VCUarts seniors graduate in a rapidly changing world of work


While the phrase “starving artist” has been used to describe those who choose to try to make a living in the arts, graduates from Virginia Commonwealth University’s top arts school are anticipating something quite different. Three of these students share their thoughts on what it means to pursue professional endeavors as artists.

The plans are as varied as the individuals. Winston plans to seek contract studio work, using a background in communication arts. Shayne Herrera, a painting and printmaking graduate, hopes to travel to the West Coast and exhibit at a respected black-owned gallery. Noren Gelberg-Hagmaier is skilled in kinetic imagery and sculpture and has a long-term goal of becoming a gallery artist while working short-term off the field to earn a living. All three of these future VCU alumni talk about the need to make art more accessible and to ensure that artistic expression becomes more mainstream for everyone. They say that not all art needs to be marketable and that non-monetary rewards can be important for those who make art and for those who experience art as viewers.

A longer version of this interview will be posted the week of May 8, 2022.


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