Showing posts from August, 2015

Moroccan Writers Abdelaziz Errachidi and Mbarek Sryfi at VCCA

Moroccan writers Abdelaziz (“Aziz”) Errachidi and Mbarek Sryfi are currently in residence at VCCA working primarily on the translation of Aziz’s second novel, The Kitchen of Love, which he finished when he was at VCCA in 2011. “I was in a bad situation last time I was here. So I didn’t move; I just stuck at my table and worked for 20 days and I finished the novel and sent it to my editor from Virginia.” (Aziz came to VCCA in 2011 as part of Beirut 39, a collaborative project between, Beirut UNESCO's World Book Capital 2009 celebrations, Banipal magazine and the British Council among others that identified 39 of the most promising Arab writers under the age of 39.) Unfortunately, during that visit Aziz was seriously injured in a car accident near Charlottesville. He was in the ICU for days and then in the hospital for weeks, returning to VCCA to complete his residency in a back brace. Despite this, he remained in a great mood the entire time and today, brushes off the incident.)

April Vollmer Publishes "Japanese Woodblock Printing Workshop"

Artist and printmaker April Vollmer, one of the most distinguished Japanese woodblock printing practitioners and instructors in the West, has just published Japanese Woodblock Printing Workshop, a comprehensive guide to this age-old art form.
Revered for its non-toxicity, use of handmade materials, Japanese woodblock printing (mokuhanga) is also easily employed with other printmaking techniques.
A practical and inspirational guide to the discipline, Japanese Woodblock Printing Workshop combines April’s comprehensive knowledge of the Japanese printmaking practice and tradition with instruction. 

Examples of a diverse array of prints by leading contemporary artists in the field, as well as April’s own work are featured in the book.

Kristina Borg's Art Practice Empowers Community in Milan Neighborhood

Kristina Borg’s artistic practice focuses on public space and collaborations with communities. Originally from Malta, Kristina has been living in Milan for the past three years while completing her master’s degree. While in Milan, Kristina’s interest was piqued by a neighborhood called Isola (island), which seemed like such an anomaly in the middle of a major city. “I come from an Island,” Kristina says. “When I think of an island, I think of the horizon all around which is visible on the coast. Inland, there is no horizon or at least it’s a different kind of horizon.”
Kristina’s project centers on the inhabitants of La Casa Verde (the Green House) and the neighboring apartments. Isola was a traditionally working class area and home to a number of artists.In recent years, the residents have watched their neighborhood fall victim to “the arrogance of urban conventional planning that interferes with one’s intimate and private space. In 2005, a green lung of a green space around these re…

Richard Blanco Reads his Poem at Formal U.S. Embassy Opening in Havana

VCCA Fellow and Cuban-American poet Richard Blanco took on what he described in an NPR interview as in some ways “the easiest and also the hardest” assignment of his career writing the poem “Matters Of The Sea” or “Cosas Del Mar” in honor of the official reopening of the U.S. Embassy in Havana. Richard, who is no neophyte when it comes to important state occasions, having been the inaugural poet at President Obama's second inauguration was at the embassy to read the poem.

Blanco’s work has appeared in The Nation, Indiana Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Triquarterly Review, and several anthologies including, The Best American Poetry 2000, Breadloaf Anthology and American Poetry: The Next Generation. He has been featured on National Public Radio's All Things Considered, and at various conferences and venues including the Miami Book Fair, the Southern Writers Conference, and the poetry recipient of a Florida Artist Fellowship. A builder of bridges and poems, Blanco received bot…

Peter Snoad’s New Play, "The Draft" to Debut in September

Peter Snoad’s new play, The Draft will be at the Hibernian Hall, a multicultural performing arts center, in Boston's Roxbury neighborhood from September 10-20 where Peter is playwright in Residence.

Using the stories of real people as described in Tom Weiner's book Called To Serve, Stories of Men and Women Confronted by the Vietnam War Draft, Peter deftly presents the terrible dilemma confronting millions of young Americans and the choices they made which changed their lives forever.

The drama is interwoven with music, archival photos, video clips and poetry. “Together, they give voice to the passion, the anguish, the joy, the inspiration, and the intense personal and collective struggles of a generation,” says Peter.
Peter devoted his VCCA fellowship to working on The Draft, organizing a reading of an excerpt of the play for the VCCA community when he was here.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the arrival of the first U.S. combat troops in Vietnam and the 40th anniversar…

Barbara Bernstein's "Drawing a Breath" featured in Essay Collection

A collection of ten essays, Drawing in the Twenty-First Century: The Politics and Poetics of Contemporary Practice (Ashgate, 2015) edited by Elizabeth A. Pergam, a professor in Sotheby’s Master’s program, examines how drawing has been defined over time and how its particular qualities (line, immediacy, reticence of materials) have great appeal to contemporary artists who have moved the medium way beyond paper and pencil.
The diverse group of artists sited includes Monika Grzymala, Sophie Calle, Andrea Bowers, Ellsworth Kelly and VCCA’s own Artist in Residence Barbara Bernstein who also wrote the essay, "Drawing a Breath" in which, she proposes “that we consider drawing as a phenomenological way of being in the world, a philosophical investigation of experience.”

Pat Zalisko's Pivotal Residency

This just in from Pat Zalisko (Pat has donated her Mapping San Angelo March 2015  (Pictured above)to VCCA.):
Have you ever been in a place and time, and realized then that it was a pivotal moment? 
Mapping San Angelo March 2015 represents that instant for me. 
Between March and April of this year, I participated in a residency at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, an international program with a breathtaking compound in Amherst, Virginia.
This fellowship and residency included an invitation to study for a month at VCCA's compound in the heart of the Blue Ridge Mountains. I was given my own private, nicely outfitted studio—one filled with light, abundant space and lots of inviting blank walls.
On this idyllic old farm, all of our meals were catered, our rooms were perfectly equipped, and I was joined by supportive and creative visual artists, writers, poets and performing artists from around the globe. If we weren't creating new and exciting work and only if they chose to …