VCUarts Craft/Material Studies

We are a community of makers/artist who advance the conceptual, historical, technical and haptic aspects of Clay, Fiber, Glass, Metal and Wood.

It is exciting being at the forefront of the field. And, that’s exactly where we are. Graduate students come to the department with a fluency in the language of fiber, metal, clay, glass or wood. Undergraduates come with a sense of dedication and commitment to learning. Together, faculty and students hone, improvise, and redefine ancient technologies with new technologies. We bend and blend concep

Operating as usual

Photos from VCUarts Craft/Material Studies's post 11/28/2023

Earlier in November, we welcomed Windgate Emerging Craft Artists and Visiting Faculty Melanie Bernier and Emily Ryan Stark to the DePillars Gallery! Their exhibition "Mythical Fruit & Underworld Glimmers" featured a colorful array of fiber art installations, sculptures, and video work. If you didn't get a chance to see their work in person, here are a few snapshots of the exhibition!

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Melanie Bernier is a visual artist, actor, musician, beach lifeguard, and professor. She makes fiber-based sculptures, weavings, videos, performance, plays, albums, album art, how-to columns, this and that. Bernier has toured the US with several bands and frequently acts on stage and film. Creative community projects have included Punk Rock Aerobics, New Craft Artists in Action, Bardo Gallery, and Girls Rock Campaign. Bernier’s work has been shown at venues such as the Museum of Arts and Design (NYC), Dirt Palace (Providence), and Evening Hours (NYC). Her work has been reviewed in Art in America, Creative Time Reports, Vice, and Maximum Rock n’ Roll. Bernier received an MFA from Tyler School of Art at Temple University and a BFA from Massachusetts College of Art and Design.

Emily Ryan Stark, originally from Western Montana, is an artist and educator who currently lives and works in Upstate New York. She received an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, a BS from the University of Oregon, and a BA from the University of Montana. Stark engages in a process-focused practice that emphasizes craft and detailed surfaces. Her work is rooted in fiber and consists of soft sculptural objects, garments, and woven structures. She loves to dress and adorn armatures, both to mask and to reveal inner landscapes and visceral states. Stark is influenced by occult and contemplative practices, science fiction, and gender studies. She explores the ways in which we experience materials—both in a felt sense, and as complex carriers of histories, and how the systems and norms we are entangled in influence our emotions, relationships, and attachments.

11/17/2023

Join us this weekend as we support and celebrate our alumni participating in VisArts' Craft + Design Show! Here's a sneak peak at the VCUarts Department of Craft/Material Studies booth featuring two of our incredibly talented alumni, Victoria Whiteberry and Summer Balcom

11/02/2023

The trees are changing color...the air is getting colder...it's that time of the year again! Students and faculty from The Department of Craft/Material Studies are hosting their annual ceramic sale and fundraiser on November 15-17 from 10 A.M. - 4 P.M. daily in the first-floor lobby of the Murry N. DePillars Building, 1000 W Broad St. *This event will be happening at the same time as the Pop-up Sale!*

Mugs, magnets, vases, bowls, jewelry, sculpture, and more will be available to purchase. Proceeds from the sale will support student expenses and travel to the 2024 NCECA (National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts) conference.

Photos from VCUarts Craft/Material Studies's post 10/11/2023

The Department of Craft/Material Studies has TWO back-to-back lectures coming up in October!

Join us for a visiting artist lecture by Zak Foster on Tuesday, October 24 at 12:30 P.M. at the Bowe Street Parking Deck, Room 535 (609 Bowe St, Richmond, VA). Zak is a community-taught artist whose work draws on Southern textile traditions and repurposed fabrics. He practices an approach to design that is intuitive and improvisational. He is especially drawn to preserving the stories of quilts and specializes in memory quilts and burial quilts.

AND

Join us for a visiting speaker lecture by Rachael Arauz entitled “The Craft & Materials of Curatorial Thinking” on Wednesday, October 25 at 12:30 P.M. at the Institute for Contemporary Art’s auditorium (601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA 23220). M. Rachael Arauz is an independent curator of modern and contemporary art, with a Ph.D. in art history from the University of Pennsylvania. She has organized exhibitions and contributed to museum catalogues in the United States, Mexico, and Europe, on a wide variety of topics. She has also written about her museum experience as a “minority intern” in the 1990s, and served as juror and visiting critic for various organizations.

