VMFA 2013 Fellowship Awards

Marking the highest number of applicants in the program’s history!

Maiorana, Marc

Marc Maiorana (Professional, crafts, Cedar Bluff)
Iron Basket, 2010
Iron, 15x3x4”

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts awarded 28 fellowships to Virginia art students and professional artists in 2013-14 for a total of $168,000. VMFA received 771 applications for the 2013-14 cycle, the highest number since the program’s inception. During the Fellowship Program’s 73 years, the museum has awarded approximately $5 million and 1,200 awards to Virginia’s art students and professional artists.

“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts continues its commitment to nurture artists throughout the Commonwealth,” said Director Alex Nyerges.  “We are grateful to the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg for establishing a VMFA endowment that makes this support possible, as well as others who have contributed funds to further this mission-based objective throughout the years.”

Twelve professional fellowships, each worth $8,000, were awarded.

Sweeney, Sean

Sean Sweeney (Graduate, painting, Yorktown)
Untitled, 2012
Latex and spray paint on panel over canvas, 24×17.75”

The recipients are (in alphabetical order by hometown): Marc Maiorana (crafts) of Cedar Bluff; William Connally (photography) of Charlottesville; Warren Craghead III (drawing) of Charlottesville; Blade Wynne (painting) of Chesapeake; Michelle Erickson (crafts) of Hampton; Jason Hackett (crafts) of Henrico; Stephen W. Brandt (film/video) of Henrico; Susan Iverson (crafts) of Montpelier; Megan Marlatt (painting) of Orange; Amanda Baldwin (painting) of Richmond; Polina Grinberg (film/video) of Richmond; and Matthew Warren (photography) of Richmond.The juror for the professional fellowship awards was Michael Darling, the James W. Alsdorf Chief Curator at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago.

Five graduate students won awards worth $6,000. They are: John Charleton Hawley III (art history) of Charlottesville; Melanie Kobran (photography) of Leesburg; Jake Borndal (sculpture) of Richmond; Caryn Brissey (film/video) of Richmond; and Sean Sweeney (painting) of Yorktown.

Turner, Denney

Denney Turner (Undergraduate, photography, Franklin)
Blue Ridge Parkway, Jan. 2012
Digital photograph, large format 27 in.

Ten undergraduate students won awards worth $4,000 each. They are: Eli McMullen (painting) Alexandria; Denney Turner (photography Franklin; Skye Young (drawing) Leesburgh; Brittany Arnold (crafts) Richmond; Kimberly A. Barnes (film/video) Richmond; Noelle Choy (sculpture) Richmond; Miranda Elliott (photography )Richmond; Hunter Harold Mayton (mixed media) Virginia Beach; and Jamie Parkerson (mixed media) Virginia Beach. In addition, undergraduate student Margaret Grymes (sculpture) of Richmond was awarded a fellowship worth $2,000 for her final semester.

The jurors for the undergraduate and graduate awards were Stefanie Fedor, the executive director of the Arlington

Arts Center in Arlington, Va., and Crawford Alexander Mann III, the Brock curator of American art at the Chrysler Museum of Art in Norfolk, Va. The fellowship funds come from a privately-endowed fund administered by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.  The Fellowship Program was established in 1940 through a generous contribution made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg (the husband of Lillian Pratt, donor of the museum’s Fabergé collection). Offered through the VMFA Art and Education Division, fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment and supplemented by annual gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic Jr. Scholarship Fund.