Our programming includes an international artist residency. Once building renovations are complete, we will provide a studio at Oakwood Arts and lodging in the cottage located behind P35 (the church). In turn, artists-in-residence will be asked to produce community-based projects.
“I think Oakwood Arts is going to have a significant impact on the community. We need more voices that reflect the demographics of the city, more cultural expression. We need to know who the city is. I’m attracted to the idea of being part of Richmond’s reformation, of taking part in that change.”
Introducing Massa Lemu
Our inaugural artist-in-residence, Massa Lemu, is a Malawian visual artist and writer whose multidisciplinary artistic practice takes the form of drawing, performance, and multimedia installations that are concerned with the contradictions of migration within globalization and the effects of an increasingly immaterialized, flexible, and mobile capitalism on the postcolonial subject. Lemu has a PhD in visual arts from South Africa's Stellenbosch University and is currently an assistant professor of sculpture and extended media at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Lemu’s ongoing project at Oakwood Arts + P35, provisionally titled “The sea hums bearing strange gifts,” charts his experiences as a Malawian immigrant who has lived in Georgia, Texas, and Cape Town, South Africa. In its final manifestation, the project will feature thirty-three cots from the onetime daycare center that is now Oakwood Arts.