Seth Bauserman (Drawing, Richmond), The True Individual, 2014, Pencil on Paper, 62'' x 48''

Fellowship Program at VMFA supports Virginia artists

26 fellowships awarded for 2017–18

Twenty-six Virginia art students and professional artists were selected from a record 815 applications to receive fellowships worth a total of $158,000 from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. Since the program launched in 1940, VMFA has presented nearly $5.5 million to more than 1,300 professional artists, art students and graduate students in art history from across Virginia.

“An important part of our mission is to nurture artists throughout the Commonwealth, whether they are working in their chosen discipline or still exploring as part of a undergraduate or graduate degree,” said Alex Nyerges, VMFA Director. “The Fellowship Program provides both important financial resources and an exhibition option for both professional and student artists in their creative journeys. We are proud that the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts offers the largest fellowship program of any kind in the United States.”

Recipients, who must be Virginia residents, can use the award as they want, including education and studio investments. Each year, professional curators and working artists are invited to serve as jurors to select recipients.

Twelve professional fellowships, each worth $8,000, were awarded. The recipients (in alphabetical order by hometown) are Matt Eich, photography, Charlottesville; Carl Medley, painting, Norfolk; Aimee Joyaux, drawing, Petersburg; Seth Bauserman, drawing, Richmond; Sonya Clark, crafts, Richmond; Irvin Morazan, mixed media, Richmond; Bob Paris, new/emerging media, Richmond; Ryan Conrad Sawyer, mixed media, Richmond; Jane Winfield, painting, Richmond; Brian Davis, new/emerging media, Springfield; Kelly Seeber, mixed media, Williamsburg; and Matthew Grimes, mixed media, Winchester.

The juror for the professional awards was Christopher Bedford, Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director at the Baltimore Museum of Art in Maryland.

Four graduate students won awards worth $6,000 each. They are Elizabeth Flood, painting, Crozet; Ryan Lytle, sculpture, Hampton; Michelle Gagliano, painting, Scottsville; and Frank Fucile, art history, Williamsburg.

Nine undergraduate students won awards worth $4,000 each. They are Jason Ly, new/emerging media, Chantilly; Mikhail Khokhlov, sculpture, Fairfax; Jacob Medley, new/emerging media, Fairfax Station; Emma Lewis, printmaking, Fredericksburg; Mark Peyton, photography, Glen Allen; Zephyr Sheedy, photography, Leesburg; Abigail Collins, drawing, Roanoke; Alexander Sausen, mixed media, Suffolk; and Jessica Cruz, painting, Virginia Beach.

In addition, undergraduate student Claudine Reyes, film/video, Richmond, was awarded a fellowship worth $2,000 for her final semester.

The jurors for the graduate and undergraduate awards were Leigh Anne Chambers, Executive Director, Rawls Museum Arts in Courtland, Va., and Dr. James Glisson, Bradford and Christine Mishler Assistant Curator of American Art, the Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens in San Marino, Calif.

In addition to providing financial rewards to all recipients, VMFA offers exhibition space in VMFA’s Amuse restaurant and the Claiborne Robertson Room; the VMFA Pauley Center Galleries; and select spaces at Richmond International Airport. Three years ago, the museum launched the Fellowship Statewide Exhibitions Program, which allows our statewide partners to curate exhibitions by featuring recent recipients of a VMFA Visual Arts Fellowship. Since the program was launched, several past and present fellowship recipients have shown their work in the galleries of Workhouse Arts Center in Lorton and the Capital One Commons in Richmond.

The Fellowship Program was established with 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 Statewide Program, fellowships are still largely funded through the Pratt endowment and supplemented by gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic Jr. Scholarship Fund.

Slideshow of works by 2017 VMFA Fellowship Recipients


About the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, is one of the largest comprehensive art museums in the United States. VMFA, which opened in 1936, is a state agency and privately endowed educational institution. Its purpose is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret art, and to encourage the study of the arts. Through the Office of Statewide Partnerships program, the museum offers curated exhibitions, arts-related audiovisual programs, symposia, lectures, conferences, and workshops by visual and performing artists. In addition to presenting a wide array of special exhibitions, the museum provides visitors with the opportunity to experience a global collection of art that spans more than 5,000 years. VMFA’s permanent holdings encompass more than 35,000 artworks, including the largest public collection of Fabergé outside of Russia, the finest collection of Art Nouveau outside of Paris, and one of the nation’s finest collections of American art. VMFA is home to important collections of English silver and Impressionist, Post-Impressionist, British sporting, and modern and contemporary art, as well as renowned South Asian, Himalayan, and African art. In May 2010, VMFA opened its doors to the public after a transformative expansion, the largest in its 80-year history. The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is the only art museum in the United States open 365 days a year with free general admission. For additional information, telephone 804-340-1400 or visit

Media contact:

Anthony Backherms, Communications Assistant | 804.204.2705
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts | 200 N. Boulevard, Richmond VA 23220-4007

Mikhail Khokhlov (Sculpture, Fairfax), Untitled, 2015, Home depot shopping cart, portland cement

Elizabeth Flood (Painting, Crozet), Kauffman Trees, 2016, Oil on Canvas, 48”x 60”

Seth Bauserman (Drawing, Richmond), The True Individual, 2014, Pencil on Paper, 62” x 48”