This class is an introduction to 2D animation using the grease pencil tool within the free and cross platform program Blender. Students will learn the basic concepts of animation including creating characters, making backgrounds, and finalizing in editing software. Each student will finish the class having made an animated short from beginning to end from a story or idea that they’ve chosen.
Instructor: Jared Duesterhaus
Come explore one of the world’s oldest processes of making: ceramics! This ceramic course focuses on a range of ceramic construction techniques and research opportunities for students to refine, develop, and explore personal modes of expression through ceramics. In this clay class, students will learn the processes of wheel throwing, coil building, slab building, glazing, and basic kiln firing. Demonstrations and research prompts are given for each assignment to aid in students’ technical, historical, and conceptual understanding of the medium. Students will have the opportunity to document their finished work to aid in portfolio development for college applications.
Instructor: Rice Evans
Students will learn about fashion design, design principles, and the business of fashion. The scope of work will include mood and concept, fashion illustration, design creation, and merchandising. Students will gain an understanding of how designers bring their designs to life through pattern-making, sewing, and construction of original designs. Students will use CLO 3D, a design software, to visualize fashion design on avatars, while viewing and manipulating the flat design pattern in 2D. The various segments of the fashion business and careers in the fashion industry will be explored. Activities include a line development project based on digital fashion research, inspiration board, and promoting fashion videos via social media.
This course is an introduction to the study and practice of interior design. Students will learn practical foundational skills and gain an understanding of the profession and current practice activities through studio work, lectures and site visits.
Instructor: Filipa Arinto de Carvalho Godinho
Students will become familiar with the complex language of comics and learn to craft, revise, develop, and produce a fully-realized work in sequential form. Students will work with both images and words. They will learn how to structure a page and create a clear reading path through panel layout and placement through pacing, editing, and scene transitions. Students will explore character development, model sheets, and world building while developing imagery within their unique visual language and voice.
Instructor: Kelly Alder
This class will introduce students to developing narratives that interact between commercial and fine art. Using gouache paint, this course will be broken into three sections: illustration, figure drawing, and concept art. For illustration, students will learn to develop a character and scene, as well as how to use composition, light, and shadow to create a mood. For figure drawing, students will develop traditional drawing techniques for rendering the human form. For concept art, students will develop original characters within environments that communicate time and develop color theory. Throughout the course, students will develop a portfolio that shows a variety of narrative works. Students will also look at the work of professional portfolios from artists working in both commercial and fine art fields.
Instructor: Andrew Norris
The introductory course will provide an opportunity to work on audition, callback, rehearsal, and performance technique in a practical way, as well as acting, singing, and dancing foundation techniques. Students will execute and analyze song selections from contemporary musical theatre (late 1990’s-present), Golden Age musical theatre (1940’s-1970’s), Jazz Age musical theatre (1920’s-1940’s), Disney musicals, and a deep dive into the work of Stephen Sondheim (1970’s-the early 00’s). The class will culminate in a showcase performance of songs performed in class. This course provides fun and exciting ways to learn different elements of musical theatre and what students would learn more about in a college setting.
Instructor: Desiree Dabney
Page to Stage is a combined playwriting and acting intensive that consists of learning the basics of playwriting and acting. Students learn about the structure and mechanics of playwriting during the morning sessions. The result of that section of the intensive will result in each student producing one ten-minute play. That play will be digitally recorded in a staged reading directed by the instructor. The acting component of the afternoon intensive, focuses on the memory and life experience of the actor utilizing the Acting with Ease technique. The practical application of the acting class will be experienced through the plays created during the morning sessions, or monologue and scene work from published professional plays.
Instructor: David Toney
Students will learn about the basics of character designs to then bring their ideas into a video game engine. The course will teach the process of creating a character and then 3D modeling it in Blender, a 3D modeling software, and then bring that model into a software called Unreal Engine, a video game software utilized for professionals around the world. Anyone interested in video game design as well as character design will learn a great deal in this course.
Instructor: Hunter Hutcheson
Kelly Adler is an illustrator, cartoonist, comic book artist, educator, etc. Adler has worked with The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker, The Village Voice, Fortune, Forbes, The Atlantic Monthly, Men’s Health, Disney Adventures, D.C. Comics, AdHouse Books, CFA Institute Magazine, Richmond Living, Afton, New Market, Ethyl, Virginia Power, The Virginia Historical Society, The Monitor Group, The Park Group, Pyramid Studios, Communication Design, Pfizer, Tiffany & Co., Glen Burnie House, Frontier Texas Visitor’s Center, Louisiana Children’s Discovery Center, MammaZu, Rancho-T, and more. Adler currently lives and works in Richmond, VA. Adler has taught illustration and sequential art at Virginia Commonwealth University since 2009.
Adler’s work has been recognized by Society of Illustrators, American Illustration, the Society of Illustrators Comic and Cartoon Art, Print, AIGA Richmond, and the Richmond Ad Club.
