VCCA Awards Alonzo Davis Fellowships


The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA) announces the award of its 2018 Alonzo Davis Fellowships, which provide fully-funded residencies for outstanding American artists of African or Latinx descent. Recipients Helina Metaferia and Natasha Oladokun will be in residence at VCCA in July 2018. “Helena Metaferia and Natasha Oladokun are strong artistic voices in their fields and in the world of art,” said VCCA Executive Director Joy Peterson Heyrman. “We congratulate them and look forward to welcoming them to VCCA, where they will have uninterrupted time to advance their work in a dynamic community of artists.”

The Fellows

Helina Metaferia of Silver Spring, Maryland is an interdisciplinary artist working in the areas of performance, video, installation, photography, sculpture, and mark-making. Her work investigates the role of the body as both subject and object in art, as well as transnational identity and cultural hybridity within the context of her Ethiopian-American heritage. Her work has been exhibited in solo and group shows at such venues as the Museum of African Diaspora
(San Francisco, CA), the Museum of Fine Arts (Boston, MA), the Museum of Modern Art (Addis Ababa, Ethiopia), Galeria Labirynt (Lublin, Poland), Grace Exhibition Space (Brooklyn, NY), and Defibrillator Gallery (Chicago, IL). Metaferia completed her MFA at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tuft’s University and attended the Skowhegan School of Painting & Sculpture.

Poet and essayist Natasha Oladokun is a resident of Roanoke, Virginia. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in the American Poetry Review, Harvard Review Online, Pleiades, Kenyon Review Online, The Adroit Journal, Indie Film Minute, and elsewhere. She is Assistant Poetry Editor at story South and is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of English at Hollins University, her MFA alma mater.

The Alonzo Davis Fellowship

Renowned visual artist and educator Alonzo Davis came to VCCA for the first time in 1995 through a special initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts to increase minority participation in artists residency programs. He joined the Board of Directors in 2004, and in 2007 initiated a permanent, fully-funded, two-week residency supporting outstanding
American writers, visual artists and composers of African or Latinx descent. Since its inception, the Alonzo Davis Fellowship has been awarded to fourteen innovative artists, including poet Eduardo C. Corral, the first Latinx winner of the Yale Younger Poets Prize, writer Sandra Jackson-Opoku, whose articles, works of fiction, and other writings explore Africana literature, travel, and African-American studies; visual artist Eddie Rodolfo Aparicio, whose work
documents the social and economic relationships between Latin America and the United States; and filmmaker Chanelle Aponte Pearson, winner of the 2015 IFP Gotham Awards “Live the Dream” grant, whose directorial debut 195 Lewis was met with critical acclaim.

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts (VCCA)

VCCA is a unique Virginia-based organization of national stature and international impact. VCCA’s mission is “providing creative space for the world’s best artists to create their finest literature, visual art, and music.” VCCA hosts over 400 artist-Fellows annually at its Mt. San Angelo facility in Amherst, VA and the Moulin à Nef Studio Center in Auvillar, France. The artists who come to VCCA, whether emerging or established, are selected through competitive peer
review on the basis of the important or innovative work they are doing in their respective fields. Since its founding in 1971, VCCA has hosted 5,900 writers, visual artists, and composers.