Open Night this Friday, 5:30 – 8PM @ Pollak

This Friday the Pollak building is hosting it’s annual Open Night to show off what everyone in our departments has been working on for the semester, and for finals. Theres Photo, Film, Graphic Design, Interior Design, Fashion Merchandising and Design, and much, much more (this is untrue, it’s only the majors I listed)!!! It’s going to be a grade “A” hoot, so make sure you pop by this Friday after finals to cool off with a long sip of old fashioned, American art that is neither old fashioned or necessarily affiliated with the United States.

Don’t be a square.

Help-Portrait RVA – Dec. 6 2014

Undergrad Alex Kreher is organizing an event coming up in early December

Help-Portrait RVA is a nonprofit that takes professional portraits of people in need, prints the photo, and then delivers it – free of charge. 

We are looking for photographers, makeup and hair stylists and general volunteers.

Help-Portrait RVA’s mission is about giving people who otherwise couldn’t afford photography, a chance to capture a moment, a memory…and a whole lot more. If interested, we will provide a make-up artist and hairstylist to the attendees on site. There will also be food donated from Mama J’s, Martin’s, Vita Coco, Red Bull, and Christian’s Pizza for attendees and volunteers.

The event will be on Saturday, Dec. 6th from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. at VCU’s The Depot (814 W. Broad St.). Upon arrival, attendees will sign up, be assigned to a photographer, get their portrait taken, and enjoy food and refreshments while they wait for their photo to print. Help-Portrait RVA is also the same day as the Christmas Parade, so we and they can enjoy warm food and watch the Christmas Parade from the best spot on Broad St.


If you are interested in attending or volunteering, please email on your availability on Saturday, Dec. 6 so they can assign you for a certain time of the day. Help-Portrait RVA is expecting the process to be around 30 minutes for each attendee and hope to take portraits of 200-300 people that day. SO THE MORE PHOTOGRAPHERS AND VOLUNTEERS WE HAVE THE BETTER FOR EVERYONE!

“Burn Out the Day” Double Feature

Photography and Film’s Department Chair Sasha Waters Freyer will be having her short film Burn Out the Day screening at Sight Unseen in Baltimore on December 13, 2014 and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit on December 15, 2014 as a part of the 52nd Ann Arbor Film Festival Tour.


“The passing of a decrepit totality; wounds and traces left by fire and light as an abandoned home burns to the ground. Mute observers and memory fragments remain. The pleasures and terrors of rural domestic comfort.”

Jon-Phillip Sheridan: Anywhere But Now

Our beloved Jon Sheridan had an exciting studio visit last week from Need Supply Co. At least I’m sure it was exciting, the pictures sure make it seem so. You can see those pictures here, and even read words that accompany those pictures. They may or may not provide some insight into Jon’s life as a working professional photographer/artist (they do, so go read the article I linked on Need Supply’s website, okay? It’s wonderful and interesting and will make Jon seem more human in your eyes).

He also is a part of a new show, entitled Anywhere But Now, over at the Wilton House Museum including, but not limited to, Sonya Clark, Susie Ganch, and Hilary Wilder. Here is a bit about the show that I swiped from the museum’s website:

“Anywhere But Now will investigate ideas, feelings, and problems associated with nostalgia.  Nostalgia can call to mind memories of home, romantic stories, or kitschy objects, but the nature of nostalgia is more complex than these associations might suggest.  It paradoxically can evoke both insatiable yearning for something that has been lost and comfort derived from memories of the past.  Exhibiting works of contemporary art within the historic interior of Wilton House Museum will prompt visitors to think analytically about nostalgia.
This exhibition is curated by graduate students in the Department of Art History at Virginia Commonwealth University.”

Hmm, this sounds a little too good to pass up, so go see the work and pass extreme judgement on all the awesome professors that have work up. Or just appreciate the beautiful art!

Spotlight: Undergrad Teddy Leinbach

Teddy Leinbach has his short documentary “Ball City” being screened at Cucalorus Film Festival in Downtown Wilmington, North Carolina on Friday November 14 at 1pm.

“This short documentary dives into a one on one basketball game that was played between two men over forty years ago. The two men reflect on the build up preceding the game, the implications the outcome of the game had around town, the emotions within the game, and the outcome.”


Undergrad show “Making Sense” at The Depot this Friday

Heads up!

A new undergrad show is going up at The Depot this Friday, November 7th! It’s up for one month, but make sure you go to the opening at 5PM this Friday for the full art experience, whatever that means. The show, entitled “Making Sense”, features 19 VCUarts students of all years, and FOUR students from Photo/Film! These skilled folks are: Whitney Cole, James Quinlan, Carson Parris, and Elizabeth Williams. Go see the work!

The show was curated by our very own Andrea Alvarez, a PhD student in Art History who organized the show based on her interest in the nature of senses through media in relation to the human experience. There’s going to be video work, and photography, and painting, and sound, and performance. What more do you want!?


Justin James Reed Juggles Giant Accolades, We’re jazzed!

Justin James Reed has been extremely busy these last few months. Between having his 4th book published, featuring it at the Editions/Artists’ Book Fair in Manhattan next week, and having it purchased by The Library of Congress, we find it amazing that Justin is able to create even more! He apparently is creating more however, as VCU awarded him the Faculty Exploratory Research Grant to pursue a project without a definitive outcome. We cannot wait to see what comes of this.

But the world is taking notice! As it should. Justin’s work was featured in TWO, count ‘em TWO new publications: Conveyor Magazine, and Mossless Magazine.

His work was also reviewed in two publications: Objektiv, and Aperture

That’s a lot to soak in, so go click the links and see how our faculty are shaking up the art world. At the very least, go look at the incredible images just for the sake of seeing incredible images.


Image: Justin James Reed’s new book, published by Horses Think Press

International Screening of Sonali Gulati’s “I AM”

Film still from “I Am”


“I Am chronicles the journey of an Indian lesbian filmmaker who returns to Delhi, eleven years later, to re-open what was once home, and finally confronts the loss of her mother whom she never came out to. As she meets and speaks to parents of other gay and lesbian Indians, she pieces together the fabric of what family truly means, in a landscape where being gay was until recently a criminal and punishable offense.”

Here’s a trailer for the awesome work, and an interview she did with the Richmond Times Dispatch. Even Dean of the School of the Arts Joseph Seipel had something to say, adding that “Her award-winning films … are emblematic of her skills as both a filmmaker and as a social observer. She is a rare talent, and at VCUarts we are fortunate to have her as a colleague and as an inspirational mentor for our film students.” Make sure you go read the full interview, as Sonali discusses a lot surrounding the film which provides some insight into why the work is so groundbreaking. 

It will also be screening at the Verzio International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival” between Nov. 11-14, 2014 in Budapest, Hungary!



Faculty Film “Song of the Cicadas” Going International

“This artful and evocative short film juxtaposes the solitude, loneliness and transformation of a prisoner with the cicada, an insect who spends 17 years of life isolated underground. Through interviews with American political prisoner Timothy Blunk, and inspired by the bug music of composer David Rotherburg, director Richard Knox Robinson finds beauty and poetry in isolation and emergence.”   –  Mountain Film


Faculty member Richard Robinson has a new film, “Song of the Cicadas”, which has been making it’s way around the world recently. The film has been screened at the Rencontres du Cinema in Paris, as well as at the Ecomusics and Ecomusocologies Conference in Asheville, NC, the World of Knowledge Film Festival in St. Petersburg, the Mountain Film Festival in Telluride, and it plays this week at the Virginia Film Festival!


Here’s a trailer so you can get a feel for the work.