Visiting Artists

savannah knoop

Each year Sculpture + Extended Media invites a diverse and intergenerational group of 8–12 artists, critics, curators, philosophers and thinkers to visit and spend time with us. Visitors give a public lecture, followed by studio visits, a workshop or a seminar with our students and culminating with a group dinner with students and faculty.

Determined each year in close discussion with faculty and our MFA students, the program is designed to be nimble, vital — echoing the essential developments and conversations of the day.

2019-2020 Visiting Artists

Deana Haggag

Tuesday, February 25 2020 at 12:00 pm
VCU Student Commons Theater​​: 907 Floyd Ave. Richmond, VA​

Deana Haggag is the President & CEO of United States Artists, a national arts funding organization based in Chicago, IL. Before joining USA in February 2017, she was the Executive Director of The Contemporary, a nomadic and non-collecting art museum in Baltimore, MD, for four years. In addition to her leadership roles, Deana lectures extensively, consults on various art initiatives, contributes to cultural publications, and has taught at institutions such as Johns Hopkins University and Towson University. She is on the Board of Trustees of the Detroit Institute of Arts, the Artistic Director’s Council of Prospect.5, and the Advisory Council of Recess. She received her MFA in Curatorial Practice from the Maryland Institute College of Art and a BA from Rutgers University in Art History and Philosophy. She is proudly a first-generation Egyptian-American Muslim disabled woman of Afro-Arab descent. She currently lives in Chicago, Illinois and New York, New York.


Tiona Nekkia McClodden

Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 5:15 pm
Art Foundation Rm 535: 609 Bowe St. Richmond, VA

Tiona Nekkia Mcclodden will discuss her multi-channel installation work/ prayed to the wrong god for you, 2019 filmed across the United States, Cuba, and Nigeria.

Tiona Nekkia McClodden [she/her] is a visual artist, filmmaker, and curator whose work often employs a citational practice exploring and critiquing issues at the intersections of race, gender, sexuality and social commentary. Her interdisciplinary approach traverses documentary film, experimental video, sculpture, and sound installations. Mc­Clodden has exhibited and screened work at the Institute of Contemporary Art-Philadelphia, the Museum of Modern Art (New York); the Whitney Museum; MOCA LA; MCA Chicago; MoMA PSI; among others. She has recently been awarded the 2019 Bucksbaum Award – McClodden was chosen from among the seventy-five artists whose works were presented in the 2019 Whitney Biennial. McClodden has been awarded the 2019 Guggenheim Fellowship in Fine Arts, the 2018-19 Keith Haring Fellowship in Art and Activism, the 2017 Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award and the 2016 Pew Fellowship in the Arts in Philadelphia, PA, among other awards. McClodden curated the traveling exhibitions A Recollection. + Predicated. featured within Julius Eastman: That Which is Fundamental, and more recently There Are No Shadows Here: The Perfect Moment at 30. Her first solo exhibition with COMPANY Gallery, titled Hold on, let me take the safety off, opens November 2019. She lives and works in North Philadelphia, PA.


Savannah Knoop

Performance Salon: November 17 & 18, 2019 at 6:00 pm
FAB Gallery: 1000 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA

Performance Salon hosted by Savannah Knoop
Ground Routine:
Work made through the notion of the score

An Intra-active Performance Salon hosted by Savannah Knoop


Kiyan Williams

Thursday, November 14 2019 at 11:00 am
VCU Student Commons Theater​​: 907 Floyd Ave. Richmond, VA​

Kiyan Williams is a multidisciplinary artist from Newark, NJ who works fluidly across sculpture, performance, and video. They often work with dirt, sediment, and debris as material and metaphor to unearth diasporic experiences and trans/gressive subjectivity. Kiyan earned a BA with honors from Stanford University and an MFA in Visual Art from Columbia University. Their work has been exhibited at SculptureCenter, The Jewish Museum, Brooklyn Museum, and The Shed. They have given artist talks and lectures at The Guggenheim, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Princeton University, Stanford University, Portland State University, and Pratt Institute.

Kiyan’s honors and awards include the Astraea Foundation Global Arts Fund and Stanford Arts Award. They were selected to participate in the 2019 In Practice: Other Objects emerging artist exhibition at SculptureCenter and are among the inaugural cohort of artists commissioned by The Shed. In 2018 they were invited to re-perform Bruce Nauman’s “Wall-Floor Positions” at MoMA and PS1. Kiyan was previously an artist fellow at Leslie-Lohman Museum and is an alum of the EMERGENYC fellowship at the Hemispheric Institute for Performance and Politics at NYU.


