2018 Summer Studio

Guest Privileges, at The Depot, Richmond, VA, featuring the works of Leticia Bernaud, Eliza Bryan, Wilt Boone, Owen Keogh, Lara Mossler, Mureen Phela, Adam Ramey and Kinsey Ramey, June 9-12, 2016

VCUarts SUMMER STUDIO PROGRAM in Photography, Film + Media Art
Artist Residency + Exhibition

2018 Summer Studio Program Session
May 20-June 15, 2018

• Deadline for Application: April 13, 2018
• Notification of Acceptance: April 23, 2018

The Summer Studio Program in Photography, Film + Media Art is a supportive, rigorous artistic residency that combines theory, practice and professional development over four weeks in Richmond, VA. Taking advantage of our extensive facilities at VCUarts, Summer Studio provides concentrated studio time and ample workspace, artist lectures, engagement with critics and curators and generous critiques with VCUarts faculty and guest artists. This intensive, hands-on experience is ideal for artists developing a portfolio for graduate school, as well as those interested in studio immersion within a stimulating and affirmative environment.


2018 Core Faculty

Matthew Warren (Salem, Oregon, 1978) is an artist and educator who lives and works in Richmond, VA and NYC. He received a BA in Film and Electronic Arts from Bard College and his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. He has shown nationally in Richmond, VA, Seattle, WA, NYC, and North Adams, MA, and internationally in Berlin, Germany and Doha, Qatar. In 2013 he received a Professional Fellowship from Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, and was selected to show through the museum at the conclusion of that year. Though based in photography, his work consistently incorporates ideas and modes of painting and installation art. In his role as a faculty member at VCU he has taught in the Department of Photography and Film, The Department of Painting and Printmaking, and leads a studio arts class in Berlin, Germany each summer.

Stephanie Dowda is an artist working in Atlanta and Richmond, Virginia. She holds and MFA from VCU in Photo + Film. She is the recipient of Ideal Capital grant, Fulton County Arts Council Project Grant, Atlanta Arts Project Grant, Dash Artist, and had received several Travel Grants while a graduate student at VCU. She is a fellow of Vermont Studio Center, Hambidge Center for Creative Arts, Cabin Time, and the Golden Dome School. Dowda helped conceptualize and create the year-long professional development artist award, Leap Year, with Mint Atlanta. She was Creative Director of WonderRoot and ran the Walthall Fellowship program. She is Creative and Operations Director of the award winning, Lostintheletters. She has also served as President of BurnAway and Vice President of Atlanta Celebrates Photography. Dowda has exhibited widely including at MART Dublin, Ireland, WhiteSpace Gallery Atlanta, Atlanta Contemporary Art Center, Zuckerman Museum, and most recently Grizzly Grizzle, Philadelphia.

Sasha Waters Freyer  is a moving image artist trained in photography and film whose work has screened at renowned international film festivals like Rotterdam, Telluride, Tribeca and IMAGES, in museums such as the Pacific Film Archives, the Museum of the Moving Image in New York, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Detroit, on international public and cable television and in microcinemas, basements and country libraries. Her 16mm and digital films been reviewed in ArtForum, The New Yorker, Variety, IndieWIRE and Mother Jones. She is a past fellow of The MacDowell Colony, Yaddo and the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts and has received media production funding from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Graham Foundation. She is the Chair of the Department of Photography & Film at Virginia Commonwealth University.

Paul Thulin uses analog photography, digital montage, appropriation and various alternative materials, to explore the contextual and material constructs of history, cultural identity, consumerism, memory and myth. He is represented by Modernbook Gallery in San Francisco, California and ADA Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. His photographs have been exhibited nationally and internationally, including United Photo Industries NYC, Miami Scope, Candela Gallery, Chicago Art Fair and the Toronto Art Fair. Thulin has been the recipient of a variety of photographic prizes and awards including a 2001 TPI National Graduate Fellowship, a 2006 Virginia Commission for the Arts Artist Fellowship and the 2013 Conveyor Magazine Exhibition Grant. In addition, he has worked on curatorial projects related to local non-profit art organizations such as 1708 Gallery and Washington Project for the Arts.

Past Visiting Artists
William Lamson is an interdisciplinary artist whose diverse practice involves working with elemental forces to create durational performative actions.   Set in landscapes as varied as New York’s East River and Chile’s Atacama Desert, his projects reveal the invisible systems and forces at play within these sites.  Lamson’s work has been exhibited widely in the United States and Europe, including the Brooklyn Museum, The Moscow Biennial, P.S.1. MOMA, Kunsthalle Erfurt, the Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, and Honor Fraser Gallery in Los Angeles.  In addition he has produced site specific installations for the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Center For Land Use Interpretation, and Storm King Art Center.  He is a 2014 Guggenheim Fellow in Photography whose work has appeared in ArtForum, Frieze, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper’s Magazine, and The Village Voice.   Lamson earned his MFA from Bard College.

