Our programs are made possible by dedicated interns, volunteers and mentors who give their time, enthusiasm, and creative talents to Oakwood Arts. As one-on-one mentors, they play a vital role in bringing our mission to life.

Fall/Spring 2018/2019 Interns, Mentors and volunteers


Zoe Pearson

Zoe Pearson is currently a freshman in the VCUarts program, working towards a Bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. She is a certified associate in Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator. After graduating she plans to pursue a career as a Commercial Art Director. She enjoys and pursues freelance photography on the side since 2015, recently started working with VCU Kinetic Imaging department as a social media analyst assistant.


Kelly Fergus

Kelly graduated from Mercyhurst University (Erie, PA) with a Bachelor's of Arts in Art Education and a minor in Art Therapy in 2017. She is currently a VCUarts graduate student in the Masters in Art Education program and will graduate May 2019. Kelly is passionate about service-learning, community, literacy, art, and education. She loves ceramics, 3D found-object sculpture, acrylic and watercolor painting, digital photography, textiles/fiber arts (weaving, crochet, embroidery,etc), and as well as graphic design.


Sam Page

Sam Page is a recent graduate of the Theatre for Social Change program at Emory and Henry College. His past experience includes interning for Project Real, Micah Program, and the SWVA 4H Educational Center and teaching at the SWVA 4H Educational Center, GATE, and Summer Camp on the Hill. Sam has taken an active role utilizing his background in theatre at Oakwood Arts. He assisted with props, set, and stage direction at Peter Paul Development Center’s Ms Sweet Lady Play, helped at the Binford Arts and Music Festival, and volunteered at the Richmond Night Market. Sam is joining the Oakwood Arts team as our Instructor in Residence this Fall!


Erin Edgerton

Erin Edgerton is currently pursuing her BFA in Photography with a Media Studies minor at Virginia Commonwealth University. She is currently the Photo Editor at The Commonwealth Times, VCU’s independent student newspaper and is also a freelance photographer for the Richmond Times-Dispatch. Erin has documented impactful state and local news including the death of Heather Heyer in Charlottesville, the Richmond Trump protests, Confederate monument rallies, and DACA recipients at VCU.

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Justin Smith

Justin is a graphic designer in Richmond, VA. His creative expertise is in print and digital design. He runs a blog called Afrovisualism, curating images of black visual and popular culture from the past and present. Justin went to school at Halifax Community College and North Carolina A&T University. He has his associates degree in Advertising and Graphic Design. Justin began interning for Oakwood Arts designing promotional material and mentoring for our Photo + Graphic Design class at Anna Julia Cooper Episcopal School this past fall.

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Dory Pressley

Dorolyne Pressley is a graduate of VCU with her BFA in photography. She is well versed in JavaScript and html coding alongside her skills with Adobe products. She loves both nature photography and portraiture, even if most of her exhibited work involves photo collages. She has exhibited in the recent thesis exhibition Photo Velvet of May 2019. As an intern for Oakwood, she commits her time to administrative work in our office. She has been an assistant mentor, photographed our costume design program and has also assisted at City Studio.


Menley Hunt

Menley Hunt is currently a junior at VCUarts and is working toward a BFA in Sculpture with a double minor in Art History and Religious Studies. Her multi-disciplinary installation-based work often focuses on elements of family and spirituality. After graduating, Menley plans to pursue a career in Curation and Museum Studies. She spends her free time playing music, making art, and taking care of her cat.

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Sara Messervey

Sara is a dedicated activist, honors student and Bonner Scholar studying Leadership at the University of Richmond. Her passion for social justice led her to found the Spiders Against Sexual Assault and Violence organization in 2016, which has promoted necessary changes to Title IX policy and survivor prevention and support resources at the University of Richmond. She is also an active volunteer with Safe Harbor Shelter, a local non-profit organization that empowers survivors of intimate partner violence and sexual assault in the city of Richmond. Sara has a passion for writing and inspiring change, and her commitment to social justice and building equity in the Richmond community makes her a wonderful addition to the Oakwood Arts team.

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Jesslyn McCartney

Jesslyn is beginning her sophomore year at VCUarts, double majoring in Cinema and Religious Studies. She mostly works as a freelance videographer and still photographer, while she also has experience on set working with film crews. In her free time, she works on side projects that reflect on womanhood, personal growth, and human relationships. Jesslyn's love for working with children and all things camera related makes her a great addition to the Oakwood Arts team. Jesslyn started volunteering with Oakwood Arts in the spring as a videographer shooting promotional material for SOLSTICE 2019 Summer Benefit Auction.


Marissa Alper

Marissa Alper is a recent alumnus of Photography at VCUarts. She is currently freelancing and advancing her personal practice which explores the strength of the female bond, dynamic of familial relations, and the aging process. Marissa was an artist-in-resident at GlogauAIR in Berlin, Germany that concluded with a group show and has had a solo show, “Last Home,” at The Anderson Gallery in Richmond, Virginia. Marissa has worked as a darkroom photography teaching assistant at the International Center of Photography in New York and has volunteered as an assistant teacher and intern with Oakwood Arts since Spring of 2018.


Maya Jackson

Maya, born and raised in Richmond, VA, just graduated with a BFA in Photography + Filmmaking from VCUarts. Her work focuses on challenging photography as documentation, “truthful” imagery, and introspection through self portraiture as a form of meditation. An active participant in the local arts community, she is currently a volunteer, mentor, and member of the auction and exhibition committees at Oakwood Arts. In the summer of 2018, Maya completed an artist residency at the GlogauAIR studios in Berlin, Germany, followed by an exhibition entitled Sixty-Seven. Most recently, her work appeared in the Black History Museum and Cultural Center of Virginia, in a group exhibition titled The Art of Freedom, where local Virginia artists responded to a call of what freedom means to them.

PAST Interns, Mentors and volunteers

Alli Madsen, Photographer

Christina Macaulay, Photographer

Noelle Manfredi, Animator

Giselle Matz, Graphic Designer 

Nicole Michalek, Creative Advertising 

Aba Mfrase-Ewur

Rehab Mohamed, Architect 

Amanda O'Connell, Graphic Designer

Dylan Reddick, Writer

Brock Saunders, Photographer

Becca Schwartz, Photographer

Gabrielle Stadulis, Graphic Designer

Pearl Steinel, Photographer

Ceejay Renner-Thomas, Sculptor

Carolyn Todd, Photographer + Anthropologist

Jennifer VanSteenburgh, Photographer + Art Educator

Polina Vetsen, Graphic Designer

Katie Xie, Graphic Designer

Elson Bickford, Photographer 

Wyatt Buescher, Photographer

Amarise Carreras, Photographer

Kathryn Carney, Art Historian

Doug Chen, IT Specialist

Alex Coyle, Camera Operator

Mitchell Craft, Animator

Scott Csoke, Photographer

Adam Dubrueler, Photographer

John DiJulio, Photographer

Emma Gould, Photographer

Haley Harrington, Photographer

Meg Harrington, Photographer

Porcelyn Headen, Photographer

Dominic Hernandez, Photographer

Charlotte Laurence, Photographer

János Leitner-Wise, Animator

Shannon Lowe, Photographer


Interested in becoming an Oakwood Arts Intern?

Fill out our internship application and send an email with a brief statement of interest to admin@oakwoodarts.org

Learn more about mentor and volunteer opportunities with Oakwood Arts here.