The Fall 2016 session for Investigation Now begins in 2 weeks!

This Fall 2016, Investigation Now is back in full force (and with pizza). This years¬†theme is Future(s). Every Friday night for six weeks we will collaborate and consider what our world will look, taste, feel, and smell like in the generations to come. Things are going to get weird and funky in the classroom, so don’t miss out!

Classes will begin on October 14th – a mere 2 weeks away. Claim your seat and sign up online through the link above.

We can’t wait to meet you!


Reimagining Session 4

Reimagining Places and Spaces Part 2

We reimagined a specific place in relation to historical context. Students chose a spot in Richmond to research, and then created a monument to show forgotten histories, attract visitors, or to honor people that have been neglected by history. We used paper mache to create small models of what these monuments might look like.

We looked and discussed the work of Steve Hedberg to see ways that other artists have reimagined Richmond, and Rachel Hayes to explore how art installed in a place can add or change context.

Reimagining Session 3

Reimagining Places and Spaces Part 1

Students explored how we interpret a space and how we can change our experiences of it by moving through it differently and looking closely at details that might otherwise go unnoticed. Students used a GPS painting tool, took photographs, and created a video of reimagining an experience of a place.

We looked at the artwork of Jeff Schmuki as an example of a unique way to change a space using an installation of a live piece.



Reimagining Session 2

Reimagining Personal History

Students explored and reimagined their pasts using childhood artifacts. We explored the messages that toys from our pasts sent, and how we could change the message to be more positive or more relatable to us now. Students created hybrid stuffed animals to show these ideas.

We looked at the artwork of Cynthia Raggo, H.A. Schuldt, and the Virginia Arts Festival Bells to see how we could reimagine the past, materials, and existing creatures.

Reimagining Session 1

Reimagining is off to a great start! For our first session, we investigated ways to reimagine the mundane. We discussed the artwork of Nickolai Walko and Katie Bell, artists that use non-traditional and repurposed materials to create inventive sculptures. Students worked in teams to reimagine a character from history or fiction (both teams decided to go in a whimsical political direction). They created a comic strip about their reimagined character to plan, and then used mundane materials, like paper bags and cardboard, to bring the character to life. At the end of the session, students created mini-skits (and comical ones at that!) to share their new characters.


There’s Still Time to Sign Up!!!


Reimagine: Forming new conceptions and envisioning innovative possibilities

April 8/15/22/29/May 6
Cost: $75 (pizza and materials included)

Sign up on this website, or contact Samantha Strathearn at

TRENDING Session 5: Exhibition


Wow! What a busy session! We took time this session to finish up and display all of the work that we started during this workshop. Students put their finishing touches on their zines (and we spent lots of time folding them!!), finished their trendy people, and added their #hashtag poetry to their selfie portraits. Students did an informal critique at the exhibition with heart shaped “likes” and “comments” pinned near each other’s artworks. We finished the session with our final First Friday gallery walk, where we saw and discussed the artwork including that of Andrew Brehm and Jennifer Lauren Smith (Triangle, Circle, Square), Adam Shecter (New Year), and Jimmy Trotter (various works).

We are so proud of all of the work that students accomplished during TRENDING! Us teachers really enjoyed working with students and seeing them work through their artworks and hearing their insights about local and contemporary artists. Thank you!



















TRENDING Session 4

We continued with the theme of technology for Session 4; only this time we examined how technology changes the way that we present the self. We looked at the artwork of Nate Larson and talked about why his portraits went viral, and about this project from Baltimore. We also talked about Chuck Close and compared his early self portraits to his more recent works, and how they showed multiple sides of himself. With the work of Richard Prince, we talked about ideas of online photo sharing and ownership, as well as appropriation. We discussed the self portrait, and ways in which “selfies” have changed the idea.

Students explored how they could use selfies to show multiple aspects of their own personalities. They used iPad photo manipulation apps to create three visually different and idea driven “selfie” portraits.

Planning for their “Triple Selfie Portraits.” Students thought of three different sides of themselves, and sketched out ways to show them.

Students made some excellent points about selfies. They thought of many reasons why selfies are trending and why people take them. Some thoughts were for self validations, seeking opinions, expressing oneself, sharing what is going on in one’s life, making connections, and showing a location.

Digital natives in their natural habitat.


TRENDING Session 3

In this session, we explored the trend of DIY (do it yourself) technology. We started with an “Unsilent Night” small performance – an ambient music performance piece that has been performed in many cities, including Richmond with the group Classical Revolution. We also turned artwork into computer controllers with Makey Makey.


Did you know that you can connect an orange to a computer?

Getting started



Makey Makey uses alligator clips to turn conductive materials into buttons!



Graphite (and orange) working as controllers. When these buttons are pressed, they trigger musical notes.



20160219_181349.jpgArtwork as DIY technology

Still shot of a performance in progress.