2020 has been a unique year, with unique challenges, unique opportunities, and now, the chance to celebrate the accomplishments of the uniquely gifted Spring 2020 VCUarts Bachelor of Fine Arts Graduating Class.* The Virtual Capstone experience below is not a replacement for a traditional exhibition experience—it is something else. It is a gesture towards transformation, reinvention, accessibility, and new forms of hyper content. Like all gestures, it isn’t perfect! But it has provided a chance, for those of us involved, to stretch ourselves, individually and collectively, as an expression of our shared values and ongoing optimism.
So what is it? Operationally, the Virtual Capstone is an art exhibition video game. It’s a navigable, 3D modeled gallery environment in which players view and interact with virtual artworks, videos, sound and installations, and can participate in live screenings, performances and events. (See “Scheduled Events” below!) It was built by a dedicated team of student and professional designers using the game design engine Unity.
See “Navigation and Interactions” section below for additional instructions on game operation.
- 7/18 – Kinetic Imaging Opening Screening: Crown Shy (Anderson Virtual Theater, 7 p.m. & 11p.m.)
- 7/19 – Kinetic Imaging Screening: Crown Shy (Anderson Virtual Theater, 10a.m., 2 p.m. & 7p.m.)
- 7/25 – Kinetic Imaging Screening: Crown Shy (Anderson Virtual Theater, 7p.m.)
- 7/26 – Kinetic Imaging Screening: Crown Shy (Anderson Virtual Theater, 10a.m., 2 p.m., 7p.m. & 11p.m.)
- 7/29 – Cinema Student Film Screening: From a Distance Large and Small (Anderson Virtual Theater, 7 p.m. & 10 p.m.)
(Or visit the Virtual Capstone at: https://virtual-anderson.itch.io/vcuvirtualanderson2020 )
Navigation and Content Interactions
If you’ve ever played ‘first-person’ video games in the past, the format and navigation should be recognizable and intuitive. If you haven’t, just imagine that the camera angle represents your perspective as though you were standing in the gallery. Player movement is controlled through a combination of mouse and keyboard arrow keys, with your mouse (cursor) controlling the angle of view and arrow keys controlling movement relative to your angle of view (forward, sideways, backward, etc.) The environment opens in the Anderson courtyard: move across the courtyard and into the doorway to enter the building. Once inside, you can move around in the great hall and walk into the shimmering portals—located on either side and at the end of the great hall—to enter the individual galleries and theater. You should get the hang of it pretty quickly! And if not, just ask a friend to help you out and share the experience with them!
The Virtual Capstone uses proximity-activated hyperlinks to connect you to additional content. This means that you can activate hyperlinks by moving closely to linked objects, including artworks and wall text, within the virtual environment. When you’re near a linked object, the message “Press F to Open Link” will appear on the screen. Pressing F on your keyboard will open the linked content in a new tab in your browser. To close new content simply close its tab.
This is not a comprehensive Capstone Exhibition. It was organized to support those departments directly impacted by the cancellation of the Senior Capstone Exhibitions Rnd. 2: Kinetic Imaging, Painting + Printmaking, Photography + Film, originally scheduled for March 19—21 at the Anderson.
Additional Projects on View
Artists Participating in the Virtual Capstone
- Hank Allen
- Eric Bailey
- Maya Barnes
- Jacob Billow
- Monique Brown
- Faith Brunais
- Arpita Chatterji
- Aliyah Decker
- Johnny Dell’Angelo
- Caitlin Dinoia
- Michelle Dominado
- Ryan Dorsey
- Oliva Duke
- Eric Eckhart
- Angie Gan
- Tiffani Green
- Lydia Gyurina
- Arden Hajaligholi
- Alexis Hilliard-Worth
- Samantha Hughes
- Matin Kordnavahsi
- Rowan Martin
- Jordan Nuckols
- Irene Piazza
- Adinah Price
- Sophia Price
- Erica Resurreccion
- Meg Rogers
- Max Rooney
- Michael Shea
- Hans Stahl
- Syd Stoffel
- Tony Swenson
- David Tecala
- Silvia Valladares
- Z Wang
- Tony White
- Tay Williams
Painting + Printmaking
- Sofi Buggé
- Grace Dines
- Caroline Egan
- Kerri A. Fallat
- McKenzie McLain
- Shalina Mitchell
- Nora Neagoe
- Jini Park
- Juliana Rivett
- Ell Treese
- Xingge Zhang
Photography + Film
- Kyle Camper
- Brie Kane
- Samuel Lo
- Patrick Owings
- Aamina Palmer
- Rebecca Renton
- Audrey Stemann
- Caroline Thompson
We’re deeply grateful to the faculty, the administration and, above all, the courageous and generous students whose support and hard work have made this project possible.
Specific thanks and acknowledgements are as follows:
This project is brought to you by The Anderson and the Department of Kinetic Imaging, under the leadership of Chase Westfall, Anderson Curator of Student Exhibitions and Programs; and Semi Ryu, Stephanie Thulin, and Pam Turner, Associate Professors in Kinetic Imaging. Critical conceptual and administrative support has been provided by Zachary Acosta-Lewis, Media, Art and Text Ph.D. candidate and English Adjunct Faculty member; Tracy Hamilton, Ph.D., Art History; Clayton Harper, Media, Art and Text Ph.D. candidate and Kinetic Imaging Adjunct Faculty member; Monica Kinsey, Anderson Administrative Coordinator; and Erica Taylor, Anderson Curatorial Research Intern.
Under the direction of Associate Professor Semi Ryu, the Virtual Anderson was created by Kinetic Imaging and Computer Science students (listed below) enrolled in KINE 458: Virtual Interactive Worlds, a transdisciplinary course exploring critical game concepts, virtual environment aesthetics, interactivity, and extended-reality (XR) in a team project setting.
- Eric Bailey, Kinetic Imaging – Lead 3D Artist ( Anderson Lobby)
- Arpita Chatterji, Kinetic Imaging – Theater Scene Designer / 3D Artist
- William Coleman, Computer Science – Product Manager / Lead Programmer
- Francisco Esteve, Computer Science – Programer
- Tiffani Green, Kinetic Imaging – Theater Team Leader / Character Designer
- Addison Hodges, Computer Science – Programming Assistant
- Max McCulloch, Computer Science – Lead Programmer
- Eric Millikin, Kinetic Imaging MFA/graduate student – Sound Artist
- Amir McGregor, Kinetic Imaging – 3D Artist
- Adinah Price, Kinetic Imaging – Lead 3D Artist / Scene Designer (KI Gallery)
- Bryce Ramsland, Kinetic Imaging – 3D Artist
- Abby Signs, Kinetic Imaging – Lead 3D Artist (Anderson Courtyard)
Virtual installation support was provided by Omri Glaser, Kinetic Imaging alumnus; and Clayton Harper, Media, Art and Text Ph.D. candidate and Kinetic Imaging Adjunct Faculty member; with additional scene creation and 3D modeling provided by Chelsea Brtis, Communications Arts Adjunct Faculty member.
Website support was provided by Chris Jones, Associate Director of Web Content + Strategy, and the VCUarts Office of Communications.
Special thanks to VCUarts Interim Dean Nancy Scott and Director of Finance Melyatta Powers for their support of this project.
* The Virtual Capstone was originally scheduled to open on June 5th. At that time, a group decision was made to postpone the opening out of respect for the urgent social issues, including national protests, which have continued to define our moment. (The original statement of postponement is available here) The decision to make it publicly available now is not made lightly, as we seek an appropriate balance in acknowledging our students amidst ongoing challenges. In choosing to honor them, we hope also to honor the societal change to which they are so deeply committed.