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…

Saying goodbye to longtime Fellows

In 2017, VCCA lost some longtime and dear Fellows…among them, Ann Birstein,Shirley Nisbet, and Mel Rosenthal.
Together they were with us for almost 50 residencies…months and months over the years, they spent time focusing on their creative work…Ann on her novels and memoir, Shirley on her paintings, Mel on his photography.  They shared their work and their lives with us, and they became part of our lives at VCCA.
Their work lives on and the memory of their vibrant personalities stay with us.
Ann always exhibited a dry wit and a sharp comeback that belied her kindness.  She told wonderful stories of growing up in Hells Kitchen.  She worked hard in the studio, but loved to spend the late afternoon at the VCCA pool and reveled in the rural landscape outside of her native New York.
Shirley with her exuberant paintings and amazing stamina despite her physical challenges, encouraged us all with a kind word, a smile and a lilting accent. Her large paintings captivated us with bold c…

Fellowship Opportunities at VCCA

We are putting out a call for artists! The Steven Petrow LGBTQ Fellowship and the Alonzo Davis Endowment for Fellowships are currently open for applicants. The deadline for both is January 15, 2018. To submit an application, please visit our Apply page.

The Steven Petrow LGBTQ Fellowship (est. 2016) is open to applicants working in all genres (creative writers, visual artists, and composers). The fellowship consists of a fully-funded two-week residency at VCCA. To be eligible, applicants must self-identify as LGBTQ.

VCCA Fellow Steven Petrow is a journalist and book author whose own work about LGBTQ issues found much support at VCCA over the past decade.

The Alonzo Davis Endowment for Fellowships annually supports two fully-funded residencies of two weeks each for highly accomplished American visual artists, creative writers, and composers of African or Latinx descent. For this Fellowship, the application deadline of January 15, 2018 is for residencies to take place between June 1, 2018 …

Two community events at VCCA this fall

VCCA will have Open Studios from 4 PM to 6 PM on Sunday, Oct. 15th. This is a great opportunity to visit with some of our Fellows and learn what makes a VCCA residency so vital.

Then on November 4th, we will host volunteers for a half-day (9:30 AM to 2 PM) of work on our grounds as we head into the winter season. We hope you might be able to join us; the more the merrier, of course. Bring your gardening gloves and tools! For more: