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February 23, 2009
THIRTY-THREE VMFA FELLOWSHIPS ARE AWARDED TO VIRGINIA STUDENTS AND ARTISTS FOR 2009

HEIDI FOWLER WINS

Thirty-three Virginia art students and artists have been awarded a total of $196,000 in 2009 Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellowships.

In the 69 years in which VMFA has presented Fellowships, the museum has awarded $4 million to 1,069 professional and student artists who are permanent residents of Virginia.

“The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is committed to supporting the commonwealth’s artists and art students. We are grateful to the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg for establishing a VMFA endowment that makes this support possible and to others who have added funds to the endowment over the years,” says Alex Nyerges, VMFA’s director.

Fourteen professional artists won 2009 awards of $8,000 each. They are (in alphabetical order by hometown) Heather Harvey (sculpture), Big Stone Gap; Michael Clark (mixed media), Charlottesville; Lydia Moyer (film-video), Covesville; Christa Kreeger Bowden (photography), Lexington; Alyssa Salomon (photography), Providence Forge; Heidi Fowler (painting), Reston; Sonali Gulati (film-video), Kirsten Kindler (mixed media), Tanja Softic (drawing), Heide Trepanier (painting) and Hilary Wilder (painting) Richmond; Robert Sulkin (photography), Roanoke; Paul Ryan (painting), Staunton; and Angelou Guingon (painting), Virginia Beach.

The juror for the professional fellowship awards was Joanna Marsh, curator of Contemporary art at the Smithsonian American Art Museum in Washington, D.C.

Six graduate students won 2009 awards worth $6,000 each. They are Charles Weber (sculpture), Bedford; Deborah Lash (photography), Broad Run; Sam Hunter (mixed media), Harrisonburg; Colleen Pendry (painting), Lexington; and Carolyn Porter (art history) and Lana Waldrep (painting), Richmond.

Eleven undergraduate students won 2009 awards worth $4,000 apiece. They are Arlie Trowbridge (photography), Ashland; Janpim Wolf (photography), Arlington; Rachael Wheeler (mixed media), Chesapeake; Patrick Phillips (photography) Clifton; MyungSun Lee (drawing), Fairfax; Ashleigh Hobson (photography), and Melanie Seeger (crafts), Herndon; Grace Johnston (sculpture), Natural Bridge; Meagan Jenigen (sculpture) and Joshua Bennett (sculpture), Richmond; and Tiffany Robinette (painting), Roanoke.

In addition, two undergraduates won half awards worth $2,000 each. They are Shane Butler (photography), Midlothian; and Charles A. Ponticello (sculpture), Richmond.

The jurors for the graduate and undergraduate awards were Diana Blanchard Gross, curator of the Virginia Sports Hall of Fame and Museum in Portsmouth; Anna Mish, gallery director of the Center for the Arts in Manassas; William White, professor of art at Hollins University in Roanoke; and Dr. Belle Pendleton, associate professor of fine art at Christopher Newport University in Newport News.

Money for the Fellowships comes from a privately endowed fund administered by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. It was initiated in 1940 by John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg (the husband of Lillian Thomas Pratt, donor of the museum’s Peter Carl Fabergé collection). In the years since then, the fund has been supplemented by gifts from the Lettie Pate Whitehead Foundation and the J. Warwick McClintic Jr. Scholarship Fund, with additional support from the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Foundation.

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is an educational institution of the Commonwealth of Virginia.

-submitted by Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Media Room

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