Photography + Film Community News – October 2021

Over the past few months, we’ve been delighted to see our department’s current students, alumni, and faculty succeed in securing grants, exhibition opportunities, fellowships, etc. both nationally and internationally. We’re incredibly excited to share their accomplishments with you all!


Sasha Waters Freyer received a “Momentum Grant” from the Catapult Film Fund to help in the production of her latest project; creating a film from over 40 hours of Bruce Connor’s documentary footage showcasing the legendary gospel group, the Soul Stirrers. The Richmond Style Weekly ran a wonderful piece on the project when it was early in production in 2020. You can see Sasha’s work here.

The Soul Stirrers

Sonali Gulati’s most recent experimental short film ‘Miles & Kilometres’ has been selected to be a part of a plethora of prestigious film festivals across the world! This renowned list includes the Black Star Film Festival (2021), the ARFF Barcelona // International Film Festival (2022), the Vancouver Independent Film Festival (2021), the Mosiac World Film Festival (2021), the Hallucinea Film Festival (2021), and the DC South Asian Film Festival (2021). You can see Sonali’s work here.


The installation features two, 12 story-tall portraits of Ta’Dreama McBride and Clyde Walker made in collaboration with artist and Performing Statistics Creative Director Mark Strandquist.

Mark Strandquist (BFA) was commissioned to make a film for the Smithsonian’s ‘FUTURES’ exhibition that will debut in November of this year along with eight other independent documentary filmmakers. The exhibition will be on view until July, 2022. Mark’s film, “Freedom Constellations”, will tell stories of and with youth impacted by the juvenile justice system, time-traveling to a future where all young people are free and safe. Strandquist partnered with Richmond, Virginia-based Performing Statistics. You can see Mark’s work here.

Stanley Wolukau-Wanambwa (MFA) released a book of essays titled ‘Dark Mirrors’ with acclaimed publisher MACK “focusing on contemporary fine art photographic and video practices that are principally, though not exclusively, rooted in the United States, written between 2015 and 2021. Wolukau-Wanambwa analyses the image’s relationship to the urgent and complex questions that define our era, through the lens of artistic practices and works which insightfully engage with the ongoing contemporaneity of disparate histories and the ever-changing status of the visual in social life.”1 Essays include works by Deana Lawson, Dana Lixenberg, Paul Pfeiffer, Arthur Jafa, Katy Grannan, and Robert Bergman among others. You can see Stanley’s work here.

Sarah Kaufman (MFA), Evan Hume (BFA), and Riley Goodman (BFA) all have books coming out! Riley’s book, ‘From Yonder Wooded Hill’ will be published by Fall Line Press in late 2021. Sarah’s book, ‘Devil’s Pool’, and Evan’s book, ‘Viewing Distance: Remixing The Archives of The Military-Industrial Complex‘ are available now and were published by daylight books.

Nadiya Nacorda (BFA) and Johannes Barfield (MFA) were a part of a wonderful group exhibition titled ‘with, all, & in-between’ that can be seen at Candela Gallery in Richmond, VA till October 23rd. The show was curated by Enjoli Moon, Sandy Williams, and Nigel Richardson, and a part of the annual Afrikana Film Festival. You can see Nadiya’s work here, and Johanne’s work here.

Current Students

Grade Solomon (BFA) has been selected to be a part of the sixth triennial Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition! This is an incredibly competitive open call, with 42 finalists being exhibited at the Smithsonian. The exhibition will premier at the National Portrait Gallery from April 30, 2022, through Feb. 26, 2023, before traveling to other cities in the United States. You can see Grade’s work here.

Cecilia Kim (MFA) won the Trawick prize and was awarded $10,000. The Trawick Prize was established by Carol Trawick in 2003, and is one of the first regional competitions and largest prizes to annually honor visual artists. Cecilia was also awarded a Hamiltonian Fellowship (2021-2023), a prestigious fellowship lasting two years for artists in the D.C. and surrounding area. Fellows are awarded $2,000, one-on-one mentoring, exhibition opportunities, and a solo show at the end of their fellowship. You can see Cecilia’s work here.