The Visual Arts Center Launches New Studio Fellowship Program 

December 08, 2023 Features News

Richmond, VA (December 8, 2023) — The Visual Arts Center in Richmond, Virginia is launching a new Studio Fellowship program to support clay artists and studio technicians emerging in the field. The fellowships began in October and will continue for a full year through next October, 2024 

This program begins in the year leading up to the National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts’ (NCECA) national conference, to better support our clay studios as we prepare to host the event in March of 2024 here in Richmond. VisArts is a key partner in this conference, with our own staff helping to plan programming throughout Richmond and hosting exhibitions and events.  

The goal of the Studio Fellowship program is to provide fellows with a way to gain studio-specific expertise and valuable work experience that can positively impact their careers, while also connecting them with a studio community and encouraging their creative practices. For VisArts, the fellowship will provide much-needed support to studios requiring weekly assistance to thrive and help in managing high traffic from classes, studio access and residency programs.  

“Our clay studios continue to be our busiest space at VisArts, and the community who uses it just keeps growing thanks to our popular classes, new artist residencies, and growing studio access program,” says Executive Director, Jordan Brown. “These new fellows will help provide the care and attention needed to keep our clay studios ready for our community, to fire pieces made in the studio, and to ensure this program continues to thrive. And at the same time VisArts can pay, train and support the fellows to learn new skills for their own career and artistic practice.”   

The pilot program includes two fellows who have already been selected, Zinnia Cantrell and David Rummel. Zinnia and David have been involved at VisArts as volunteers and interns and come with a deep understanding of clay as a medium and how to support a community space like VisArts. 

These fellows will get free use of the studios at VisArts and can participate in the ongoing skill-shares, workshops and studio demonstrations offered at VisArts. They will also be invited to participate in an annual exhibition in the organization’s True F. Luck Gallery, showcasing their work alongside that of VisArts teachers, staff and board of directors. 

Future plans include making the program application-based next year and into the future, and potentially expanding to offer fellowships in other media across a variety of VisArts specialized studio spaces.  

This fellowship program was made possible by Karen Hull Daniel, Nelson Daniel, and other generous donors who wished to contribute to the ongoing success of our clay program and help VisArts to pilot this new offering.