Virginia Visual Artist Emergency Relief Fellowship Program

In response to the dire economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, VMFA developed a program to assist visual artists from the Commonwealth: the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program.

The program is funded by the museum’s existing Artist Fellowship Endowment established in 1941 through a generous gift made by John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg, Virginia. Mr. Pratt stipulated that the funds be used to support professional artists as well as art and art history students in the Commonwealth and not for other purposes. Through this endowment, VMFA has awarded nearly $5.8 million to artists in the Commonwealth over the past 80 years. VMFA has carefully invested Mr. Pratt’s gift—the accrued excess balance of which is being used to aid our state’s visual artists during this unprecedented crisis.

Forty artists from Virginia were selected by a jury made up of three staff members at VMFA: Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; Natasha Campbell, head of the museum’s fellowship program; and Jeffrey Allison, head of statewide programs. A total of $200,000 was made available through the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program, with each recipient receiving $5,000.

Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program Recipients

Alexandria: Emine Sermin Ciddi
Bedford: Veronica Jackson
Burke: Mojdeh Rezaeipour
Charlottesville: Tina Curtis
Chester: Eliza Lamb
Chesterfield: Nikki Painter
Jordan Shanks
Alfonso Perez Acosta
Fairfax: Michael Childers
Soomin Ham
Falls Church: Jun Lee
Floyd: Wendy Werstlein
Fredericksburg: Lorie McCown
Glen Allen: Sandy Williams IV
Hampton: Kemi Layeni
King William: Ethan Brown
Leesburg: Noah Velez
Monroe: Claire Stankus
Newport News: Scot Turner
Norfolk: Kimberly McKinnis
Khalil Riddick
Richmond: S. Ross Browne
Hamilton Glass
Alicia Little
Jaydan Moore
Barry O’Keefe
Eva Rocha
Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz
Leigh Suggs
Luis Vasquez
Kendra Wadsworth
Roanoke: Susan Jamison
Virginia Beach: Suzanne Stevens
Nastassja Swift
Williamsburg: Steve Prince

Six artists, who asked not to be named, from Charlottesville, Centerville, Lynchburg, Monroe, Richmond and Roanoke also received fellowships.