Triple Threat!

Photograph by Inga Schunn

Our Visiting Artist Brittany Nelson has been busy!

Handcrafted: The Art and Practice of the Handmade Print was just published in Hangzhou China. Nelson has an 8 page feature in it!

Screen shot 2014-09-06 at 11.31.35 AM Screen shot 2014-09-06 at 11.32.24 AM

She was also interviewed by alum Inga Schunn for the Richmond Arts Review here.

Her and Adjunct Professor Will Connally will be guest speaking at the SPE Southeast Conference this year on Oct 11th 2014 in Greenville, NC. The talk is called: Science. Assistant Professor Justin James Reed and her are in a group show at William and Mary opening on October 17th 2014.

Nelson’s work was also added to the collections at the VMFA and New Mexico State University this year! She’ll be showing brand new work at the Art Miami fair at Art Basel Miami Beach for the third year in a row. And a colab project she did with VCU MFA graphic design alum Eric Brandt for Ficciones Typografika was featured in ID PURE magazine in Switzerland, Issue 34.

Great work Brittany!

DAS: Lindsey Martin

On October 3rd, Photography and Film will be host the Distinguished Alumni Symposium in honor of various Photography and Film Alumni.

Lindsey Martin

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 October 3rd, Photography and Film will be host the Distinguished Alumni Symposium in honor of various Photography and Film Alumni.

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 thequality and accessibility of digital cameras improving every year, gorgeous cinematography is within your reach!  Inthis 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

Photo Major Kaelne Koorn Teaches in Spain!

Kaelne Koorn, a Photography and Art History double major, took a year off to be an English Teaching Assistant  for the Education Office of the Embassy of Spain.  She applied to many communities to teach, but La Rioja was where she was eventually placed. Luckily it all worked out when the two schools she worked at were right in the capital city of Logroño and within walking distance of her apartment. She recalls that even in another continent, teaching is still a tough profession:

“The work was fun at times, difficult at others.  Some teachers like to teach by playing games, others are more orderly and disciplinary.  I feel more comfortable working with groups of children now than I had before…it takes a lot of patience to develop the ability to control a class of primary school students.”



Welcome Back & Lots of NEWS

still from 2014 senior Nils Westergard‘s amazing film, Wallflower

Dear students, parents, teachers, alumni and friends VCU’s Department of Photography & Film,

The Department of Photography and Film’s first ever Study Abroad program, Experimental & Documentary Arts in Sicily, was a terrific success, bringing together students in photo, film and mass communications with students from the VCUarts Dance Department for four weeks of work, play and creative exploration in beautiful Noto, Sicily.  The vast majority of students surveyed by the VCU Global Education Office reported that the trip dramatically impacted their interpersonal skills, adaptability and expanded their cultural perspectives.  Stay tuned for updates on our plans for Summer 2015.

With the departure of Brian Ulrich for RISD this fall, we are running a search for a new faculty member with expertise and a national reputation in photography, video art, installation-based practice and/or multi-media/hybrid uses of digital media in the fine arts.  The position announcement will be made public in early September and we expect to host our finalists for public talks in Spring 2014.  In the meantime, courtesy of the hardest working Graduate Director at VCU, Paul Thulin, we are thrilled to announce that contemporary artist and photographer Hank Willis Thomas, winner of the first ever Aperture West Book Prize for his monograph Pitch Blackness, will join us as Affiliated Faculty in the Fall 2014 semester to work with the MFA students and host them during a trip to New York City.


VCU Photo/Film in Sicily!

Photograph by Kiersten Koenig

The Department of Photography and Film’s first ever Study Abroad program, Experimental & Documentary Arts in Sicily, was a terrific success, bringing together students in Photo, Film and Mass Communications with students from the VCUarts Dance Department for four weeks of work, play and creative exploration in beautiful Noto, Sicilya UNESCO World Heritage site.