VMFA awards grants to nine Richmond artists

The museum awarded 19 fellowships totaling nearly $120,000

RIC VMFA fellowships

“Third Home” by Rebecca Oh and “Rock Faerie” by Isaiah Mamo

The VMFA announced the 2024–25 recipients of its Visual Arts Fellowships, and Richmonders accounted for nine of the 19 total awardees.

The fellowship program is one of the largest of its kind in the nation. This year’s grants totaled $118,000. All recipients were residents of Virginia, and nine were from Richmond. They can use the award however they want, including for education and studio investments.

The awardees from Richmond are Ali Kaeini (painting), G.M. Keaton (new and emerging media), Rosalind Koons (sculpture), Abed Elmajid Shalabi (sculpture), Kate Sicchio (new and emerging media), Rebecca Oh (painting), Laneecia Ricks (photography), and Patton Westphalen (film and video).

These recipients each received between $2,000 and $8,000. Oh and Ricks are both students at VCU.

RIC VMFA grant winners 2

“Driver & Passenger” by Abed Elmajid Shalabi

VCU sculpture student Tyna Ontko received the Cy Twombly Graduate Fellowship, which is reserved for two-time fellowship winners.

This year marks the 84th anniversary of the Visual Arts Fellowship Program. In that time, it has given out nearly $6 million to upcoming artists.

VMFA Director and CEO Alex Nyerges said the program represents a large part of the museum’s mission for nurturing professional artists and students from throughout the Commonwealth.

In addition to the financial aspect of the awards, VMFA’s Amuse Restaurant exhibits works by past fellowship winners.

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