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. 


Oakwood Arts Fundraiser: Holiday Portraits & Print Sale
December 3, 2017

We are so thankful for all of our volunteers, friends, family, and community members who came out to our holiday fundraiser this December! We were able to raise funds to help us jump-start the New Year by hosting a holiday photo booth to create festive family portraits. Our print sale featured artwork by the young artists in our digital collage workshop, as well as prints by local artists, including our volunteers and staff. All of the participating artists received fifty percent of the proceeds from the sale of their work and generously donated fifty percent to help fund future programming at Oakwood Arts. Stay tuned for an online version of our print sale, featuring these talented artists who have supported us in so many ways!


Halloween Photo Booths
October 30 & 31, 2017

We had a great time today at the Robinson Theater Community Arts Center's fall festival. We gave away Halloween costumes that we'd collected during our costume drive, and we had a green screen photo booth. The next day at Oakwood Arts we set up another photo booth complete with accessories and props—and, of course, treats! Check out some of the fantastic costumes! 


Camera Obscura / Pinhole Workshop
September 30, 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, 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! 

Oakwood Arts Block Party & Illumination
July 27, 2017

We hosted our first event at Oakwood Arts—a block party complete with art, music, hot dogs, and ice cream. It was wonderful to meet so many of our neighbors and to share the work created by the young artists who participated in our workshops. A big thank-you to all who came out and to those who graciously donated their time and/or money to make the night happen! (Photos by Brian Palmer and Shannon Castleman) 

Digital Photographic Collage Workshop at the Robinson Theater
July 10, 13, 17, 20, and 24, from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. 

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.