Visual Arts Fellowships 2016–17

Meet or Exceed, Paul Ryan (2016–17 Professional Fellowship Recipient), painting

Congratulations to the 2016–17 Fellowship Recipients! See works by each recipient

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowship Program is a vital source of funding for the visual arts and art history in Virginia. VMFA is committed to supporting professional artists as well as art and art history students who demonstrate exceptional creative ability in their chosen discipline and, as such, has awarded nearly $5.5 million in Fellowships to Virginians.

The Fellowship Program was established in 1940 through a generous contribution made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg. 2015 marked the 75th anniversary! Offered through VMFA Statewide, Fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment, supplemented by annual gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic Jr. Scholarship Fund.

Application: New Online Application Process

The deadline for the 2016–17 VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship has passed; information remains on this page for your reference only. Visit this page during the summer of 2016 for information on how to apply for a 2017–18 VMFA Fellowship.

Eligibility/Conditions

Professional Artists

  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, as well as a current legal resident of Virginia, and have been so for at least 24 consecutive months prior to the application deadline.
  • You must continue to be a legal resident of Virginia for the Fellowship period of August 2016–May 2017. A legal resident has a valid Virginia driver’s license, and/or pays income taxes in Virginia, and/or is a registered Virginia voter. Applicants must be able to provide verification of residency upon request.
  • You cannot be a degree-seeking student at the time of the application deadline nor plan to be a degree-seeking student during the Fellowship period of August 2016–May 2017. Not eligible:
    • Recipients of a VMFA Professional Fellowship after July 2011
    • Recipients of three or more Fellowships in any category
    • Full-time VMFA employees


Professional artists who can clearly demonstrate a history of ongoing collaboration may apply together with one set of documentation. Collaborating winners will receive one Fellowship to share as they deem appropriate.

Students (Graduate and Undergraduate)

  • You must be a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, as well as a current legal resident of Virginia, and have been so for at least 12 consecutive months prior to the application deadline.
  • You must continue to be a legal resident of Virginia for the Fellowship period of August 2016 – May 2017. A legal resident has a valid Virginia driver’s license, and/or pays income taxes in Virginia, and/or is a registered Virginia voter.
  • Students paying in-state tuition to an accredited Virginia college, university, or school of the arts qualify as legal residents of Virginia. If you attend an accredited college, university, or school of the arts in Virginia but do not qualify for in-state tuition, you may not apply for a VMFA Fellowship until you establish Virginia residency.
    • If you are a legal Virginia resident but attend an accredited college, university, or school of the arts outside of the state full-time, you may still apply. Applicants must be able to provide verification of residency upon request.
  • You must be planning to be enrolled full-time and qualify as a Virginia resident as outlined above for the entire academic year August 2016–May 2017 at an accredited college, university, or school of the arts. Half-year fall semester Fellowship awards (worth $3,000 for graduate students and $2,000 for undergraduate students) may be considered on a case-by-case basis for full-time students in the final year of a degree program who plan to graduate in December 2016.
  • Not eligible:
    • Recipients of three or more Fellowships in any category
    • Full-time VMFA employees

Adjudication

Fellowship applicants’ works are reviewed in a blind selection by distinguished jurors. While the juror(s) may request to read the applicant’s artist statement, jurors do not see the applicant’s information and do not see the applicant’s resume. Awards are based solely on artistic merit.

Award Amounts

$8,000 Professional Fellowships
$6,000 Graduate Fellowships
$4,000 Undergraduate Fellowships

Selecting a Discipline for your Application

Applicants must select the one discipline that most closely corresponds to the work they are submitting. Submissions are not judged within these disciplines, but instead within eligibility categories (professional, graduate, undergraduate) across all disciplines. Artists may apply only once during each Fellowship cycle.

• Crafts
• Drawing
• Film/Video*
• Mixed Media**
• New/Emerging Media***
• Painting
• Photography
• Printmaking
• Sculpture
• Art History (graduate students only)

*Film/video applicants may submit personally conceived works in the following categories only: Narrative (fiction, dramatized events, and authorized adaptations of literary or dramatic works), Animation (the animation of graphics or three-dimensional objects), and Experimental (works that expand the traditional definition of film or video forms — live-action or animation techniques can be used). Only noncommercial, non-instructional works over which the applicant has exclusive control and primary creative responsibility will be accepted. No music videos will be considered.

