Bonnie Collura

Looking back at my education, I feel enormously fortunate to have gotten my undergraduate education from VCU. I studied from a vibrant faculty who were committed to getting their students to reach their individual creative and conceptual potential. Through their teaching, a student could discern the rigor that would be needed to develop one’s hopeful creative fingerprint. The tenor was consistent: making art is serious business. The staunch working and thinking principles provided in my BFA studies helped me navigate the demands of my graduate school experience (I got my MFA from Yale in 1996), and the pace that would be placed on my professional studio practice soon after receiving my MFA degree.

Since 1996, my work has been seen in numerous solo and group shows in New York, Germany, France, and Italy and is in national and international collections. It has been reviewed in The New York Times, Art Forum, Art in America, Art News, Sculpture Magazine, BOMB magazine, Beautiful Decay, Time Out New York, and several other publications. In 1997, I was awarded The Emerging Artist Award in from the Aldrich Museum of Contemporary Art in Ridgefield, Connecticut and in 2005 I received a Guggenheim Fellowship Award, for Sculpture. I have lectured about my work and my professional practice at several fine art schools across the country.

As my professional practice was growing, teaching became a second major focus in my creative life. Those who were formative inspirations in how I began to craft my own creative autonomy overlap with those who have been a guide to how I have developed my own teaching persona. In 2003- 2005 I taught undergraduate courses at VCU, working side many of the faculty who taught me. As I was a visiting professor at VCU, I continued to watch a faculty who takes nothing for granted. I began to learn the rewarding, yet challenging, task of teaching with a student’s innate and evolving strengths, vs. teaching specific strengths that students should align to. Honing this pluralistic, dialog-based teaching skill while trying to better my own conceptual craft inspired me to try to take on the challenging role of being an active professional artist and a dedicated teacher. Since my years teaching at VCU, I have taught in the adjunct capacity at: Rhode Island School of Design, Tyler School of Art, University of the Arts, Yale University, Columbia University, and Parsons School of Design. In 2007, I joined the creative team at Penn State’s University’s School of Visual Arts, where I am currently assistant professor and area head of the Sculpture Program. In this program, I teach Advanced Sculpture, Graduate Seminar, Issues of the Body, Intermediate Sculpture, and Digital Hand, a course that merges CNC and Rapid Prototyping hardware, and its compatible digital software with conceptually relevant analog complements.