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Peter Cochrane, Memento Vivere (2018). Seen: triptych [archival pigment prints, gold leaf frames, 28”x58”(2) & 38”x58”]; is the river an alchemist? [lead, jet, limestone, dimensions variable]; this cosmology is mine, nature is not yours, you cannot use it against me [archival pigment prints, 8’x15’].

VCUarts is one of the nation’s leading arts schools, dedicated to advancing creative expression, supporting new scholarship, sparking innovation and deepening the role of the arts in society. Its visual arts and design graduate program has received top rankings by U.S. News & World Report.

“The staggering amount of work I’ve made while here. Exploring materials—lead, marble, limestone, alt process photography, gold frames, re-energizing the darkroom, pine cones burned on silver gelatin paper, finding the 8×10 camera in the equipment room. Sharpening my conceptual pursuits. The power of the page, the power of the book. The integration of theory into my practice and my everyday. Expansive faculty, their myriad backgrounds, and their guiding words. Hours and hours of critique. Helping each other. The collective journey. Installing multiple shows each year. Success defined by intellectual freedom and the immense friendships that rise to the top. Respectful and engaged communication. My community and our mutual support. Breathing deep and slowing down. Art making as a lifelong process. Infinitely relearning how to see. Elle Pérez, Nicholas Muellner, Cassils, Kristine Woods—dozens of visiting artists reminding me to believe in the lifetime endeavor. Listening to the cycles. Two short years dedicated to myself. My precious studio and its world of infinite possibility. Printing at 1 pm or 1 am. Catnaps wherever I can take them. Believing I made the right choice. Sister Corita Kent’s Rule 9: ‘Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It’s lighter than you think.”

— Peter Cochrane, MFA student, VCUarts

MFA Open House is on November 10. Application deadline is January 15, 2019. For more information, visit

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