Monday, May 08, 2006

VMFA 2006 Fellowships


2006 VMFA Professional Fellowship Winners, Richmonders italicized -

Siemon Allen

Christine Carr
Derek Cote - last seen on anaba here
Edgar Endress
Christopher Hancock
Llewellyn Hensley
Megan Marlatt
Tim O'Kane
Jack Risley
Eric Sall - last seen on anaba here - i said he always GETS what i WANT and it happened again!!!
Michael Seal - last seen on anaba here
Matthew West
Christopher Weidman
Bruce Wilhelm - last seen on anaba here - Bruce is currently showing at ADA so he should be on again soon!

These are the winners in the PROFESSIONAL category, there are also a number of winners in the GRADUATE and UNDERGRADUATE categories. At least three of the above winners are current grad students. I'm not sure why they bother to have the graduate student awards category. Most 1st years not eligible because they have not lived in the state for the required year prior to application, and most 2nd years don't apply for this category because they can get more money applying as professionals (the rules only say that you have to be a "professional" during the disbursement period, so it is okay to be a grad student at the time of application).

The problems arise when undergrads apply and win as grad students but don't get accepted to grad school, and grad students apply and win as professionals and don't end up graduating. I know previous examples of both. Don't get me started on the grad students that win as professionals, graduate, and then move out-of-state before the disbursal period even begins.

Next year they should waive the one-year previous residency requirement for grad students, and stipulate that you must be either a grad, undergrad,or professional AT THE TIME OF APPLICATION.

The juror was Paul Ha, currently Director of the Contemporary Art Museum, St Louis, Missouri.


Anonymous said...

Martin, I agree. I called vmfa on the grad issue last year. It's bull. I think I might call again this year. - Fellow Reject

Anonymous said...

looks like only two of the 14 are women. Where's Edna when you need her?

w said...

Back in 93-94, I got a grad one - I applied when I was an undergrad, and got the money when I was away in Texas at grad school.

It's meant to support someone over a year, so why can't someone apply before they get to a place in their life if they're going to be there when the money comes in?

I agree about waiving the residency rule for grad students.

martin said...

w -

as stated above, many people apply anticipating that they will graduate or get into grad school, and sometimes don't. the person i know who was an undergrad and applied for the grad prize WON, but he was not accepted into grad school. he did the right thing and notified the museum, and did not receive any funding - but i'm pretty sure that money did not go to anyone else either. waste.

there is very little funding for VA artists. i think the intention is to support artists living and working here.

w said...

That's good the person you mentioned did the right thing. And yeah, thats a waste, they should have given it to the "runner up".

As for supporting Va artists I get your point, but if they want to only support those staying here (I'm in Va now), they should make a residency requirement for disbursement. They don't right now, so they must want to also support those on their way out of the state. They could easily change it, but don't, I guess because they see a value in supporting artists from Va in their future endeavors.

If they took your advice and made it a requirement that you be an undergrad, grad or pro when you apply, that would leave out first-years in all those catagories. It would be especially weird to find out in May, when one is graduating, that you won a grad or undergrad fellowship.

martin said...

w - maybe i wasn't clear - there IS a residency requirement for disbursement.

w said...

Yeah, now I remember - I did what I did because I was still a resident of Va and paid taxes here... Its a little weird for students sometimes.

Ok, we agree its not good for people to grab loot and run if the rules say no.

martin said...

w - i didn't understand the last part of your previous comment either -

"If they took your advice and made it a requirement that you be an undergrad, grad or pro when you apply, that would leave out first-years in all those catagories."

How would that leave out first year students?

The current rules, if followed, DO leave out most grad students. They must be residents one year prior to application (not true of most first year grads) and they must remain residents during the disbursal period (not preferred by most second year grads).

w said...

I was reacting to your suggestion (in the original post) that someone has to have the undergrad, grad or por status at the time they apply.

So I'm a senior under grad and I want to apply for a grad fellowship beacuae I plan to go to grad school. I can't if we go by your suggestion. I'll have to wait until I'm already in grad school, then apply for my second year. So I'll be shut out my first year.

martin said...

w - a 4th year undergrad that applies and wins in the undergrad category would have that money whether they go to grad school or not. a 2nd year grad that wins in the grad category would have that money to enjoy in her/his first year out of school.

you would have four opportunities to apply in the undergrad category, two in the grad, and whatever as a professional.

it isn't like high school 12th-graders can apply in the undergrad category.

w said...

ok, you're going by what they are when they apply, I'm thinking of what they'll be when the money is doled out monthly.