**Mixed media refers to the combination of two or more media to create one work.

***New/Emerging Media refers to works of art made using nontraditional techniques that do not fit into one of the other eight disciplines listed. Examples of New/Emerging Media art could be, but are not limited to, combined media installations, environmental or site-specific artwork, digital artwork, sound or audio artwork, or interactive artwork. New/Emerging Media applicants may submit digital images OR a DVD work sample. See “How to Apply” for more information.

How to Apply

To complete your application, follow the step-by-step process below.

A complete application must contain the following materials.

1. Fellowship Application Form. Found Online

2. Work Sample. Upload your work sample as outlined below for your selected discipline.
Note: If you have received a VMFA Fellowship in the past, your work sample may not include any of the previous “winning” works.

Crafts, Drawing, Mixed Media, Painting, Photography, Printmaking, or Sculpture Applicants
A work sample consists of a total of eight digital images (25MB maximum). Of the eight images, at least six must represent individual works; no more than two images may be details of the individual works.

  • Professionals only: All works must have been completed in the past three years. No works in progress will be accepted.
  • Students only: At least four of the works must have been completed in the past three years. No works in progress will be accepted.
  • Format digital images as JPGs, you may upload a 25MB maximum for these eight images (approx. 3MB per image). No gifs, tiffs, or other formats will be accepted.
  • Number each image to correspond to the Work Sample List.
  • Title images in the following manner: Your Unique ID_VMFA_1.jpg, Your Unique ID_VMFA_2.jpg, and so on.
  • No legible names or signatures may appear on the digital images to ensure anonymity with the juror(s).


New/Emerging Media Applicants

A work sample consists of either A or B (You must select only one of the following options. You may not submit both digital images and video samples.):

A) A total of eight digital images. Of the eight images, at least six must represent individual works; no more than two images may be details of the individual works. No works in progress. See above guidelines for image formatting and labeling.
OR
B) A video sample of 15 minutes (maximum) in length. The video sample must show representations of at least six, and no more than eight, individual works.
See Film/video guidelines for formatting and labeling instructions.

  • Professionals only: All works must have been completed in the last three years. No works in progress will be accepted.
  • Students only: At least four of the works must have been completed in the last three years. No works in progress will be accepted.
  • Number each sample to correspond to the Work Sample List.
  • No legible names, credits, or signatures may appear to ensure anonymity with the juror(s).


Film/Video Applicants
A work sample consists of a 15-minute (maximum) sample of three works.

  • Submit work on either a standard DVD and mailed to VMFA OR online by providing a direct link to your downloadable video.
  • Professionals only: All works must have been completed in the last three years. No works in progress will be accepted.
  • Students only: At least one of the works must have been completed in the last three years. No works in progress will be accepted.

DVD ONLY

  • Submit work on a DVD labeled with applicant’s name and Unique ID #.
  • DVDs must include a menu with titles of each work and running times.
  • No legible names, credits, or signatures may appear on the DVD menu and/or the individual on-screen works to ensure anonymity with the juror(s).
  • Mail to: Fellowship Program Coordinator, Art & Education Division | Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | 200 N. Boulevard | Richmond, VA 23220

OR
Provide a DIRECT LINK to your DOWNLOADABLE video.

  • Title videos in the following manner: Your Unique ID_VMFA_1, Your Unique ID_VMFA_2, and so on.
  • Number each video to correspond to the work sample list on submission form.
  • No legible names, credits, or signatures may appear in order to ensure anonymity with the juror(s).
  • Videos must be uploaded (as specified) to host site before work sample form is submitted.


Art History Applicants (Graduate students only)
A work sample consists of three research papers or published articles.

  • Format papers as word.doc files. Note: The applicant’s name should not appear anywhere within the papers/documents to ensure anonymity with the juror(s).
  • Title files in the following manner: Your Unique ID_VMFA_1, Your Unique ID_VMFA_2, and so on.
  • Number each sample to correspond to the Work Sample List.
  • All papers or published articles must have been written in the past three years and in English.
  • Art History applicants must have sole authorship of their work sample submissions.

3. Resume.  Upload your current resume. Note: this is for internal use only. Juror(s) do not see the applicant resumes.

4. Artistic Statement. Upload a one-page artistic statement about the work you are submitting (200 words maximum). The applicant’s name should not appear on the artistic statement. Note: art history applicants do not submit an artistic statement.

5. Transcript (students only). The applicant’s most recent transcript, officially stamped and sealed by her/his school’s registrar. Transcripts may be included with application materials or mailed under separate cover. Note: transcripts are for internal use only. Juror(s) do not see applicant transcripts.

NOTE: Failure to follow the specific criteria above will result in disqualification.