Virginia Center for Creative Arts: An Illustrated Journal

All text and images by Lilianne Milgrom
Photograph of an open journal. The left page has writing superimposed by three feathers. The right page has colorful sketches of four birds with a winged caption box that says "Birds of VCCA"

A photo of the journal in which I recorded this visual record of my residency at the Virginia Center for Creative Arts. 

I was thrilled to be accepted as a fellow at the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts in the summer of 2014. My only concern was the relatively short term of my residency there--11 days. Little did I know that those 11 days were to prove as productive as several months in my home studio. The opportunity to focus solely on my creative process was a luxury that allowed me to develop ideas that had been waiting years for me to finally address. It was liberating.

 Nor did I foresee the immense impact that the community of fellows would have on my work. Aside from working on three new installation projects, I also spent an hour or so every evening illustrating a personal journal in order to visually record memorable moments.

Watercolor of a calico cat next to some handwritten pages

My cat Kiki sensed I was getting ready for a trip and turned her back on me for an entire day!

Watercolor of a  highway with trees along the shoulder and a highway sign that says Route 29

Driving down from DC towards Amherst, Virginia 29 South had some lovely pastoral sections.

A highway sign that says "Culpeper" with a pepper shaker sprinkling it on the upper right of the page.

I passed towns I had heard of but never visited and vowed to explore more of Virginia in the future.

Watercolor of three signs: BBQ with the head of a pig Cowboy Church Sundays and Guns Sold here

Yep! I've definitely left DC behind for all-you-can-eat buffets, gun stores, and churches vying for worshippers. 

Watercolor of back view of woman in blue shirt with long blonde hair with text bubbles over her head: Where are the crispy cheese crisps? None left. Well, what am I supposed to eat then? Dunno. I ordered them for you. Do the BBQ Chips taste like ribeye?

Stopped at a 7-11 for bottled water and overheard this conversation while waiting in line.

Lilianne Milgrom’s art is influenced and informed by her multicultural background. Milgrom is a painter, sculptor, and film-maker who gravitates towards themes of social and political import, though she often uses humor to full advantage in order to convey her artistic message. Her work is characterized by a careful balance of aesthetics and concept. She has exhibited extensively in local and international galleries and museums and her works appear in both private and institutional collections.

The Virginia Center for Creative Arts has received regular support from the NEA including an Art Works grant this past spring. You can learn about the NEA's fall round of grant funding here