VCU affiliates receive VMFA Fellowship Awards

Janeal Downs
Staff Writer

The Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has awarded multiple VCU students, faculty members and alumni with generous fellowships for rent, art supplies, traveling expenses or funding for school.

Operations Manager in the Department of Kinetic Imaging at VCU, John Dombroski, was one of 12 people to receive the Professional Artist Fellowship award of $8,000. Dombroski is also a VCU alumnus and former adjunct faculty member.

“I applied for the VMFA fellowship to support my creative practice and facilitate future works,” Dombroski said.

Dombroski said he is generally a free agent, and has held multiple jobs, such as creative professional, videographer, teacher, sound recordist and composer. He plans to use the award to fund his travel throughout the United States as he works with upcoming performances and exhibitions. He will also invest in new sound and video equipment.

“Financial support from the VMFA and institutions like it facilitates my creative practice and allows me to better focus on my work as an artist that I otherwise would be unable to pursue,” Dombroski said.

Rising senior and sculpture major Remy Ciuba was one VCU student to win an undergraduate fellowship. She said the award will be broken up into three different payments, which she said can help recipients budget more easily.

There were no restrictions on what the award money could be used on, so she plans to buy materials for her upcoming ceramics class and other projects, she added.

“My mom is a ceramicist and she had a kiln and I would love to go back and visit her and work with her for a while,” Ciuba said.

Ciuba said the award will not only help her financially, but it also looks good on an artist’s resumé.

“It becomes easier to apply for other things and it’s pretty well recognized so the recognition is nice too,” Ciuba said.

Along with Ciuba, Senior and communication arts major Carson Jones also took home an undergraduate award.

Jones said he will mostly use his award for school supplies, and perhaps a Cintiq Wacom Tablet, a bigger work desk or a drafting table.

Jones said he is interested in becoming a concept designer for future Star Wars movies. He said he was hesitant to apply for the money at first, but his parents pushed him to apply.

“I didn’t expect to win this at all because I saw the resumé I sent them and the work and they picked me anyway,” Jones said. “ So go for it, I mean the worst they can do is say no.”

According to the VMFA’s website, the program has awarded close to $5 million in fellowships since being established in 1940.


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