The Virginia Center for the Book—a program of Virginia Humanities—announces the Frank Riccio Fund to support programming around an annual visiting book artist: the Frank Riccio Artist-in-Residence. The fund will accept donations to secure the residency as an endowed and recurring annual opportunity.
Frank Riccio began his career as an illustrator in high school in Bridgeport, CT, where he excelled in the art department, then studied at the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn and immediately began receiving commissions for commercial illustrations. In Charlottesville, VA, he spent 19 years painting, illustrating, and volunteering actively for WTJU and as a member artist of the Virginia Center for the Book (then Virginia Arts of the Book Center), including several contributions to the Center’s annual collaborative projects and broadsides. His work appeared in Gourmet and Sports Illustrated magazines; he illustrated The Little Soul and the Earth, a collaboration with bestselling inspirational series author Neal Donald Walsch; as well as many children’s books, including Johnny Appleseed and The Spirited Alphabet. He died in 2014 after a courageous battle with cancer.
The fund and residency will honor Frank Riccio’s memory, recognize his legacy as a talented and tireless practitioner and educator among Virginia’s creative community, and build upon his loyal and generous support for the work of book artists who bring to life the Virginia Center for the Book.
Each year the Virginia Center for the Book will promote the Frank Riccio Artist-in-Residence opportunity widely. Center staff will oversee an informed selection process with member involvement, then host an illustrator, printer, or book artist who will receive a stipend, travel, and lodging under the expectation that the recipient will join our community at an appointed time, fall, spring, or summer. As part of the application process, the artist will propose a project to complete in the Virginia Center for the Book studio. He or she will agree to participate in at least two public demonstrations or presentations including youth and adults, and share some produced works with the Center for the Book community to promote the vibrancy of the book arts.
For each year’s selection, the Center for the Book will promote events widely within the community and with partners; if the residency is during the Virginia Festival of the Book (held each March), the Festival will feature the Frank Riccio Artist-in-Residence in its materials and promotional efforts.
We have begun a “quiet phase” of investment, inviting friends, select community members, and family to help us launch this campaign to reach an initial investment of $25,000 by November 1, 2018. After we reach this goal of the named opportunity successfully, we begin the public campaign in pursuit of the $100,000 goal.
Please join us in continuing Frank’s legacy through this important giving opportunity. Donations may be made online (Virginia Center for the Book, Book Arts, designate Frank Riccio fund in special instructions) or a by a check made out to “Virginia Humanities” (145 Ednam Drive / Charlottesville VA 22903) with the Frank Riccio fund designated.