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Alumni

Leah Beeferman (MFA 2010)

New York City-based artist Leah Beeferman travels to and documents remote northern landscapes. This practice forms the basis of her digital prints, videos, and sound pieces, which explore the relationships among observation and abstraction, natural and digital, physical and experiential.

Beeferman has had solo exhibitions at Rawson Projects, New York, and Sorbus, Helsinki. Recent two-person or group exhibitions include Klaus von Nichtssagend, New York; The Anderson, Richmond; Studio 17, Stavanger; Galaria Nara Roesler, São Paolo; Bass & Reiner, San Francisco; Fridman Gallery, New York; and OK Corral, Copenhagen. Beeferman has participated in many residencies, including LMCC Workspace, New York; The Arctic Circle, Svalbard; Mustarinda, Finland; ArsBioarctica, Finland; Digital Painting Atelier, OCAD, Toronto; Sirius, Ireland; and SIM, Iceland. Publications include Triple Point, an artist book published by Lodret Vandret, Copenhagen. Beeferman received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University (2010) and a BA from Brown University (2004), and was the recipient of a Fulbright Scholar Grant to Finland (2016-17). www.leahbeeferman.com

Lauren Clay (MFA 2007)

Lauren Clay, originally from Atlanta, lives and works in New York. She received a MFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2007, and BFA in Painting from Savannah College of Art and Design in 2004. Clay is a 2019 recipient of the Pollock Krasner Foundation Grant. Her work has been widely exhibited nationally, including solo exhibitions at Asya Geisberg Gallery, New York; Larissa Goldston Gallery, New York; Whitespace Gallery, Atlanta; Rocky Mountain College of Art and Design, Denver; and Savannah College of Art and Design. She has created site specific installations for the Brooklyn Academy of Music, NY; Arts Brookfield, NY; and Paradise City, Seoul, South Korea. Press includes The New York Times, Artforum, Artsy, Bomb Magazine, PIN-UP Magazine and the Washington Post. Clay’s editioned artist book, Subtle Body, published by Small Editions NY, is included in the library collections of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum of American Art, and The Brooklyn Museum of Art.

Loie Hollowell (MFA 2012)

Loie Hollowell is recognized for her paintings that evoke bodily landscapes and sacred iconography, using geometric shapes to move a figure or its actions into abstraction. Originating in autobiography, her work explores themes of sexuality, often through allusions to the human form with an emphasis on women’s bodies. She has had solo exhibitions at Pace Gallery New York (2019), Pace Gallery London (2018), Pace Gallery Hong Kong (2018), and Feuer/MEsler Gallery in New York (2016) as well as group exhibitions Crystal Bridges Museum of AMerican Art (2019), Victoria Miro  in London (2018), Andrehn-Schiptjenko in Stockholm (2018), White Cube in London (2017), and Ballroom Marfa (2016). She is represented by Pace Gallery.

Nick Irzyk (MFA 2014)

Nick Irzyk lives and works in Brooklyn, NY. He received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2014 and his BFA from Massachusetts College of Art in 2012. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include: Networks at Columbus Property Management, New York, NY, Chin Up Bar, Baltimore, MD, Neu with Nicholas Sullivan at No Place Gallery, Columbus, OH, nature is the best techno at Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY, Rough Country with Michelle Segre at 247365, New York, NY and 106 Green, Brooklyn, NY. Recent group exhibitions include 56 Henry, New York, NY, The Pit, Glendale, CA, St. Charles Projects, Baltimore MD, and Underdonk, Brooklyn, NY.

He runs Step Sister gallery located in the lower east side of Manhattan.

Andy Meerow (MFA 2012)

Andy Meerow (b.1980, Park Ridge NJ) received an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012, and a BFA from Wesleyan University in 2003. He has had solo exhibitions at Bodega (NY), And Now (Dallas, TX), and Levy/Delval (Brussels, BE). He has been included in group shows in the US and internationally, at galleries and institutions including Ramiken Crucible (NY), Real Fine Arts (BK), Rivington Arms (NY), Eva Meyer (Paris), Den Frie CFA (Copenhagen), and the Museo Britanico Americano (Mexico City). He is represented in New York City by Bodega Gallery.