Please check out the pinned events on our page for more information about both lecturers!

09/15/2023

💫 Mark your calendars!

The Craft/Material Studies MFA students will host a Pecha Kucha Night on Thursday, September 21 at 5:30 P.M. in DePillars Room 212 (1000 W. Broad St.).

Each graduate will be presenting and discussing their work as well as concepts and influences involved in their practices! With each presentation being only six minutes and forty seconds, it's a great opportunity for the community to get to know the current graduate students and see impressive work they are making. You don't want to miss out!! ✨️

08/24/2023

Join us in congratulating Susie Ganch for receiving the Dean’s Distinguished Achievement in Research Award!

Nominated by Cindy Myron, Susie’s commitment to community and collaboration is fueled by her participation in prominent Artist-in-Residence programs. Her ability to reinvent her practice and dive deeply into her creative work serves as an inspiration not only for our undergraduate and graduate students but also for her colleagues in Craft/Material Studies and throughout the school. Susie’s move towards working with recycled plastics and other materials touches on sustainability and re-energizes the conversation on traditional craft techniques and practices. Perhaps most close to her heart is her collaborative research project, Radical Jewelry Makeover or (RJM). RJM is a multi-faceted project that uses the role of jewelry to educate students and communities about the complex issues surrounding mining. Most recently Susie has organized RJM events that have taken place in Brazil, Scotland, New York City, and Boston.

Thank you so much for all of the amazing things you do!

08/17/2023

Unconventional Self is a Technician Exhibition with works from Chris Mahonski (Sculpture), Brooke Inman (Painting+Printmaking), and Jason Hackett (Craft/Material Studies) currently on view in the DePillars Gallery! There will be a closing reception on Friday, August 25th from 5-7pm.

Some of the works by Brooke Inman are interactive and everyone is encouraged to bring a small button, magnet or small collectible to trade.

Swing by and see the amazing work from our Techs as you get settled into the Fall semester!

Photos from VCUarts Craft/Material Studies's post 06/15/2023

Students are hard at work this summer in Prof. Nyasha Chigama’s African Handbuilt Pottery Class! Here they are working on a collaborative project 🏺

04/05/2023

Join us at Dransfield Jewelers for this year‘s Tiny Shiny jewelry sale and exhibition! Tiny Shiny is an annual event showcasing VCUarts Craft/Material Studies students from the metals area. Everything from bracelets to brooches to rings and much, much, more will be available for purchase! The opening reception will be held on April 13th from 5-8pm. A portion of the proceeds will directly benefit Crafting the Future.

Opening Reception: April 13, 5-8pm
Dates: Thursday/Friday, April 13 & 14, from 11am-6pm, & Saturday, April 15, from 12-4pm.
Address: 1308 East Cary Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Parking: Bring your 14th & Cary Street parking deck ticket in with you and Dransfield Jewelers will validate parking. The parking deck address is 1405 09 E Main St. Richmond, VA, 23219.

Photos from Strictly Functional Pottery National's post 03/30/2023
03/27/2023
03/21/2023

*UPDATE: THIS LECTURE HAS BEEN CANCELLED*

*CANCELLED*

Join the Department of Craft/Material Studies for a visiting artist lecture by Rebecca Arday on Thursday, March 23 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA.

Rebecca Arday’s sculptures and drawings interweave art, science, and history. Utilizing glass and other amorphous, ephemeral materials, she explores (im)permanence and (in)stability in relation to the personal and societal. Her works, made from both manipulated found objects and her own fabrications, distill gigantic aspects of human experience into intimate, animate, uncanny things.

Rebecca’s work has been included in exhibitions across the United States as well as in Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. She holds an MFA from the Department of Art at The Ohio State University (2021) and BFA in glass from the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology (2008). She has taught at The Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Penland School of Crafts, and Pilchuck Glass School. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Sculpture/Dimensional Studies and the Director of the National Casting Center Glass Studios at Alfred University.


