The Summer Studio Program at Virginia Commonwealth University (SSP@VCU) is an 8-week studio-intensive program for artists interested in developing work in a supportive hothouse environment. The program fosters development of professional attitudes and skills with an emphasis on individual investigation. The program provides students with an opportunity for concentrated studio practice at an advanced level within a community of talented and motivated artists. This two-month, non-credit, post-baccalaureate-style residency studio program is appropriate for the artist developing a portfolio for application to graduate school, as well as the artist interested in an opportunity for uninterrupted immersion and development of a studio practice in a challenging and supportive environment.


  • Artists, with undergraduate degrees who want to develop a body of work to serve as a portfolio for application to excellent graduate programs in the areas of VCUarts departments of Painting + Printmaking and Sculpture.
  • Artists with undergraduate degrees who are interested in further developing studio work and critical thinking in a creative professional environment of VCUarts departments of Painting + Printmaking and Sculpture.
  • Mature independent artists who wish to participate in critical dialogue in order to push their work to the next level.
  • Talented college seniors who are committed, serious students of studio art.


Each week of the program includes group critiques, individual studio visits and a seminar: a focal point for group discussion of contemporary ideas, theory and issues based on readings and events. All if this is in addition to plenty of studio time.

  • Group Critiques
  • Individual Studio Visits
  • Seminar
  • Additional workshops on writing about your work, photographing your work and professional practices (including preparing for graduate school, applying for grants and exhibitions, etc.).

Also mixed in the calendar are numerous visiting artist lectures and studio visits, museum and gallery field trips. The last week includes exit reviews by SSP@VCU faculty and a culminating on-campus exhibition of work produced during the program.


Will Schneider-White is the 2013-2014 Fountainhead Fellow in Painting at VCU. He is a current fellow at the Hamiltonian Gallery in Washington, DC and is a ‘Jury Pick’ in 100 Painters of Tomorrow (Thames & Hudson). He holds an MFA from the Slade School of Fine Art in London, UK, where he was awarded the Steer Prize.

Arnold Kemp is Chair of the Painting and Print Media Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kemp’s work is represented by PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR. From 1991 – 2006, Kemp lived and worked in San Francisco, California where he had four significant solo exhibitions and many groups shows while also working as a curator for the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (1993 – 2003) and serving on the board of the Headlands Center for the Arts, Sausalito (2000 – 2004) and consulting for the Luggage Store/ 509 Cultural Center, San Francisco (2005). His work resides in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, The Berkeley Art Museum, The Tacoma Art Museum, the Fine Arts Collection at the University of California, Davis, the Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR; and in the collection of JP Morgan Chase Manhattan Bank. He is the recipient of awards and fellowships from the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation (2012), the Pollock-Krasner Foundation (2003), the  Joan Mitchell Foundation (2001), Artadia Fund for Art & Dialogue (2001),  Art Matters Grant (2009), and Printed Matter Award for Artists (2009). He has also been awarded an artist residency from Cité Internationale Des Arts, which allowed him to live and work for seven months of (2005 – 2006) in Paris, France. The time in France preceded a major residency, commission and exhibition supported by the Portland Institute of Contemporary Arts (2008 – 2009).


The departments of  Painting & Printmaking and Sculpture + Extended Media occupy a 114,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility. SSP@VCU participants share air-conditioned studios with 24-hour access. Participants have the use of painting studios, printmaking studio, woodshop, metal studio, moldmaking studio, computer lab and video editing facilities. Technical assistance is provided in the printmaking studio, sculpture shops and computer lab.
Click here to view Painting Facilities
Click  here to view Sculpture Faciliies


  • Work full time in their VCU studios for the duration of the program.
  • Participate in all seminars, critiques, reviews and events.
  • Participate in the exit exhibition (including planning, installation, lighting, etc.)
  • Produce photographic documentation of work done during the summer program.
  • Complete a written artist’s statement during the last half of the summer to present at the exit interview.

