Amber Pierce, Pouring Out to Be Refilled, 2023. Acrylic, fibers. Courtesy of the artist

MARCH 9–JUNE 11, 2023

This exhibition features the work of Amber Pierce, Poetry Jackson, and Nadd Harvin, who have been invited to participate in the 2023 Atrium Artist in Residence Program. The residency aims to support and amplify the work of regional artists while creating another entry point for Museum visitors to engage with contemporary art and ideas in connection with the main gallery exhibitions, Kara Walker: Cut to the Quick and LaToya Hobbs: Flourish. This group exhibition complements the residency program and celebrates the work of these talented artists.

The Atrium Artist in Residence program will begin on March 25 and run through June 11. Engage with working artists creating on-site inspired by our main gallery exhibitions. Artists will have mobile studios set up in the Virginia MOCA Atrium alongside an activity inspired by their process.


Amber Pierce

Saturdays, March 25–April 22

Poetry Jackson

Saturdays, April 1 and April 29–May 20

Nadd Harvin

Saturdays, April 1, May 27–June 10, and Sunday, June 11  


Artist in Residence Amber Pierce

March 9–June 11, 2023

Amber Robinson Pierce (b. 1996) is a multi-media American artist and Virginia Beach, Virginia native. In high school, Pierce attended the Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, Virginia. After briefly studying at Virginia Commonwealth University, Amber spent time living and working in Richmond and Virginia Beach-where she eventually began interning at Utopia Feni Creative Studios and Gallery. She is currently an Old Dominion University student pursuing her BA in Art Education and BFA in 3-D Material Studies. Pierce is a recipient of a 2022 Undergraduate VMFA Fellowship Award. She is also a University Fellow of the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, in Gatlinburg Tennessee. Her habitual artmaking began well before she how to write, and it is this childlike excitement and desire to communicate that fuels her art-making today. Combining multiple mediums, Pierce’s work addresses narrative themes of vulnerability, connection, and identity.

Artist in Residence Poetry Jackson

March 9–June 11, 2023

LaJae Essence, professionally known as Poetry Jackson, is a multi-talented artist with a passion for visual arts, paintings, and poetry. With years of experience in the fine arts, both privately and publicly, Jackson has established herself as a force to be reckoned with in the art world. In addition to her own artistic pursuits, Jackson is also a dedicated instructor and founder of the 757 Street Art Battle and Artkive Mural Group (AMG). She also holds the Public Relations Chair for the Visual Arts Advancement Collective (VAAC) and serves on local public art committees. Jackson is committed to using her talents to make a positive impact in her community, and can often be found teaching therapeutic arts at local institutions and sitting on the board of a non-profit organization for the arts. With a wealth of experience and a deep love for the arts, Jackson is a dynamic and inspiring artist who is sure to leave a lasting mark on the world of art.

Artist in Residence Nadd Harvin

March 9–June 11, 2023

Nadd Harvin is a self taught painter, illustrator, and teaching artist based primarily in Richmond and Hampton Roads, Virgina. As a teacher and prolific sketchbook artist, Nadd’s work is heavily process-based and influenced by the act of creating and mark making. Their work is also deeply interested in utilizing realism as a vehicle for abstract expression and creating compositions that open up a world of endless storytelling possibilities. These elements also bleed through into their large-scale mural work, creating a style that seeks to balance elements of chaos, centered around a personal narrative of creation and holding time and space. Self actualization, community and world building, time, space, ego, and identity are a few of the themes central to their work.