Elizabeth Webb

Tuesday, November 5, 2019 at at 12:30 pm
VCU Student Commons Theater​​: 907 Floyd Ave. Richmond, VA​

Elizabeth M. Webb is an artist and filmmaker originally from Charlottesville, VA. Her work is invested in issues surrounding race and identity, often using the lens of her own family history of migration and racial passing to explore larger, systemic constructs. She has screened and exhibited in the U.S., United Kingdom, Canada, Japan, Ecuador, Singapore, Switzerland, Mexico, Austria and Germany and was a recipient of the inaugural Allan Sekula Social Documentary Award in 2014. Elizabeth holds a dual MFA in Film/Video and Photography/Media from California Institute of the Arts and is an alumna of the Whitney Independent Study Program in Studio Art, Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, and the Core Program at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. She is Fall 2019 Visiting Faculty in Sculpture and Extended Media at Virginia Commonwealth University.

image: Elizabeth M. Webb, For the Mud Holds What History Refuses (Providence I), film still, 2019


Jesse Chun

Thursday, October 31, 2019 at 12:30 pm
VCU Student Commons Theater​​: 907 Floyd Ave. Richmond, VA​

Sponsored by the VCU department of Sculpture + Extended Media and 1708 Gallery
Jesse Chun is an interdisciplinary artist based in New York. Chun works with found language, documents, and bureaucracies to consider new poetics of legibility, diaspora, and the untranslatable. Her work has been exhibited at The Drawing Center; Queens Museum; BAM; Bronx Museum of the Arts; Oakville Galleries; Spencer Brownstone Gallery; Fridman Gallery, among others. Select awards and commissions include the National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship at ISCP; Triple Canopy; The Drawing Center’s Open Sessions; BRIC Media Arts Fellowship; Bronx Museum AIM; and a solo public commission at the Brooklyn Bridge Park. Her publications include Intangible Heritage (Wendy’s Subway x BAM, 2018); Blueprints (Silent Face Projects, 2017); and Valid From Until (Booklyn Press, 2016). Select public collections include the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Artist Book Collection; Cleveland Clinic Art Collection; the Smithsonian Institute, Archive of American Art; the Los Angeles Contemporary Archive; Yale University Library; Asia Art Archive in America, and more. Chun’s work has been reviewed in Artforum, the Brooklyn Rail, ArtAsiaPacific, Asia Literary Review, Art21, the Wall Street Journal, and BOMB.
In conjunction with 1708 Gallery’s solo exhibition of Jesse Chun: enunciating silence and

Dineo Seshee Bopape

Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 12:30 pm
VCU Student Commons Theater​​: 907 Floyd Ave. Richmond, VA​

Sponsored by the VCU department of Sculpture + Extended Media and VCU’s Institute of Contemporary Art.

Dineo Seshee bopape was born in 1981, on a Sunday. If she were ghanain, her name would be akosua/akos for short. During the same year of her birth, the Brixton riots took place; two people were injured when a bomb exploded in a Durban shopping center; bobby sands dies; 100 were killed during riots in Cassablanca; mtv is launched; the boeing 767 makes its first air flight; umkonto we sizwe performs numerous underground assaults against the apartheid state. princess Di’ of Britain marries charles; bob Marley dies; apartheid SA invades Angola; AIDS is identified/ created/named; salman rushdie releases his book “midnight’s children”; Winnie mandela’s banishment orders are renewed for another 5 years; in the region of her birth- her paternal grandmother dies affected by dementia; people cried and people laughed… The world’s population was at around 4.529 billion… today she(bopape) is 1 amongst 7 billion – occupying multiple intersecting adjectives.


Paul Coffey

Wednesday, October 23, 2019 at 12:15 pm
VCU Sculpture Crit Room 3: 1000 W. Broad Street

Paul Coffey currently leads the Office of Engagement at the School of tl1e Art Institute of Chicago where he and his team are responsible for external partnerships nationally and in­ternationally, including a local community partnership: Oaks of North Lawndale, a social sculpture in the North Lawndale neighborhood of Chicago.

