karenne wood

Karenne Wood Residency

In November of 2021, The Humanities Research Center launched the Karenne Wood Native Writer/Artist Residency program, providing an opportunity for Indigenous writers and artists to spend time at VCU, connect with local tribes, give public talks and readings, and enrich VCU students’ learning experience.

The program honors the legacy of Karenne Wood, Ph.D., who was a member of the Monacan Indian tribe and a poet, activist, tribal historian and educator who lectured at VCU on many occasions. Wood, who died in 2019, was director of the Virginia Indian Heritage Program at Virginia Humanities, led a tribal history project for the Monacan Nation, conducted research at the National Museum of the American Indian, and served on the National Congress of American Indians’ Repatriation Commission. Her two books of poetry, “Markings on Earth” (2001) and “Weaving the Boundary” (2016) are taught widely throughout North America. In 2015, she was named one of the Library of Virginia’s Virginia Women in History.

This residency is made possible in part thanks to Virginia Humanities and VCU Foundation. We'd also like to thank the School of the Arts for providing studio space for our Karenne Wood Native Artists-in-Residence.

Sequoyah Fortune

Current Artist: Sequoyah Fortune

Sequoyah Fortune is a Rappahannock multimedia artist and writer, who seamlessly blends tradition with progressive modernism. Their art mirrors the complexities of multicultural identity, exploring dichotomies such as light and dark, life and death, and what is versus what could be. Inspired by traditional cultural expression, the natural world, and modern artists, Sequoyah has been involved in various artistic and cultural activities from a young age. Pottery lessons from his grandmother, dancing and drumming lessons from uncles and father, sketching lessons from their mother, and beadwork from sister and aunt—all these experiences shaped their artistic journey. As Sequoyah honed his skills across diverse media, he learned from instructors like hyperrealists Norberto Ramirez and Nigel Robertson from Fresno California. Sequoyah’s focus is to demystify art, encouraging everyone to see everyday items and activities as creative expressions. Conversations, community building, and intentional living are also forms of art for them, serving collaborative narratives, preserving history, and helping individuals understand their place in the larger world.

Previous Artists