Brittany Nelson works with 19th century photographic chemistry techniques by altering their traditional usage to create artifacts that speak about the future. She received her MFA in photography from the Cranbrook Academy of Art, and her BA in photography and philosophy from Montana State University. She is a recipient of a 2015 Creative Capital Grant in Visual Arts, and a Theo Westenberger Foundation Grant for women advancing the arts. Recent solo exhibitions include Morgan Lehman Gallery (New York, NY), VOLTA (New York, NY), PATRON Gallery (Chicago, IL), David Klein Gallery (Detroit, MI) as well as group exhibitions at BAM (Brooklyn, NY), The Cranbrook Art Museum (Bloomfield Hills), and the Houston Center for Photography. She was awarded the Fish/Pearce Award for excellence in process-based work from The Print Center, Philadelphia and her work has been featured in publications such as The New Yorker, WIRED, New Art Examiner, and Collector Daily.

Ofer Wolberger graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 2001 with a Masters Degree in Photography and Related Media.  In 2012, he completed 12 Books, a series of self-published artists books and was awarded the Printed Matter Award for Artists. In August of 2013 he was a resident at Light Work in Syracuse. Last year he published a book of photographs titled Billie, and in February 2015 he will have a solo exhibition of his recent paintings at Stene Projects in Stockholm, Sweden.  Wolberger currently lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.

2018 Visiting Faculty
Lisa Freiman is the inaugural Director of the Institute for Contemporary Art (ICA) opening in Richmond in 2016. She is an internationally recognized curator and thought leader in contemporary art, serving as senior curator and chair of the contemporary art department at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (IMA) between 2002 and 2013. In 2011, Freiman served as commissioner of the U.S. Pavilion in the 54th International Art Exhibition, la Biennale di Venezia, presenting six newly commissioned, site-responsive works by Puerto Rico-based artists Allora & Calzadilla, the first collaborative to be presented in the U.S. Pavilion.

John D. Freyer is an interdisciplinary artist working at the crossroads of photography, video, audio and performance – both on the internet and in real-world exhibits and installations. In 2011, he was a Fulbright Fellow at the Konstfack University College of Arts, Crafts and Design and Stockholm University in Sweden, where he created and collaborated on Opening the Flatpack, a research/art project that explored the cultural significance of a specific object, namely IKEA’s Billy Bookcase. His work has been shown in museums, galleries, microcinemas and on national public television. Freyer’s 2002 book and online project, All My Life for Sale, is considered a groundbreaking “web 1.0” art project, cited in early histories of internet art, as well as featured on The Today Show and The Conan O’Brien Show.

Justin James Reed is based in Richmond, Virginia, (USA) Justin James Reed’s work and artists’ books have been exhibited widely, including at Higher Pictures (New York), Carroll and Sons (Boston), Atelier Néerlandais (Paris), Unseen Photo Fair (Amsterdam), and Depot II Gallery (Sydney). His work is in numerous collections, notably the Library of Congress, Yale University Art Gallery, The New York Public Library, MoMA Library, Stanford University Libraries, Bayerische Staatsbibliothek, and Dartmouth College. Justin is currently co-publisher at Flat Fix, a Brooklyn based press.

Sonali Gulati is a feminist, grass-roots activist, filmmaker and educator who grew up in New Delhi, India and has made several short films that have screened at over three hundred film festivals worldwide, such as the Hirshhorn Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and the National Museum of Women in the Arts, and at film festivals such as the Margaret Mead Film Festival, the Black Maria Film Festival and the Slamdance Film Festival. Gulati’s award-winning documentary, Nalini by Day, Nancy by Night, was broadcast on television in the U.S., Canada, Europe, Australia, New Zealand, The Middle East, South Asia and North Africa. Her most recent film, I Am, has won 13 awards and continues to exhibit extensively in the film festival circuit. Gulati has won awards, grants and fellowships from the Third Wave Foundation, World Studio Foundation, the Robert Giard Memorial Fellowship, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship, the Theresa Pollak Prize for Excellence in the Arts, the Center for Asian American Media (CAAM) and the Creative Capital Foundation. In 2013, she was awarded the prestigious John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship.

Cynthia Henebry’s recent large-format photographic exhibitions include The Tacoma Art Museum, The National Portrait Gallery, The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Camera Club of New York, Page Bond Gallery, and Sweetbriar College. Her work is held in corporate, private and public collections including The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts and Sweetbriar College. She is represented by Page Bond Gallery in Richmond, VA, and currently teaches at VCU Arts as well as the Richmond City Justice Center.

