Residency opportunities in Malta and Gozo with Fondazzjoni Kreattività

Fondazzjoni Kreattività in Malta, formerly known at St. James Cavalier Centre for Creativity, is now inviting applications from creative artists in all fields to apply for an immersive and community-based artist-in-residence program for 2019. Residencies range from two to four weeks, with residencies and projects taking place between January 2019 and December 2019. Those interested should apply directly to Fondazzjoni Kreattività here.  Although the two entities are no longer in direct partnership VCCA encourages its Fellows to apply for any of the Fondazzjoni Kreattività’s residency program strands.
Fondazzjoni Kreattività and VCCA have exchanged artists, writers, and composers since 2001.  This wonderful partnership was celebrated this fall when VCCA’s Deputy Director Sheila Gulley Pleasants visited Valletta and attended a reunion of Maltese Fellows who had been in residence at Mt. San Angelo through the exchange. (photo)
Since the establishment o…

In Memoriam: Colette Inez (1930 – 2018)

Belgian-born poet, Colette Inez died in January 2018. Here at VCCA, we mourn the loss of a good friend. This award-winning poet was in residence twelve times from 1983 – 2010.Inez with her auburn air and bucket hat was a wonderful summer presence at VCCA.See her tribute to a VCCA hornet in her poem below.
Inez was the author of eleven books of poetry and a memoir, and her work was published in over one hundred anthologies and textbooks. She collaborated with several VCCA Fellows, among them Pulitzer Prize-winning composer and VCCA Fellow David del Tredici. Inez and del Tredici produced a song cycle titled Miz Inez Sez for a CD that “may be the best new music album of the year” wrote The New Yorker. At the time of her death, she was collaborating with VCCA composer Gina Biver on a piece that is scheduled to premiere in October 2018.
Among her honors were fellowships from the Guggenheim and Rockefeller Foundations, two awards from the National Endowment for the Arts, and three prizes from…

A Kaleidoscope of Pitch

Alexander Blank is working on a solo piece for flute. This might seem like enough to fill a residency, but it is not a typical musical score. Much of the music that Blank writes is microtonal, or “using pitches that lie in-between the white and black keys of the piano,” and these explorations have opened up his compositions to literally billions of additional possibilities.

Blank uses a natural phenomenon called the harmonic series to organize his musical ideas and sound palette. For this piece, Blank looked at the first 64 pitches found in the harmonic series and narrowed that number down to 21 unique pitches that vary in how far “out-of-tune” they sound. He then ordered them “from the highest level of sharp to the lowest level of flat” and placed that range on a gradient colored scale. This visualization assisted him in analyzing the properties of each of the chosen pitches and how they relate to each other in various ways. He calls it “a kaleidoscope of pitch.”

“The visualizations…

Open Studios: Avy Claire

Avy Claire has been busy. Mid-way through her residency she moved to a larger space and has ordered paper multiple times while at Mt. San Angelo. The result is a VCCA studio full of work—paintings hanging on the walls and sculptures resting on every flat surface and suspended from the ceiling.
Having worked in a variety of mediums, Claire is currently painting, and says,“For the past few years I’ve been consciously focused on what a brush stroke does in a painting and how I could pare that down and get really spare.” While at VCCA, she has been experimenting with cutting out those brush strokes, wondering what would happen if they became objects that people could experience in three dimensional ways—even by walking around them. To that end, Claire says she has been doing “a lot of tests.” By trying different paper, different weights of paper, and different adhesives, she has created pieces that work on the wall while at the same time have the potential of being cylinders. She has als…

VCCA Announces New Endowed Fellowship Honoring Anne Spencer

On Sunday, February 4, 2018, VCCA announced the establishment of a new Fellowship, honoring Anne Spencer, noted poet, teacher, civil rights activist, librarian, gardener, and longtime Lynchburg resident. Made possible by a generous gift from Lyall Forsyth Harris of Charlottesville, VA, Frankie Slaughter of Richmond, VA, and Elizabeth Logan Harris of New York, NY, the Anne Spencer Fellowship will provide an annual residency at VCCA to an African-American visual artist, writer, or composer. During the residency, the Anne Spencer Fellow will engage with the Anne Spencer Memorial Foundation Inc., in Lynchburg, VA.
VCCA and guests celebrated the endowed fellowship with a reception at its Mt. San Angelo location. Shaun Spencer-Hester, granddaughter of Anne Spencer and Executive Director of The Anne Spencer Memorial Foundation, noted “the Harris and Spencer families have worked together towards preserving Anne Spencer’s legacy since the founding days of The Anne Spencer Memorial Foundation in…

Sarah Coleman

Novelist and journalist Sarah Coleman, a VCCA Fellow in 1999 and 2000, died of ALK lung cancer December 3, 2017 in New York City.  Sarah and Fellows Jenny Krasner, Rachel Cantor, Kylie Heidenheimer, and Allison Jeffrey all met at VCCA in 1999 and remain friends. Sadly, Sarah missed the launch of her first published novel The Realist, A Novel of Berenice Abbott. More about Sarah’s life and her book can be found on her blog the literate lens. Sarah leaves behind her husband Dan Ellis and two children.

Q&A with Ramiro Hinojosa

Ramiro Hinojosa is the recipient of a VCCA fellowship funded by the National Endowment for the Arts as part of the “Collateral Reparations: Military Veterans and the Redemptive Power of Artists Residencies” program. A native Texan, Ramiro Hinojosa earned an MFA in Creative Writing from Texas State University and a Bachelor’s in Journalism from the University of Texas at Austin.

Can you tell us a bit about your journey? You’ve been a journalist, a political analyst and researcher, a lecturer and, of course, an infantryman in the U.S. Army.  What turned your focus to writing?

It’s funny, I dreaded reading and writing growing up. With some luck and a lot of support, I kind of fell into writing and fiction. In college, I wanted to be a photojournalist, but due to a mediocre portfolio, was put in the multimedia track, which was basically the print track at the time. I was about to graduate, but had no thoughts of really pursuing a newspaper career. One of my professors encouraged me to try…