound into a visual display. The core of this project will use the fractal patterns detected in sound to convert into fractal images that constantly grow, develop, and change in real time, creating a piece of art that is constantly evolving. The outcome of this project will create art that is solely dependent on its environment.
Nathan Hilbish, Graduate Electrical Engineering
Theresa Painter, Painting & Printmaking
Faculty mentors: Ronald Johnson and Dr. Afoditi Vennie Filippas
The Whole Truth Museum
The Whole Truth Museum will represent a collaboration of VCUarts students, two from Sculpture+Extended Media and two majoring in Painting & Printmaking. Through the lens of modern feminism and institutional critique, these four women will create a museum aimed at opening the ideas of history to question. The goal will not only be to point out the weaknesses of the current museum system but to make a meaningful connection with surroundings through research and exploration. The WTM will establish a place in which we can react to our environment (downtown Richmond), its history and its community through a series of fabricated galleries containing artifacts-both real and handmade.
Brianna Gribben, Sculpture+Extended Media
Elise Isom, Painting & Printmaking
Jaimie McKay, Sculpture+Extended Media
Cameron Robinson, Sculpture+Extended Media
Faculty mentor: Hope Ginsburg
A Dance through the Decades
Students from Cinema, Fashion Design and Interior design will use lyrics to tell a love story through decades on film. Each segment of the film, and each room in the house, will depict a different decade to tell the story of a sixty-year relationship between a man and a woman. The short film will be one consecutive shot of the couple from childhood to old age dancing from room to room, and from decade to decade.
Danny Caporaletti, Cinema
Jacqueline Ferrer, Fashion Design
Mona Bonnot, Interior Design
Faculty mentor: Mary Beth Reed
Three students from Kinetic Imaging, Communication Arts and Music will create a live kinetic performance-based installation. In a process known as urban mapping, they will utilize a venue projector to transpose images onto the façade of a building. The installation will be reactive and improvisational, a shifting visual and sonic landscape entirely dependent on its audience. The piece will be promoted as an event in a space downtown and entered in the 2011 InLight Festival.
Liz Baker, Kinetic Imaging
Devonne Harris, Music (Jazz)
Ginna Lambert, Communication Arts
Faculty mentor: Bob Paris
The 2009-2010 VCUarts Undergraduate Student Research Grants have been announced. Thirty-nine students from across the School of the Arts will be awarded a total of approximately $25,000 in funding for their creative ideas in 2010. Eleven proposals were chosen this year from a pool of nearly sixty competitive proposals received from every program in the School of the Arts.
Funding for the VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grants began in 2006 with the purpose of encouraging curiosity, creativity, risk-taking and scholarly investigation into a project or subject of interest relevant to a student’s major. A main focus of each grant proposal is interdisciplinary research and student collaboration. Take a look at what this year’s grant recipients have in the works.
Amy Kaeberle, Interdisciplinary Studies (Dance and Choreography and Kinetic Imaging)
Alyssa Gregory, Dance and Choreography
Amanda Patterson, Kinetic Imaging
Nathan Altice, Media, Art + Text
Anne Douglas Shaw, Craft/Material Studies
Joshua Bennett, Sculpture + Extended Media
John Reaves, English
Knox Colby, Mass Communications
Jami Eaton, German
Gerry Perez, Art Education
Warren A. Hamilton II, Kinetic Imaging
Dennis Williams, Theatre and Art History
Rebecca Rudolph, Theatre (Scene Design)
Brian Glass, Kinetic Imaging and Computer Science
Emily Rosko, Theatre/ Stage Management
David Fuchs, Kinetic Imaging
Nina Stoddard, Communication Arts
Hilary Stallings, Theatre
Erica Breig, Theatre
Jesse Williams, Music Performance
Shannon Le Corre, Women’s Studies
Savannah Berry, Music (Vocal Performance)
Jennifer Anne Ducharme, Theatre (Costume Design)
Thomas Flanagan, Art History (Architectural History)
Sophia Minnerly, Cinema
Congratulations to the twenty-six students and their faculty mentors whose creative ideas have been selected to be funded in 2009. Over fifty competitive proposals were received from every program in the School of the Arts. Preference was given to collaboration [teams, variety of Art/University majors and faculty mentors]. Approximately $25,000 will be awarded.
