$5,000 grants paint pretty picture for artists affected by COVID-19
8/27/2020, 6 p.m.
Sixteen artists from Metro Richmond were among 40 artists state-wide to be awarded grants under the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program designed to help visual artists impacted by COVID-19.
Winners of the grants, worth $5,000 each, were announced Tuesday by Gov. Ralph S. Northam, First Lady Pamela Northam and Alex Nyerges, director and chief executive officer of the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
“Artists’ livelihoods and their ability to continue making art have been directly impacted by canceled exhibitions and gallery and museum closures as a result of the pandemic,” Mr. Nyerges said. “We sought to use resources we have available to help sustain artists in Virginia through this critical time.”
Area artists chosen to receive the grants: S. Ross Browne, Hamilton Glass, Alicia Little, Jaydan Moore, Barry O’Keefe, Eva Rocha, Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz, Leigh Suggs, Luis Vasquez and Kendra Wadsworth of Richmond; Sandy Williams IV of Glen Allen; Eliza Lamb of Chester; and Nikki Painter, Jordan Shanks and Alfonso Perez Acosta of Chesterfield. Another artist from Richmond asked not to be named.
More than 350 people applied for the grants, which were made available by excess funds in the VMFA’s Artist Fellowship Endowment that was established in 1941 and provided nearly $5.8 million to Virginia artists during the last 80 years.
Recipients of the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship grants were selected by a jury of three VMFA staff members—Valerie Cassel Oliver, the 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 in grants were awarded through the artist relief program.
Details about the program: www.vmfa.museum/visual-artist-relief-program/