Faculty and alumni receive VMFA Artist Relief Fellowship

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has selected several VCUarts faculty and alumni for the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program. The fund was developed to assist visual artists from throughout the commonwealth who have been impacted by the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Of the 350 applications for the program, 40 were selected by the VMFA, including several artists associated with VCUarts. $200,000 was made available for the relief program with each artist receiving $5,000. The program is funded by the museum’s existing Artist Fellowship Endowment established in 1941 through a gift made by John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Through this endowment, VMFA has awarded nearly $5.8 million to artists in the commonwealth over the past 80 years.

The VCUarts recipients of the grant are:


  • Luis Vasquez La Roche (MFA ’20), Painting + Printmaking
  • Sandy Williams IV (MFA ’19), Sculpture + Extended Media
  • Noah Velez (BFA ’19), Communication Arts
  • Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz (MFA ’17), Painting + Printmaking
  • Eva Rocha (MFA ’16), Kinetic Imaging
  • Leigh Suggs (MFA ’15), Craft/Material Studies
  • Nastassja Swift (BFA ’15), Painting + Printmaking, Craft/Material Studies
  • Nikki Painter (BFA ’02), Painting + Printmaking
  • Kendra Wadsworth (BFA ’96), Painting + Printmaking
  • Scot Turner (BFA ’82), Communication Arts
  • S. Ross Browne, Communication Arts


  • Alicia Little, instructor, Art Foundation Program
  • Barry O’Keefe, instructor, Art Foundation Program