Experimental Film Virginia 2012-present
Entering its 56h year in 2018, Experimental Film Virginia gathers artists from all over the world to convene on the shores of the Chesapeake Bay with a mission to create new films inspired by the people and spaces of Virginia's Eastern Shore, helping forge a new identity for the area as a cultural tourism destination for audiences and a hotspot for exchange and experimentation for artists. Woven into the two week artist residency is a series of "art soaked weekends" including Art in a Barn. the Launching Party and the production and premiere of new short films during Reel & Raw. Renata Sheppard is the founder and Artistic Director of Experimental Film Virginia and GEAR, Global Exchange Arts Roundtable, the non-profit that she founded in 2015.
Film is a powerful, accessible and sharable artistic medium that lends itself to cross-disciplinary exploration. Designed with a functional purpose—that is— increased tourism, developed sense of local community and identity, revitalization and usage of old spaces— and the expressive purpose of making films and live performance, we believe this project is sustainable and can become part of the economic fabric of small town communities. It serves at multiple levels: locally, nationally and internationally. Everyone who participates in EFV gives something and gets something. Arts and business DO go hand-in-hand and we are trying to demonstrate that with EFV. Cape Charles is the first town, but not the last, who could welcome the Experimental Film Virginia project.
Cloud Nine Series 2015-Present
A series of living sculptures created with paper, light, projection and the human body. The sculptures are hangable, wearable and can be designed for digital interaction for public spaces, museums, site specific performance and proscenium stage performance.
Concept and initial prototypes created during a Bogliasco Artist Fellowship in Italy, 2015.
Most recent exhibit: Work | Release, Echoes of the East, Norfolk, Virginia 2016
Visiting Artist and Professor at Seoul Institute of the Arts
Plein Air Danse 2015-Present
Plein Air Danse is a boundary-breaking, experimental project that reimagines plein air painting as an interdisciplinary experience for both the participating artist and the observing audience. It is a nomadic project that captures people, place, experience as dance, photography, film and visual art, providing multi-medium artifacts of each ephemeral performance. I travel to new cities, big and small, in collaboration with artists from difference disciplines including photographers, painters, musicians, find a location, a site that speaks to me, and build an installation/dance experience there using my favorite materials: light, paper, location and the body.
This projects' concept and original prototype was created during a Bogliasco Artist Fellowship in Italy, 2015.