VCU's Craft-Metal Program

Dear Sara,

The art school at VCU is fantastic. The instructors are good and the
visiting artists on campus are incredible. The metals program is
excellent. I am a former metals student and I have lived in Richmond,
VA all of my life. The art building is immense with well-equipped
studios however it all ways make me mad when students are careless
with tools and equipment. The campus is very urban, the architecture
is fascinating, parking is a nightmare and safety is an issue. Some
of the really cool things about living in Richmond are; you can drive
to see the ocean or mountains in a few hours; drive to a major city
(Washington, DC) in a day where you can walk on the street and hear
about eight different languages being spoken as well as see some
major art exhibitions; and last but not least you can fly to New York
in an hour. The cost of living is not too bad here. You full
experience of all four seasons of the year. Are you planning to visit
the campus?

Best wishes,

Cathy Wheless

Hi Cathy, Thanks for the info! Would you mind telling me a bit about
the program and what you learned? Was it comprehensive? Did it
prepare you for your profession? What did you like about the program,
what didn’t you like? Sorry - I have a lot of questions. I’m looking
at VCU’s program as well as a program here in Toronto at George Brown

We are thinking about coming down in June or July if we decide that
we are going to make the move. Sounds like Richmond has some
interesting things to offer! We are both avid scuba divers and enjoy
the outdoors.

Thanks again and Take Care,


Well first let me say that VCU gave me a very comprehensive
foundation for working in metal for which I will be eternally
grateful. I studied there in 1970 as a special student (non
matriculated); I completed all levels of the jewelry studio classes.
I do not hold a degree. To this day I still have contact with the
metals department and the professors.

Did it prepare you for your profession? At that time learning about
the crafts business was not a part of the curriculum but it would be
a great advantage to add that to the program.

What did I like about the program, what didn’t I like about the
program? What was wonderful was the very innovative and experimental
atmosphere. The creative turmoil that was part of everyday life. The
intellectual challenge was great. The visiting artist program brought
in some of the best artist from around the world. I did not like the
fact that universities are big business. The immaturity of some of
the students did not go over well with me especially in regard to
safety and care of the equipment, but I guess that would be a concern
at any school.

Best wishes,
Cathy Wheless