Community News from Art History: February 2022

Current BFA major, Sophia Saucer, is interning at The Anderson on campus

As part of The Anderson’s Curatorial Practices studio, current BFA major Julia Park, and current Independent Studies major with a focus in Art History, Sakina Ahmad, co-curated Southern Exigency. The exhibition, which was on view from February 4 – March 6 explored the work of 10 Atlanta-based artists.

Monica Kinsey (BA ’13, MA ’19) co-curated Conscious, Subconscious, (Collective) Unconscious, which was on view at The Anderson from February 11 – March 4. The exhibition brought together the work of 30 artists, many of whom are VCUarts alumni.

Current PhD candidate Kate Sunderlin was the recipient of a School of the Arts Graduate Travel Grant. Sunderlin will be attending the American Alliance of Museums Annual Meeting to present on a panel discussing how museums in Richmond are addressing racial injustice in their exhibitions and programming.

Current BA minors Nina Gregory and Nathan Hosmer, along with current BA major Natalie Duke had papers accepted to the SUNY New Paltz Undergraduate Art History Symposium scheduled to take place in April. Duke will be presenting on Queer Female Expression via late 19th and early 20th century interior decoration, and Hosmer will be presenting on African Art and Architecture.

Professor Lisa Freiman chaired the panel The Arts – The Artist as a Futurist in the Post-COVID Era at Horasis’ recent USA meeting, Shaping America’s Role in the Post-COVID World

The Department of Art History is proud to share two recipients from the department chosen to receive the Department of African American Studies’ Black History in the Making Award:
Current MA candidate Nana Ferdnance
Nana Ferdnance is a graduate student in the Art History department with a concentration in museum studies. Nana’s academic interests are centered around technology’s contribution to accessibility in art institutions and black identity and its connection to the African diaspora in modern and contemporary art. She is also passionate about advocating the voices of artists from marginalized communities and the need for genuine diversity and inclusion efforts in art institutions. During the Fall 2021 semester at VCU, she was a graduate assistant for Residential Life and Housing in Multicultural Affairs, where she supervised Diversity Ambassadors. She helped Diversity Ambassadors organize social justice presentations in residential halls surrounding topics on transgender awareness, power and privilege and race and discrimination in other countries and in the media.
As a scholar, Ms. Ferdnance has demonstrated her excellence as a thinker, a questioner, and a researcher. Her curiosity, creative thinking, and capacity to identify and explore new ideas that push art history into new directions provide the foundation of her present and future successes. This scholarly acumen, combined with a deep commitment to supporting working artists of color and to educating others about the significance of art at both local and global levels, will make Ms. Ferdnance an outstanding arts professional and educator.

Current BA major Indigo Witt
Since Indigo joined VCU and the department last year as a transfer student, she has distinguished herself as a promising young scholar and peer leader in the department. Indigo is passionate about the history of art and is working actively to change the discipline, in particular the historically Euro-centric, colonialist perspective of art history and museums. In her studies as an art history major, Indigo is already making a positive impact on the field. Last fall, Indigo served as an Education Intern at the Virginia Museum of History and Culture, where she worked on a months-long project surrounding representations of Indigenous people in early American art. In addition to her tremendous scholarly promise, Indigo is an active member of the department, where she has served as an admissions representative. Recently, the department nominated her to serve as a representative on the VCUarts Student Advisory Council.