VCCA Salon series returns to Sweet Briar on Feb. 7 with visual artists, ‘Cost of Living’ author

Posted on January 30, 2019 by Amy Ostroth

Luminescence “Luminescence,” installation by Serge Marchetta and Masha Ryskin

On Feb. 7, several fellows from the Virginia Center for the Creative Arts will present their work as part of the 2018-2019 VCCA Salon series at Sweet Briar College. The event will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Mary Helen Cochran Library’s Reahard Learning Gallery.

Serge Marchetta and Masha Ryskin have been collaborating since meeting during their residencies at the CAMAC Art Centre in France in 2009. Marchetta, a native of Montreal, holds a B.F.A. in painting from the University of Quebec, Montreal. Ryskin lives in Providence, R.I., and is a political refugee from the former Soviet Union. She holds a B.F.A. in printmaking from the Rhode Island School of design and an M.F.A. in painting and mixed media from the University of Michigan. Her work is concerned with landscape and its elements as a metaphor for a sense of place, memory, history and passage of time. It has been exhibited nationally and internationally and has been reviewed in a number of publications, including The New York Times and Art New England.

Serge Marchetta and Masha Ryskin Serge Marchetta and Masha Ryskin

Together, they have produced drawings, photographs and videos, as well as gallery and open-air installations. Their work stems from research on light; their projects are explorations of the ambiguity of space through light, layered imagery and shadows.

“By playing on the permanent tensions between reality and illusion, the work reveals itself, partially or completely, according to the proximity or the distance of the spectator,” Marchetta writes on his website about the collaboration. Their residency at the VCCA is the latest in a number of residencies around the world.

Joining them is Emily Maloney, the author of the forthcoming book “Cost of Living” about health care in the United States as seen through the eyes of both the patient and the practitioner. You can read her essay on the topic, which originally appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review and was selected for Best American Essays 2017. Maloney’s work has appeared in The New York Times, Glamour, Virginia Quarterly Review and more.

Emily Maloney Emily Maloney

In addition to her work as an author, she has worked as an emergency room technologist, EMT, dog groomer, pastry chef, catalog model and ceramics artist. Her latest work is informed by her experience working at a multinational pharmaceutical company. Her next work will be a memoir about growing up with Nonverbal Learning Disability. You can learn more about Maloney on her website.

The Virginia Center for the Creative Arts is a unique Virginia-based organization of national stature and international impact. VCCA’s mission is “providing creative space for the world’s best artists to create their finest literature, visual art, and music.” Each year, VCCA hosts more than 400 artist-fellows at its Mt. San Angelo facility in Amherst and the Moulin à Nef Studio Center in Auvillar, France. The artists who come to VCCA, whether emerging or established, are selected through competitive peer review on the basis of the important or innovative work they are doing in their respective fields. Since its founding in 1971, VCCA has hosted more than 6,000 writers, visual artists and composers.

Another VCCA salon will be held on April 4. For more information, visit or email Carrie Brown, director for the Center of Creativity, Design and the Arts, at