I tell you what, I'm going to change and agree with you, only because it keeps 2nd year grads out of the pro pool, giving the two of us a better chance next year!

Also, are there any other grad programs in va other than VCU? If not, its all for VCU grads, right? Unless they go somewhere but keep va residency like I did.

Oh, and I bet they can't waive the pre-application residency requirement because I bet some of the money comes from the state and they want proof (through taxes) that you are a good Virginian.

Fiona Ross said...

There are MFA studio art programs at James Madison in Harrisonburg, VA and also at Radford. Also, there could be graduate art students who are VA residents but are in grad schools elsewhere - it seems they could they apply for the VMFA grant - ??

Fiona Ross said...

D'oh, W., I just re-read your last post and you answered my question before I even asked it...

Anonymous said...

its not as if you are alone on this. I sent this letter to the museum last year anonymously, like I'm sending it to you now...

15 August 2005

To: Ms. Charlotte Minor
President, VMFA Board of Trustees
Virginia Museum of Fine Arts
200 N. Boulevard
Richmond, VA 23220-4007

Dear Ms. Minor,

I am writing you this letter anonymously because the Virginian art world is very small and I am fearful of suffering the repercussions of bringing to light its contents, yet I feel what I have to say should be heard. I am an artist who has lived in Virginia for nearly 20 years and I am deeply concerned over VMFA’s policy to accept applications from graduate and/or undergraduate students in its “Professional” category. Most of the following information I have gathered over the internet. Five 2005 graduate students from VCU won the “Professional Artists” fellowship this year; Judith Baumann, Matthew Gamble, Emily Hall, Ward Howarth, and Danielle Riede. I feel granting professional grants to students is not a good policy. Other arts agencies agree on this point, as the New Jersey State Council on the Arts, the Pew Fellowship in Arts, and the Pennsylvania Arts Council to name just a few, all have guideline policies that bar students from applying for professional grants. For example, Pennsylvania’s guidelines state, “...NOT eligible to apply are...Individuals enrolled in high school, in a bachelor’s, master’s or PhD degree program in the arts.” I feel this is a healthy policy based on these reasons:
1) The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has three categories for its annual grant, Undergraduate, Graduate, and Professional. When two-thirds of its grant money is already allotted to students, why should it dilute the professional category with more student awards, especially in this year’s case where nearly half of the professional awards went to students?
2) Most of these students winning professional awards did their work under the supervision of another, and more deserving, professional artist. Their work isn’t truly their own. This is particularly the case when undergraduate students have won the professional award in the past.
3) Students are by nature extremely transient state residents. They often come to Virginia as students and leave shortly after winning their degree and grant money. This I know to be the case of two many students who have won the VMFA professional fellowship in the past. I know of students who have left Virginia within months of receiving their degree and grant money and have not returned since. I really feel the grant money should stay within the Commonwealth and serve those artists who have committed a large portion of their lives and taxes to Virginia. When Virginia ranks so low nationwide in its support for the arts, its that much more important that what little money we have supports the cultural assets of the Commonwealth. There is no reason for Virginian arts money to support other state’s artists via the gift of students who immediately move to New York, Los Angeles, etc.
4) There is a dangerous conflict of interest involved when students win important grant money like this. The juror of this year’s professional fellowship was Ingrid Schaffner. She was also a visiting artist at VCU in October, 2004. Was she asked to be a visiting artist after it was understood she would be the judge or asked to be judge after she was a visiting artists? Perhaps it is just a coincidence, but the fact that ten of the twelve recipients of this year’s award are affiliated with VCU and she was a visiting lecturer in their art department 5 months beforehand makes the Museum vulnerable to unwanted criticism of their ethics and selection process.
I urge the Museum to adopt a policy of barring currently enrolled students of any kind from its professional grant application. Thank you for considering my concerns.


Anonymous Artist

Dr. Michael Brand, Director
Ms. Sandra Rusak, Assoc. Director Education & Outreach

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