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Showing posts from January, 2015

Judith Robertson Brings Animation to Her Alternate Realities

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Judith Robertson is a walker. She’s in residence now and it’s not uncommon to see her out and about on the Mt. San Angelo grounds. Aside from the personal pleasure she derives from the pursuit, it also has profound repercussions in her art.
The act of walking: moving the body through space references the passage of time. There’s also a degree of uncertainty about the whole enterprise: often meanderings will take us off course. Sometimes, there’s a specific destination, other times not. “I’m very conscious of how we as creatures are making these lines around the globe with historic patterns going back forever. If you start mapping them, you’ll find they have their own unique story pattern and emotional subtext. In my recent work, I am becoming more panoramic. I’m trying to create a sense of time or bring time into the mix by virtue of motion: as we walk, time passes and the story unfolds.’
Judy uses photographs as the catalyst to achieve something quite different from the realism general…

Jesse Lee Kercheval: Poet, Translator, Cultural Explorer

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Jesse Lee Kercheval has been on a remarkable journey during which she mastered a language and discovered the rich canon of Uruguayan poetry. It all started six years ago when Jesse Lee decided to learn Spanish. Initially, she planned to go to Mexico, but Uruguay’s culture and cuisine appealed more to her 12-year old son who was along for the ride together with Jesse Lee’s husband and the family dog.
Though she claims to be bad at languages, after a seven-month immersion course and extended time spent in Uruguay, Jesse Lee persevered. She went from standing in a bookstore where she couldn’t read a thing to eventually translating the poetry of the country’s greatest poet as well as writing poetry of her own in Spanish. “Initially I found it easier to write in Spanish than writing in English and subsequently translating it into Spanish. I was living in Montevideo and thinking in Spanish. Plus, if you write in a language you’re learning you don’t write something you don’t know how to say.”

MICA VCCA Fellow Carolyn Case's Ornate Abstractions

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With a ravishing palette and compendium of different painting techniques, Carolyn Case creates ornate abstract works that are complex discourses on painting. Distinctly nonobjective, Carolyn’s work nevertheless evokes landscapes. Adding to this quality is her use of some kind of aperture that opens up to a completely different formal approach suggesting deeper space. There is something about her compositional arrangements and the dense energy she creates that reminds me, funnily enough, of Hieronymus Bosch though the two artists remain worlds apart.
Carolyn’s approach involves a lot of addition and subtraction. “Sometimes I‘ll have an idea that I will try and it will either work or lead to another idea.” If it doesn’t work, she simply sands it off and begins again.
Right now Carolyn is working with the idea of her paintings existing beyond the boundaries of the panel. What you’re seeing is just a fragment of a larger (imaginary) whole. “The paintings are happening out there and I’m only…

Caroline Keys: String Band Queen

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Caroline Keys is relishing her residency at VCCA. “I am so grateful for my time at VCCA. It informs everything I do and there’s just no way the things I get done here would get done at home.” A self-described collaboration junkie: “If I’m not careful, I’ll be rehearsing or performing every night of the week,“ she says with a mirth filled laugh. Being in residence at VCCA allows Caroline to check in and see what she can make on her own. And like so many other Fellows, she feels great freedom here to work in a more experimental fashion than she would normally.
Caroline’s a well-known figure in the Rocky Mountain and Northwest string band communities. She’s happy performing in a bar, a concert hall or recording studio—her one requirement is that the performance be a collaborative effort.
Caroline grew up in a family where music was valued. Her father, the rector of St. John’s Episcopal Church in Lynchburg, instituted a children’s choir, of which Caroline was a member, that sang every Sun…

2015 Wachtmeister Winner Announced

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VCCA is delighted to announce that Anne Ferrer has been selected by the Fellows Council as the next recipient of the Wachtmeister Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Established in 2003 and originally called the VCCA Award for Excellence in the Arts, the Wachtmeister Award is endowed by VCCA board member Linda Wachtmeister and administered by the Fellows Council. It is presented bi-annually to a prominent writer, visual artist, or composer whose significant achievement in the arts is widely recognized and who has never been in residence at the VCCA. Applicants must have worked professionally for at least 15 years and have demonstrated substantial achievements in their field, including a significant record of exhibition of their work. 

This year the award was earmarked for a 3-D artist, sculptor or installation artist. Anne will be taking her one-month residency at VCCA in late 2015 or early 2016.

Based in Paris, France, Anne is known for her exuberant, brightly hued cloth “balloon” sculptu…

Rosary O’Neill at Peaches Records

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Rosary O’Neill will be sign copies of her book New Orleans Carnival Krewes: the History Spirit and Secrets of Mardi Gras on Saturday, January 17; 12:00 -2:00 PM at Peaches Records in New Orleans.

Leslie Pietrzyk’s "This Angel On My Chest" Awarded the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize.

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Leslie Pietrzyk’s collection of short stories, This Angel On My Chest, has been awarded the 2015 Drue Heinz Literature Prize. It will be published by University of Pittsburgh Press in the fall of 2015. 
Leslie describes the collection as “unconventionally-linked stories, each about a different young woman whose husband dies suddenly and unexpectedly. Ranging from traditional stories to lists, a quiz, a YouTube link, and even a “lecture” about creative writing, the stories grasp to put into words the ways we all cope with unspeakable loss. For me, it’s a very personal book, a fictional exploration of my experience of losing my first husband to a heart attack at age 37.”
Leslie credits VCCA directly with the genesis of This Angel On My Chest: “I actually started down this road while at VCCA, inspired by a seemingly random conversation at breakfast with a poet who was interested in the literature of subcultures...and that was my self-assigned task for the day, to write about a subculture.…

Fellows Council Elections

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The following Fellows have just been elected to the Fellows Council by the current Fellows Council:
Amie Oliver, visual artist, Richmond, VA Charles Adès Fishman, writer, Bellport, NY Jaqueline Jones LaMon, writer, Brooklyn, NY Lisa Schamess, writer, Washington, DC Suzy Sureck, visual artist, Gardner, NY Ami Sands Brodoff, writer, Montreal, Canada – International Fellows Representative
The International Fellows Representative is a new position on the Fellows Council, created to give a voice to the growing community of international VCCA Fellows. Ami is the first person elected to fill this role.
These Fellows have been elected to a four-year term of service that concludes at the end of 2018.
The six continuing members of the Council are:
Andrea Carter Brown, Chair, writer, Los Angeles, CA (Class 0f 2014) Sally Bowring, Vice-Chair, visual artist, Richmond, VA (Class of 2016) Christopher Preissing, composer, Chicago, IL (Class of 2016) Enid Shomer, writer, Tampa, FL (Class of 2016) Holen Sabina Kahn,…