VCU School of Arts students adjust to online classes, staying home

Richmond

RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia Commonwealth University Art students are facing challenges after classes moved online. Many are having to get creative at home. 

“Right after spring break, we got a call saying we had to be out of our studios and all the doors would be locked, including all our materials and tools,” said Colin Knight, who is studying craft and materials studies with a focus on furniture design and woodwork. 

“As a woodworker, without a shop and a studio I really can’t do big projects and make real furniture,” he said. 

With many of his tools locked up in the School of Arts, the college senior’s class assignments are changing. 

“I’ve been doing a lot of historical research into design and furniture, a lot of writing about art,” Knight told 8News. 

Colin Knight

He and other students are making the most of the situation with what they have at home.

“I’ve seen a lot of people make work that they normally wouldn’t make so it’s a great time to make without risk,” Knight told 8News. 

With graduation right around the corner, his residency plans took a turn.

“Residencies are a big part of getting out of college for art students and almost all residencies over the summer are pushed back a whole year,” he said. “I was supposed to go to Sicily to teach some model making classes and that’s been pushed back a whole year.”

Knight got another residency in Colorado, which starts in October. He hopes to make it to Europe next year once travel restrictions are lifted. In the interim, Knight is staying positive and found a way to help other artists working from home. Knight and his roommate, who is also an art student, made 40 workbenches and delivered them to artists across Richmond at an affordable price. 

“A lot of people just didn’t have a space in their home to make art,” Knight said. 

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