The Edward Dean Robinson

Artist Residency

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What is the artist residency?

The Edward Dean Robinson Artist Residency is a summer long arts intensive for select Richmond Public Schools students. Applications are open to sophomores and juniors in the following Richmond schools: Armstrong High School, George Wythe High School, Huguenot High School, John Marshall High School, Open High School, Richmond Community High School, Thomas Jefferson High School, and Franklin Military Academy. Eight students will be selected to participate. The  students will spend Thursdays and Saturdays from June 24 through August 12 at ART 180's Atlas gallery working with the artist Chris Visions to create artwork and develop their artistic practice. Students will develop a portfolio, learn about professional development, and explore healthy and sustainable ways to create art while prioritizing mental health and wellness. The program is named in memory of long-time ART 180 participant, Edward Dean Robinson who transitioned on June 21, 2018. The residency is inspired by Edward's talent and aims to support young artists in their artistic creation and mental well-being. Students chosen to participate in the program will receive a $1350 stipend, studio access, a materials stipend, and a professional portfolio.

What do I need to apply?

Interested in applying? AWESOME! Before you do, be sure to prepare the following:

  • You must provide digital copies of your artwork no more than three years old. Most file formats are accepted.

  • You will need an adult from your school (a teacher, guidance counselor, or principal) to complete a recommendation form on your behalf. There is a space in the application that will ask you to provide the name and email of this person and once submitted, the recommendation form will be sent to them.

  • Have a parent or guardian present when completing the form.


ART 180 is a creative youth development nonprofit serving the Greater Richmond area since 1998. We provide a judgment-free zone for young people that encourages creative expression and self-discovery and allows them to share their stories through programs, public art, performances, publications, recordings, and exhibitions. As we continue to further our organization’s mission by providing Richmond youth opportunities to transform lives and communities with their art and ideas, it gives us great pleasure to announce that ART 180 will launch its first Artist Residency Program for high schoolers enrolled in Richmond Public Schools.

The Edward Dean Robinson Artist Residency fosters the development of critical thinking, team collaboration, mindfulness, emotional intelligence, and strategic communication skills. ART 180 prioritizes the investment in youth through these skills and prepares them with the tools needed for self-determination and to create the life they envision after high school. Students gain an understanding of social entrepreneurship within the art industry and creative community.

This program will occur at our teen art center, Atlas, in downtown Jackson Ward located at 114 W. Marshall St. Richmond, VA. 23220. The Edward Dean Artist Residency Program will run for 9 weeks totaling 18 sessions, and are open to 10th and 11th graders serious about developing their artistic and technical skills. The program will start the week of June 14th and end the week of August 12th. For your teen to be considered for The Edward Dean Artist Residency, please complete and submit this form along with the necessary application documents by the registration deadline: Saturday, May 1st. 

ART 180 values the safety and shared spaces of all our participants, artists, volunteers, and partners, and therefore will operate within the CDC COVID Guidelines for this in-person program.



The residency program celebrates the art and life of long-time ART 180 participant Edward Robinson, whose talent and personality inspired those around him and who transitioned on June 21, 2018. As a resident of Richmond’s Gilpin Court Edward attended Richmond Public Schools, where he graduated third in his class from John Marshall High School and was accepted into Radford University. He also had mental health issues that were misdiagnosed on several occasions. In sharing Edward’s story and celebrating young artists in Richmond Public Schools, the residency's goal is to provide youth of color attending RPS an opportunity to work with nationally recognized professional teaching artists, develop their artistic skills, and build a portfolio while working alongside their peers. It’s also important that ART 180 continues its mission to create a safe space for youth to be the individuals they are pursuing and the inspirations they identify, without judgment. The Robinson Residency fosters individuality, leadership, creativity, self-exploration, and supportive relationships.

Holistic health, social-emotional learning, and artfulness are central components of the residency program. Youth will learn from educators about the importance of culture, identity, and mental and emotional health. They will explore the connection between individual trauma, urban trauma, and collective healing. Students will also learn about artfulness, which is the intersection of mindfulness and art. This emergent strategy embraces the transformative and healing power of art as a shield for equity and justice and is based on trauma healing, restorative practices, and mindfulness.

For the 2021 Edward D. Robinson Artist Residency Program, ART 180 will select one young artist from each of eight Richmond Public Schools for a summer-long in-person artist intensive under the study and mentorship of ART 180’s inaugural artist-in-residence Chris Visions. Chris Visions is a storyteller and communicator who is passionate about creating visual, emotive experiences that speak to the human experience. Professional clients include Marvel Comics, Into The Spider-Verse, DC Comics, Fantagraphics Books, Cartoon Network, Vice, the NBA, and many others. His pursuit for art has also landed him in acting roles in the 2019 film Harriet and his art has been featured in TV shows like The Good Fight and NBC’s Hannibal.


In celebration of Edward’s story, young artists in Richmond Public Schools will produce a series of works for use in a portfolio and collaborate on, design, and install a street mural located at the intersection of Brook Road and Marshall Street. The mural will highlight the rich history of Richmond’s Jackson Ward neighborhood, be a symbol of youth voice in a time of transformation, and part of a permanent parklet funded by the City of Richmond, Venture Richmond, and a national Bloomberg Philanthropies grant.