BFA Alum Co-Directs photography workshops in Italy and Brooklyn

A letter from 2013 BFA Film alum Kate Fowler, former Look 3, Festival of Photography  intern, Doha Tasmeem Conference lab leader, Portrait as Community exhibit assistant, and School of Arts Student Gallery director.

Hello from a café in Bologna, a small city in central Italy with limited Internet access. I’m writing from one of the few locations with real connectivity— a café that has unwittingly become the new headquarters of Photo Workshop New York while my business partner and I frantically prepare for the first series of workshops that we’re hosting in Europe. (more…)

DAS: Steven Harris

On Friday October 3rd, Photography and Film will be host the Distinguished Alumni Symposium in honor of various Photography and Film Alumni in the University Student Commons Theater from 2:00-4:00pm.

Steven Harris

2007 BFA Film

What was the most important thing you learned in your art education at VCU?
The most important thing that I learned while at VCU is that, whatever you want, you’re going to have to go get it for yourself. Your professors will guide you along the way. They’ll push you to discover yourself. They’ll show you things you’ve never heard of. And they’ll be excited by your enthusiasm to learn. But if you want a career in film, they’re not going to hand you one. That you have to go get yourself.

Was there any turning point in your time at VCU that helped put you on the path that you’re on now?
Well, to be perfectly honest, I came to VCU to be a painter. And I graduated with a degree in filmmaking.  Throughout my childhood, I had always enjoyed making films but looked at it as a hobby. I went through the VCU AFO program. Did all of the painting and drawing I needed to do to realize I was never going to want to make a career out of selling my work at galleries. So, for my final project in AFO, instead of doing, what I thought, was a typical multimedia project, I did a film. And, from then on, knew I wanted to study film more. I wanted to learn about all of the different ways I could express myself through the film medium. I wanted to learn what there was to learn. So I applied to film and got in. And never regretted leaving paint behind for a second.


Flickr’s 20 Under 20 features Photo BFA Student

Congratulations to Nicholas Scarpinato for being nominated by Flickr as one of the best young photographers actively making work! He is featured along side 19 other young adults from around the country who are all doing wild things with their photographs. You can check out the work here, and be sure to vote for the artists with the Strongest Portfolio, the Most Creative ideas, and the Best Technique by tweeting.

The nominated photographers work will be exhibited at Milk Studios in New York City on Oct. 1.

DAS: Lindsey Martin

On Friday October 3rd, Photography and Film will be host the Distinguished Alumni Symposium in honor of various Photography and Film Alumni in the University Student Commons Theater from 2:00-4:00pm.

Lindsey Martin

2005 BFA Photography and Film

What was the most important thing you learned in your art education at VCU?
The community. The people I pulled all-nighters with have, in recent years, become references for jobs, resources for future projects, and professional advisors as well as free places to stay all over the country. There are classmates from AFO and VCU film that I would love to have as crew members or collaborators now.

Love Letter_Field


DAS: Amanda Bruns

On Friday October 3rd, Photography and Film will be host the Distinguished Alumni Symposium in honor of various Photography and Film Alumni in the University Student Commons Theater from 2:00-4:00pm.

Amanda Bruns

2000 BFA Photography

What was the most important thing you learned in your art education at VCU?
The most important thing I learned at VCU was to make each assignment my own; to interpret them in a way that allowed me creative freedom while meeting the criteria. It was helpful because often magazines have themes: loose or vague themes such as “floral” or “red” or sometimes more specific. Don’t get me wrong, some clients are very specific, so you should be able to create an image based on their inspirations or story boards.

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Make It Work-shops!

Continuing education + community workshops brought to you by VCU’s Department of Photography and Film.  Learn something new or brush up on your skill set in our super cool lab, complete with a full suite of photo and video software and editing tools!