Mary Beth Reed’s film poems explore the intersection of visual abstraction, representational images, color, memories and movement combining cinematography, hand painting/processing and optical printing. Her films have screened in major national and international festivals including the New York Film Festival – Views from the Avant Garde, Black Maria Film Festival, Rotterdam International Film Festival, the Denver International Film Festival, MadCat Women’s Film Festival and the San Francisco International Film Festival. Solo shows include a Cineprobe at MoMA, shows in Japan during the Stan Brakhage Retrospective and Colorado First Person Cinema. Her films are distributed by Canyon Cinema, Filmmaker’s Co-op, and are in the permanent film collections at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the University of Colorado – Boulder.

Lauren Ross is an independent curator based in Richmond, VA, with 20 years of experience as a curator, writer and teacher focusing on championing the work of emerging and mid-career visual artists. From 2011 to 2014, Ross served as Nancy E. Meinig Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art at Philbrook Museum of Art in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Prior to 2011, Ross was based in New York City. As the inaugural curator for the High Line, Ross helped to craft and launch the celebrated park’s public art program. In 2008-09, Ross served as Interim Curator of the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art at the Brooklyn Museum, and previously served on the staff of the venerated alternative art space White Columns for seven years, including as its director/chief curator from 2001 to 2004.

Jon-Phillip Sheridan has had solo photographic exhibitions at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, the Reynolds Gallery, Richmond, VA, Mary Baldwin College, and Heiner Contemporary, Washington, DC. In 2013, he was honored by Oxford American as an emerging “Superstar” southern artist. Sheridan has been featured in many group exhibitions including Photography Now curated by Natasha Egan, Look 3, “Shots” and currently has work in the U.S. State Department’s Art in Embassies program. His work is included in the collections of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, Markel Corporation, Capital One and the Federal Reserve Bank.

Emily Smith is the Executive Director of 1708 Gallery, a non-profit space for new art in Richmond, VA. From 2007 until 2010, Smith was the Curatorial Fellow in Modern and Contemporary Art at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, including the following exhibitions: The Ludwig and Rosy Fischer Collection of German Expressionist Art; Matisse, Picasso, and Modern Art in Paris and Labor and Leisure: Works by African American Artists in the VMFA Permanent Collections. Prior to VMFA, she was Director of Exhibitions at Piedmont Arts in Martinsville, Virginia, and the Assistant Director at Second Street Gallery, Charlottesville, Virginia.

Gordon Stettinius is the founder of Candela Books, an independent publisher of fine art photography books. In 2011, he opened a gallery in the downtown arts district in Richmond, Virginia. Candela Books is now working on its 7th and 8th book titles and Candela Gallery has been bringing nationally notable photographers and artists to Richmond for five years. Stettinius has a diverse background having exhibited his own photography for over twenty-five years, and served as a writer, guest curator, and frequent portfolio reviewer.  His photography has been exhibited in New York, France, San Francisco, Boston, New Orleans and elsewhere.  This past year he has taught a workshop at the Maine Photographic Workshops and presented his work at the San Francisco Photo Alliance and George Mason University.

Susan Worsham is an American photographer from Richmond, Virginia. Named one of Oxford American’s “New Superstars of Southern Art,” her work has been widely exhibited in the United States as well as internationally. In 2015 she received both a Lensculture Emerging Talent Award, and a Lensculture Portrait Award. She has been an artist-in-residence at Light Work in Syracuse, New York, where her work was published in Contact Sheet 168: Bittersweet/Bloodwork, as well as a recipient of The Franz and Virginia Bader Fund. Her work is held in private and public collections including The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts, The Ogden Museum of Southern Art, and The Do Good Fund Southern Photography Initiative. She was recently nominated for the 2016 Baum Award for an Emerging American Photographer, one of the largest national awards among the grants and fellowships available in photography.


New York fashion photographer Amanda Bruns
Filmmaker Michael Almereyda
Fine art photographer Lucas Blalock
Artist Beth Campbell
Filmmaker Jem Cohen
Writer and Curator Charlotte Cotton
Oscar-winnng documentarian Ezra Edelman
Artist Ira Eduardovna
Video artist & photographer Nir Evron
Independent filmmaker Paul Harrill
Filmmaker Guy Maddin
Poet Dora Malech
Photo and Video Artist Laurel Nakadate
New Museum Curator Margot Norton
Cinematographer Kuni Ohi
Artist Jeanine Oleson
Artist Mariah Robertson
Artist Daniel Shea
Photographer Shawn Theodore
Artist Hank Willis Thomas
Artist Letha Wilson

Artists with undergraduate degrees who want to develop a body of work to serve as a portfolio for application to excellent graduate programs. Filmmakers with a project ‘in the can’ that need focused time and facilities for editing, as well as critical feedback on honing documentary, narrative or experimental story structure and form. Artists, filmmakers and photographers who are interested in further developing studio work and critical thinking in a creative professional environment – ready to take their work to the Next Level should apply. The Summer Studio in Photography, Film + Media Art is progressive, open-minded and exploratory. Students using traditional methods and media, as well as those who incorporate electronics, installation, sculpture, book arts, painting and crafts, as well as new, experimental or hybrid forms, are invited to apply.