Image:
Enlightenment Trio, After the Anatomical Venus, 2021
glass, wax, eyelashes, mixed media

03/16/2023

Please join the Department of Craft/Material Studies for a visiting artist lecture by Xiaojing Yan on Wednesday, March 29 at 12:30pm at the Bowe Street Parking Deck, Room 535, 609 Bowe St., Richmond, VA.

Xiaojing Yan is a Chinese-Canadian artist whose work embraces her sense of having a hybrid identity. Settling permanently in the Toronto area, her work reflects her journey through these various cultures, arriving at her own personal vocabulary. Her unique point of view unites the past and the present, encompassing culture and nature, art and science.
Her work has appeared in solo exhibitions at institutions including the Chinese American Arts Council in NYC, Richmond Art Gallery in Canada, Suzhou Museum in China, Hermès Maison in Shanghai, and Varley Art Gallery in Canada. Her projects have been featured in venues throughout Canada as well as China, France, USA and Greece. Yan has also completed commissions in Canada, China and France including her “Zodiac Sign Project” commission and installation “Cloudscape” at the Royal Ontario Museum, window display “Into the Dreams” and installation “Emergence” by Hermès, Shanghai, China.

For more details check out: https://arts.vcu.edu/event/xiaojing-yan-visiting-artist-lecture/

03/15/2023

The Department of Craft/Material studies presents the Senior Craft Capstone 2023. The first round of exhibition times are March 15th-20th with a reception on March 15th from 5-8pm at The Anderson Gallery.

03/15/2023

*CANCELLED*

Join the Department of Craft/Material Studies for a visiting artist lecture by Rebecca Arday on Thursday, March 23 from 12:30 – 2:00 pm at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA.

Rebecca Arday’s sculptures and drawings interweave art, science, and history. Utilizing glass and other amorphous, ephemeral materials, she explores (im)permanence and (in)stability in relation to the personal and societal. Her works, made from both manipulated found objects and her own fabrications, distill gigantic aspects of human experience into intimate, animate, uncanny things.

Rebecca’s work has been included in exhibitions across the United States as well as in Bulgaria, China, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. She holds an MFA from the Department of Art at The Ohio State University (2021) and BFA in glass from the School for American Crafts at the Rochester Institute of Technology (2008). She has taught at The Ohio State University, Rochester Institute of Technology, Penland School of Crafts, and Pilchuck Glass School. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor in Sculpture/Dimensional Studies and the Director of the National Casting Center Glass Studios at Alfred University.


Image:
Enlightenment Trio, After the Anatomical Venus, 2021
glass, wax, eyelashes, mixed media

03/14/2023

The March 30th deadline to apply for our Emerging Artist Fellowship in Craft is quickly approaching! Please click the link for a full description of this amazing opportunity https://vcu.csod.com/.../caree.../1/home/requisition/2902...

Questions can be directed to [email protected]

We are hiring TWO Emerging Artists for a Fellowship during the 2023-24 academic year! Please click the link for a full description of this amazing opportunity https://vcu.csod.com/ux/ats/careersite/1/home/requisition/2902?c=vcu
Please direct all questions to [email protected]

03/09/2023

This Monday, March 13th join the Department of Craft/Material Studies for a visiting artist lecture by Beth Lipman! This will be held at the the ICA of Richmond at 12:30pm.

Join the Department of Craft/Material studies for a visiting artist lecture by Beth Lipman on Monday, March 13 from 12:30 – 2:00pm at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA. 

Beth Lipman is an American artist whose sculptural practice generates from the Still Life genre, symbolically representing the splendor and excess of the Anthropocene and the stratigraphic layer humanity will leave on earth. Assemblages of inanimate objects and domestic interiors, inspired by private spaces and public collections, propose portraits of individuals, institutions, and societies.

Temporality and mortality-primary concerns linked to the Still Life tradition-are heightened through materiality. Works in glass, wood, metal, photography, and video disrupt the mechanisms of fixed, grand narratives in order to emphasize evanescence at the heart of ‘vanitas’. Sculptural processes become analogies for life cycles, pointing to systems both natural and human that must continually adapt in order to survive.

