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|
|Alfonso Perez Acosta|
|Falls Church:||Jun Lee|
|Glen Allen:||Sandy Williams IV|
|King William:||Ethan Brown|
|Newport News:||Scot Turner|
|Richmond:||S. Ross Browne|
|Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz|
|Virginia Beach:||Suzanne Stevens|
Six artists, who asked not to be named, from Charlottesville, Centerville, Lynchburg, Monroe, Richmond and Roanoke also received fellowships.