Ander Mikalson (MFA 2012)

Ander Mikalson is a NYC-based artist playing across performance, sound, installation and drawing. Select solo exhibitions and performances include Knockdown Center (Queens, NY), Art in General (Brooklyn, NY), The Kitchen (New York, NY), The High Line (New York, NY), Storm King Art Center (New Windsor, NY), The Art, Design & Architecture Museum (Santa Barbara, CA), Kate Werble Gallery (New York, NY), Queens Museum (Queens, NY), Temple Contemporary (Philadelphia, PA), Institute of Contemporary Art (Portland, ME) and Tensta Konsthall (Stockholm, Sweden). Her projects have been supported by the Rema Hort Mann Emerging Artist Grant (2019), Foundation for Contemporary Arts Emergency Grant (2016), the Art Matters Foundation Grant (2013), College Art Association Professional-Development Fellowship in the Visual Arts (2012) and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Graduate Fellowship (2011). She has been an artist-in-residence at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture (2012), Queens Museum (2015-18), Robert Rauschenberg Foundation (2017), Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Process Space (2016) and Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity (2018). She holds an MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and a BA from the College of Creative Studies at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is currently a Smithsonian Artist Research Fellow in Washington, DC and an inaugural Artist-in-Residence at the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council Arts Center in New York City.

Scores for a Black Hole: https://vimeo.com/339391333

Be Oakley (MFA 2018)

Be Oakley is a writer, facilitator, and publisher based in Brooklyn, NY. They received their MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2018. In 2015, they started GenderFail a programming and publishing platform that looks to highlight a intersectional queer subjectivity. They have been apart of projects, programming and exhibitions including The Studio Museum in Harlem (Radical Reading Room, 2019), Williams College Museum of Art (Queer Zines, 2019), MoMA PS1 (Past and Future Fictions, 2018), The International Center of Photography (Queering the Collection, 2018), among many others. They will be having their first solo exhibition in New York at The Center for Book Arts (2020). Their publications can be found in the library collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Center for Book Arts, Tate Museum Zine Library, among others.

Veronika Pausova

Veronika Pausova was born in Prague, Czech Republic and lives and works in Toronto, Canada. She received her BFA from Glasgow School of Art, and her MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Recent solo and two person exhibitions include Busy Bodies at Parisian Laundry, Montreal, Canada; Drawing the Curtain at Hunt Kastner, Prague, Czech Republic; Age me a Heavy Twig at Franz Kaka, Toronto, Canada; Be Frictionless Latecomer at Simone Subal, NY, New York; Forest House at Tatjana Pieters, Ghent, Belgium; Chests in the Current at Motel Gallery, Brooklyn, New York; and Tasting the Waters at SARDINE Gallery, Brooklyn, New York. Recent group exhibitions include An Assembly of Shapes at Oakville Galleries, Oakville, Canada; Line and Verse at Andrehn Schiptjenko, Stockholm, Sweden; You are Here at Peana Projects, Monterrey, Mexico; Gesture Play, Simone Subal, NYC, New York; and Seek Professional Help, Bureau, NYC, New York.

Vlad Smolkin (MFA 2012)

Vlad Smolkin (1984, Kiev, Ukraine) lives and works in Ridgewood, New York. He received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2012 and his BFA from Boston University in 2006.  Recent solo and two-person exhibitions include Congregation Beth Shalom Rodfe Zedek, Chester, CT; Step Sister, New York, NY; Greenberg Editions, New York, NY; Lobot Gallery, Oakland, CA; and Fountain, Brooklyn, NY.  Group exhibitions include Unisex Salon, Brooklyn, NY; Brennan & Griffin, New York, NY; Carter & Citizen Gallery, Los Angeles, CA; MTS Gallery, Anchorage, AK; and Proof Gallery, Boston, MA. Recent curatorial projects include Columbus Property Management (cpm2018.com), Chinatown, NY and 20/20, Peter Blum Gallery, New York, NY.

Keith J. Varadi (MFA 2011)

Keith J. Varadi (b. 1985, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania) is an artist, poet, writer, curator, and researcher. He received his MFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2011 and his BFA from Rutgers University in 2008. Recent solo exhibitions include Chicken Coop Contemporary (Portland, Oregon); Sydney (Sydney, Australia); Galerie Tobias Naehring (Leipzig, Germany); Et al. (San Francisco, California); Cooper Cole (Toronto, Canada); and Night Gallery (Los Angeles, California). He is a regular contributor to Contemporary Art Review Los Angeles, Flash Art International, and Spike Art Quarterly. He has curated exhibitions, read poetry and prose, performed, and lectured widely at various international venues. Additionally, he is a researcher for the long-running television game show, Jeopardy!.

