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 students who demonstrate exceptional creative ability in their chosen discipline. Since its establishment in 1940 by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg, the Fellowship Program has awarded nearly $6 million in fellowships to Virginians. 2015 marked the 75th anniversary of VMFA’s Fellowship Program.

As part of our commitment to Virginians, the Pauley Center Galleries, Amuse Restaurant, the Claiborne Robertson Room, and select spaces at the Richmond International Airport are dedicated to showcasing the work of VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship recipients. In addition, VMFA collaborates with Statewide Partners around the commonwealth to host exhibitions featuring recent recipients of a VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship.

Wonderful World

By Judy McLeod
Feb 7, 2024 – Jul 29, 2024 | VMFA Amuse Restaurant & Claiborne Robertson Room

It’s a Wonderful World.

Let us look with hope and promise at the wonder of planet Earth. Despite the Coronavirus daze pandemic, despite inequities and global conflicts, despite the “bad actors” among us, let us look with love and awe at the fantastic reality—we are here in our particular sliver of space-time. As we contemplate our place in space, we employ an ever-expanding scientific knowledge and spiritual awareness of this planet in our solar system in our galaxy in the universe…and beyond.

These collages/ideas reflect on and celebrate this Wonderful World.

Judy McLeod lives and works in Charlottesville, Virginia. She is a recipient of a 1979-80 and 1980-81 VMFA Graduate Visual Arts Fellowship and was awarded a 2001-02 Professional Honorable Mention.

IMAGES The Improbability of It All, Judy McLeod | There is No Center of the Universe, Judy McLeod | Top O’ the World, Judy McLeod | We Are All Stardust, Judy McLeod

Coronam Florem

By Roberto Bocci
Feb 16, 2024 – Jul 30, 2024 | Pauley Education Center Galleries

In March 2020, during the coronavirus pandemic lockdown, I started shooting a series of light painting time exposures of flowers entitled Coronam Florem (Latin for Corona Flower). These images are inspired by the ravaging effects the coronavirus has had on people around the word.

In Coronam Florem, flowers, buds, and fruits are shot underwater and left to decay. The camera is used to document the biological process of transformation the flowers undergo over time. The title of each work is the name of the flower in Latin, followed by the name in English and the date when the image was shot.

To create one of these works, I take 15 to 80 shots of the subject as I refocus the camera from foreground to background. Next, I process the images with a photo stacking application which compiles them as a single picture with infinite or a specific depth of field and focus.

As in other works of mine, Florem explores sexuality, cycles of birth, growth, decay, and the effects of the elements on biological life. Through the artifice of photography, I can generate impossible images that our vision can’t perceive with the naked eye.

Roberto Bocci was born in 1962 in Siena, Italy. He lives in Arlington, Virginia, and is a professor of digital art and photography at Georgetown University. He is a recipient of a 2023-24 VMFA Professional Visual Arts Fellowship.

IMAGES Narcissus (Daffodil), 4-8-2022-01, Roberto Bocci | Tulipa (Tulip), 4-7-2022-06, Roberto Bocci | Tulipa (Tulip), 4-18-2022-02, Roberto Bocci | Vinca (Periwinkle), 5-10-2021-00, Roberto Bocci

Lands Without

By James Scheuren
Feb 6, 2024 – Jul 28, 2024 | Richmond International Airport

I can enable you to always hear the voices of your loved ones, even though they are far away.
—The Edison Phonograph

I make photographs to explore material culture and the way it abstracts and reveals economic systems. Made primarily at night and depicting workers’ commutes, spaces, and holding patterns/liftoffs/landings, these pictures flatten and collapse time and distance. Light–eerily perceived as natural–is an often-overlooked measure of exchange and social construction. As I travel each subject’s commute, I make one long exposure or hundreds of exposures. The light that touches their body and mine is inscribed onto the film. A central theme of travel reveals the specific labor and alienation of the sitters and suggests how habit, repetition, and rituals blur our perception of time. My pictures also function as data collection. The motion of the light and people, though seemingly non-representational, charts a haunting system of economic productivity. The light trails of airplanes across the sky indicate international commerce. The exhibition contains two pictures of DHL’s main hub in Germany, with hours of planes circling in. Each work’s title echoes the almost utopian promise of improving technologies.

James Scheuren is a recipient of a 2022–23 VMFA Professional Visual Arts Fellowship.

IMAGES Almost Hear Them, James Scheuren | Beautiful Wrapping, James Scheuren | If You Can See a Thing Whole It Seems That It’s Always Beautiful, James Scheuren | Late Style, James Scheuren