Writer Anna Journey

Writer Anna Journey was recently interviewed for VCU News. A VCU creative writing alumna who now teaches at University of Southern California, she is becoming well now for her poetry and essays. Her latest work, “An Arrangement of Skin”, is receiving a lot of praise.

In the interview, she is asked about her time at VCU-

Living in Richmond, too, profoundly influenced my development as a writer. I moved from Northern Virginia to Richmond when I was 18 and left for my doctoral studies in Texas just before I turned 27. So I came of age in Richmond, became more of my adult self there. I don’t think I recognized how thoroughly the character of the city shaped my sensibility until I’d moved away. I lived for a number of years in Oregon Hill, just three blocks down from the Sothern Gothic sprawl of Hollywood Cemetery, so that landscape — of mortality, of lavish visual and historical density — lodged itself in my consciousness.

Oregon Hill “Neighborhood Shrine”

Style Magazine has an article this week about artist Barry O’Keefe, who wants to build a series of public sculptures or edifices that provide “a way for people to connect as part of building a neighborhood sense of community”.

The article makes it sound like it is already happening:

Grants provided the funding to build the first five boxes. Ultimately, he’d like to start casting the shrines in bronze so that they can become permanent neighborhood fixtures, but in the meantime, he’s looking for funding to build more of them out of wood.

And right now, he’s working with the Richmond Public Arts Commission to get permission to place others, hopefully this summer. Currently, he’s looking at Patrick Henry Park in Church Hill, Abner Clay Park in Jackson Ward, Oregon Hill Park in Oregon Hill and the McDonough Community Gardens in Woodland Heights. O’Keefe grew up on Forest Hill Avenue, so he’d like to see more on Southside.

VCU ICA Building Updates -“Soft Opening For Weekend Postponed”

VCU officials held a small press conference yesterday to give local media a few updates on their new Institute for Contemporary Art building, which is very close to finishing construction.

While work has been going a furious pace, a planned “soft opening” and “media walk through” for this weekend was sadly postponed at the last moment.
“The building’s exterior and interior are almost done, but there is still a lot of dangerous equipment and scaffolding around, and therefore still not safe for visitation”, stated one of the smiling, new ICA directors, “We are really looking forward to showing people what we are so excited about, but we need to wait a just little bit longer.” Previews of the ICA have already been featured quite a bit in various area publications.

While the building and site remain strictly off-limits for now, students and interested members of the public can attempt to reserve tickets for some of the future opening events. A student art exhibit on ‘The Potholes of RVA’ as well as a new student documentary about car crashes will be available for viewing. For VIP visitors and donors, there will be a special basement tour and outdoor movie, Artplace (the highly anticipated sequel to 2016’s Workplace).

When asked about the current fundraising situation for the Institute, officials would only state that there is a ‘spring break hiatus’ right now for the campaign as fundraisers tour basketball facilities at the University of Hawaii. When pressed about the promised green building details of the construction, a spokesperson said that while the ICA will not be ‘Platinum LEED’ as initially promised, it should be able to secure ‘Lead LEED’ status without problems, as long as a certain amount of the natural granite from the site can be recycled for planned, new basketball facilities.