The works are a meditation on our relationship to Deep Time, a monumental time scale based on geologic events that minimizes human lives. Each installation is a reimagining of history, created by placing cycles often separated by millenia in proximity, from the ancient botanical to the cultural. The incorporation of prehistoric flora alludes to the impermanence of the present and the persistence of life. The ephemera of the Anthropocene becomes a symbol of fragility as the human species is placed on a continuum where time eradicates hierarchy.

Please see the link in our bio for details!

#VCUarts #VisitingArtistLecture #BethLipman #Craft #VCUartsCraft 02/27/2023

Join the Department of Craft/Material Studies for a visiting artist lecture by

Beth Lipman
Monday, March 13 from 12:30 – 2:00pm
Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA.

Beth Lipman is an American artist whose sculptural practice generates from the Still Life genre, symbolically representing the splendor and excess of the Anthropocene and the stratigraphic layer humanity will leave on earth. Assemblages of inanimate objects and domestic interiors, inspired by private spaces and public collections, propose portraits of individuals, institutions, and societies.

Temporality and mortality-primary concerns linked to the Still Life tradition-are heightened through materiality. Works in glass, wood, metal, photography, and video disrupt the mechanisms of fixed, grand narratives in order to emphasize evanescence at the heart of ‘vanitas’. Sculptural processes become analogies for life cycles, pointing to systems both natural and human that must continually adapt in order to survive.

The works are a meditation on our relationship to Deep Time, a monumental time scale based on geologic events that minimizes human lives. Each installation is a reimagining of history, created by placing cycles often separated by millenia in proximity, from the ancient botanical to the cultural. The incorporation of prehistoric flora alludes to the impermanence of the present and the persistence of life. The ephemera of the Anthropocene becomes a symbol of fragility as the human species is placed on a continuum where time eradicates hierarchy.

For more details visit this link: https://arts.vcu.edu/event/beth-lipman-visiting-artist-lecture/

Join the Department of Craft/Material studies for a visiting artist lecture by Beth Lipman on Monday, March 13 from 12:30 – 2:00pm at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU, 601 W Broad St, Richmond, VA. Beth Lipman is an American artist whose sculptural practice generates from the Still Life genre, symbolically representing the splendor and excess of the Anthropocene and the stratigraphic layer humanity will leave on earth. Assemblages of inanimate objects and domestic interiors, inspired by private spaces and public collections, propose portraits of individuals, institutions, and societies. Temporality and mortality-primary concerns linked to the Still Life tradition-are heightened through materiality. Works in glass, wood, metal, photography, and video disrupt the mechanisms of fixed, grand narratives in order to emphasize evanescence at the heart of ‘vanitas’. Sculptural processes become analogies for life cycles, pointing to systems both natural and human that must continually adapt in order to survive. The works are a meditation on our relationship to Deep Time, a monumental time scale based on geologic events that minimizes human lives. Each installation is a reimagining of history, created by placing cycles often separated by millenia in proximity, from the ancient botanical to the cultural. The incorporation of prehistoric flora alludes to the impermanence of the present and the persistence of life. The ephemera of the Anthropocene becomes a symbol of fragility as the human species is placed on a continuum where time eradicates hierarchy. Please see the link in our bio for details! #VCUarts #VisitingArtistLecture #BethLipman #Craft #VCUartsCraft

02/20/2023

Join the Department of Craft/Material studies for Colin Knight's solo exhibition "Heroic Shelters" in the DePillars Gallery from March 3 - March 23. There will be an opening reception on March 3 from 5-7.

2023 Board of Directors: New Member 02/03/2023

Prof. Elissa Armstrong has been elected to the NCAA board of directors!

2023 Board of Directors: New Member Each year, the National Council of Arts Administrators holds an election of officers (3) at the Annual General Meeting (held during the annual conference,) for a four-year term on the Board of Directors. The membership elects officers from a slate of nominees, initially nominated by members and vett...

01/31/2023

Check out this artist highlight of Department Chair and Assistant Professor Cynthia Myron!

MINERAL MATTERS: Artist Highlight

CYNTHIA MYRON is an artist and Department Chair and Assistant Professor in the department of Craft/Material Studies in the School of the Arts, Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.

