Craft / Material Studies


FRIDAY, MARCH 30TH |  12:00 PM  |  THE DEPOT | 814 W. BROAD ST.

Iris Eichenberg is an independent artist, art educator, curator, and organizer of art-related events. She has taught at the Gerrit Rietveld Academie and is currently an Artist in Residence and Head of the Metalsmithing Department at Cranbrook Academy of Art.

Eichenberg’s work can be found in several museums including The Cooper-Hewitt (New York), The Museum of Arts and Design (New York), The Rijksmuseum (Amsterdam), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), the Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam), the Schmuck Museum Pforzheim, the Fondation National d’Art Contemporain (Paris), and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (Texas). Her work has been included in numerous exhibitions throughout the world including an upcoming solo exhibition at the CODA Museum in Apeldoorn, Netherlands in 2019.




Gerit Grimm was born, and grew up in Halle, German Democratic Republic. In 1995, she finished her apprenticeship, learning the traditional German trade as a potter at the “Altbürgeler blau-weiss GmbH” in Bürgel, Germany and worked as a Journeyman for Joachim Jung in Glashagen, Germany. She has taught at CSULB, Pitzer College, Doane College and MSU Bozeman and has completed numerous residencies including the Mc Coll Center, Bemis Center, Kohler Arts & Industry Program and Archie Bray Foundation. In 2009 NET Television created “Fantasia in Clay” a Nebraska Story about artist Gerit Grimm. Grimm is now an Assistant Professor at University of Wisconsin, Madison.










Anjali Srinivasan’s creative practice and research explores socio-economic empowerment through collaboration with traditional craft artisans in India. Her work has been included in several solo exhibitions in India, Sydney College of Arts in Australia, and Heller Gallery in New York. Anjali is the recipient of numerous awards and grants including a grant from The Ruth Chenven Foundation, an Andy Warhol Foundation Grant for Arts Writers, and was most recently awarded a Jutta Cuny-Franz Foundation Memorial Award. Additionally, her work has been exhibited internationally in Denmark, Switzerland, Dubai, United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia.

Anjali holds degrees from Rhode Island School of Design (MFA 2017), Alfred University (BFA 2002), and National Institute of Fashion Technology in New Delhi, India (Accessories Design Diploma 1998) and is currently an Assistant Professor at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston.



Queer Threads | Event Series

Queer Threads: Making and Talking,
Fiber and Fashion Event Series

April 10-14, 2017

Queer Threads: Making and Talking, Fiber and Fashion” is a week-long event series funded by the VCUarts Inclusion Infusion Initiative, from April 10-14 at VCU’s Depot and satellite community locations. Please join us for a series of lectures, interactive community-inclusive art projects, and a speaker panel bringing all four guests (Cindy Baker, John Chaich, Ramekon O’Arwisters, and Jeanne Vaccaro) together to discuss the intersections of queerness, body image, fashion, textiles and community.

John Chaich’s book, “Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community”, is now available for purchase at VCU Barnes & Noble Bookstore!

Panel Discussion with Cindy Baker, John Chaich, Ramekon O’Arwisters, and Jeanne Vaccaro – 4/12 – Depot 6-8pm

The panel will discuss topics relative to these artists and scholars’ work: gender, race, sexuality, body size, difference, shame, celebration, community, fiber-based hand making and design.


Ramekon O’Arwisters:
Artist Lecture
 4/10  VCU Depot 3:30-4:30pm
Crochet Jam  4/10  VCU Depot 5-8:00pm
Crochet Jam  4/11  Diversity Richmond (1407 Sherwood Ave) 12-6pm

Ramekon O’Arwisters is a San Francisco-based social-practice artist who creates collaborative, community-based art projects infused with folk-art traditions. During his Crochet Jams, participants become physically connected with one another through the processes of making yarn from used clothing and crocheting a giant textile. Click here for more details on our upcoming Crochet Jams

John Chaich  – Curator Lecture  4/11  VCU Depot 5-6pm

John Chaich presents a lecture on the evolution of his book, Queer Threads: Crafting Identity and Community, it’s exhibition precedent, and his experiences as a graphic designer, AIDS activist and queer art curator.



Jeanne Vaccaro – Curator Lecture  4/13 Oliver Hall, Rm. 1024 at 11am (1001 W. Main St., Physical Science Wing)

Jeanne Vaccaro is a postdoctoral fellow in Gender Studies at Indiana University. Vaccaro is currently working on the book, “Handmade: Feelings and Textures of Transgender,” which looks at the haptic and ‘felt’ labor of identity.



Cindy Baker:
Fashion Plate Workshop – 
4/12 (9-12), 4/13 (1-6)4/14 (9-12pm) – VCU Depot (814 W. Broad St)

Fashion Plate Performance Event – 4/14 6-9pm – Black Iris Gallery (321 W. Broad St)

Cindy Baker is a Canadian artist whose performance work addresses gender culture, queer theory, art theory and the implications of fat-shame. Cindy will host her Fashion Plate project, inviting student designers and garment makers to produce garments for Cindy to showcase in a fashion catwalk show that confronts the design industry’s disregard for fat and deviant bodies. Click here for more details on our Fashion Plate Events

Visiting Curator I Susie Silbert

Lecture I Thursday, March 2, 2017, 2:15pm

Location I The Depot 814 West Broad St.

Susie J. Silbert was appointed Curator of Modern and Contemporary Glass at The Corning Museum of Glass in 2016. Prior to joining the museum, she was an independent curator as well as a lecturer on the History of Glass at the Rhode Island School of Design. Her recent exhibitions include #F*nked!, exploring the relationship between digital interfaces and handmade objects, Concept:Process, at Parsons The New School for Design, Material Location at UrbanGlass, and SPRAWL, an interdisciplinary exhibition interpreting urban development at Houston Center for Contemporary Craft. Her writing has appeared in exhibition catalogs for the Chrysler Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft, and UrbanGlass as well as American Art Collector, GLASS Quarterly, Metalsmith, the American Craft Council website and the forthcoming book CAST, on casting in all media, edited by Jen Townshend and Renee Zettle-Stirling. She holds an MA in Decorative Arts, Design History, and Material Culture from the Bard Graduate Center.

Visiting Poet I Stu Kestenbaum

“Poetry and the Creative Process”

Lecture | Tuesday, February 7, 2017, 2:00-3:00pm

Location | the Depot, 814 West Broad St

Stuart Kestenbaum is the author of four collections of poems, Pilgrimage (Coyote Love Press), House of Thanksgiving, Prayers and Run-on Sentences and Only Now (all Deerbrook Editions), and a collection of essays The View From Here (Brynmorgen Press).  The director of the Haystack Mountain School of Crafts from 1988 until 2015, he has written and spoken widely on craft making and creativity, and his poems and writing have appeared in numerous small press publications and magazines including Tikkun, the Sun, the Beloit Poetry Journal, and on Garrison Keillor’s Writer’s Almanac.  He was appointed Maine’s poet laureate in 2016.