East End Quilt Collective: Anna Julia Cooper
July 9-13, 2018

Students from Anna Julia Cooper School learned basic digital photography, with a focus on documentary photography from Brian Palmer. He introduced them to the history of the East End Cemetery and talked to them about the work he has been doing there with Friends of East End Cemetery. For the week, AJC students practiced their documentary skills at the cemetery site capturing changes at the site, including before and after images of the cemetery restoration process.

East End Quilt Collective: Blue Sky Fund 
July 3-24, 2018

Teen participants from Blue Sky Fund focused on photography while being introduced to the history of the cemetery site. These students will learn about landscape and documentary photography, and use these skills to document the effects of overgrown plants/invasive species. Students also created cyanotypes on fabric using flora found at the East End Cemetery, some of which will be stitched together as part of a quilt representing the cemetery's rich history.

Digital Storytelling Class
June 18-22, 2018

High school students worked with resident VMFA videographer, Briget Ganske, to learn the art of digital storytelling. During the week-long intensive, students learned about different ways to share personal narratives and make self portraits, as well as how to use DSLR cameras to make videos. By the end of the week, students used their newfound production talents to make some amazing self portraits, which were screened the next day at the Oakwood Arts fundraising auction! Check out their dynamic work below! 

Peter Paul Digital Collage Class
February–March 2018

We're having a blast in our digital collage class at the Peter Paul Development Center! Students are working with their VCU photography mentors to learn to use professional lighting equipment — and they're having fun getting creative and photographing each other in front of our green screen. For their final project, they'll use their new Photoshop skills to create a large collage riffing on the theme "what you would take with you on a deserted island." These works of art will soon be displayed in the windows of Oakwood Arts for the community to view. Keep an eye out!

Oakwood Arts Story Hour
February 22, 2018

We were thrilled to host our first Story Hour this February. It started with a book (well, with snacks, actually) and ended with collages inspired by the paintings of Jacob Lawrence. Thanks to Brian Palmer for being our debut reader, to the Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club for sending so many wonderful students our way, and to Susann Whittier and all our volunteers for guiding our young artists with paper, scissors, and enthusiasm. Special thanks to the Herndon Foundation for making this event possible. 

Camera Obscura / Pinhole Workshop
September 30, 2017, sponsored by Candela Gallery

In this two-hour community workshop kids and their parents learned how a camera works. They got to walk into a giant camera (camera obscura), which we'd constructed on-site. They also learned how to make their own pinhole cameras, then played outside taking photos with premade versions. We processed their images right then and there so participants could take them home that day. 

Cyanotype Workshop
August 26, 2017, sponsored by Candela Gallery

Kids ages 6 to 11 learned how to make cyanotypes (sun prints) using flowers and found objects. After practicing on small pieces of fabric, they joined forces to create a cyanotype mural, lying in the sun for five long minutes on the Oakwood Arts lawn. Check out the results! 

Digital Photographic Collage Workshop at the Robinson Theater
July 10, 13, 17, 20, and 24, 2017. 

Participants worked one on one with VCU photography students and recent graduates. They learned how to use DSLR cameras, how to import their images and manipulate them on the computer using Photoshop. To cap off the workshop, each student created a large digital photo collage that we are printing on transparent material; we will be illuminating the collages by hanging them in the windows of the Oakwood Arts space on 35th and P Streets. All equipment was provided.

Film Production Career Presentation
May 5, 2017

We hosted our very first event at Armstrong High School. A stellar group of film industry professionals—from the rigging grip on Turn, Mercy Street, and Loving to the director of the new movie Juanita—talked to art students at Armstrong High School about their positions and how they got where they are today. Part of our mission is to help make careers in creative fields accessible to all, and this was a first successful step in that direction.