Oaks of North Lawndale brings the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, the City of Chicago and the North Lawndale community together to reimagine the neighborhood as a verdant, peaceful and tree-lined place. Inspired by artist Joseph Beuys’ 7,000 Oaks (Germany, 1982), this project aims to address job creation and economic development, environmental improvements, equity issues, and encourage wellbeing by reforesting the 3.2 square miles of the North Lawndale neighborhood. The aim is to welcome collaborators to develop programming that addresses their needs, where collaborators and local businesses can grow and scale alongside the project. Examples of this collaboration are a partnership with the North Lawndale Employment Network on a job training program for at-risk youth; the skills developed via this program aim to create the future workforce for the urban agriculture, landscape construction, and urban forestry industries.


Savannah Knoop

Workshop: Wednesday, October 16, 2019 at 12:00 pm
Sculpture Crit Room 3: 1000 W. Broad St. Richmond, VA

GROUND ROUTINE: A movement and writing workshop and Performance Salon

Join interdisciplinary artist and VCU Grad alumni, Savannah Knoop, for a workshop employing the notion of choreography, and scoring to expand upon your own particular practice. October 16th, participants will do a movement and writing workshop. The workshop is open to all ages and kinds of bodies, and no prior movement (or writing) experience is required. Jumping off from the workshop, participants will then be invited to develop new versions of performative works in a performance salon at the Fine Art Building Gallery facilitated by Savannah Knoop.

Savannah Knoop is a New York-based artist who insights strategies of permission through writing, performance, and object-making. In 2001, Savannah Knoop founded the clothing line Tinc, which ran until 2009, with creative partner Parachati Pattajotti. From 2009-2016 Knoop co-hosted the monthly queer audio-visual party WOAHMONE. They received their BA at at CunyBa under the mentorship of Vito Acconci, and their MFA at Virginia Common Wealth University in Sculpture+ Extended Media. They have shown and performed at the Whitney,MoMA, the ICA Philly, Movement Research, Essex Flowers Gallery, and ACP in Los Angeles. In 2007, they published the memoir titled “Girl Boy Girl: How I Became JT LeRoy” (Amy Scholder, Seven Stories Press) cataloguing their experiences of playing their sister in law’s writing persona and avatar JT Leroy. With director Justin Kelly, they adapted it into a feature length film starring Kristen Stewart and Laura Dern. Savannah has studied dance and martial arts for over twenty years. They are currently a purple belt in Brazilian JiuJitsu under Marcelo Garcia.


Joshua Simon

Tuesday, September 24, 2019 at 12:30 pm
VCU Institute for Contemporary Art: 601 W Broad Street, Richmond, VA

“Don’t Hate The Meme, Hate The Algorithm”

Rasmus Fleischer of Pirate Bay recently said that “If fascism follows a failed revolution, then ours is the failed digital revolution.” 2018 might be remembered as the year of graphic cards shortage. The price for the cards soared since the beginning of that year, parallel to the price of Bitcoin and other crypto-currencies. Their strong processing capabilities made graphic cards an ideal tool for amateur crypto-mining. Interestingly enough, the graphic card is usually used for rendering visual plans and programs (from architectural plans to videogames), but here it was used for something that has no visual presence as far as human vision is considered. This is a telling example of where power is today – unattainable by the human eye. Therefore, we who are working in the field of the visual, are compelled to renegotiate our understanding of vision and power. In this talk, we will look at the exhibition as a model which allows for relations to be assessed and measured, while asking what kind of relations and connections are available in contemporary art.

Joshua Simon, curator and author. Former director and chief curator at MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam (2012- 2017), now based in Philadelphia, PA. Co-founding editor of the Tel Aviv-Jaffa based Maayan publishing. Author of Neomaterialism (Sternberg Press, 2013), and editor of United States of Palestine-Israel (Sternberg Press, 2011), Ruti Sela: For The Record (Archive Books, 2015), Communists Anonymous (with Ingo Niermann, Sternberg Press, 2017), and Being Together Precedes Being: A Textbook for The Kids Want Communism (Archive Books, forthcoming 2018). Recent curatorial projects include: The Kids Want Communism (MoBY-Museums of Bat Yam and Kunstraum Kreuzberg Bethanien, Berlin, 2016-2017), Second Nature (International Photography Festival, Tel Aviv 2017), and In The Liquid (PrintScreen Media Art Festival, Holon 2018). Simon holds a PhD from the Visual Cultures department, Goldsmiths College, University of London, UK.