US Residency Opportunity

elysium gallery and Beep Painting Biennial are proud to be partnering up with the Freeman Artist Residency (FAR).

FAR is an artist residency program based in Charlottesville, Virginia, providing studio space, material stipend, end-of-residency exhibition and mentorship to painters at a formative stage of their careers. Founded in September 2020 by Welsh visual artist & UVa Assistant Professor of Studio Art Neal Rock, FAR is named after Welsh painter and educator Michael Freeman, who mentored Rock during his formative years in South Wales. Freeman’s teaching, funded by WEA Cymru (Workers’ Education Association Wales), impacted communities whose access to the visual arts were restricted by the socio-economic conditions of their time. FAR honors Freeman’s life and work by offering the gift of time & space to artists at an early stage of their careers. FAR’s mission is aligned with the founding values of WEA Cymru – facilitating cultural access and equity – by giving priority to BIPoC, LGBTQ+ & first-generation college graduate artists.

November 2023

To kick off the partnership we recently secured funding from Wales Arts International for two emerging Welsh painters – Dylan Williams and Lucia Jones who have spent November 2023 in Charlottesville making work resulting in an exhibition at Visible Records Gallery. in March 2024 two US artists Vibha Vijay and Virginia Gibson will travel to Swansea and take up residence in the elysium gallery studios.

March 2024

We welcome US artists Virginia Gibson and Vibha Vijay to Wales!
Both artists are over in Swansea throughout March 2024 as part of the elysium gallery and Freeman Residency artists exchange. Before Christmas we sent over Welsh artists Dylan Williams and Lucia jones to Visible Records gallery in Charlottesville where they spent a month making work and networking. Virginia and Vibha will spend the next month at elysium studios making work and exploring South Wales.

About the artists:

Virginia Gibson (she/they) is an artist based in Virginia Beach, Virginia. She graduated from the UVA in 2022 with a Bachelors in Studio Art and Archaeology. She creates works that are vessels meant to express behavioral adaptations that derive from the survival instinct in order to make sense of the complexities of the world. Virginia pulls from lived experiences that hold conversations around trauma. Through her creative practice, she brings to light the fundamental changes in both the body and mind as a means to understand points of suffering. Virginia works in mediums of painting, printmaking, and sculpture. These practices are used as ways to acknowledge the reality of the body and mind post trauma. The different visceral dimensions of the body, and the stunted existence of the imagination in the mind, are keys to unlocking a potentiality of healing and taking charge of one’s life and health. She uses intuitive forms and cultivated environments in order to communicate feelings, emotions, physical apparitions, and the general hard to convey ecology of her everyday life. Virginia’s practice has a goal to advocate for open conversations around traumatic experiences. She believes these conversations are necessary in order to heal past and present selves, while also encouraging her communities to take back their lives stolen from them through pain and fear.

Vibha Vijay (she/they) is an artist based in Charlottesville, VA and a recent graduate of UVA with a degree in Studio Art and a minor in Data Science. Her work centers around the tension between desire and physical materiality, whether the medium be fiber or plastic or hair. Vijay seeks to critique and explore the boundaries of access and the formality of art objects because of their own fascination with collecting and display. Her work moves towards giving objects their own life beyond her personal reach, and exploring her cultural heritage through the lens of audience interaction.

All the residency artists will feature at an exhibition at the end of 2024 as part of the Beep Painting Biennial.

Images: Vibha Vijay | Virginia Gibson | Dylan Williams, Henry Skerritt, Lucia Jones and Neal Rock at the recent Preview at Visible Records Gallery in Charlottesville, USA.