Each of the four weeks includes group critiques, individual studio visits and a seminar: a focal point for group discussion of contemporary ideas, theory and issues based on readings, artist talks, public events. All of this is in addition to plenty of studio time on the main VCU campus.
• Group Critiques
• Individual Studio Visits
• Seminar
• Professional Practices Workshop – focus on writing an effective artist statement; researching and applying for grants and residencies; portfolio presentation and the public presentation of artistic work.

Also mixed in the calendar are visiting artist lectures and studio visits, museum and gallery field trips. The last week includes a culminating on-campus exhibition of work produced during the program.

The Department of Photography and Film works tirelessly to create a comprehensive and enriching learning environment for our students. It is our mission to provide the best training, equipment, and work space for unequalled creative output. We provide access to various labs and studios, most of which are available 24 hours a day. Our computers are updated every few years to maintain state-of-the-art hardware and software capabilities. Highlights include:
• Common studio and critique spaces
• Photography/Film shooting studio with three rooms, digital projector and computer stations for tethered camera work.
• Digital lab with Epson Stylus Pro 4900s, 7800, 9600, 9800, and 9900 digital inkjet printers, profiling systems and large print viewer
• Hasselblad Imacon high resolution negative scanner, scans up to 4×5 sheet film
• 18 27″ iMacs with a full suite of Adobe Creative Cloud software
• Black and white darkroom with 18 enlargers (4×5, medium and 35mm formats)
• 16mm Elmo slimline projector with 800′ looper, Full HD Cinema Projectors in all studios and classrooms w/Blu-ray player
• Photographic and filmmaking peripherals, such as lenses, microphones, tripods and light kits available for checkout

Click here to view Photo/Film facilities.

• Work full time in their VCU studios for the duration of the program.
• Participate in all seminars, critiques, reviews and events.
• Participate in the exit exhibition (including planning, installation, lighting, etc.)
• Produce photographic documentation of work done during the summer program
• Complete a written artist’s statement

Richmond, the capital of Virginia, is a diverse cultural city, surrounded by historic neighborhoods, parks and the James River — home to one of the largest inner city park systems in the country. The city consistently ranks among “Best Places to Live and Work in America.” Richmond is ideally located within easy reach of Washington DC, Baltimore, Philadelphia and New York City. Near the center of downtown is Virginia Commonwealth University, ranked as the #1 public university for art and design in the country by U.S. News & World Report.

The Department of Photography and Film is ranked #4 nationally among public schools for Photography and Film. Students can find nearby, off-campus housing during the four weeks of the program. Students are responsible for arranging their living situation. Sublets range in price and availability, for a general overview of prices see Craigslist Richmond. You should plan to spend between $500 and $800 for a bedroom in a shared apartment near campus.

Fee: $2,995
A limited number of $500 Scholarships will be awarded to students whose work is of exceptional quality. All students will be considered for these scholarships during the application process.

To process your application, please mail an application fee of $25 – check payable to VCU Photography and Film to:

VCU Photography and Film
Summer Studio 2018
Virginia Commonwealth University
PO Box 843088
Richmond, VA 23284

Email your application materials to photofilm@vcu.edu in one folder labeled “SummerStudio_LastName_FirstName”. Materials should include the following:

• PDF: Ten images/videos of recent work with title, year, medium and dimensions listed under each images, videos can be listed as online links or sent to photofilm@vcu.edu via google drive.
• PDF: One-page statement describing your artistic practice, goals and how you hope to use your time at the Summer Studio + CV including name, date of birth, address, telephone number and e-mail address + Two references (no letters) with name, title if applicable, phone number and email contact.

Please Note:
• There is no application form.
• All checks and mail must be addressed to VCU Photography and Film – Summer Studio Program.
• We request proof of health insurance; if you are unable to provide proof of health insurance you will need to sign a release and waiver of liability form.
• Summer Studio 2016 fosters artistic growth; university credit is not available. While program graduates may apply for admission to VCU’s MFA programs, Summer studio is not necessarily a portal to admission.
• There is no financial aid available for Summer Studio.

• Deadline for Application: April 13, 2018
• Notification of Acceptance:  April 23, 2018
• Program deposit $200: May 1, 2018
• Program Fee due $2,995: May 15, 2018
• Program Session: May 20 – June 15, 2018

If you have questions or require further information, please contact Sasha Waters Freyer at swfreyer@vcu.edu or call (804) 828-2162.