Showing posts from February, 2008

From the Fellows' Council Chair

I hope everyone is having a good, productive winter. Spring is making an occasional appearance at VCCA, or so I’m told. It can’t come soon enough.

By now you have probably received a copy of my letter asking for your support to keep the good coffee flowing, the newspapers delivered and, now, fresh and local food. Our new chef, Rhonda Scovill, is making magic in the kitchen with fresh produce, local eggs, apples and more. (Please read the earlier post about Rhonda.) I hope you will consider a donation – whatever fits your budget – to support Rhonda in her efforts to help the VCCA grow “greener.”

For those who prefer to get their news online – the VCCA now has increased access to the internet: you can now get online in most of the studios, the bedrooms, and of course in the library and living room.

Dorothy is doing well. She is working fewer hours – but, like Robert, is there to greet you with a big smile, and if you’re lucky, a big hug in the morning.

We will soon be asking for nomin…

Three VCCA Fellows are March Book Sense Picks

Check it out! Books by three VCCA writers—Debra Galant, Hillary Jordan and Joshua Kendall—appear on the March 2008 Book Sense list. Book Sense is the trade association for the nation's independent bookstores, and the Book Sense list recommends new titles each month. Bravo!

Scroll down in this blog to read more about Hillary Jordan’s novel Mudbound, which was in its infancy at the VCCA in 2003.

Meanwhile, fast forward to October 2006 when Debra and Josh were in residence, working away on The Man Who Made Lists (Joshua) and Fear and Yoga in New Jersey (Debra).

VCCA Executive Director Elected to the Virginians for the Arts Foundation Board

The VCCA’s intrepid leader, Suny Monk, has been elected to the board of directors of the Virginians for the Arts Foundaion, a statewide arts advocacy organization established in 1992 and based in Richmond, Va. Suny will serve as vice-president for a three-year term. Congratulations, Suny, and thank you for working so faithfully on behalf of individual artists.

VCCA Fellow's Novel a Barnes & Noble Discover Pick

Hillary Jordan's debut novel Mudbound has been selected as a Summer 2008 Barnes & Noble Discover Pick, this after winning the 2006 Bellwether Prize for Fiction, awarded biannually to a first literary novel that addresses issues of social justice. Mudbound is one of twelve New Voices for 2008 chosen by Waterstone’s U.K. and a Borders Original Voices selection.

Hillary's one month residency in 2003 was a turning point in the novel's evolution. "I will always think of VCCA as the place where Mudbound became unstuck," she says. "I'd been struggling for a couple of years to move the book forward, and during my residency, I was able to finally figure out where it needed to go. I left with 50 new pages, a renewed sense of purpose and some wonderful memories."

In the winter of 1946, Henry McAllen moves his city-bred wife, Laura, from their comfortable home in Memphis to a remote cotton farm in the Mississippi Delta — a place she finds both…

Hannah Hanford Joins VCCA Staff

After an extensive, nationwide search for a seasoned development officer to lead the VCCA’s fundraising efforts, we are pleased to welcome Hannah Hanford to Mt. San Angelo. She arrived today in her powder blue VW bug convertible, ready to roll up her sleeves and get to work.

“It was time for a new challenge, for a new direction,” says Hannah, who comes to the VCCA following a 25-year career in health care, including 11 years as the head of the Foundation of CVPH Medical Center in upstate New York. “I am absolutely thrilled to come to this magical, place, to join this extraordinary team. The chance to work on behalf of the world’s best artists, to help sustain the arts. . .it’s a tremendous opportunity and privilege.”

Hannah is very involved in community volunteerism and is an active Rotarian and past Paul Harris Fellow. She earned a bachelor of science degree from Cornell University in 1979.

In her spare time she enjoys being in the wilderness hiking or snowshoeing, gardening, collectin…

Fellow Spotlight: Carlos Ferguson

Sculptor and multimedia artist Carlos Ferguson pulled into the VCCA in a lovingly restored 1962 Airstream trailer, which serves as his home, studio and the location for his film-based, “visual-experience” art--the projection of vintage movies.

While in residence at the VCCA he has been making shoebox-sized dioramas out of cut photographs, balsa wood models, foam and fake grass. The dioramas will be suspended with a pulley system so that the viewer can peek in the lenses on the side of the boxes as well as look directly down into the space from above. The interiors are something like little worlds - a suburban subdivision, for example, with tornado and alien abduction.

Carolos, a native of Iowa, will head south after the VCCA to teach bookmaking at Centre College in Kentucky and then a drawing class at The Studios Key West, before heading north again to Burlington, Vermont to work on his fantasy project. Carlos explains, "I am taking apart another airstream and reconfiguring it …

VCCA Does Superbowl the VCCA Way

By guest blogger and VCCA fellow Debbie Galant

Normally, I'm the kind of person who looks forwarded to the Superbowl as the day when art museums and movie theaters are empty. I'm not a sports fan, though I like the sound of baseball on the radio in the summer, and football is ordinarily my least favorite sport.

My indifference towards the Superbowl is pretty standard for VCCA. Last night when I mentioned it at dinner, I was met by blank stares. Not a surprise: I couldn't sell "The Simpsons" last time I was here, and there was only spotty interest in "The Colbert Report." If you want to be popular in the TV room at VCCA, you probably ought to have a Lina Wertmuller festival.

However, things change. The Giants are in the Superbowl, and in my day job, that's a pretty big deal. I figured this out about three weeks ago when I was in Fitzgeralds 1928 in Glen Ridge, and people were screaming at the television and then there was a really big scream -- we'…