Through this interdisciplinary project, students from the Sculpture, Graphic Design, and Music departments will generate one multifunctional art work that personifies a percussion instrument and can take the role of a sculpture. Graphic artist will assist with computerized abstracts to help with construction and lecture/demonstrations. Musicians will play the sculpture as a percussion instrument and visual artists will present it as a sculpture. Each student will participate in every phase of development including design, sculpting, and musical composition. Developing the skill to collaborate with artists of other disciplines will build more opportunities for education and employment as well as enlarge audiences. The completed work will reach out to students through musical performance and visual aesthetics.Kevin Estes, Music Performance
Peter Soroka, Music Performance
Brittany Shade, Sculpture + Extended Media
John Labra, Graphic Design
Robert Carter, Graphic Design
Kris Keeton, Music
Brian Jones, Music
Jessica N. Price, Sculpture + Extended Media
Faculty Mentor: Susie Ganch, Craft/Material Studies
Carole L. Jones, Fashion Design
Tonya Mixon, Fashion Design
Faculty Mentor: Holly Alford, Fashion Design & Merchandising
Melanie J. Hearn, Fashion Design
Faculty Mentor: Henry Swartz, Fashion Design & Merchandising
Charles Brownell, Art History
Faculty Mentor: Brooke Inman, Painting and Printmaking
Cara Frye, Communication Arts
Derek Cavanaugh, Communication Arts
Alexa Lester-Frazier, Sculpture and Painting
Joseph Whitfield, Sculpture + Extended Media
Faculty Mentor: Carlton Newton, Sculpture + Extended Media
In the fall of 2007, more than 100 VCUarts students submitted proposals for the 2008 Undergraduate Research grants. It was difficult selecting the most worthy, as so many of the submissions were impressive. The awards, totaling $25,000, are based on interdisciplinary interaction, collaboration, creativity, and potential significance of the project.
The students explored the feasibility and benefits that a film studio may have in the Richmond, Virginia area. This team examined the possibility, practicality, benefits and sustainability of the creation of a film studio in the community from an economic, technical and social perspective.Ian Edwards, Cinema
Nathaniel Mollick, Cinema
John Charles Schneider, Cinema
Zach Snowden, CinemaAward: $1,450 [additional travel funding support from Cinema Program]
Faculty Mentor: Rob Tregenza, Director of Cinema
Chase Cochran, Interior Design
David Choe, Craft/Material Studies
Matthew Brett, Sculpture + Extended Media
Carlton Morgan, Sculpture + Extended Media and Craft/Material StudiesAward: $4,250
Faculty Mentor: Camden Whitehead, Interior Design
Faculty Mentors: Kim Guthrie, Department of Fashion Design and Sandra Wilkins, VCU Qatar Department of Fashion Design
Stephen Farris, Cinema
Dominic Butchello, Art Foundation Program
Cole Sullivan, Art Foundation ProgramAward: $3,700
Faculty Mentor: Rob Tregenza, Director of Cinema
Chris Bradford, Business/Information SystemsAward: $5000Faculty Mentors: Cody Wright, Kinetic Imaging and Francis Yaconiello, Business/Information Systems
Sarah Holden, Craft/Material Studies
Brittany Felter, Craft/Material Studies
Jessica Lee, Fashion Design
Soo Kim, Fashion Design
Josefina Stephens, Fashion DesignAward: $3,600
Faculty Mentors: Kristin Caskey and Linda Lee, Department of Fashion Design; Sonya Clark, Susie Ganch, and Julia Pfaff, Department of Craft/Material Studies; Dr. Cindy Kissel-Ito, School of World Studies
You have an idea. Maybe it’s something that’s never been done. You’re passionate about seeing it to fruition, but you don’t have the support or the funds. That’s where VCUarts Undergraduate Research Grants come in.
In the fall of 2006 VCUarts initiated this grant program and helped fund nine student projects, with a total of $25,000. The proposals were intriguing, and we expect no less of the outcomes.
Kevin Blow, a Fashion Design & Merchandising student; and Genevieve Kammel, from Religious Studies will employ absurd techniques to create humorous and “somewhat meaningless” films. Three of these will utilize mad libs, meaning selected words of a phrase are replaced with others as their point of departure. The project explores the narrative possibilities of pattern, texture, gesture, and non-sync sound to produce work that is more complex than would be possible individually. The $2,500 award will fund fabric, ink and sewing supplies for costumes and film festival entry fees.Faculty mentor: Kristin Caskey, Associate Professor, Fashion Design and Merchandising