Upon successful completion of all aspects of the program, participants will receive a VCU Summer Studio Program Certificate in the major area of study.


Students may elect to stay in the VCU Dormitories. Double dormitory suites accommodate two students per room. The roommates will have access to a small kitchenette and bathroom shared with the neighboring double dormitory suite. Students who choose to live in the dorms must provide payment in full when submitting their program fee.Students may also choose to find housing off campus during the program. Any student electing to stay off campus during the program is responsible for arranging their living situation. Sublets range in price and availability, for a general overview of prices see Craigslist Richmond

All students will have wireless internet access on campus and access to the VCU Libraries.


Program Fee: $4,950
Housing (on campus): $1,275 (double room, includes basic linens)
Checks for the total Program Fee and on campus housing must be received by May 24th. Participants must sign a “Release and Waiver of Liability” form.

A limited number of $1,000 Scholarships will be awarded to students whose work shows exceptional quality. All students are considered for these scholarships during the application process.


Deadline for Application: April 15, 2015
Early applicants may receive early notification
Notification of Acceptance: May 7, 2015
Program Fee due: May 27, 2015
Program Session: June 8 – August 1 2015
Orientation: Sunday, June 8, 4pm – 6pm


1. Eight images of recent work

  • If jpegs: 1280 x 1024 pixels at 72 dpi, with name written on CD-Rom
  • If slides: labeled with name, medium + dimensions in a 8.5” x 11” slide sheet

2. Documentation Script: name, title, medium and dimensions

3. One-page artist’s statement including name, date of birth, address, telephone number and e-mail address

4. Application fee of $25

5. Check payable to VCU Painting + Printmaking or VCU Sculpture + Extended Media, as appropriate.

  • All of the above mailed to VCU Painting + Printmaking or VCU Sculpture + Extended Media, as appropriate.

6. Official university transcript

  • SSP, Painting + Printmaking, Virginia Commonwealth University, 1000 W. Broad Street PO Box 842016,  Richmond VA 23284-2016

7. Two letters of reference

  • Sent via email to directly from your recommender
  • Subject of email should be “VCU SSP Reference – your last name_first name”

Please Note

  • There is no application form.
  • Apply EITHER to Sculpture + Extended Media or Painting & Printmaking. If you wish to apply to both departments, submit two separate applications and application fees.
  • The application and mailing envelope should clearly indicate your preference for Sculpture + Extended Media or Painting & Printmaking. Be sure to label each piece of application material with your name (including  CD).
  • We request proof of health insurance; if you are unable to provide proof of health insurance you will need to sign a release and waiver of liability form.
  • The Summer Studio Program is progressive; students using traditional media as well as those who work in electronic media, performance, installation, conceptual and experimental hybrid forms are invited to apply.
  • SSP@VCU fosters artistic growth; university credit is not available. While program graduates may apply for admission to VCU’s MFA programs, SSP@VCU is not a portal to admission.


SSP@VCU – Painting + Printmaking Virginia Commonwealth University 1000 W. Broad Street PO Box 842016 Richmond VA 23284-2016


APRIL 15, 2015 Complete applications must reach VCU by this date.

Some observations by former participants:

“The more time passes, the more I realize the significance this program had (and hopefully will continue to have) on my life as an artist… It is truly a transformative process.”

“The instructors and faculty were absolutely wonderful in every way for me. The facilities are fantastic, the space was perfect.”

“I feel this program has met my expectations as an accelerated gradate style program. In some aspects it has exceeded my expectations with the introduction to critical theory and the encouragement from all of the faculty.”

“The instructors and visiting artists were great & I will leave VCU feeling like I have a better understanding of the contemporary art world and how my work can fit into it. I came to VCU hoping that I would leave with a new direction for my work & the program challenged me enough to catalyze that change.”


QUESTIONS? Contact: Ron Johnson, Administrative Director: