VCUarts Summer Studio Program

2016 Program Session
June 4 — July 28, 2016



VCUarts Summer Studio Program

2016 Program Session
June 4 — July 28, 2016



Program Description

The Summer Studio Program at Virginia Commonwealth University is a supportive and rigorous residency program with an established track record of inspiring and developing artists within a hothouse environment. Based on our successful MFA program, this 7-week intensive program combines theory and practice through: seminars, studio visits, artist lectures, critiques, professional development and intensive studio time.

For nearly a decade, this groundbreaking program has attracted artists globally to help transform and hone their work and ideas. Participants come together for uninterrupted time to work in generous studios and engage in ongoing dialogue with internationally recognized artists, critics and curators. Hands-on commitment to the advancement of the participants by those leading the program is remarkable: it is what sets this opportunity apart.

This two-month residency is ideal for artists developing a portfolio for application to graduate school, as well as those interested in uninterrupted studio immersion with charged feedback inside a stimulating and supportive atmosphere.

What Alumni Have to say

Many of the program’s alumni have gone on to some of the most prestigious graduate programs and residencies in the country. Past program alumni have noted:

“In two months, my work improved as much as in three years of university study.”
“Your serious belief in our individual potential and unwavering investment in our art practice was so encouraging, and certainly served as the impetus I needed to begin to transform how, why and to what end I make art.”
“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.”
“I left the program feeling good, with stronger convictions, tougher questions, and more specific goals.”


2016 Core Faculty

Derek G. Larson
Derek G. Larson hold his MFA from the Yale School of Art and is completing his Doctorate at the European Graduate School in Switzerland. In his practice he combines digital media with painting and projected animations. In 2014 his work was featured in the summer issue of New American Paintings and he received the David Bermant Foundation Fellowship. He has exhibited in a number of national and international shows and residencies, with recent exhibitions at Vox Populi (Philadelphia), Mulherin + Pollard (New York) and the Museum of Modern Art (New York).

2016 Visiting Faculty

Arnold Kemp
Arnold Kemp is chair of the Painting and Printmaking Department at Virginia Commonwealth University. Kemp’s work is represented by PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR. From 1991 – 2006, Kemp had four significant solo exhibitions in San Fransisco and many group 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). His work resides in many collections such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem. He is the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships including the John Simon Guggenheim Foundation, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation and the Joan Mitchell Foundation.
Alina Tenser
Alina Tenser was born in Kiev, Ukraine. She received her BFA from School of theVisual Arts and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Tenser has held solo exhibitions at AIR, New York, NY; Nurture Art, Brooklyn, NY; and Pioneer Works, Brooklyn, NY. Her work has been exhibited at venues including The Kitchen, New York, NY; The Suburban, Chicago, IL; Jancar Jones, Los Angeles, CA; and Laurel Gitlen Gallery, New York, NY. Most Recently Tenser's work was shown at Kate Werble Gallery in NY and Gallery Diet in Miami. Tenser received the Dedalus Foundation MFA Fellowship and was a resident of Recess Sessions in 2012.
Christopher K. Ho
Hong Kong-born Christopher K. Ho employs diverse formats to explore often-invisible social forces implicating contemporary art. His solo show Demoiselles d'Avignon (2013, Y Gallery, NY) refracted Western abstraction through the eyes of a future class of refined Chinese princelings, while Privileged White People (2013, Forever & Today, NY) examined the sensibility of artists who grew up during the affluent Clinton presidency. He has had solo exhibitions at Winkleman Gallery, NY (2010, 2008); FJORD, Philadelphia (2013); and Galeria EDS, Mexico City (2009). His work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Art in America, Modern Painters, Artforum, and ArtReview. He participated in the Incheon Biennial (2009), the Chinese Biennial Beijing (2008), and the Busan Bienniale (2008), and produced site-specific pieces for Storm King (2013) and the Cranbrook Art Museum (2011), where he was the 2010 Critical Studies Fellow. He currently teaches at RISD.
Matt King
Matt King is an associate professor and the interim chair of the Sculpture + Extended Media Department at VCU. He received his M.F.A from Bard College in 2004. Prior to this he studied at the Cooper Union School of Art and he participated in the Whitney Independent Studio Program. His solo shows include Werkstatte Gallery and Massimo Audiello in New York and Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland, OR as well as group exhibitions including Luhring Augustine, Stefan Stux, and Guild & Greyshkul. Reviews of his work include Artforum, Art Papers, and Tema Celeste.
Michael Jones Mckean
Michael Jones McKean is the recipient of numerous awards including a recent Guggenheim Fellowship, a Nancy Graves Foundation Award and an Artadia Award. In addition, McKean has been awarded fellowships and residencies at The Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, The MacDowell Colony, The International Studio and Curatorial Program in New York City, The Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center, The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts and the Sharpe-Walentas Studio Program in New York City. Recent exhibitions include the Center for Curatorial Studies, Bard, Annedale-On-Hudson, NY: Parc Saint Leger Centre d’art Contemporain, Nevers, France: Horton Gallery, New York, NY: Manifestation Internatiationle d’art de Quebec Biennale, Quebec City, Canada: Gentili Apri, Berlin, Germany: The Art Foundation, Athens, Greece: Favorite Goods, Los Angeles, CA: Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada and Shenkar University, Tel Aviv, Israel.

