New Waves 2016 featuring VCU photo/film

Screen Shot 2016-01-27 at 11.06.28 AM

Moca, the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, has selected from 282 candidates the artists to be featured in their 2016 show, New Waves.

Of the 27 that will be shown, two are from VCU Photography and Film’s department: Department Chair Sasha Waters Fryere and MFA alumni Alex Artz.

still from Sasha's 'Our Summer Made Her Light Escape', 16mm film, 2012

Still from Sasha’s ‘Our Summer Made Her Light Escape’, 16mm film, 2012


VCU photo film at InLight: Josh Thorud and Anthony Smith

This year the VMFA housed the InLight display. For the show, VCU Photography and Film department’s Josh Thorud and Anthony Smith collaborated to create Kiosks.

In their collaborative work, Josh Thorud and Anthony Smith explore commercial architecture, fine art documentation, abstract video and nostalgia through site-specific video sculptures. Kiosks combines retail materials with swirling and self-destroying light sculptures. Vaguely familiar forms, over layers of jagged edges, deteriorate into mere light, color, shape and movement. Contemporary art is more often seen in digital form as documentation images and videos than in physical space, which causes anxiety over the ability to document work. This pushes artists to make work that looks good in thumbnails. Kiosks is composed of previous documentation, synthesizing object and document into one piece.


Sediment Arts showcasing Photo/Film Professors in ‘To: Pluto’

Sediment Arts is currently housing the work of VCU’s Photo and Film departments faculty members: Jon-Phillip Sheridan, Matthew Warren, & Abbey Lee Sarver.  The show was co-curated by Dana Ollestad.

“Sediment Arts’ invitational art exhibition To: Pluto is organized under this theme of historic exploration, expanded understandings, and loss of innocence. The artists in the exhibition work through various mediums and across platforms, with diverse perspectives on environmental, social, and technological issues relevant to society today. Their work speaks to relationships with Pluto or other planetary bodies including our own, to the human longing that comes with distant and detached explorations of intangible objects, as well as the role of speculation and scientific discovery in defining what is within or without our physical world and imagination.”


Kate Fowler doing big things with the Magnum Foundation!


BFA Alum Kate Fowler working with the Magnum Foundation as a part of their Photography, Expanded initiative, recently coordinated The Third Annual Symposium. Presentations and panel discussions presented innovative documentary storytelling and emerging ideas in digital media and journalism on social justice issues. Featured artists included Andrew Beck Grace (After the Storm), Katy Scoggin (CITIZENFOUR), Marek Tuszynski (Exposing the Invisible), Elaine Sheldon & Sarah Ginsburg (She Does Podcast).

For more on Kate and her work with the Magnum Foundation, click this link!



UVA exhibit features VCU alums Janelle and Dana

I don’t like the way you’re not looking at me.
work by Marisa Finos, Erika Diamond, Dana Ollestad, and Janelle Proulx
Come check out Ruffin Gallery’s exhibit featuring work by VCU’s MFA alums Janelle Proulx and Dana Ollestad along with Marisa Finos and Erika Diamond.

October 9 – December 8, 2015  “I don’t like the way you’re not looking at me.” brings together the work of 4 artists from 4 different mediums and perspectives, while investigating similar themes- themes of thresholds, the impulse of self-preservation, and the idea of legacy through relationship.

Reception, October 30, 5:30 – 7:30pm.
(Free parking in Culbreth Road Parking Garage after 5pm).

1708 Gallery ARTIST TALK // VCU Photo’s John Freyer and Stephanie Benassi

Thursday October 8th, 1708 Gallery will have an artist talk featuring VCU’s Photo Department professor John Freyer and MFA Graduate Stephanie Benassi.

Stephanie’s work, displayed in the show Going Somewhere, is featured along with six other artists.”Through video and performance, sculpture and photography, painting and sound, these artists engage notions of navigation and movement, adaptation and mobility, exploration and transition.” Her work, Global, is a photo archive of gelatin silver prints. The wood samples her photographs feature, found in local shops, are considered “exotic,” being from areas all over the world.


Post Graduate Success: Fionnuala Bradley

Fionnuala [Fin] Bradley is a VCU alum with a BFA in Photography. Her humble beginnings, similar to many college students, included taking jobs in the food industry; and the need for change and a driven attitude led her to drop everything and move to San Francisco. “Leaving VCU, I felt a loss, as well as, a little lost. I no longer had access to facilities and equipment, to a daily routine, to purposeful deadlines and most importantly, a community of like-minded artists.” Rather than dwelling on this loss, Fionnuala took the challenges San Francisco life threw her way. She maintained a day job to afford rent while also working hard to develop connections, specifically with groups in her interest field of youth development in the arts and culture sector. “I interned with the Education Department of the Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, mentored youth with a photography program called First Exposures and taught Digital Art to middle schoolers in the After School Program that I now direct.”


1708 New assistant director!


A big shout out to Janelle Proulx (MFA 2014) for her new full-time position as the Assistant Director of Richmond’s beloved 1708 Gallery.

“I’ve been working at 1708 for a year now as a part-time Gallery Coordinator, but I’m excited to be playing a bigger role in 1708’s mission of presenting exceptional new art as the Assistant Director. It’s an honor to get to work at 1708 with its great reputation and positive presence in the community – something I hope I can make more widely known through video and photo.”


Congratulations Janelle!

BFA Alum + the Magnum Foundation

BFA Alum Kate Fowler has been a busy bee! She’s recently working with the Magnum Foundation as a part of their Photography, Expanded initiative. Photography, Expanded inspires documentary photographers to expand their storytelling beyond the still image. They offer intensive workshops and panel discussions for photographers on digital tools and methods to help them engage audiences across platforms and mobilize communities around social justice issues. This initiative is in its second year and is preparing for its fourth lab and its second symposium.
“I’m thrilled to be part of a small, tight-knit team that works to offer free opportunities to emerging international photographers. My role is to provide production and event assistance on programming, which includes researching and contacting potential panel members, facilitators and mentors, acting as a point of contact for lab attendees, contributing artists and collaborators, working with the director of programming to design the structure of events and the run-of-day for labs, writing event descriptions and serving as a facilitator during the events. Each day is different and has its own set of challenges— many of which inspire and inform my personal practice!”
She is also working with Mark Strandquist, a fellow Photo/Film Alum, to develop an on-going event surrounding the development of a tactical playbook for participatory projects. Participants collaborated on mapping out the production of four different participatory projects, in an attempt to show the complexity of this type of photographic practice. Additionally, they will be included as part of an exhibition at the Bridge PAI in Charlottesville, during LOOK3: Festival of the Photograph. The Magnum Foundation will also be having a symposium at LOOK3 titled “Disruptive Images: Photography and Intervention”.