Desiree Dabney (B.F.A, M.Ed.) is a professional actor, singer, director, teacher, and executive director of Theatre Diva Productions in Richmond, VA. Desiree received her Bachelor of Fine Arts in Acting from Shenandoah Conservatory in 2014. She has been in over 100 productions including commercials, films, TV Shows (Apple TV and CBS), musicals, and plays.
She has recently been seen in a national commercial for Google; Love in Everybody at Cadence Theatre; Times Square Angel at Richmond Triangle Players; Ensemble in Warm, a Firehouse Theatre production; Hortensio in the Quill Theatre’s Taming of the Shrew; University of Richmond’s Caroline or Change (Caroline); Connie in Red Velvet at the Quill Theatre; Dr. Wink in the Virginia Repertory Production of Pinkalicious; and more. She is currently a board member for the Virginia Theatre Association, board member with Richmond Triangle Players, board member of Yes & And theatre, on the board for Fine Arts Education (Theatre) Virginia Department of Education, and owner and executive director of Theatre Diva Productions. Before coming to VCU, Desiree was a Richmond Public Schools Theatre Arts teacher at Boushall Middle School.
Jared Duesterhaus is an artist living and working in Richmond, VA. He creates work that includes components of sound, video, animation, and writing. He completed his bachelor’s degree in painting from Texas State University and received his Masters degree in Kinetic Imaging from Virginia Commonwealth University. Most recently a collaborative piece of his was exhibited at the inLight 2022 show in Bryan Park. He’s shown and screened work both locally and across the US. He is currently teaching with VCUArts and the University of Richmond, where he loves helping people pursue the tools they need to create what’s in their head. His free time is spent with the people most important to him.
Rice Evans is a multi-medium artist primarily working in clay. Originally from the Midwest, Evans received her BFA from New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University in 2016 and her MFA in Ceramics from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2021. Previously, Evans worked for the John Michael Kohler Art Center’s Arts/Industry program in both the pottery and foundry. Before coming to VCU, Evans worked as Studio Manager and Ceramic Technician for DBO Home, a luxury handmade home goods company in western Connecticut. Currently, she is adjunct faculty and Ceramic Studio Coordinator in the Clay Area of the Craft/Material Studies department at Virginia Commonwealth University. To quote Evans about her work: “My art practice meanders through concepts, techniques, and mediums to arrive at a messy, confusing, and overwhelming shared experience of digital life. It is here where we find humor, creativity, and most importantly our own contemporary folk culture.”
Andrew Norris is an artist and educator who specializes in grisaille oil painting, screen printing, and drawing. Andrew received his BFA from East Tennessee State University and his MFA from the University of Florida where he also earned a Graduate Certificate in Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies. He creates figurative oil paintings that explore how the often undervalued forms of Americana and heartland kitsch can be recharged as instruments through which to generate and explore queer identities.
Norris, work has been presented in solo exhibitions at Bermudez Projects (Los Angeles, CA), the University of Wisconsin (Green Bay, WI), and Iridian Gallery (RIchmond, VA). His work has featured in numerous national group exhibitions including Miami University (Oxford, OH), Czong Institute for Contemporary Art (South Korea), and Field Projects (New York City). Norris has been awarded fellowships to attend artist residencies at the Atlantic Center for the Arts (New Smyrna Beach, FL) and at the University of Wisconsin (Green Bay, WI). Norris’ work has been featured in New American Paintings (issue 153) and has work in the private collection of the Tom of Finland Foundation. Norris is currently an Adjunct Professor in both the Art Foundation (AFO) and Painting and Printmaking (PAPR) Departments at Virginia Commonwealth University and is Assistant Professor and Studio Art Coordinator at Virginia State University.
David Emerson Toney is an assistant professor of Theatre and teachers acting, directing, and playwriting. His acting career spans thirty-two years, with credits including A Free Man of Color directed by George C. Wolfe, and Julie Taymor’s Broadway and WorldTour production of Juan Darién. Off-Broadway, he has performed as Clarence in Richard III at the Pearl Theatre Company and Once on this Island at Playwrights Horizons. Regionally, he has appeared as Lucio in Measure for Measure and Alonso in The Tempest at the Folger Theatre, Army in The Persians at The Shakespeare Theatre, and Othello at The Shakespeare Theatre, Virginia Stage Company and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. He has also portrayed Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing at The Shakespeare Theatre, and as Doaker in Arena Stage’s production of The Piano Lesson. He was also the recipient of the Helen Hayes award for Outstanding Actor in a Resident Play for the role of Holloway in African Continuum Theatre Company’s production of August Wilson’s Two Trains Running. His film and TV credits include Law and Order, Law and Order SVU, The Cosby Show, The Thomas Crown Affair, and Dr. Marquay on All My Children. An accomplished acting coach, Toney has led many New York-based acting seminars, drawing upon his certification as a teacher of The Grand System.