One of the leading artists communities in the world with locations in Amherst, Virginia and Auvillar, France, the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) has as its mission advancing the arts by providing creative space in which our best national and international writers, visual artists and composers produce their finest creative work.
Silvia Tennenbaum, 1928 – 2016
We are sad to report that Silvia Tennenbaum passed away at age 88.
author of novels and short stories, including the best-seller Rachel
the Rabbi's Wife, Silvia will also be remembered for her bright blue
eyes, her love of the Mets, and her progressive politics. She was smart
and kind and generous. I was sad to get the news that she passed
away this summer.
daughters remember Silvia as the smiling writer with the blue
hair. Her hair was lovely and white, but she took to adding a swipe of
bright blue hair color... sassy and unexpected... just like she was.
Silvia Tennenbaum in her studio at VCCA (photo by Lois Lord)
was one of the first Fellows I met at VCCA. She had a long,
wonderful history at Mt. San Angelo where she had been in residence
fifteen times. She first came to VCCA in 1984, and she had great stories
to tell about the early days at VCCA. She loved baseball and would
organize us to go to watch the minor league team in Lynchburg. The team
was called the L-Sox early on, and she talked of watching Darryl
Strawberry play there before he went to the Majors and the Mets. She
continued to attend the ball games when the team became the
also had a deep connection to Lynchburg where she lived from 1951 to 1958 as
the rabbi's wife. Although she talked of moving to Lynchburg at one
point, East Hampton, New York, was home to her.
addition to Rachel the Rabbi's Wife, she was the author
of the novel Yesterday's Streets, for which she received
the Goethe Medal of the Hessian Ministry for
Science and Art in 2012. She was touched
by the honor and proud to be fêted in her native Germany which she had fled
when she was ten years old.
In an application to VCCA, she said that her life and work
have been a search for her identity. She said, "I am still trying to chart
the passage, the long road through sunlit landscapes, the melodies of the
languages that compete in my head, the passions unleashed by my exile, my
escape into life." We were happy to have been with her during part
of that search.
Silvia was deeply connected to VCCA. "I love the VCCA more than any other place I've
been", she said in one of her evaluations. It was wonderful to see
the ease with which she entered life here. It was a creative home for
her. Somehow, I always thought she'd be back for another
residency. I'm sorry that I won't be seeing her twinkling blue eyes
again...and the radical blue patch of hair above them.
Funded by the NEA, Collateral
Reparations: Military Veterans and the Redemptive Power of Artists Residencies supports fully-funded VCCA residencies for
military veteran artists. In addition to the residency, each artist selected
will receive a $1,000 honorarium. This program has now been extended! FINAL deadline
for applications is September 15, 2017 for residencies
to take place Between February 1, 2018 - May 31, 2018. The
residencies, which are open to military veteran writers, visual artists and
composers, will be at VCCA’s beautiful Mt. San Angelo facility nestled in the
foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Spanning two to four weeks, the
residencies will allow the artists to spend time focusing on their creative
work. A residency
at VCCA can be transformative, indeed, life-changing for individual artists,
inspiring ideas, instilling confidence, stimulating production. Artists flock
to VCCA from all corners of the earth finding the haven where they can tap into
the rich ve…
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 …
While in residence at VCCA, Vincent Pidone built an
automatic drawing machine that he hopes to program to draw using animation
software. Normally, with stop motion animation, you would make drawings and
then photograph those drawings individually putting them together to form an
animation. It’s a
laborious process when you consider that Vincent’s animations are composed of 300-400
individual drawings on file cards to yield about thirty seconds of animation. That’s why Vincent is
attempting to get the animation software to do the drawing for him. Ideally, he
will end up with a short animated film and a stack of physical drawings that
are essentially one-offs. “I’m basically grabbing the tail and wagging the
dog instead of doing it the way it’s typically done,” says Vincent. “What I’m doing is very
challenging. If it were easy, someone else would have done it by now. This is
why I need a few weeks to work on this stuff.” The VCCA residency funded by the
NEA for military veteran artists f…