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2020 Studio issue features accomplishments among students, alumni, and faculty

Cover image of Studio featuring map illustration of George Floyd

View the complete 2020 issue of Studio here.


VMFA Fellowship 2020-21 Recipients

  • Undergrad: Tatyana Bailey, Emma Carlson, Nicolas Fernandez
  • Alumni: Emma Gould (BFA ‘19), David Riley (MFA ‘19)
  • Assistant chair of Photography, Jon-Phillip Sheridan

Look for help— you’ll find the artists

A collective of skilled artists and makers, known as the Richmond Arts and Cultural Workers Coalition, banded together to produce protective face masks for medical staff at VCU Health; home and public health care workers; bus drivers; and other essential workers. Jon-Phillip Sheridan, one of the coalition’s organizers and assistant chair in the Department of Photography + Film, says they also received requests from Richmond Behavioral Health Authority, the Richmond City Health District, and Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center.


Photo Film Takes to Twitch

The Department of Photography + Film celebrated the end of the year with an awards ceremony titled “Island,” which was livestreamed on Twitch and Instagram. Students also received special awards from Candela Books and Capital One. “Island” featured the work of undergraduate and graduate students, in addition to a DJ set performed by Justin James Reed, interim department chair.


View from the streets

As protests and rallies moved throughout the city of Richmond this summer, Rae Fines (BFA ’20), a Photography + Film and Art Education graduate, was there to document the scene from a protester’s point of view. “I wanted to show the anger, the dedication and love that are out on the streets every day,” Fines says. “But I am not solely at these protests to photograph. I am also chanting, marching and getting tear gassed like everyone else. When I saw the video of George Floyd’s murder, I saw my dad. I saw my little brother’s future if we don’t make a change.”


The Change Makers

For the last several years, Photography + Film associate professor John Freyer and members of Rams in Recovery, VCU’s collegiate recovery program, have been riding around campus on a custom-built cherry-red bicycle, outfitted with a pour-over coffee maker. In the five minutes it takes them to brew a cup of coffee, they share their experiences with addiction in hopes of helping others better understand substance use and recovery.


Hong Kong

Samuel Lo (BFA ’20), a recent graduate from the Department of Photography + Film, received a Dean’s International Research Grant to visit Hong Kong in summer 2019. There, he retraced his father’s history and gained a better understanding of his own identity