Visiting Artists

Along with our Ruffin Gallery exhibitions during the school year, the Studio Department has a very active visiting artist program. The faculty, by virtue of their connections in the national and international art world, are able to draw important and diverse contemporary artists to the University from around the world. Throughout the academic year, visiting artists in all media offer lectures, workshops, and studio visits.

The Ruffin Distinguished Artist-in-Residence Program, established in 2012 by the Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation, is designed to bring artists of international stature to the University on a rotating basis. Each artist selected offers a series of unique workshops or programs, gives a public lecture and has an exhibit or screening of his or her work for the university community. In addition, the Ruffin Artist in Residence offers a variety of opportunities for personal interaction with distinguished majors in the Studio Art program, including seminars and critiques. Past residents include Mark Dion, La Pocha Nostra, Marissa Williamson, among many other renowned artists! 


 The Studio Art department is thrilled to host Nick Cave as the Ruffin Distinguished Artist-in-Residence for 2019 -2020. Cave works in the visual and performing arts across mediums, including sculpture, installation, video, textiles, sound, and performance, to address themes such as race, gender, and class. He is best known for his body suit projects where he creates elaborate sculptural forms at scale with the human body. His is included in the Brooklyn Museum, New York; Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Bentonville, AR; the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, GA; the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, D.C.; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago; the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa; the National Gallery of Victoria, Australia; the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, CA; and the Trapholt Museum, Kolding, Denmark, among others. Cave has received several prestigious awards including: the Art in Embassies International Medal of Arts Honoree (2017), the Americans for the Arts Public Art Network Year in Review Award (2014) in recognition of his Grand Central Terminal performance Heard - NY, the Joan Mitchell Foundation Award (2008), Artadia Award (2006), the Joyce Award (2006), Creative Capital Grants (2002, 2004 and 2005), and the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Award (2001). Cave, who received his MFA at the Cranbrook Academy of Art, is Professor and Chairman of the Fashion Department at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. You can view his online exhibition through the Ruffin Gallery here!


NOTE: Applications are not actively being reviewed due to the current situation surrounding COVID-19. Applications will stay open, but there is no timeline for the residency or exhibition at this time.

Announcing an open call for emerging to mid-career artists to participate within the University of Virginia McIntire Department of Art as the Ruffin Distinguished Artist-in-Residence.



The Ruffin Distinguished Artist-in-Residence is invited to create new work and interact with the University of Virginia community. Opportunities during the residency include offering unique workshops, a public lecture(s), and research support funding. Additionally, the residency involves an exhibition or screening in the Ruffin Gallery (950 SF) of their work for the university community (this work does not have to be produced during this time). The resident is invited to interact with students and faculty through classes, seminars and critiques.

Program awards

1.               Stipend

2.               Exhibition support funding

3.               Lodging

4.                Travel expenses to and from Charlottesville (start and end of residency)

Type of Application

The School encourages applications from individuals as well as from collaborative teams. However, please be advised that the resources listed above are finite. If teams apply, the expectation is that the program awards will be shared between its members.

Submitted Proposal Requirements:

1.              Complete Application

                  include Web URL/Portfolio, Additional Cover Letter, Resume/CV

2.               Website/Portfolio

                  Any work you want the committee to consider should be open access/URL.

                  Enter a URL for your website.

3.               Additional Information/Cover Letter and Resume/ C.V.

                  Please describe your interest in pursuing this residency in particular. Discuss your

                  experience working with students and engaging in community or public settings.

                  There are possibilities for additional programming and activities to extend beyond

                  the gallery space. Describe any such plans or opportunities.

4.               References

                  Please provide the names and contact information of three references that can

                  vouch for the applicant’s creativity, collaborative skills and general professionalism.

5.               Education Volunteer Background Check


The Peter B. and Adeline W. Ruffin Foundation established the Ruffin Distinguished Artist-in-Residence at the University of Virginia. The endowment created an annual position designed to bring mid-career artists and artists of significant international stature to the University on a rotating basis. The artist is expected to be in physical residence at the University of Virginia for the duration of the time allocated.


Please contact Dan Hoogenboom or William Wylie with any questions.

Contact: 434-243-1785



Please see the following application below. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, and please email additional attachments to Dan Hoogenboom at