Grace Weaver (MFA 2015)

Grace Weaver graduated with an MFA from the Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond in 2015. She has been awarded with grants and residencies including a VCUARTS Dean’s Graduate Research Grant (2014), Artist-in-Residence at DakshinaChitra, (Chennai, Tamil Nadu, 2012) and the Burlington City Arts’ ArtLab residency (Burlington, VT, 2012). Weaver’s work has been the subject to solo shows such as O.K., Kunstpalais Erlangen (2019), Little Sister, Oldenburger Kunstverein (2019), BEST LIFE, James Cohan Gallery, New York (2018) Super Busy, Soy Capitán, Berlin (2017); Pedestrian, Kunstverein Reutlingen, Reutlingen (2017); No hard feelings, Koppe Astner, Glasgow (2017) Skinny Latte, Soy Capitán, Berlin (2015). Her work is featured in the collections of ­­­­FRAC des Pays de la Loire, Carquefou, France and ARoS Museum, Aarhus, Denmark. Weaver lives and works in Brooklyn.

http://soycapitan.de/artists/grace-weaver/

https://www.jamescohan.com/artists/grace-weaver

Chino Amobi (BFA 2010)

Chino Amobi combines art, design, music, literature and film with a rich assemblage of styles and voices. Amobi is a co-founder of the independent record label NON Worldwide and director of EROICA. In 2016 he released the EP Airport Music For Black Folk and in 2017 released his debut album Paradiso to critical acclaim. He is a recent MFA Graduate in Visual Communication at VCU. Amobi also earned a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from VCU. Amobi has performed internationally including the New Museum New York, MOCA Los Angeles, Seoul Korea, Tokyo, Moscow, and São Paulo. His Provocations performances will combine music, fashion, and readings from his novel Eroica.

Paolo Arao (BFA 1999)

Paolo Arao (b. 1977, Manila, Philippines) is a Brooklyn-based artist working in painting, textiles and collage. He received his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999 and was a participant at the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in 2000. Arao has shown his work in numerous group exhibitions both nationally and internationally and has presented solo exhibitions at Western Exhibitions in Chicago, Franklin Artworks in Minneapolis, MN and Jeff Bailey Gallery and Barney Savage Gallery, both in NYC.

He has been awarded residencies at The Studios at MASS MoCA, The Lower East Side Printshop Keyholder Residency, NYC, The Vermont Studio Center, The Wassaic Artist Residency, The Millay Colony, BRIC Workspace Residency, the Atlantic Center for the Arts and the Fire Island Artist Residency. He is a recipient of an Artist Fellowship in Drawing from The New York Foundation for the Arts. His work has been published in New American Paintings, Maake Magazine and Esopus.

Happy Together, 2018
Pieced and sewn cotton on shaped support
25 x 32 inches

Caleb Beck (BFA 2013)

Caleb Beck is an artist based in Chicago, Illinois. He earned an MFA from Tufts University in 2016 and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013. His work has exhibited in NYC, Chicago, Boston, and Richmond. In 2018, he was included in New American Paintings #137. He has worked as an Adjunct Professor at Wilbur Wright College, Morton College, and Joliet Junior College. In 2017 he founded Baby Blue Gallery, an exhibition space for emerging and contemporary art in Chicago.

Trudy Benson (BFA 2007)

Trudy Benson is an artist who lives and works in Brooklyn, New York.  She was born in Richmond, Virginia in 1985. She received an MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York and a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University. Her work has been included in exhibitions at Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver; Sperone Westwater, New York; Saatchi Gallery, London; Centre d’Art Meymac, France; and Museo de los Pintores Oaxaqueños, Oaxaca, MX. She has had solo exhibitions at Team (bungalow), Los Angeles; Lyles & King, New York; Lisa Cooley, New York; Half Gallery, New York; Ceysson & Bénétière, Luxembourg and Paris, and Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva.

Her work has been reviewed in the New York Times, Artforum, ARTnews, and Modern Painters, among others.  She is represented by Lyles & King, New York; Ribordy Contemporary, Geneva; and Ceysson & Bénétière, Luxembourg and France.

Ultra Blue, 61″ x 66″, acrylic and oil on canvas, 2018, photographer: Jeff McLane

Patrick Berran (BFA 2002)

Patrick Berran lives and works in New York, NY.  He received his MFA from Hunter College, NY in 2006 and his BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA in 2002.  He has had solo exhibitions at HUNTER / WHITFIELD, London; White Columns, New York; and Chapter NY. His work has been included in group shows at Rod Bianco, Oslo; M+B Gallery, Los Angeles; Indianapolis Museum of Contemporary Art, Indianapolis; and Gavin Brown’s Enterprise, New York.

Coleen Billing (BFA 2013)

Colleen Billing (b. 1991 | Baltimore, MD) is an artist living and working in New York. She received her BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 2013 and an MFA from Mason Gross School of the Arts, Rutgers University in 2018. Previous solo exhibitions include THE ENEMY KNOWS THE SYSTEM, Motel, Brooklyn, NY, 2018, and Sister Genus, Bad Water, Knoxville, TN, 2018. Group exhibitions and performances include Nightshade : A Love Story, Montez Press Radio, Shake Tomorrow, 891 N Main, Providence, RI, Leap Century, Abrons Arts Center, New York, NY, 2017, and XXL Curiosity, Essex Flowers, New York, NY, 2016. Billing is the recipient of the the Nadine Goldsmith Fellowship, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT, 2018, as well as an Artist Grant from the Foundation for Contemporary Arts, New York, NY, 2018. She has participated in residencies at the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture (2018), Vermont Studio Center (2018) and LMCC Arts Center (2019-2020).