Past Faculty and Visitors

Karen Archey
Holly Coulis
Lili Cox-Richard
Matthew Flegle
Jackie Gendel
Heather Guertin
Frank Haines
Corin Hewitt
Philip Hinge
Ridley Howard
Arnold Kemp
Matt King
Fawn Krieger
Derek G. Larson
Michael Jones Mckean
Andrea Merkx
Holly Morisson
Carlton Newton
Ester Partegas
Nigel Rolfe
Will Schneider-White
Artie Vierkant
Gregory Volk
Wallace Whitney
Dora Budor
Karen Heagle
Fawn Krieger
Matthew P. Shelton
Jeni Spota


Julie Grosche
Julie is a graduate of Ecole Nationale Supérieure d’Art in Dijon, France and is the co-founder of PMgalerie in Berlin, Germany and of Bcc, an itinerant curatorial project. Her work and curatorial endeavors have appeared internationally at Pauline’s, New York City; Reference Gallery, Richmond, Virginia; Domestica, Barcelona, Spain; PROGRAM, Berlin; Favorite Goods, Los Angeles; Oslo10, Basel, Switzerland; Emerson-Dorsch, Miami as well as Based In Berlin, Berlin, Germany.



Artists with undergraduate degrees who want to develop a body of work to serve as a portfolio for application to excellent graduate programs.

Artists with undergraduate degrees who are interested in further developing studio work and critical thinking in a creative professional environment.

Artists, perhaps farther along in their careers, who wish to participate in a critical dialogue to push their work to the next level.

Please note
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.


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 of this is in addition to plenty of studio time.

  • Group Critiques
  • Individual Studio Visits
  • Seminar
  • Workshop professional practices (including preparing for graduate school, artist statement), welding, monotype, frame building.

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.


Participants have 24-hour access to a 114,000 square foot, state-of-the-art facility housed at the VCUarts Fine Arts Building near downtown Richmond, Virginia. Participants have the use of painting studios, woodshop, metal studio (please note the foundry and print making studio are not running over the summer), mold making studio, computer lab and video editing facilities as well as University Library privileges and Wi-Fi access. Technical assistance is provided in the sculpture shops and computer lab.

Click here to view Painting Facilities
Click here to view Sculpture Facilities


  • 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.


Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is a diverse cultural city, surrounded by historic neighborhoods, parks and the James River — home to one of the largest inner city park systems in the country. The city consistently ranks among "Best Places to Live and Work in America." Richmond is ideally located within easy reach of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City.

Near the center of downtown is Virginia Commonwealth University, a tier one public research university with over 31,000 students and 222 degree and certificate programs spread throughout its 13 schools and colleges. VCUarts, with over 3100 students is one is the largest schools in the University and is ranked as the #1 public university for art and design in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

Students can find nearby, off-campus housing during the program. Students are responsible for arranging their living situation. Sublets range in price and availability, for a general overview of prices see Craigslist Richmond. You should plan to spend between $500 and $800 for a bedroom in a shared apartment or in a private one.

Program Fee

Fee: $4,950

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


Email your application to in one folder labeled with the program of your choice and your name (Sculpture_Firstname_Lastname) or (PaintPrint_Firstname_Lastname). In the folder put only two PDFs:
  • PDF 1: Ten images of recent work with title, year, medium and dimensions listed under each images, videos can be sent to via google drive.
  • PDF 2: One-page artist’s statement + CV/resume including name, date of birth, address, telephone number and e-mail address + Two references (no letters) with name, title if applicable, phone number and email contact.
Mail your fee:
  • Application fee of $25 - Check payable to VCU SSP to this address:

    VCU Summer Studio Program
    P.O. Box 843005
    1000 W. Broad Street Room #351
    Richmond, VA 23284-3005


Julie Grosche, Program Director at

Applications that are incomplete, unreadable, late, or fail to meet the above requirements will not be submitted to the jury.

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.
  • All checks and mail must be addressed to VCU Summer Studio Program.
  • 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.
  • SSP fosters artistic growth; university credit is not available. While program graduates may apply for admission to VCU’s MFA programs, SSP is not a portal to admission.
  • There is no financial aid available for SSP.


2016 PROGRAM SESSION: JUNE 4 – JULY 28, 2016


  • Deadline for Application: April 10, 2016
  • Notification of Acceptance: End of April
  • Program deposit $200: May 8th, 2016
  • Program Fee due $4,750: May 22, 2016
  • Program Session: June 4 – July 28, 2016
  • Orientation: Sunday, June 4, 2016


Contact Julie Grosche, Program Director at