Four class over four weeks starting the week of October 20th with a break before and after the following

$150 – general public

$125 – VCU students in any major, VCUarts alumni, members of the Commonwealth and Pollak Societies

Untitled Book ‘Em - Bookmaking for Photographers, Artists and Amateurs Instructor: Alyssa Salomon Day & Time: Weds. 6-8pm – October 22-Nov. 12 (4 Weeks) Location: Pollak Building, room 209   Whether you’re a professional or a lover of photographs, a commercial photographer, a traveler, a fine artist, a curious amateur or a collector, explore handmade bookmaking that showcases and incorporates photography during this four session class.  Participants will start with basic book forms, and using these skills, make their own presentation portfolio, photo album, and sequenced fold-out book.  Materials will be provided, although students may wish to bring their own photographs to incorporate into their books and/or additional paper to personalize their projects.   Requirements: No experience or equipment needed.  MATERIALS FEE is $35 per student.

INSTRUCTOR BIO Alyssa C. Salomon is a photographer and printmaker, based in Providence Forge VA. Her work has been recognized with two VMFA Professional Fellowships and the Theresa Pollak Award for Excellence in the Arts, and has been the featured in books, magazines and online.  In 2016, The Valentine museum will mount an exhibition of Alyssa’s photo project about urban chickens and the yards in which they live — “A Chicken in Every Plot or Love Among the Chickens”.  Alyssa is an instructor at Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, and routinely teaches workshops around the country in such programs as Penland School of Crafts and Virginia Museum Studio School.  Representation:  Candela Gallery, Page Bond Gallery, Penland Gallery, and Soho Myriad.



Untitled copy Digital Cameras/Digital Video – shooting like a pro on DSLR Instructor: Dana Ollestad Day & Time: Friday, 5:30-7:30pm – October 24, Nov. 7, 14 & 21 (4 Weeks – no class on Halloween) Location: Pollak Building, room 209   Digital Single-Reflex Cameras – or DSLRs – have transformed digital media, from the Cineplex to the home movie.  Feature films and television are increasingly filmed on DSLRs.  With the quality and accessibility of digital cameras improving every year, gorgeous cinematography is within your reach!  In this class, participants will learn the basics of image composition, best exposure practices, DIY stabilization for complex, on-the-go footage capture, techniques for improving sound, and basic video editing.   Requirements: No experience necessary.  Bringing your own digital camera from home is ideal, but cameras can be provided upon request during the class time.


INSTRUCTOR BIO Dana Ollestad is a multi-media artist and curator currently based in Richmond, Virginia. His work presents seemingly simple gestures that facilitate experience and encounter, using the participation of the audience to create open-ended structures that may be influenced, but never fully controlled. His teaching at VCUarts includes classes in Art Foundations, Digital Photography, Digital Video and Sound.


Find the registration form here:  PHTO_workshop_registration

Burn Out The Day

The international premiere of Sasha Waters Freyer’s film Burn Out The Day is upcoming at the Winnipeg Festival of the Moving Image in late September. It will also be screening at the Havana Festival in December.



Still from Burn Out The Day


“One November day, 16mm bolex in hand, I stumbled across a turquoise-painted home being burned to the ground as part of a training exercise for a rural volunteer fire department. Those images, combined with others of family and the past, are a visual synecdoche for an interior state of hunger and loss.”

 –     Sasha Waters Freyer


She was also granted a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in January of next year, which in the past has catered to recipients of fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and winners of the MacArthur genius awards. Crazy stuff.

Many Opportunities to See Faculty and Alum Work!

Installation by Paul Thulin

PLACE YOUR AD EVERYWHERE, a solo exhibition by our very own Graduate Director Paul Thulin, will be at Hunt Gallery at Mary Baldwin College from September 1-26, 2014. The exhibition “critically examines the micro- and macro- topographies, of what can now only be considered the contemporary spectacle of landscape, that has been co-opted by the intrusive and increasingly aggressive advertising tactics of modern-day capitalism”. There will be a reception on September 8 from 4:30-6pm. For more information about dates, times, and location of the exhibition click here.



’09 Evan Hume in (e)merge Art Fair

The (e)merge Art Fair is a space where emerging artists can showcase their work and connect with collectors, curators, and other artists from around the world in a variety of fields of art such as painting, film, performance, installation and all sorts of other media. (e)merge is in it’s 4th year and has over 150 artists on its roster this year, including the work of 2009 BFA Alumni Evan Hume.

Evan Hume lives and works in DC and this is his second time in the (e)merge Art Fair.

(e)merge Art Fair will be on October 2-5 2014 in Washington DC. For more information on (e)merge and what’s going to be there this year, click here