Torkwase Dyson (BFA 1999)

Torkwase Dyson (born Chicago) received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1999 and MFA from Yale School of Art in painting/printmaking in 2003. Working in multiple mediums, Torkwase Dyson describes herself as a painter whose forms address the continuity of ecology, infrastructure, and architecture. She merges ideas such as site and built environments, nature and culture under the rubric of environmentalism. Fascinated with transformations, ambiguities and environmental changes that place these subjects in relationship to each other, her work revolves around investigating our connections to imagination, materiality, geography and belonging.

Jamie Felton (BFA 2009)

Jamie Felton (b. 1986) earned a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University, an MFA at Tyler School of Art and attended Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work has been exhibited at Steve Turner, Los Angeles, Nicodim Gallery, Los Angeles, BBQLA, Los Angeles, 0-0-LA, Los Angeles; Interstate Projects, Brooklyn, Guerrero Gallery, San Francisco, and Vox Populi, Philadelphia.  Felton lives and works in Los Angeles.

Sarah Howard (BFA 1992)

Sarah Howard is the Curator of Public Art and Social Practice, and Research Associate at the Institute for Research in Art, administering the University of South Florida Public Art Program and contributing to program initiatives at both the USF Contemporary Art Museum and renowned atelier Graphicstudio. With two decades of experience as an artistic collaborator, project manager and cultural producer in Tampa Bay, Howard works with national and local partners – galleries, city agencies and civic organizations – to present exhibitions, community-based projects and public art installations exploring the intersection of art, politics, and social and environmental justice. Howard received a BFA from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MFA from the University of South Florida.

Roberto Jamora (BFA 2009)

Roberto Jamora (B. 1987 in Annapolis, MD) holds a BFA in Painting and Printmaking from Virginia Commonwealth University and an MFA in Visual Arts from Purchase College, State University of New York. He currently lives and works in Richmond, VA and is Adjunct Faculty at VCUarts Art Foundation program. He was an Emerging Artist-Teacher Fellow at Joan Mitchell Foundation and also taught at Purchase College, SUNY. He was awarded a 2018 Artist Community Engagement Grant from the Rema Hort Mann Foundation for his project “An Inventory of Traces,” a series of abstract paintings inspired by the stories of immigrants in NYC. Previously, he has participated in artist residencies at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Joan Mitchell Center, Ragdale, and Sambalikhaan. He is currently working on a series of abstract paintings that explores how color triggers memory. His work has been included in exhibitions at the Frost Art Museum, Contemporary Art Center of New Orleans, Page Bond Gallery, Topaz Arts, ADA Gallery, JuiceBox Art Space, Norte Maar, Shockoe Artspace, Good Enough Projects, Quality Gallery, Scott Charmin Gallery, Fouladi Projects, The Gaylord & Dorothy Donnelly Foundation, Open Space, Outlet Fine Art, and ArtHelix.

Installation View, “Marks and Conversations” (two-person show at Topaz Arts, Queens, NY)

Jules Buck Jones (BFA 2005)

Jules Buck Jones creates art inspired by the mechanics and mysteries of the natural world. His body of work ranges from dense, organic watercolors and drawings, to large-scale performances employing costumes and puppetry. He is a founding member of the collective, non-profit, MASS Gallery and the art / science collective Animal Facts Club, both located in Austin TX. Jules has participated in art residencies including Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture, Vermont Studio Center, Arrowmont, The Lighthouse Works, and The Everglades National Park. He shows extensively throughout TX with solo shows and representation in Austin, Dallas and Houston. Jules currently teaches drawing at TX State University in San Marcos, TX. Jules has received the Makers Muse Award from New Mexico’s Kindle Project and just completed a solo show at the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. He self-published 2 books this year including a book of personal work over the past 10 years WILD, and a self-titled Animal Facts Club book coming out now!

Cameron Spratley (BFA 2016)

Cameron Spratley obtained his bachelors degree in 2016 from Virginia Commonwealth University. He attended the Yale University at Norfolk residency, was the recipient of the Alice Cabell Horsely Parker Scholarship from Virginia Commonwealth University, and received a full-tuition scholarship from Rutgers University Mason Gross School of Art. Commercially, he has collaborated with entities from Fox’s Empire to Post Malone. His work has been shown nationally including a solo show at the PAFA Museum of Art in Philadelphia and various installations in project spaces and galleries across the East Coast.

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