Her work has been exhibited at the Spartanburg Art Museum, Taubman Museum of Art, Rawls Museum Arts, Chelsea Center for the Arts, Facere Art Gallery, the Florida International Museum, and other venues. She shares her life and studio in Richmond with her husband and daughters.

ARTIST STATEMENT
My relationship with material begins with the sensation of touch and connection to process. This is coupled with a growing curiosity for archival research and melding my experiences with the histories and stories of those who shaped the social and physical landscape that has shaped me. My most recent body of work, centered on the idea of impermanence, creates a dialogue between individuals and families, intimate spaces, and the fleeting moments that exist within nature.

The culmination of these works reveals a passing of individual memory and explores human impact on our natural environment while paying homage to the lives and industries that have shaped our communities. I invite viewers to contemplate the idea of home and the ways in which it serves as a symbol of safety and shelter.

Drawing inspiration from symbolism, history, architecture, ideas of value, and human-made alterations to our natural environment, I explore the importance of the architecture embedded in the landscape within Northeast Pennsylvania, one that exploded during the height of coal mining and remains part of the current physical and social atmosphere. This industry that once shaped the region helped me to formulate my own ideas surrounding family, community, and socioeconomics.

Through the use of various materials (metal, paper, wood, and resin, for example), as well as various processes (drawing, casting, assembling, and forming), I unravel my identity rooted in craft, exploration, history, tradition, lineage, and the urge to welcome the unknown. Other objects, such as anthracite coal cast in pewter and plated in gold, invite us to deconstruct the notions of labor, industry, and commodity. The reinvented history of these objects allows for a more expansive idea of value. Ultimately, I wish to present an opportunity to consider what is constant and reliable compared to what is mutable, shifting, and curiously inconsistent.

Seen Here: Reclamation for a Sustainable Future, 2020 (Wood, architectural print, pewter, anthracite, ink, 24k gold) $3,000.00

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To view the artworks by Cynthia and others in person, visit the Watts Museum's MINERAL MATTERS exhibition. OPEN Mon/Wed/Fri, 1PM to 4PM and by appointment. Free entry.

If you'd like to contact an artist directly about purchasing an artwork featured in this exhibition, please reach out to the Watts Museum for the artist's contact information.

10/24/2022

🟣 The Department of Craft/Material Studies presents SYCK, an MFA exhibition featuring work by Shannon Kurzyniec, Yifei Kong, Chelsea Rowe, and Kate Crankshaw.
DePillars Gallery, 1000 W Broad St
October 24-31, 2022
Reception: Friday, October 28, 7-9pm

09/29/2022

🌟NEW DATE🌟
Let's try that again! Join us for our rescheduled MFA Pecha Kucha on Thursday, October 6 at 5:30pm in the DePillars Building, 1000 W Broad St, 2nd Floor Crit Room #1.

Featuring Craft/Material Studies graduate students:
Abi Ogle
Stacie Sabady
Nyasha Chigama
Kate Crankshaw
Paul van den Bijgaart
Shannon Kurzyniec
Chelsea Rowe
Yifei Kong

Myra Mimlitsch-Gray Visiting Artist Lecture | VCUarts 09/13/2022

Join us this Thursday at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU for a lecture by artist Myra Mimlitsch-Gray!

Myra Mimlitsch-Gray Visiting Artist Lecture | VCUarts The Department of Craft/Material Studies presents a visiting artist lecture by Myra Mimlitsch-Gray on Thursday, September 15 from 12:30 – 2:00pm at the Institute for Contemporary Art at VCU…

09/12/2022

Join us for our MFA Pecha Kucha on Thursday, September 22 at 5:30pm in the DePillars Building, 1000 W Broad St, 2nd Floor Crit Room #1.

Featuring Craft/Material Studies graduate students:
Abi Ogle
Stacie Sabady
Nyasha Chigama
Kate Crankshaw
Paul van den Bijgaart
Shannon Kurzyniec
Chelsea Rowe
Yifei Kong

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Please join the Department of Craft/Material Studies for a visiting artist lecture by Xiaojing Yan on Wednesday, March 2...
Clay Mannequin

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1000 W Broad Street
Richmond, VA
23220
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