In celebration of the 75th anniversary of the VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship program, we will be running a series of stories about the impact of these Fellowships on select recipients over the past 15 years. Please watch this blog for future stories.
Alyssa Salomon: Winning Two Fellowships Took Her Work to New Levels
Winning VMFA Visual Arts Fellowships in 2000 and 2009 showed photographer and printmaker Alyssa Salomon that “what I was making, what I was exploring, what I was thinking had merit, was worth continuing to make, to explore, to think.” Using the funds from the first award to learn to make daguerreotypes and buy the supplies and equipment, Salomon became the only woman and one of only a dozen or so active daguerreotypists at the time. She exhibited her work nationally and also shared her knowledge of the medium with photographers, art historians, and collectors.
The second Fellowship allowed this artist to explore using handmade photographic processes to make large prints. “With these technical explorations, I again found my work shifting to a new level,” she says. Since that time, Salomon has exhibited her photography and printmaking nationally and internationally and continues taking intellectual and aesthetic risks with her art. According to Salomon, the awards encouraged her to stretch herself. “I took courage to push harder and further and faster, with intellectual and aesthetic risk.”
To learn more about the 75th anniversary of the Fellowship program, click here.