Falls Church resident Jun Lee is one of 40 artists in the state who will receive relief grants as part of a special program to help visual artists impacted by Covid-19. Each recipient will receive $5,000 from the Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program, for a total of $200,000 distributed by the fund.
“Art has a way of bringing people together — something we need now more than ever,” said Governor Ralph Northam. “These grant recipients hail from more than twenty different cities and towns across the Commonwealth, and Pam and I are proud to help support their important work.”
Lee is the only recipient from Falls Church, and one of six from Northern Virginia.
“Artists’ livelihoods and their ability to continue making art have been directly impacted by cancelled exhibitions and gallery and museum closures as a result of the pandemic,” said Alex Nyerges, Virginia Museum of Fine Arts’ director and CEO. “We sought to use resources we have available to help sustain artists in Virginia through this critical time.”
The museum received more than 350 applications for this program. Recipients were selected by a jury made up of three staff members at VMFA: Valerie Cassel Oliver, Sydney and Frances Lewis Family Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art; Natasha Campbell, head of the museum’s fellowship program; and Jeffrey Allison, head of statewide programs.
The Virginia Artist Relief Fellowship Program is funded utilizing the accrued excess balance of the museum’s existing Artist Fellowship.
Endowment established in 1941 through a generous gift made by the late John Lee Pratt of Fredericksburg. Pratt stipulated that the funds be used to support professional artists as well as art and art history students in the Commonwealth and not for other purposes. Through this endowment, VMFA has awarded nearly $5.8 million to Virginia artists in the Commonwealth over the past 80 years.