ArtVenture Summer Camp Teachers Introduce 6 New Fiber Art Classes

May 23, 2019 Features

At the Visual Arts Center of Richmond’s ArtVenture Summer Camp, kids get the chance to make art alongside professional artists in a variety of art media. This summer, VisArts is offering a slew of new classes in the fiber studio, many of which are being taught by graduates of Virginia Commonwealth University’s art education masters program.

Veteran ArtVenture teacher Molly McManus is teaching a new class for nine and ten-year-old students called Contemporary Embroidery, where campers will learn hoop embroidery using texture-building techniques, explore types of stitches and use unconventional materials to create their own custom designs. McManus said hoop embroidery is one of her favorite art-making techniques, along with weaving and collaging.

McManus graduated from VCU in 2012 and has since worked with individuals with autism spectrum disorders in community and school settings. During her undergraduate career at VCU, she studied art history and psychology in an effort to understand how the brain works and what motivates people to make art.

“On a perfect day, I’m sitting in on an art history lecture, writing curriculum and trying my hand at making different types of art,” she said.

Patrick Carter started teaching at VisArts two years ago, just after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in craft and material studies from VCUarts, where he focused on textiles and fibers. This summer at ArtVenture, Carter will lead a new frame weaving class for eleven and twelve-year-olds, where students will learn how to make fabrics and weave a tapestry on a frame loom.

In addition to teaching, Carter is back at VCU pursuing a master’s degree in art education, with hopes of becoming a middle or elementary school art teacher. His mantra as a teacher is: “love who you are, be kind, stay curious and have fun.”

Amanda Bryant started working at VisArts as a fiber studio monitor before signing on to teach ArtVenture in 2018. Like Carter and McManus, she also has VCU’s art education master’s degree program on her resume.

This summer, Bryant is teaching two new classes, including Macrame, Nets, and Knitting: Art with Knots! In her macrame class, students will explore six basic knots, macrame, net making and knitting before creating a personalized fiber artwork. Bryant is also introducing a class called Crochet a Rag Rug, where students will up-cycle old t-shirts and create beautiful rugs.

Rae Whitlock’s Make Your Own Patches class and Sarah Brown’s Sewing for the Kitchen are two more brand-new fiber classes being offering at ArtVenture this summer. To learn more about these classes and others, visit the ArtVenture Summer Camp page at