Showing posts from June, 2016

Bella Pollen Examines the Lure of Escape and the Pull of Home in her Memoir

While at VCCA this spring, Bella Pollen was finishing up a memoir, which began taking shape during her first VCCA residency in 2012. At the time, she was weighing whether to embark on a new fiction idea or focus on short personal essays. She had never tried the latter and was dubious, but one of the other Fellows encouraged her to try the essays. “I told him I had a lousy memory and he said, ‘Hey, you don't have to worry about the color of the napkins.’” The phrase was freeing, and after that exchange, she was on her way, writing short essays that have now become a memoir of stories linked both chronologically and thematically. “They loosely explore the tension between the lure of escape in all its forms and the pull of home with everything that means,” she says. “The book is divided into five different geographical sections, which incorporate graphic memoir, so the entire project is something of a hybrid and a first for me in terms of mixing mediums and collaborating with an arti…



Barbara Bernstein's Public Art Project: Connections Installed at Seven Stations in VA Transit System

Maquette for Station E

VCCA Resident Artist Barbara Bernstein has been hard at work completing a public art project commissioned by the Arlington Public Art Fund and the Virginia Transit System. Barbara won the commission in 2011 in an international competition. She then began her designs for the project, providing a unifying visual motif for the double curved roofs, windscreens and pavement of seven new stations connecting Crystal City and Potomac Yard in the Washington D.C. greater metro area.

According to Barbara, “ Connections” is a design of interconnected lines that provides a visual metaphor for the purpose and function of the Transitway itself: bringing together multiple peoples, traveling from different directions within a unified system, in order to make connections. Each line of the design is linked to another; each shape is related to the lines. The intricate design is also a unified whole, just like the intersecting web of the lives people live on a daily basis.

After five y…

Aaron McIntosh's Strange Baby Blankets

A self-described “nerdy Appalachian queer guy” visual artist Aaron McIntosh comes from a long line of quilters. Aaron is justifiably proud of this family legacy, which he has appropriated and used in a decidedly contemporary way.
“My family didn’t really go to art museums or anything like that so in a lot of ways this was the creative outlet I saw most as a child.” In his work Aaron explores the intersections of material culture, family tradition, identity-shaping, sexuality and desire in a range of works including quilts, collage, drawing, domestic textiles, furniture and sculpture.
Growing up in the mountains of East Tennessee, Aaron picked up quilting, “almost like osmosis.” “Quilting resonates with me because of my family connection,” he says. “I think of my practice as being always grounded in quilt making, so whether it’s unit based piecework, or accumulation of materials, or even some of the things that surround quilting, like hoarding materials—I grew up around all of that. It’…

Joy Peterson Heyrman is New VCCA Executive Director

William E. Hunt, Jr. President of the Board of Directors of the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA), one of the leading artists communities in the world, which has hosted over 5,500 writers, visual artists and composers during the creation phase of their work, has announced the appointment of Joy Peterson Heyrman, Ph.D. as Executive Director. She will begin September 6, 2016.

“Dr. Heyrman’s personal and professional skills, passion for the arts and commitment to our mission make her the ideal candidate to lead VCCA into the future,” said Mr. Hunt. “Her experience working closely with boards, volunteers, arts advocates, and donors made her the VCCA Board’s unanimous choice after a competitive national search.”

Dr. Heyrman was most recently Deputy Director for Museum Advancement at the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore, where she worked for 23 years. On projects as varied as audience development initiatives, international exhibitions, and three ambitious capital campaigns which rai…