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VMFA awards nearly $120,000 to 19 artists as part of 2023-24 Visual Arts Fellowships

The VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship program has awarded more than $6 million to more than 1,400 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, art curators and working artists serve as jurors to select the award recipients.

Trevor Dickerson

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The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) has announced the 2023–24 recipients of its Visual Arts Fellowships. Nineteen students and professional artists were awarded $116,000 toward their artistic careers.

The VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship program has awarded more than $6 million to more than 1,400 artists since 1940. Recipients must be Virginia residents and may use the award as desired, including for education and studio investments. Each year, art curators and working artists serve as jurors to select the award recipients.

“We are truly honored to have the opportunity to recognize the talented student and professional artists through our longstanding fellowship program,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s Director and CEO. “As one of the largest fellowship programs in the country, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is proud to continue honoring and supporting the careers of artists across the Commonwealth.”

This year, Brittany Webb, Evelyn and Will Kaplan Curator of Twentieth Century Art and the John Rhoden Collection at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, served as the professional-level fellowship juror. Amy Torbert, Andrew W. Mellon Foundation Assistant Curator of American Art at the Saint Louis Art Museum, served as graduate art history juror and Anna Buchanan, Curator of Contemporary Fine Art and Craft at the William King Museum of Art in Abingdon, Virginia, served as the graduate and undergraduate visual arts juror.

VMFA awarded seven professional fellowships of $8,000 each to Roberto Bocci, photography, Arlington resident; Vivian Chiu, crafts, Henrico resident; Ben Durham, drawing, Henrico resident; Sheila Giolitti, painting, Norfolk resident; Brittany Ofori, photography, Richmond resident; Eleanor Thorp, drawing, Richmond resident; and Sandy Williams IV, sculpture, Richmond resident.

Five graduate students were awarded $6,000 each. The awardees are Alex Del Dago, art history, Charlottesville resident, University of Virginia; Stephanie Germosen, sculpture, Richmond resident, Virginia Commonwealth University; Michelle Smith, sculpture, Annandale resident, James Madison University; Morgan Williams, mixed media, Chesapeake resident, Norfolk State University; and Sara Zhou, painting, Fairfax resident, Mary Washington University.

Undergraduate fellowship awards of $4,000 each went to six students. The recipients are Sydney Harrison, photography, Mechanicsville resident, Virginia Commonwealth University; Alex Henion, mixed media, Boones Mill resident, Cave Spring High School; Fiona Marinaro, mixed media, Yorktown resident, Savannah College of Art and Design; Walker Moore, film and video, Richmond resident, Virginia Commonwealth University; Nadia Msalek, painting, Virginia Beach resident, Virginia Commonwealth University; and Laneecia Ricks, photography, Richmond resident, Virginia Commonwealth University.

The Cy Twombly Graduate Fellowship, supported by the McClintock Endowment, honors a two-time fellowship winner. This year’s awardee is Nile Price, film and video, Richmond resident, New York University.

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Trevor Dickerson is the Editor and Co-Founder of RVAHub.