NORFOLK, Va. — Canceled exhibits, galleries, and museum closures have made it tough for artists to make and share their work during the pandemic.
But the Commonwealth is backing a program that will help dozens of visual artists stay afloat.
“Art has a profound way of inspiring, healing, and providing meaning during challenging times... and we need that now more than ever,” said Gov. Ralph Northam.
The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program launched in June, but it was announced this week that $200,000 will be distributed between 40 artists affected by COVID-19 across the Commonwealth.
Each of them will receive a $5,000 grant thanks to the partnership with the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts.
Seven of the artists are from the Hampton Roads region.
The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program grant recipients include:
• Emine Sermin Ciddi (Alexandria)
• Veronica Jackson (Bedford)
• Mojdeh Rezaeipour (Burke)
• Tina Curtis (Charlottesville)
• Eliza Lamb (Chester)
• Nikki Painter (Chesterfield)
• Jordan Shanks (Chesterfield)
• Alfonso Perez Acosta (Chesterfield)
• Michael Childers (Fairfax)
• Soomin Ham (Fairfax)
• Jun Lee (Falls Church)
• Wendy Werstlein (Floyd)
• Lorie McCown (Fredericksburg)
• Sandy Williams IV (Glen Allen)
• Kemi Layeni (Hampton)
• Ethan Brown (King William)
• Noah Velez (Leesburg)
• Scot Turner (Newport News)
• Kimberly McKinnis (Norfolk)
• Khalil Riddick (Norfolk)
• S. Ross Browne (Richmond)
• Hamilton Glass (Richmond)
• Alicia Little (Richmond)
• Jaydan Moore (Richmond)
• Barry O’Keefe (Richmond)
• Eva Rocha (Richmond)
• Ricardo Vicente Jose Ruiz (Richmond)
• Leigh Suggs (Richmond)
• Luis Vasquez (Richmond)
• Kendra Wadsworth (Richmond)
• Susan Jamison (Roanoke)
• Suzanne Stevens (Virginia Beach)
• Nastassja Swift (Virginia Beach)
• Steve Prince (Williamsburg)
Six other artists, who asked not to be named, from Charlottesville, Centerville, Lynchburg, Monroe, Richmond, and Roanoke rounded out the list of grant recipients.