“I do believe artists are underappreciated. They are the people who imagine things we can’t. They imagine our future,” says Tom Papa, co-founder and Managing Partner of Fountainhead Properties, who has sponsored the Fountainhead Arts Fellowship since 2005. “These fellowships,” he says, “are an opportunity for me to participate in a small way and live vicariously with these brilliant people. I am in awe of the students and the faculty of VCUarts.”
Fountainhead Properties creates eco-friendly, multi-family buildings, medical facilities and supportive housing for downtown Richmond, Va., revitalization. One of the company’s core values is “fueling a community’s vitality as a place to live, work and connect with others.” Thanks to this enduring vision, Fountainhead Arts Fellows study and work as part of a mixed use artist community that provides artists’ studios, apartments, a café, and other amenities close to campus in order to foster post graduate professional growth.
Papa has enjoyed connecting with the artists who have received the fellowship over the years. “It really is fun for me to meet these artists and to see the things that they create,” observes Papa, “I am thrilled with this opportunity to support these talented people.”
The Reynolds Gallery is currently exhibiting the work of two Fountainhead Fellows, one show will close May 20, the other May 27.
This residency opportunity is a joint project between Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts, the Department of Painting + Printmaking, the Department of Sculpture + Extended Media, and the Department of Craft/Material Studies.
Image: Irvin Climaco Morazan, Zoomorph installation, wearable sculptures, steel, terracotta ceramics and urns with soil from the US/Mexico border, Untitled Miami Beach, 2015