It Takes a Village

with Caroline Wright, Director of Exhibition Programming

Our exhibitions focus on innovative materials and processes—an appropriate mission for a gallery surrounded by studio classrooms where students learn many ways to make art.   This month massive weavings by Richmond artist Andrea Donnelly fill the True F. Luck Gallery, inspiring visitors of all ages. We’ve been planning for over a year to create the installation and educational materials for this exhibition (on view through Sunday, October 21).  Meet the team of local, creative talent that joined forces with me to present ANDREA DONNELLY: Where We Meet.

the artist

Andrea Donnelly is a 2010 graduate of VCU’s Craft/Material Studies (Fiber) department.  Her labor intensive process involves dying her fibers and hand painting patterns and images on the warp (perpendicular threads) before weaving the cloth.  In addition to exhibiting her work in our gallery, Andrea will also have a booth at our upcoming Craft+Design Show where she will sell luxurious handmade scarves she creates for her small business, Little Fool Textiles.   Learn more about Andrea’s work at

 the filmmaker

Harrison Moenich, a recent VCU graduate, created the documentary film that accompanies this exhibition.  He shot the film in Andrea’s studio on Cary Street as she made two works for our exhibition. Watch the film here to learn more about Donnelly’s innovative approaches to weaving:

 Learn more about Harrison and his work at

the photographer

David Hunter Hale, also a VCU graduate, photographed Donnelly in her studio over the summer months to capture in detail Donnelly’s extensive process.  His photographs (including the installation shot above) appear in the printed adult and youth gallery guides and press materials.  See more of David’s work at


the designers

Scout Design created all of the print materials for this exhibition—the invitation, the gallery guide for adults, and the Engage guide for children.  Owners/designers Angeline Robertson and Charley Foley have transformed our gallery collateral over the past year.  Learn more about Scout Design at


the installation crew

Last week the VMFA posted on our Facebook page “this installation is dreamlike.”  We agree.  Robert Barrientes, our Exhibitions Manager, built a custom platform and hanging shelf for Peer, hanging equipment for The Veiling I, II, and III and Body Blot #3, and the curved ENGAGE hands-on station.  Donnelly spent weeks in the gallery hanging, sewing seams, and steaming the installation to perfection alongside the skilled and helpful hands of Colleen Freeman, Jordan Matthews, Emilie Mulcahey, Meg Roberts, and Nicki Stein.

image: Peer, 2012, handwoven cotton, dyed and painted with dye, 144” x 204”

As a community art center, we’re grateful for the community of artists who help us present educational exhibitions to the public.  As the gallery director, I’m grateful for this team I’m lucky to work with time and time again.  Stop by to see our collective effort. Visit ANDREA DONNELLY: Where We Meet before it closes on Sunday, October 21

VisArts’ True F. Luck Gallery is free to the public and open seven days a week: Monday – Friday from 9AM to 9PM, Saturday from 10AM – 4 PM and Sunday from 1PM – 4PM.   We offer educational opportunities through our gallery for adults and for children.  Learn more at

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